The Major

Prerequisites for the German concentration are GERMAN 110, 120, 230, 240, or their equivalents. In general, four years of high school German should guarantee proficiency through the 240 level. Students in the German concentration must complete 10 major courses, including courses in advanced German language, culture, and composition.  All students choose electives in history and society, literature and linguistics, film and visual culture, and cultural studies. Students must also complete a capstone project under the guidance of a faculty advisor.

Students in the STEM-German concentration are part of iSTEP: International Science Technology and Engineering Programs. Prerequisites for the STEM-German concentration are GERMAN 110 and 120 or their equivalents; students are also encouraged to take GERMAN 111 and 121 (STEM-German I and II). Students interested in applying for the STEM-German concentration should meet with the iSTEP director to discuss language proficiency and curriculum integration between the STEM-German concentration and their major in the sciences. Students in the STEM-German concentration take a combination of courses in German language (at least 18 credits) and German Studies (at least 12 credits) for a total of 30 credits.

Most German and STEM-German concentration students combine study in the program with a major or minor in an additional field. Students in the German concentration frequently have a second major or a minor in Linguistics, History, Political Science, Business, English, Tourism Management, Anthropology, or one of the many other languages offered at UMass. Students in the STEM-German concentration usually pursue a dual degree with an additional major concentration in a STEM field such as Environmental Studies, Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, etc.

Requirements for the Major

German Concentration


German 110, 120, 230, and 240 or their equivalents

Group A: Four German language courses above the 240 level

  • GERMAN 310 Advanced German I
  • GERMAN 311 Reading German Culture
  • GERMAN 320 Advanced German II
  • GERMAN 425 Advanced German III

Or their equivalents

Group B: Six additional courses, approved by German Studies from the following distribution areas

  1. History and Society
  2. Literature and Linguistics
  3. Film and Visual Culture
  4. Cultural Studies
  5. Junior Year Writing*
  6. Capstone/Integrative Experience

*Junior Year Writing must be replaced by an approved elective course if taken in another major.

Exceptions, equivalencies, approvals, and substitutions may be made by the Undergraduate Program Director.

Study Abroad

We strongly encourage our majors and minors in the German concentration to spend a semester or a year studying abroad in Germany. The University of Massachusetts has long-standing partner agreements with all nine research universities in the German state of Baden-Württemberg. Our students consistently tell us that their study abroad is one of the most important experiences of their lives. In consultation with the undergraduate program director, students may apply relevant courses taken during study abroad toward the German concentration requirements.

STEM-German Concentration


German 110 and 120 or their equivalents. Students should also complete German 111 and 121.

Part A: At least 18 credits in German language courses at the German 230 level and above

  • GERMAN 230: Intermediate German I
  • GERMAN 231: STEM-German III
  • GERMAN 240: Intermediate German II
  • GERMAN 241: STEM-German IV
  • GERMAN 312: Advanced Scientific & Technical German I
  • GERMAN 322: Advanced Scientific & Technical German II
  • Independent Study or Internship in Germany

Or their equivalents

Part B: At least 12 credits in additional courses approved by German Studies

  • Junior Year Writing and Capstone/Integrative Experience may count toward Part B if taken in German Studies.

  • Credit hours earned through Independent Study or Internship in Germany may count toward Part B if those credits are not applied to Part A.

Exceptions, equivalencies, approvals, and substitutions may be made by the Undergraduate Program Director or by the Director of iSTEP: international Science Technology & Engineering Programs.

Study Abroad

Students in the STEM-German concentration spend a semester or a full year studying abroad and participating in laboratory research placements or paid internships in Germany coordinated through iSTEP. During the study abroad year, students who are also majoring in a field in the College of Engineering spend up to six months in a paid professional internship at an international engineering company or other industry company relevant to their engineering field. In consultation with the iSTEP director, students may apply relevant credits earned during study abroad and internship work toward the STEM-German concentration requirements.

Joint Major in German and Linguistics

Students may elect an interdisciplinary major in German and Linguistics offered by the Linguistics Department. Requirements include the successful completion of four courses (12 credits) in German (110, 120, 230, and 240, or equivalent) and 30 credits distributed between Linguistics and German.