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The courses comprising this program are all taught in German with the twofold objective of combining the study of significant works, literary trends, and cultural manifestations with advanced practice in the use of German as a medium of practical everyday communication and intellectually stimulating discussion or conversation.

Requirements: 10 courses

  • GERM V 3001-3002 Advanced German Conversation and Composition (3 pts. each)
  • GERM W 3333x Introduction to German Literature
  • GERM BC 3061y Seminar
  • Five one-term advanced literature courses chosen from GERM BC 3027-3050 or their Columbia equivalent GERM W 3443-3675.
  • A third advanced language course may be substituted for one advanced literature course.GERM BC 3062x or y Senior Essay
  • A half-hour oral exit examination is required.


This major combines a study of literature with other aspects of German culture and civilization by choosing courses from the social sciences such as history, political science, and economics, and from other humanities dealing with German-speaking regions or communities.

The department will assist and advise students interested in studying in Germany, Austria, or Switzerland. It should be noted that Barnard College is a member of the Berlin Consortium for German Studies and strongly encourages those students wishing to study abroad to do so through this program administered by Columbia University and conducted in association with the Freie Universitat Berlin.

Requirements: 14 courses

  • Two or three of the following language courses or their equivalent: GERM V 3001-3002, GERM BC 3009, GERM BC 3010
  • Four or five one-term Advanced Literature and Culture courses numbered: GERM BC 3011-3061 (or their Columbia equivalent)
  • One GERM BC 3062x or y Senior Essay*
  • Six one-term courses in the Social Sciences and Humanities that relate to the German-speaking countries of Europe and define a special field of interest (to be chosen in consultation with the major adviser). Two courses dealing with German history are strongly recommended.

*The major adviser in the German department will work with a second reader in another field if the thesis topic should require it.


Requirements: 14 courses

  • Seven courses in each department, including a seminar in one of the departments and a senior essay on a topic bridging both fields.
  • A student who selects a combined major will establish her special program in consultation with the departments concerned.


Requirements: 5 courses

  • Advanced language courses from GERM V 3001-02 and GERM W 3333.
  • A minimum of three additional advanced literature courses from GERM BC 3011-3061 or their Columbia equivalent.


Berlin Consortium for German Studies
303 Lewisohn Hall. 854-2559

Barnard College and Columbia University, in collaboration with John Hopkins University, Princeton University, the University of Chicago, the University of Pennsylvania, and Yale University, offer a program based at the Free University Berlin for students interested in German studies, whether literature, history, philosophy, or political science. Instruction is in German, and students with majors in all fields who have completed two, or preferably three or more, years of college German (or the equivalent) and who have a 3.0 GPA may apply. To assure validation of credits, students should work closely with their major advisers. Students may study in Berlin for an entire academic year or for the Spring semester only (Autumn only is not available). All students should discuss their proposed programs with their home college advisers and the Dean of Studies prior to departure. A bulletin with more complete information about all aspects of the program and an application form are available in the Berlin Consortium Office.

Academic-Year Program
Application deadline: March 1

Spring Program
Application deadline: October 15

Courses Offered at the Berlin Consortium for German Studies

Consult the Berlin Consortium Bulletin for a complete listing of courses available at the Free University Berlin. See sample below:

German I 3335x-I 3336y
The German Language Practicum (3rd year)
Prerequisite: GERM W 1201-W 1202 or the equivalent. The equivalent of GERM W 3335x-W3336y.
6 points.

German I 4335x-I 4336y
The German Language Practicum (Advanced Level)
Prerequisite: GERM W 3335-W3336 or the equivalent.
6 points.

German Studies I 3991x-I 3992y
Selected Topics in German Studies
x: Readings in the Cultural History of Berlin: Enlightenment to Modernism (1750-1914)
y: The Drama of Bertolt Brecht and the Theatre of Berlin During the Weimar Republic and Following World War II
3 points.

German Studies I 3997x-I 3998y
Supervised Study in the German University System
9-15 points.

German Studies I 3999x and y
Supervised Tutorial/Research in the German University
3-6 points.