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Department Overview

340C Denny

The Department of Germanics focuses on the language, literature, and civilization of the German-speaking countries; on the role of their history, literature, and philosophy in Western civilization; and on linguistic analysis, especially historic, of the Germanic languages.

Undergraduate Program

337 Denny, Box 353130
(206) 543-4580

The Department of Germanics offers the following programs of study:

  • The Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Germanics
  • A minor in Germanics, plus an option in German linguistics

Bachelor of Arts

Suggested First- and Second-Year College Courses: First- and second-year German or equivalent. Courses in Central European history, literature and culture. Courses on broad cultural topics taught in English by Germanics.

Department Admission Requirements

Admission to the major status requires completion of GERMAN 202 or equivalent.

Major Requirements

60 credits as follows:

  1. 20 credits as follows: GERMAN 203, GERMAN 311, GERMAN 322, GERMAN 401
  2. Three 400-level courses in literature and culture (15 credits), chosen from the following: GERMAN 411, GERMAN 412, GERMAN 421, GERMAN 422, GERMAN 423, GERMAN 493, GERMAN 495
  3. 25 additional credits from the approved list of electives or additional courses from the list above. No more than 10 of these credits can be at the 100 or 200 level, and no more than 10 credits total in GERMAN 301, GERMAN 302, GERMAN 303, GERMAN 304, GERMAN 307, GERMAN 333, and GERMAN 334.
  4. Minimum 2.0 grade must be earned in every upper-division German course; an overall 2.50 GPA is required for all German courses counted toward the major.



35 credits as follows:

  1. GERMAN 203, GERMAN 311, GERMAN 322
  2. 5 credits in 400-level coursework from either GERMAN 411, GERMAN 412, GERMAN 421, GERMAN 422, GERMAN 423, GERMAN 490, GERMAN 493, GERMAN 494, GERMAN 495, GERMAN 497, GERMAN 498, GERMAN 499, or from the courses listed below
  3. 15 additional credits from the approved list of electives (no more than 10 credits may be taken from 100- or 200-level courses)
  4. Minimum 2.0 grade is required for each course counted toward the minor.

German Linguistics

35 credits as follows:

  1. GERMAN 203; either GERMAN 311 or GERMAN 322; GERMAN 401; GERMAN 451; GERMAN 452
  2. Two additional courses (from any of the following):
    1. Language: GERMAN 301, GERMAN 302, GERMAN 303, GERMAN 304, GERMAN 307, GERMAN 333, GERMAN 334, GERMAN 401, GERMAN 498
    2. Literature: GERMAN 210, GERMAN 293, GERMAN 295, GERMAN 300, GERMAN 311 (if not used for requirement above), GERMAN 312, GERMAN 313, GERMAN 340, GERMAN 341, GERMAN 342, GERMAN 345, GERMAN 346, GERMAN 349, GERMAN 350, GERMAN 351, GERMAN 352, GERMAN 353, GERMAN 360, GERMAN 390, GERMAN 397, GERMAN 411, GERMAN 412, GERMAN 421, GERMAN 422, GERMAN 423, GERMAN 490, GERMAN 494, GERMAN 495, GERMAN 497
    3. Culture: GERMAN 322 (if not used for requirement above), GERMAN 323, GERMAN 355, GERMAN 370, GERMAN 371, GERMAN 399, GERMAN 493, GERMAN 499
    4. Linguistics: GERMAN 220, GERMAN 479, or courses from other departments offering linguistics
    5. Other: GERMAN 395/GERMAN 396 (4 credits max.), GERMAN 398, GERMAN 446 (5 credits max.), GERMAN 447 (5 credits max.)
  3. Minimum 2.0 grade is required for each course counted toward the minor.

Student Outcomes and Opportunities

  • Learning Objectives and Expected Outcomes:
    1. To acquire linguistic fluency in German and broad knowledge of German/Austrian/Swiss language, literature, and culture;
    2. To increase critical awareness and sensitivity to other languages and cultures as well as to one’s own;
    3. To develop skills of analytical and integrative thinking, critical reading, and writing;
    4. To communicate clearly and concisely both in written and spoken form;
    5. To understand how to do research in German literacy and cultural studies.
    6. Instructional and Research Facilities: None
    7. Honors Options Available: With College Honors (Completion of Honors Core and Departmental Honors requirements). With Honors (Completion of Departmental Honors requirements in the major). See adviser for requirements.
  • Research, Internships, and Service Learning:
    1. Advanced undergraduate majors and minors can sign up for 1-5 credits of faculty-sponsored research (GERMAN 447) for one quarter with a maximum of 15 credits. Five credits can count towards the major as an elective. Regular grades are assigned for research results. To see examples of research projects currently being offered, see the departmental website.
    2. The internship in German (GERMAN 446) offers students the opportunity to do internships in public institutions or private businesses to apply their German language skills in practice. The internship experience provides a valuable tool to further increase students’ communication skills in the German language, to explore and test potential career options, and to specify or expand study goals. Ideally an internship in German serves to enhance and further students’ educational and professional objectives.
  • Study Abroad: The Office of International Programs and Exchanges offers a number of different study abroad options for Austria and Germany. Students can consult their website at The Department of Germanics offers a program in Vienna, Austria. Qualified students are invited to take part in the “Spring in Vienna” program. Every spring quarter the department sends a group of approximately 20 students to Vienna to participate in a program of studies in German language and Austrian culture for which students are able to earn 16 credits. Program costs are commensurate with in-state tuition at the University of Washington. Students should consult the departmental website for more information.
  • Department Scholarships:The department’s German Express program consists of a series of intensive courses able to take a student from no knowledge of German to fluency in one year. The best five students are awarded stipends of $1,000 each to be applied toward study during spring quarter at a German university. Additional scholarship opportunities can be found on the departmental website.
  • Student Organizations/Associations: German Club.

Graduate Program

Graduate Program Coordinator
240 Denny, Box 353130
(206) 543-4580

The graduate program in Germanics offers a broad, flexible, yet integrated curriculum that allows students to organize studies according to their inclinations and professional needs. Although based upon objectives common to all aspects of study (such as the acquisition of a body of learning, training in technical skills, and development of critical judgment), the program offers a background for different professional pursuits: careers as scholars and teachers in literature, cultural studies, the humanities, linguistics, and philology on the university level; the teaching of German language and civilization on the college and secondary school level; and professional writing, editing, and publishing. Study period of the doctoral program is two years (minimum number of post-master's course credits is 60). Completion of necessary coursework is followed by general written and oral examinations. A third doctoral year is reserved for writing the dissertation.

The MA and PhD programs concentrate on German literature, civilization, cultural history, and philosophical traditions, with an option to include Germanic linguistics and courses outside the department.

Master of Arts

Admission Requirements

An undergraduate major in German, or equivalent. Superior German language skills.

Degree Requirements

  1. 40 hours of coursework as determined in consultation with adviser
  2. One critical MA paper
  3. Text analysis in one of the MA areas of expertise (see below)
  4. Written comprehensive examination in one of the MA areas

Areas of expertise for the MA in Germanics are literary history; intellectual history; cultural studies; and linguistics or applied linguistics.

Students must demonstrate foundational competency in three of the four areas of expertise. Evaluation of this expertise is based on three procedures: one comprehensive examination (based on the MA reading list); one text analysis (text selected by the MA committee from the MA reading list); one critical MA paper (based on work in a graduate seminar). Students choose the way these three evaluation procedures are distributed across their selected areas of expertise.

Doctor of Philosophy

Admission Requirements

Undergraduate major in German, or equivalent. Superior German language skills. Reading knowledge of a second foreign language (in addition to German) is required before the student is admitted to the PhD General Examination. Languages chosen are subject to approval by the department.

Degree Requirements

90 credits, to include:

60 credit hours at the 500 level or higher (GERMAN 411, GERMAN 451, GERMAN 452, GERMAN 497, GERMAN 498, GERMAN 499 may be counted toward this requirement if not already counted toward the MA); knowledge of a foreign language other than German; one PhD paper and a dissertation prospectus (or three PhD papers); three written doctoral examinations; an oral examination; and a dissertation.

  1. The 60 hours of coursework are selected at the student's discretion with an eye toward developing distinct areas of specialization, though students are encouraged to define their areas broadly.
  2. PhD paper: The doctoral paper must be on file one year following successful completion of the MA examination. For students who arrive with the MA, the paper must be on file by December 15 in the second year of coursework.
  3. Reading lists: Guided by the PhD reading list, students prepare their own reading lists for each of the three doctoral examination areas in consultation with members of the PhD supervisory committee.
  4. Knowledge of a foreign language other than German, by completion of a literature course - with readings in the language and a grade of 3.0 or higher - or by standard examinations in the target language approved by the Graduate Program Coordinator, must be demonstrated.
  5. After students have completed the required 60 hours of coursework, met the language requirement, and had the dissertation prospectus approved they may register for 800-level coursework.
  6. Students write three 24-hour examinations at home, organized in consultation with the Supervisory Committee according to one of the following patterns: one period examination, one genre examination, one special topic examination; two period examinations, one genre examination; two period examinations, one special topic examination; one period examination, two special topic examinations (for students specializing in linguistics).

Financial Aid

A limited number of teaching assistantships and fellowships are available. The teaching load consists of a five-hour course on the first- or second-year level. Teaching assistants are supervised by experienced faculty members.