German Studies is a research-centered and student-friendly department with several internationally renowned faculty members.
The department covers the entire tradition of German culture, history, and politics within a European context, from early modern times to the present. Majors in German Studies excel intellectually, they are curious, independent thinkers, and open to the world.
Students of German Studies often have double or triple majors, which gives them an extra advantage over many of their peers and makes them particularly attractive to global employers and the top graduate schools.
The department is well-known for its regular interdisciplinary and international conferences, covering topics such as Changing Perceptions of the Public Sphere (2005), Humanism and Revolution in the Eighteenth Century (2009), The Place of Politics in German Film (2010), and Public Power, Private Spaces (2011). Members of the department are involved in the History of Philosophy Workshop, funded by the Humanities Research Center, and have led research collaborations with the Freie Universität Berlin, Germany, the University of Cambridge, England, and Rice's School of Architecture.
The department provides study abroad options in Leipzig, Berlin, and Freiburg/Breisgau, including an intensive summer language course in Leipzig. Particular strengths of the department are in eighteenth- to twentieth-century literature, modern intellectual history and political thought, philosophy, and film studies.
The close connection between research and teaching lies at the heart of the department’s curriculum and enables students to develop original contributions at an early stage. Beyond a detailed and historically grounded understanding of German and European culture, students gain intellectual and social qualities that are highly valued in a global knowledge society: logical reasoning, critical thinking, linguistic skills, and cultural competence. German Studies majors often receive Fulbright Grants and continue at some of the best graduate schools in the U.S. and Europe.