German Undergraduate


German Undergraduate Overview

Welcome to the German Program!

Why should you learn German? On July 1, 2017, the acclaimed British author John le Carré published an eloquent answer to this question:

Watch and listen our students give their own reasons:

The undergraduate program in German at UCSB offers three years of language instruction and a rich variety of lower and upper division courses in literature and culture.

Our courses are designed for students with a wide range of interests, including careers in business, government, law, medicine, media,and translation as well as those interested in pursuing a graduate degree in German Studies.

The Department offers undergraduates an exciting range of opportunities to familiarize themselves with German language and culture, from beginning language classes to in-depth study of complex literary, political and cultural topics.

Our German language courses are taught almost exclusively in German by competent, dedicated Lecturers and Graduate Student Teaching Assistants supervised by Dr. Evelyn Reder.

The first two years of language courses help students gain both communicative and grammatical competence in German. The third year focuses on advanced written and conversational skills as integrated within a literary and cultural context.

Advanced courses include courses on the history and culture of German speaking countries from the 18th century to today, and advanced seminars on special topics. Our classes introduce students to topics such as

  • Enlightenment texts influential for the formulation of human rights
  • The history of anti-Semitism
  • The history of science and media
  • Women in film
  • Jewish and Muslim life in Germany
  • The fall of the Wall

The department also offers a stimulating selection of lecture classes for an in-depth study of literary, historical, political and cultural topics. Titles include

  • Contemporary German Pop Culture
  • Testimonies of the Holocaust
  • German Women Writers
  • Revolutions: Marx, Nietzsche, Freud
  • Mediatechnology
  • Contemporary German Art and Politics
  • Mysticism

All of our classes are taught by internationally renowned and award-winning scholars. Faculty research areas include German literature and philosophy from the 18th century to the present, including Romanticism and Enlightenment, psychoanalysis, Holocaust studies, Jewish studies, mediatechnology, German cinema, linguistics, East-Central European and Russian Studies, and twentieth-century art.

For a complete list of German courses, see the General Catalog.