German Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Instructor/Course Information

What do I do if a course is full?
Contact the course instructor and ask to be placed on a waiting list. If the course has a discussion section, contact the teaching assistant in charge of your desired section time. Be sure to attend the first week of class. After week 1, students need an approval/add code from the instructor to enroll in any course. Here is

What if I do not meet a course prerequisite?
Contact the course instructor to ask for an approval code to override the prerequisite(s). If you are trying to enroll in a language class and are not sure what language level you place into, contact the department undergraduate advisor.

How do I contact a professor or TA?
Instructor emails and office hours are posted outside the department office, Phelps 4206. Or click here.

How can I find out what classes will be offered in future quarters?
Pick up a tentative list of course offerings in the department office or view it online.

How do I know what the course is about?
Read the description in the General Catalog or look under "Courses" on the website.

Do I have to finish the lower-division courses before I can enroll in upper-division courses?
No. However, language level 6 is a prerequisite for upper-division courses taught in German or Russian. But you may take UD courses taught in English before you have finished a language sequence.

Major/Minor Requirements

What should I take first?
We recommend that you complete the lower-division language requirement early, to allow plenty of time to complete the upper-division requirements. Also, this will allow time for you to study abroad during your junior or senior year and to complete courses for the upper-division major abroad if you wish. While you may take lower- and upper-division classes at the same time, some upper-division classes require German 6 or Russian 6 as a prerequisite.

What classes count as electives?
Any upper-division German class.
Any upper-division Slavic or Russian class (excluding the 101 series and more than 6 units from Russian 110A-B-C).

Can I take classes in Comparative Literature?
German Studies majors may take 4 units of electives from an upper-division Comparative Literature course taught by a faculty member from the Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies.
Russian & Eastern European Studies majors may take 4 units of electives from an upper-division Comparative Literature course taught by a Slavic or Russian faculty member.

I took a class abroad or at a different college. How can this class count towards my major?
First, you must send official transcripts from the college you attended to UCSB's Admissions Office, who will or will not accept those units for credit at UCSB.

Second, once you get a credit memo from UCSB saying that they have accepted those units, bring that to our department. If you want these units to count for major requirements, bring a course description and syllabus of the course(s) you took at the other college. The department will review your coursework to determine appropriate major credit. You will then receive a "Petition for Degree Requirements" to complete.


What classes require a petition?
Students must submit a Petition for Degree Requirements to receive major credit for any classes taken at another college or university. Any courses not listed on the major requirement sheet must be petitioned before they can count for the major.

EAP courses must be applied to the major by completing a Petition for Major Substitution of EAP Courses.

Petition forms can be found online on the College of Letters and Science website:

I did not finish a course. What should I do?
If you have not officially dropped the course you will have to petition for an Incomplete. The petition powerform can be accessed here. The instructor must sign the petition, and it must be filed before the end of the quarter in which you were enrolled in the course. If you do not file an Incomplete petition, you will receive an"F" in the course. Incomplete grades must be made up by the following quarter or else the Incomplete grade will revert to an "F" after one quarter.

Can I change a course taken pass/no pass to a letter grade after the deadline?
It is not possible to change the course grading option if the class has already been graded. The deadline to change a grading option is the end of the 7th week of instruction online through GOLD.


Visit the department office in Phelps 4206, Monday - Friday, 9:00-11:30am or 1:30-4pm. Phone: (805) 893-3111

For undergraduate matters, email:

For graduate matters, email: