Educational Goals

The mission of the Department of German Studies with respect to undergraduates lies in imparting the German language and knowledge of the German-speaking cultures, as well as in providing students with a set of methodological approaches to learning and to the world. By engaging with the culture of the German-speaking world, including literature, film, visual art, history, philosophy, and social and political theory, students develop and refine skills with application beyond the field of German Studies alone. These skills include:

  • an ability to analyze and interpret all manner of cultural artifacts
  • an ability to express discoveries and insights in cogent and persuasive fashion, both orally and in writing
  • an ability to formulate and to carry out research, and to do so increasingly independently
  • an ability to think globally, to understand themselves and the world from multiple perspectives.

In pursuit of these goals, the department makes available numerous opportunities for independent, or semi-independent, scholarly research and artistic projects, as well as for interdisciplinary and experiential learning, both on campus and abroad.

In all its activities, the department seeks to contribute to the realization in its students of capacities for critical thinking, creativity, and continuing self-guided growth.