Foreign Language Requirement
German 201 meets the foreign language requirement for the degree.
An online test is used to place entering students at a level appropriate to their background.
Students who have studied German prior to entering Davidson but have not been awarded college credit for it will take an online placement test administered by Davidson. They will be placed in German 250 or 260 if their preparation is exceptional; such students may request an additional oral examination to certify completion of the language requirement without additional courses. Students are placed in German 201 if their preparation is strong; in German 102 if less strong. In some cases, the department will recommend that a student who has studied German in high school begin in German 101. No student who has studied German in high school, however, should expect to take German 101 for credit without the express permission of the department.
Nine courses above German 201 are required for the major in German Studies. They must include: German 250, 260, and German 495, the senior comprehensive course. They may not include more than one independent study course below the 400-level. During the senior year at Davidson, students must take at least two courses at the 400-level, one of which must be German 495, the other a seminar taught in German. Finally, students must demonstrate proficiency in the German language at the B2 level (as defined by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages). The Department strongly recommends study abroad with Duke/Davidson in Berlin.
Six courses above German 201 are required for the minor, at least three of which must be taken in residence. These should include: German 250 or 260 (or both), and at least one 400-level course taught in German. Courses may not include more than one independent study course below the 400-level. The Department strongly recommends study abroad with Duke/Davidson in Berlin.
To receive honors, a student must at the time of graduation have an overall GPA of 3.2 or better, have a 3.5 average in all courses counted toward the major, have fulfilled all the requirements for the major, and the department must judge the thesis (written for German 495) and its defense worthy of honors.
German Studies majors and minors should plan to study abroad if at all possible. Students who have completed German 201 are encouraged to apply for the Berlin program and should plan to take as many courses as possible from among German 250, 260, and 270 before departure.
DAVIDSON/DUKE IN GERMANY: Offered in conjunction with Duke University, the program allows students to study in Berlin in the fall or spring semester or for the full academic year. The fall program is based at Humboldt University; in the spring, students may attend courses at any of the three major universities in Berlin: the Humboldt University, the Free University, or the Technical University. A resident director assists with academic and personal matters and teaches one course per semester; the staff of Davidson’s Department of German Studies works with students to structure the program that best meets their needs.
The fall program begins in late August and runs through mid-December; the spring program begins in early February and ends in late July. For students on the full academic year program, there is a six week break between semesters. Students typically earn four course credits for a semester and eight course credits for the academic year. There is also a six-week summer program, typically yielding two course credits.
For the fall and spring programs, no prior study of German is required.
See Dean Rusk study abroad for details.
Courses numbered in the 30s and 40s are taught in translation, courses in the 50s, 60s, and 70s in German.
Courses numbered in the 30s and 50s satisfy the distribution requirement in literature.
Courses numbered in the 80s are assigned to courses taken with Davidson abroad.
Except for German 495 (colloquium), courses numbered in the 90s are assigned to independent study courses.
German 100-level courses are elementary language courses that correspond to the A1 and A2 levels of the Common European Framework of Reference for Foreign Languages.
German 200-level courses are intermediate courses that, in terms of language proficiency, correspond to the B1 level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Foreign Languages. 201 completes the language requirement and is prerequisite for any other 200-level course taught in German. The proficiency level expected on the 200-level is the same for all courses taught in German, irrespective of their course number. Following successful completion of 201, students are encouraged to take 250 or 260, both of which serve as introductory courses to the main concerns of the discipline. 200-level courses taught in translation require no knowledge of German, nor do they presuppose familiarity with the methods of literary and cultural criticism.
German 300-level courses are advanced-intermediate level courses that correspond to the B2 level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Foreign Languages. They focus on special topics in literature and culture and should be taken only after successful completion of 250 and/or 260. Courses taught in translation presuppose familiarity with the basic methods of literary and cultural criticism.
German 400-level courses are seminars on the advanced level, corresponding to the C1 level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Foreign Languages. They are designed for German majors and minors and focus on special topics in literature and culture. 495 provides a capstone experience and requires a thesis. 400-level seminars taught in translation are suitable for all students with a strong background in literary or cultural studies.