German Cultural Studies Special Major through Interdisciplinary Studies

The special major in German Cultural Studies is offered through ITDS, the Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies at SSU. The major offers students an interdisciplinary B.A. that incorporates language courses required for the German minor plus courses in other disciplines. It enriches students' academic and career opportunities by providing them with important skills to find employment in our increasingly interconnected world. The special major prepares students for international or cross-cultural careers in the USA or abroad that require a basic knowledge of the German language, history and culture as well as skills in cross-cultural communication. Recognizing the increasing interconnections in our global world, and Germany as one of the key players within the EU and in the international arena, the B.A. program prepares students for graduate school and careers in a field of their interest. See the list of classes here.

The special major provides students with a stimulating and supportive learning environment, as well as advising within a vibrant community of German language students. The interdisciplinary structure of the B.A. program allows students to focus on their individual interest and thus work towards individual study and career plans. Moreover, the special major assists students to graduate within a timely manner. Please review the Sample Four-Year Plans that suggest two different pathways toward timely graduation. Plan A suggests a pathway for students who take courses at SSU and do not plan to study abroad; Plan B offers a pathway for those students who wish to study abroad for one year.

Exciting news for students who plan to study abroad through the CSU International Programs for one year!

With careful planning, students will receive credit (up to 30 units) for their studies abroad! Their year abroad will be incorporated within the students' four-year study plan. Please review "Plan B" in the Sample Four-Year Plans, and consult with your major advisor. We encourage studying abroad, and gaining valuable language and culture skills that are desired by an increasing number of employers in a wide array of international and German-American professional sectors here and abroad.

Goals of the ITDS special major in German Cultural Studies

The objectives of the ITDS special major in German Cultural Studies are twofold: First, the B.A. program facilitates the acquisition and improvement of German language skills in all areas of competency (speaking, reading, writing and aural comprehension, including cultural competency). Second, it connects these skills and competencies with knowledge gleaned from other disciplines, which focus the students' interests and prepares them for life after graduation from SSU. Most importantly, studying within the interdisciplinary framework helps students gain secondary important competencies and skills that are highly desired by many employers:

Cultural Awareness

  • deeper interest in the history and culture of German-speaking countries
  • familiarity with contemporary events in these countries
  • sensitivity to issues and problems of contemporary life in the German-speaking world, the European Union, and the USA
  • increased awareness of cultural diversity

Critical and Creative Thinking Skills

  • written and oral communication in both German and English
  • ability to work independently as well as collaboratively
  • ability to compare the treatment and solutions of cultural problems in different countries

Communicative and Interpersonal Skills

  • written and oral communication in both German and English

Metacognitive Skills

  • awareness of the language learning process and the learning process in general
  • ability to formulate individual goals, execute them and reflect on them

Major Requirements

The major requirements include prerequisites, core courses, supporting courses, and elective courses. As part of the core requirement, students must also complete an internship (German culture or language experience in a professional setting) and a senior project. Additionally, German Cultural Studies majors must pass the "Goethe-Zertifikat B1"-Proficiency Examination, the internationally recognized language certificate offered annually at SSU under the auspices of the Goethe Institute.

AP Policy for German

  • If a student scored a 3 on the German AP Exam, the student earns credit for GER 101 (4 units), GER 102 (4 units), and GER 210 (4 units) for a total of 12 units.
  • If a student scored a 4 or 5 on the German AP Exam, the student earns credit for GER 101 (4 units), GER 102 (4 units), GER 200 (4 units), and GER 210 (4 units) for a total of 16 units.

For additional information about the ITDS special major please contact Dr. Michaela Grobbel, (707) 664-2637.