German Studies is a research-centered and student-friendly program with a challenging curriculum taught by internationally renowned faculty. The program covers the entire tradition of German culture, history, and politics within a European and global context, from early modern times to the present. Particular strengths of the department are in eighteenth- to twentieth-century literature and culture, media and film studies, modern intellectual history and political thought, and philosophy.
The close connection between research and teaching lies at the heart of the department’s curriculum and enables students to develop original contributions at an early stage. Beyond a detailed and historically grounded understanding of German and European culture, students gain intellectual and social qualities that are highly valued in a global knowledge society: logical reasoning, critical thinking, linguistic skills, and cultural competence. German Studies majors often receive Fulbright Grants and continue at some of the best graduate schools in the U.S. and Europe.
Students of German Studies often have double or triple majors, which gives them an extra advantage over many of their peers and makes them particularly attractive to global employers and the top graduate schools.
German Studies provides study abroad options in Leipzig and Berlin, including an eight-weeks intensive summer language program offered by interDaF at the renowned Herder Institute at the University of Leipzig.
All students who arrive at Rice with AP credit in German of 4 or 5, or who have passed the International Baccalaureate with a 6 or a 7 in this language, can immediately enroll in all courses at the 300 or 400 levels in the program in question without taking a placement exam. Otherwise, all students are required to take the placement exam administered by the CLIC and will be assigned to courses in accordance with their proficiency levels.
B.A. in German Studies degree requirements
|Single Major||Double Major|
|Total Hours||30 hours (10 courses above 200 level)||24 hours (8 courses above 200 level)|
|GERM 300 Level or Above||3 courses (up to 2 may be the programs's offering in English)||2 courses (one may be from program's offerings in English)|
|GERM 400 Level||3 courses||2 courses|
New Requirements for the German Studies Single and Double Major (effective Fall 2017)
|Single Major||Double Major|
|Total Hours||30 hours (10 courses above 100 level)||24 hours (8 courses above 100 level)|
|Elective Courses||5 GERM 300- or 400-level courses taught in either English or German||3 GERM 300- or 400-level courses taught in either English or German|
Advanced students can always replace the two GERM 200-level courses by GERM 300- or 400-level courses taught in German.
GERM 301 and 302 can be replaced by the Leipzig program.
The department strongly encourages qualified students to undertake an honors thesis in their final year, which consists of a substantial essay based on independent research under faculty supervision. Students should consider this option especially if they wish to apply to graduate school in the humanities, social sciences, and law.
Students are admitted to the honors program by faculty recommendation. To be eligible for the honors thesis, students must be in good academic standing, have advanced German reading and writing proficiency, and a GPA of at least 3.75.
Students are required to develop the topic of their honors thesis in close collaboration with faculty. The topic has to be related to the field of German Studies broadly conceived: German culture, literature, art and music, as well as philosophy, history, and politics from the early modern period to the present. The thesis is a research thesis and must address a problem or question that is of current relevance in the candidate's chosen field of interest.
An honors thesis is normally 40-45 pages in length and written in English. It must be accompanied by an abstract in German of 3-5 pages. The thesis will be read by two examiners, and students also take part in a 30 minute thesis defence.
Students who have successfully completed an honors thesis in German Studies are eligible to apply for the annual Distinction in Research and Creative Work award. In order to be considered for the award the application must be supported by a letter of recommendation from a faculty member, i.e., usually the thesis supervisor.
The Leipzig Summer Program
The Department of German Studies strongly encourages intermediate-level students of German to attend an eight-week,
intensive language course at the University of Leipzig’s renowned Herder Institute. The Leipzig course replaces GERM
301 and GERM 302 and counts toward the German Studies major at Rice with 6 credit hours.
Through several generous endowments, the department offers the Leipzig Fellowships that can be used for travel, housing,
and tuition expenses in Leipzig.
Details about the Leipzig Summer Program, including information about housing, can be found at german.rice.edu and
www.uni-leipzig.de/interdaf. You must apply directly to Leipzig-interDaF for course admission.
For further information contact the Director of Study Abroad, Astrid Oesmann, firstname.lastname@example.org. The application
deadline is February 7, 2018.
The Berlin Consortium for German Studies
Advanced students in German Studies and other humanities fields are strongly encouraged to apply to the Berlin Consortium of German Studies.
The Berlin Consortium is based at the Freie Universität Berlin, managed by Columbia University, and includes many of Rice's peer institutions. It allows students to spend a full semester or even an entire year in Germany.
After completing a short but intensive program of language education, Rice students enroll directly in courses at the Freie Universität and at other leading Berlin institutions. Rice students can also take courses offered through the Berlin Consortium.
Virtually all courses offered at the Freie Universität are available to Rice students, from the humanities and social sciences to the natural sciences. The Freie Universität is one of the leading European universities and, within the humanities, it has world-renowned programs in literature, media and cultural theory, philosophy, history, classics, art history, and political science. To select the most appropriate courses, Rice students receive advice by the staff of the Berlin Consortium.
Rice students will have to complete all examinations and assignments for every course in Berlin, and their work is graded in the same way as that of their German peers. Since most American students will be unfamiliar with German academic conventions, students also receive advice how to navigate the German university setting.
Excursions and Internships
Each semester the Berlin Consortium will offer one or two cultural excursions. Students who spend a full year in the Berlin Consortium program can also make arrangements for internships in Germany.
Students initially live in housing provided by the Berlin Consortium before they are placed with German host families. After several weeks, students either move into university accommodation or private apartments, many of which are shared with other students. The housing arrangements are intended to fully immerse students in German language and culture.
The titles and grades of courses taken at Berlin institutions are translated into U.S. terms by the office of the Berlin Consortium. Since the program has been vetted by the Department of German Studies and the School of Humanities, Rice students receive full transfer credit. Students should keep any documentation for their department's Director of Undergraduate Studies and for the Office of the Registrar.
Rice's tuition structure and financial aid makes the Berlin Consortium almost cost-neutral to students in good standing. Nevertheless, studying abroad always involves some extra costs, from application fees, travel arrangements and residence permits to insurance requirements. Rice's Study Abroad Officewill advise you how to calculate your budget and make any necessary arrangements with regard to tuition and financial aid.
How to Apply
Interested students should first consult with faculty in German Studies. Rice's Study Abroad Office will facilitate the application process.
Fellowships & Awards
Distinction in Research and Creative Work
by outstanding academic achievement.
Requesting Transfer Credit
Study Abroad: The department accepts transfer credits from German universities, or from U.S. universities of similar standing as Rice offering programs in Germany, provided that the courses transferred are equivalent to those offered by the department. Requests for such study abroad transfer credit will be considered by the Director of Undergraduate Studies. GERM 301 and GERM 302 may be replaced by an eight-week specially designed intensive summer course at the University of Leipzig. Students interested in applying for the Leipzig program should contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies as soon as possible.
Please note: For single majors, a maximum of four transfer courses from U.S. institutions of similar standing as Rice can count toward the major. For double majors, a maximum of three transfer courses can count toward the major. Requests for exceptions to these rules will be considered by the Director of Undergraduate Studies.
Karlsruher Virtueller Katalog (detailed parallel searches in libraries world-wide – German or English interface)
Modern Language Association Bibliography* (comprehensive bibliography of modern literary and cultural studies)
Bibliographie der deutschen Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaft (most comprehensive bibliography of German literary studies — in German)
Germanistik.net (internet resources for German Studies, German Linguistics, Germanic Philology, Textual Criticism, etc.)
(full-text access to scholarly journals published in English — searchable according to author, title, keywords, etc. — articles can be downloaded in high-quality PDF-format)
(full-text access to current issues of scholarly journals published in English — searchable according to author, title, keywords, etc. — articles can be downloaded in high-quality PDF-format, HTML-file or in Word format)
Online Journals available through Rice’s Fondren Library*
(covers virtually any field and any academic journal published in English — articles can be searched and downloaded in various formats — access restricted to faculty and students at Rice University)
(most comprehensive online collection of German academic journals — covers the entire modern period from the early 1800s to the present — growing collection)
Exilpresse Digital: Deutsche Exilzeitschriften, 1933-1945
(full-text access to journals and articles published by Germans and Austrians in exile)
Zeitschriften der Aufklärung
(full-text access to a growing number of German Enlightenment journals, covering the period between 1750 and 1815 — provided by the University of Bielefeld in cooperation with the Göttingen Academy of Sciences and the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft)
Digitale Bibliothek Deutscher Klassiker*
(full-text access to the premier collection of German writing — covers the works of major authors since the Middle Ages — literary, historical and philosophical texts as well as writings in art history, theology, political thought — substantial background material, critical editions with commentary and endnotes — fully searchable)
German History in Documents and Images
(excellent collection hosted by the German Historical Institute in Washington, DC)
(excellent collection of images and audio files covering Austrian cultural history in the twentieth century — hosted by the Technical Museum Vienna, Austria)
Perseus Digital Library
(covering Greek and Latin texts by classical authors from early to late antiquity — most texts available in English translations — mirror server located at Oxford University if you are a European visitor)
(full-text access to the works of Friedrich Schiller in the edition of the Nationalausgabe)
German Scientific Texts, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (Berlin)
(mostly life sciences and physiology — mainly limited to the nineteenth century — texts cannot be searched, but downloaded as PDF-files)
Legal Theory and Public Law in Nineteenth-Century Germany, Austria, and Switzerland
(specialist collection of more than 4,000 volumes published between 1800 and 1900 — hosted by the Max-Planck-Institute for European Legal History)
Marxist/Socialist Writers, 1820-2000
(full-text access to the main writings of Gramsci, Bebel, Kautsky, Liebknecht, Luxemburg, Mehring, etc.)
Marx and Engels, Collected Works and Letters
(full-text access — can be searched for keywords — some texts can be downloaded — mainly follows the standard edition, but includes images)
Compact Memory – Internetarchiv jüdischer Periodika
(online library of important German-Jewish periodicals — covers 18th-20th century — full-text access — keyword searches possible — files can be downloaded as images)
Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy*
(the most detailed encyclopedia of philosophy and allied subjects — regularly updated & fully searchable — articles written by leading specialists)
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
(excellent encyclopedia of philosophy)
German and European Politics and Public Policy
(set of online encyclopedias hosted by the German Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung — particularly useful for the study of post-1945 Germany)
(everything you ever wanted to know about the "Age of Goethe," 1749-1832 — topics, projects, databases, images, current research projects, etc. — hosted by the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich)
Johann Heinrich Zedler's Universal-Lexicon (1732-54)
(full-text digital access to the largest and most comprehensive encyclopedia of the eighteenth century — 68,000 pages in 68 folio volumes, 33 different disciplines, more than 288,000 entries — exceeding by far Diderot's and d'Alembert's Encyclopédie)
(standard German dictionary)
Das Deutsche Wörterbuch von Jacob und Wilhelm Grimm
(largest and most detailed German dictionary — published 1838-1961, currently being revised — online project of the University of Trier, the Berlin-Brandenburgische Academy of Science and the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft)
The Concise Oxford-Duden German Dictionary*
(multimedia based virtual museum about twentieth-century German history)
DHM Bildarchiv Fotografie
(photography archive of the German Historical Museum — splendid collection, focusing mainly on 1920s to 1990s)