German Studies Program

112/113 Clark Hall
Max Kade Center for German Studies
Phone: 216-368-6202
Jutta Ittner, Director


In its reconstituted form, Germany has again become a major player in European and global affairs. Germany has always been considered important to European development—at various times it has been called the crossroads of the entire continent—but the economic might of modern Germany and the integration of the European Union have now made American understanding of German culture and civilization more important to—and worthy of study by—American students than at any time since 1945.

German Studies, an integrated program of study leading to the B.A. degree, offers students the freedom to develop an interdisciplinary sequence of courses to meet their particular needs and interests. It builds the foundation for graduate work in many academic fields that call for a thorough knowledge of German language, culture, and history. It also prepares students for careers in international business or for future study in professional programs such as law and business administration.

German Studies administers a summer immersion program, The Munich Experience, which allows students to spend four weeks in Munich and experience the city’s vibrant culture and breathtaking surroundings. After graduation, many German and German Studies majors (most of whom have a second major in another field) return to Germany to study or work. Our majors have returned to Germany on Fulbright scholarships, through internships administered by the Carl-Duisberg-Gesellschaft, or as interns for the German parliament.

Program Steering Committee

Jutta Ittner, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Modern Languages and Literatures; Director, Max Kade Center for German Studies; Director, German Studies Program

Kenneth Ledford, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of History; Associate Director, Max Kade Center for German Studies

Vincent E. McHale, Ph.D.
M. A. Hanna Professor of Political Science

Jerry Piven, Ph.D.
Lecturer in Philosophy

David Rothenberg, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Music

Susanne Vees-Gulani, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Modern Languages and Literatures; Associate Director, Max Kade Center for German Studies

Undergraduate Programs


The major in German Studies, which includes a German language requirement, concentrates on the study of the German cultural tradition in history, philosophy, the fine arts, music, film studies, politics, and culture. The major is particularly suited to students wishing to combine interests in German language and culture with a major in another discipline.

The major requires 30 hours, to be distributed as follows:

  1. Required courses (6 hours):
    German 303 and German 396 (Senior Capstone) or equivalent
  2. Electives (24 hours):
    Eight additional 300-level courses from the approved list of German Studies courses, no more than three of which may be in any one department.

The list of approved courses includes offerings from several departments and programs, including Art History and Art, Economics, English, History, Modern Languages and Literatures, Music, Philosophy, Political Science, Religious Studies, Theater, and World Literature. For the latest information about approved courses, please consult the program director.

Possible concentrations for the German Studies major include history and philosophy; German literature and theater history; political science and history; art history; music history; and religious studies. Within the program requirements, students are free to shape the major as they wish, based on their own intellectual interests.


The course requirements for the minor (15 hours) are as follows:

  1. At least German 303 or 311 (3 hours)
  2. Four additional 300-level courses from the approved list of German Studies courses, chosen from any two departments, or a thematic course of study approved in advance by the program director (12 hours