German Courses

Check the undergraduate catalog for further details.  See the Class Schedule for courses currently offered.  
Language Requirement: 101-201

GERM 101 – 4 credits        (offered Fall and Spring)
Elementary German I
An introduction to German through a communicative approach. Language is learned in a thematic context, based on real-life situations. Listening comprehension and basic speaking skills are emphasized. Aspects of life in German-speaking countries also are presented.  Students with levels 0 or 1 from high school take this course.

GERM 102 – 4 credits      (offered Fall and Spring)
Elementary German II
A continuation of German 101. Emphasis is on extending skills in spoken German within the context of real-life situations. A greater amount of reading and writing is included in this course. Students who have passed GERM 101 with a C or better or have passed level 2 in high school take this course.

GERM 103   (not currently offered)
Elementary German
Open to students who have completed level III in high school and who nevertheless are unprepared for GERM 201, either as a result of an interruption of five years in their study of the language, or as a result of a weak language background. This course offers an intensive review of Elementary German I and II as an opportunity to improve the student’s listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. Notes: GERM 103 or 102, but not both, may be used toward UMBC’s GFR language/culture requirement.

GERM 201 – 4 credits    (offered Fall and Spring and -if sufficient demand- during winter and one summer session)
Intermediate German I
A continuation of German 101 and 102 stressing further development of listening comprehension and speaking skills. Increased emphasis on reading, writing and cultural knowledge. Students who have passed GERM 102 with a C or better or passed level 3 in high school take this course. Satisfies GEP requirement for Foreign Language (L).

GERM 202 – 4 credits     (offered in Spring)
Gateway to Advanced German Studies
Focus is on reading ability, writing skills, and discussion in German about topics from German society and culture. Expansion of language principles taught in GERM 101-201, intercultural competency, and practical applications to a global society are expanded and emphasized. Counts as GEP requirement Global Cultures (C) credit. First course for students with level 4 from high school.

GERM 301 – 3 credits      (offered in Fall)
Advanced German Studies I
This advanced German Studies course further develops language skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) in various modes of communication (interpersonal, presentational and interpretive). Intercultural competency and practical applications in a global context are emphasized and expanded. Expository writing and a final project are required. Counts as GEP requirement Global Cultures (C) credit. First course for students with level 5 from high school.

GERM 302  – 3 credits (offered in Spring)
Advanced German Studies II
The course is a continuation of GERM 301 and will further develop all four language skills, but with a clear focus on the written and oral modes of communication from an intercultural perspective. Students will study the course material in a global context and be required to do contrastive analyses to expand their cultural competency. Regular expository writing assignments, regular oral presentations, and intensive reading of authentic texts and discussion are an integral part. A final project and a formal oral presentation are required. Counts as GEP requirement Global Cultures (C) credit.

GERM 303 – 3 credits
Topics in German
Intensive work in the development of advanced language skills in German. Emphasis will be on the reading, discussion, and analysis of authentic cultural and literary texts relevant to the topic. Active use of German involving carefully thought-out communication in appropriate style is stressed in speaking and writing. Topics will reflect the wide range of the cultural and intellectual history of Germany but the emphasis will be on current issues and concerns in the German-speaking world. Notes: May be repeated for credit as topics change.

GERM 309 – 3 credits
German for Professional Purposes
This course gives participants the opportunity to improve their fluency and ease in professional situations in a global environment. Development of language and intercultural skills in various professional fields is emphasized. Topics include everyday business life, including correspondence, telephone and email communication, and specialized terminology in commercial, legal, and/or scientific fields, depending on the needs of the students.

GERM 310 – 3 credits
Advanced Grammar and Style in Context
This course presents an intensive review and expansion of major grammatical and stylistic topics in a meaningful, communicative practice context.

GERM 311 (replaced by GERM 375)
Introduction to German Literature and Culture I
A study of German culture reflected in literature from the Middle Ages to the 18th century.

GERM 312 (replaced by GERM 375)
Introduction to German Literature and Culture II
A study of German culture reflected in literature from the 18th century to the present.

GERM 313
The Contemporary German-Speaking World
This course is an introduction to the contemporary German-speaking world from an intercultural perspective. The focus will be on current issues such as immigration and integration, diversity and the changing nature of German society, and the public discourse about Islam in German within a global context. Switzerland, Austria, and Luxemburg will also be studied.

GERM 315  – 1-3 credits (by instructor permission only)
Experiential Learning in German
Intensive language practice and cultural immersion in a German-speaking environment. This course can be completed through study abroad or a community project in a German-speaking setting or with a German cultural background. Recommended Course Preparation: MLL 230.

GERM 319 – 3 credits
German Translation
Instruction and practice in translating from German to English. Students work with various written material covering many fields.

GERM 321
Studies in German Literature
Selected topics in German Literature may include the study of a century, movement, genre, theme or individual author. Topics will be announced each semester offered. Notes: May be repeated for credit as topics change.

GERM 332
The Structure of German
An investigation of the morphophonological and syntactic organization and processes of German, including dialectal variation. Highly recommended: LING 210.

GERM 350
German Complementary Reading
A course with readings and discussion in German to be offered in conjunction with a Germanic literature or culture course taught in English (e.g., MLL 216, 261, 332 or HIST 483 or 484). This course may be repeated for credit, with permission, in conjunction with different courses.

GERM 375 – 3 credits
Germany Then and Now: Explorations of German Cultural and Intellectual History
This topics course provides an introduction to the cultural and intellectual history of Germany throughout the ages. It is subdivided into three segments: a general overview; an in-depth study of defining moments in German intellectual life and thinking (movements, genres, individual writers, philosopher, historical events, etc.); and an exploration of interconnections between past and present in German cultural life and of the commonalities and divergences between German intellectual history and that of other cultures. May be repeated when topics change. Taught in German. Recommended Course Preparation: GERM 303 and 401.

GERM 401 – 3 credits
German then and now: Studies in German Language
Writing intensive course with focus on the history and development of the German language and German language usage in a global context. Among the topics to be covered are communication theories, style and register, language an identity, dialectal diversity, political language, Sprachverfall, and feministlinguistics. Emphasis on development of advanced writing skills, formal oral presentations, and intercultural competency. A final research project is required. Counts as GEP requirement Writing Intensive (WI) credit.

GERM 420
German Culture in Global Context
Students will study German discourses on one major international issue (e.g., environment, immigration, security/terrorism, religion) during the semester and compare these with similar discourses in the US and in international organizations on the same issue. Sources of study will be debates in the media, political institutions both inside and outside the countries (Bundestag, EU, UN, NATO for Germany, and the corresponding ones in the US), and non-governmental organizations. Students will discuss how divergent and convergent positions emerge on the basis of historical and cultural traditions and experiences, and are conditioned by particular economic and political interests and power relationships. Repeatable for credit, to a maximum of 9 credits, as topics change. Prerequisite:  GERM 303 and MLL 301.

GERM 421
Intercultural Studies in German Popular Culture
This course is offered on a rotating basis with changing topics. Each topic is a study of one aspect of German popular culture, e.g. popular literature, music, mass media (TV, radio, print media), popular film and popular music which are embedded within a highly globalized context. Texts and institutions, values, behaviors and practices relating to power, hegemony, gender, and nation will be included in intercultural and transcultural analyses drawing on cultural concepts underlying various disciplines. All aspects of the course will be done entirely in German. May be repeated for credit as topics change.

GERM 481 – 3 credits
Seminar in Intercultural German Studies
Topics will cover some aspect of German language, literature or civilization from an intercultural or transcultural perspective. Topics will be announced each semester offered. Students will be assessed for language competency with a comprehensive exam and completion of a final project.

>> MLL-designated courses are taught in English

MLL 214
The New German Cinema
A study of the new German cinema, its culture, background and works by internationally acclaimed directors Alexander Kluge, Werner Herzog, Wim Wenders and Margarethe von Trotta. Taught in English.

MLL 216
Classics in German Cinema
Study of the major works of German cinema, from the beginnings to the present, as reflections of German culture. Taught in English.

MLL 261
German Ethnic and Cultural Identity
This course will study the cultural identity of the German-speaking world, including Europe, as well as German groups in North America, Latin America and Africa, as manifested in writing, music and other forms of cultural expression.

MLL 332 – 3 credits
Topics in German Culture
This course will focus on a broad spectrum of topics (events, movements, and individual thinkers) that have shaped German intellectual thought throughout Germany’s history. Students will be introduced to concepts that have had a lasting impact and are essential for a true understanding of German culture. Topics will be announced each semester offered. Readings and discussion in English.