Jessica Lonnes
Program coordinator, German

worldstudies.vcu.edu/german

The foreign language program offers a varied interdisciplinary humanities curriculum, global in scope and designed to increase students’ knowledge about the cultures and traditions, languages, literature and media, history, values, concerns, and aspirations of peoples in different countries and regions of the world. The goal of the program is ultimately also to both broaden students’ comparative intercultural perspectives and develop their cross-cultural communication abilities. Students have the option to pursue a focus or even combination of concentrations in foreign language(s), area studies and/or global issues (in either cinema and/or social justice), depending upon their interests and career plans. Within each chosen concentration or minor, the range of offerings allows for flexibility in configuring each individual’s course of study, which can be organized in a manner that best suits a student’s particular needs.

The Bachelor of Arts in Foreign Language will qualify students to pursue any of a number of career paths, including international communications, business and marketing, aid and development, journalism, or education; government foreign service, international affairs, immigration service or the Peace Corps; nongovernmental organizations involved in development, relief programs, immigration or human rights advocacy; or public relations in a multicultural environment. Graduates of our program will also find opportunities in teaching at home or abroad, as well as in work with a variety of public-service organizations. In addition, an undergraduate degree in foreign language provides excellent background and qualifications for admittance to graduate degree programs in a number of humanities disciplines, including foreign languages and international studies, as well as in international law, business or journalism.

Learning outcomes

  • Development of written communication skills
  • Development of oral communication skills
  • Development of reading and analytical skills
  • Cultural competence

Upon completing this program, students will know and know how to do the following:

  • The goal of the program is ultimately to both broaden students’ comparative intercultural perspectives and develop their cross-cultural communication abilities.
  • Students gain proficiency in speaking, listening, reading and writing in German.
  • Students also gain knowledge and a set of cognitive, affective and behavioral skills and characteristics that support effective and appropriate interaction with the German-speaking world.
 

Special requirements

To earn a Bachelor of Arts in Foreign Language, students must complete at least 39 credits within the major, 36 credits of which must be upper-level (300-level or above), with a minimum GPA of 2.25 within the major.

Majors in foreign language are encouraged to choose a minor that will broaden their global and cultural perspectives. Foreign language majors are encouraged — but not limited — to complete the course requirements for a minor in one of the following fields: African studies, Arabic and Middle Eastern studies, anthropology, Chinese and Asian Studies, economics, business (general business minor), French, geography, German, history, Italian studies, Mediterranean studies, political science, religious studies, Russian studies, sociology, Spanish, or urban and regional studies. Students also may want to consider a double major. The School of World Studies Advising Office will work with students to explore the benefits of a double major and/or a minor.

All foreign language majors, students transferring credits from study abroad and transfer students who intend to major in a foreign language must take a minimum of two 400-level courses at VCU in the chosen language area. Both credit and distribution (minimum of 10 courses) requirements for the concentration must be satisfied.

Degree requirements for Foreign Language, Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) with a concentration in German

General education requirements

University Core Education Curriculum (minimum 21 credits)
UNIV 111 Play VideoPlay course video for Focused Inquiry IFocused Inquiry I3
UNIV 112 Play VideoPlay course video for Focused Inquiry IIFocused Inquiry II3
UNIV 200Inquiry and the Craft of Argument3
Approved humanities/fine arts3
Approved natural/physical sciences3-4
Approved quantitative literacy3-4
Approved social/behavioral sciences3-4
Total Hours21-24
Additional College of Humanities and Sciences requirements (11-23 credits)
HUMS 202Choices in a Consumer Society1
Approved H&S diverse and global communities3
Approved H&S human, social and political behavior (fulfills University Core social/behavioral sciences)
Approved H&S literature and civilization (fulfills University Core humanities/fine arts)
Approved H&S science and technology (fulfills University Core natural/physical sciences)
Approved H&S general education electives6-8
Experiential fine arts 11-3
Foreign language through the 102 level (by course or placement)0-8
Total Hours11-23
1

Course offered by the School of the Arts

Collateral requirements

Experiential learning
Select one of the following:0-3
Major-specific service-learning course
Study abroad program
Approved internship: Select one of the following:
World Languages Internship
World Cultures Internship
International Studies Internship
Or other preapproved internship opportunities
Foreign language requirement
In order to begin upper-level course work in any foreign language, students must have consecutively completed the following courses or prove the equivalent proficiency level through placement testing:0-6
Intermediate German I
Intermediate German II
Intermediate Conversation
World Passport
Students must complete the School of World Studies World Passport
Total Hours0-9

Major requirements

GRMN 300Composition and Communication3
GRMN 301Grammar and Writing3
Select one of the following:3
German Conversation
German Conversation and Film
German Through the Media
GRMN 320From the Vandals to Kant: Civilization and Literature I3
GRMN 321From Faust to Nazism: Civilization and Literature II3
GRMN 322From Kafka's World to the EU: Civilization and Literature III3
GRMN elective (300-level or above)3
GRMN electives (400-level or above)9
WRLD/INTL 203Cultural Texts and Contexts: ____3
WRLD 302Communicating Across Cultures3
WRLD 490Seminar in World Cultures and Languages (capstone)3
Total Hours39

Open electives

Select 26-49 open elective credits26-49

Total minimum requirement 120 credits

What follows is a sample plan that meets the prescribed requirements within a four-year course of study at VCU. Please contact your adviser before beginning course work toward a degree.

Freshman year
Fall semesterHours
GRMN 101 Elementary German I 4
UNIV 101 Introduction to the University 1
UNIV 111 Play VideoPlay course video for Focused Inquiry I Focused Inquiry I 3
WRLD 203 Cultural Texts and Contexts: ____ (fulfills approved literature and civilization) 3
Approved quantitative literacy 3
 Term Hours: 14
Spring semester
GRMN 102 Elementary German II 4
HUMS 202 Choices in a Consumer Society 1
UNIV 112 Play VideoPlay course video for Focused Inquiry II Focused Inquiry II 3
Approved human, social and political behavior 3
Approved diverse and global Communities 3
 Term Hours: 14
Sophomore year
Fall semester
GRMN 201 Intermediate German I 3
UNIV 200 Inquiry and the Craft of Argument 3
Approved science and technology 3-4
Approved general education electives 6-7
 Term Hours: 15-17
Spring semester
GRMN 202 Intermediate German II 3
WRLD 302 Communicating Across Cultures 3
Experiential fine arts 1-3
Open electives 9
 Term Hours: 16-18
Junior year
Fall semester
On-campus or study abroad semester:  
GRMN 300 Composition and Communication 3
GRMN 320
From the Vandals to Kant: Civilization and Literature I
or From Faust to Nazism: Civilization and Literature II
or From Kafka's World to the EU: Civilization and Literature III
3
GRMN elective (300-level or above) 3
Open electives 6
 Term Hours: 15
Spring semester
On-campus or study abroad semester:  
GRMN 301 Grammar and Writing 3
GRMN 320
From the Vandals to Kant: Civilization and Literature I
or From Faust to Nazism: Civilization and Literature II
or From Kafka's World to the EU: Civilization and Literature III
3
GRMN 305
German Conversation
or German Conversation and Film
or German Through the Media
3
Open electives 6
 Term Hours: 15
Summer semester
Study abroad (recommended):  
Select one of the following: 0-3
GRMN 305 German Conversation (if not already taken) 3
GRMN elective (300-level or above) 3
Select one of the following: 0-3
GRMN elective (400-level or above) 3
WRLD 391 Topics in World Languages and Cultures 1-3
 Term Hours: 0-6
Senior year
Fall semester
FRLG 493 World Languages Internshipor GRMN elective (400-level or above 3
GRMN 320
From the Vandals to Kant: Civilization and Literature I
or From Faust to Nazism: Civilization and Literature II
or From Kafka's World to the EU: Civilization and Literature III
3
GRMN elective (400-level or above) 3
Open electives 7
 Term Hours: 16
Spring semester
FRLG 493 World Languages Internshipor GRMN elective (400-level or above) (whichever not completed in Fall) 3
WRLD 490 Seminar in World Cultures and Languages (capstone) 3
GRMN elective (400-level or above) 3
Open electives 6
 Term Hours: 15
 Total Hours: 120-130

GRMN 101. Elementary German I. 4 Hours.

Semester course; 5 lecture/recitation hours. 4 credits. For students with no prior knowledge of German. Elementary grammar, reading and oral skills.

GRMN 102. Elementary German II. 4 Hours.

Semester course; 5 lecture/recitation hours. 4-4 credits. Prerequisite: GRMN 101 Elementary grammar, reading and oral skills.

GRMN 201. Intermediate German I. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: GRMN 102. Conducted in German. Continuation of the essentials of grammar with emphasis on building proficiency in aural comprehension, speaking, reading and writing skills.

GRMN 202. Intermediate German II. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: GRMN 201. Conducted in German. Designed to increase student’s proficiency in German through the continued focus on aural comprehension, speaking, reading and writing skills.

GRMN 205. Intermediate Conversation. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: GRMN 201. Conducted in German. Designed to increase the student's proficiency in the spoken language through audio-oral exercises, dialogues and free conversation.

GRMN 300. Composition and Communication. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: GRMN 202 or 205. Conducted in German. Development of written and oral skills through review of selected aspects of German grammar, writing practice and speaking activities based on a variety of situations.

GRMN 301. Grammar and Writing. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: GRMN 202, GRMN 205 or GRMN 300. Conducted in German. A study of key aspects of advanced German grammar with emphasis on the elements of style and vocabulary building.

GRMN 305. German Conversation. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: GRMN 202, GRMN 205 or GRMN 300. Conducted in German. Practice in the spoken language with emphasis on discussions relating to topics of current interest.

GRMN 307. German Conversation and Film. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: GRMN 202, GRMN 205 or GRMN 300; GRMN 300 recommended. Conducted in German. The course is designed to develop the student's communication skills, oral comprehension ability and knowledge of contemporary culture through discussion of selected German films. Emphasis is also placed on vocabulary development and writing practice.

GRMN 311. German Through the Media. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: GRMN 202, GRMN 205 or GRMN 300; GRMN 300 or GRMN 301 recommended. Designed to develop language proficiency by using material available through the various media: newspapers, magazines, films, Internet, podcasts and radio broadcasts.

GRMN 314. Commercial German. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: GRMN 301. Designed to develop the student's ability to use German as a means of oral and written communication in the business world. Emphasis on the acquisition of technical tools necessary for business exchanges in specialized fields.

GRMN 320. From the Vandals to Kant: Civilization and Literature I. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: GRMN 202, GRMN 205 or GRMN 300; GRMN 300 or GRMN 301 recommended. Conducted in German. A survey of German-speaking culture and literature from its origins to the Enlightenment. Also emphasizes enhancing German-language skills in vocabulary, reading, speaking and writing.

GRMN 321. From Faust to Nazism: Civilization and Literature II. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: GRMN 202, GRMN 205 or GRMN 300; GRMN 300 or GRMN 301 recommended. Conducted in German. A treatment of German culture and literature from the Age of Goethe to the rise of Nazism. Also emphasizes enhancing German language skills in vocabulary, reading, speaking and writing.

GRMN 322. From Kafka's World to the EU: Civilization and Literature III. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: GRMN 202, GRMN 205 or GRMN 300; GRMN 300 or GRMN 301 recommended. Conducted in German. A survey of German culture and literature from the 1920s to today. Also emphasizes enhancing German language skills in vocabulary, reading, speaking and writing.

GRMN 420. The Turn of the Century. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: GRMN 300; GRMN 305 or 307 or 311; GRMN 301 or 320 or 321 or 322. Conducted in German. A course dealing with the major intellectual, philosophical, artistic and cultural trends from the turn of the century through the Weimar period as reflected in the writings of authors such as Kafka, Mann and Hesse. Includes impressionism, expressionism and neue Sachlichkeit.

GRMN 421. The Postwar German Scene. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: GRMN 300; GRMN 305 or 307 or 311; GRMN 301 or 320 or 321 or 322. Conducted in German. A course dealing with the political, social and intellectual developments of the German-speaking countries from the end of World War II to the present as reflected in the literary works of their major authors.

GRMN 422. German Film. 1-3 Hours.

Semester course; 1-3 lecture hours. 1-3 credits. May be repeated with different topics for a total of 6 credits. Prerequisites: GRMN 300; GRMN 305 or 307 or 311; GRMN 301 or 320 or 321 or 322. Study of selected topics in German film from the beginnings to today, particularly as seen in their social, historical and cultural contexts. See the Schedule of Classes for the specific topic to be offered each semester.

GRMN 423. Folk/Popular Culture. 1-3 Hours.

Semester course; 1-3 lecture hours. 1-3 credits. May be repeated with different topics for a total of 6 credits. Prerequisites: GRMN 300; GRMN 305 or 307 or 311; GRMN 301 or 320 or 321 or 322. Study of selected topics related to folk traditions and/or popular culture in German-speaking countries. See the Schedule of Classes for the specific topic to be offered each semester.

GRMN 424. Culture and Society. 1-3 Hours.

Semester course; 1-3 lecture hours. 1-3 credits. May be repeated with different topics for a total of 6 credits. Prerequisites: GRMN 300; GRMN 305 or 307 or 311; GRMN 301 or 320 or 321 or 322. Study of issues in the culture and society of German-speaking countries today. See the Schedule of Classes for the specific topic to be offered each semester.

GRMN 425. Language in Context: ____. 1-3 Hours.

Semester course; 1-3 lecture hours. 1-3 credits. Course can be repeated with different topics up to a total of 6 credits. Prerequisites: GRMN 300; GRMN 301, 305, 307 or 311; and GRMN 320, 321 or 322. Conducted in German. Study of German language and linguistics. See the Schedule of Classes for the specific topic to be offered each semester.

GRMN 491. Topics in German. 1-3 Hours.

Variable hours. 1-3 credits. May be repeated with different topics for a maximum of 9 credits. Prerequisites: GRMN 300; GRMN 305 or 307 or 311; GRMN 301 or 320 or 321 or 322. An in-depth study of selected topics in German. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics to be offered each semester.

GRMN 492. Independent Study. 1-3 Hours.

Semester course; variable hours. Variable credit. Maximum of 3 credits per semester; maximum total of 6 credits for all independent study courses in German. Prerequisites: GRMN 301; GRMN 320 or 321 or 322; GRMN 420 or 421 or 422 or 423 or 424 or 491; and senior standing with a minimum of 85 credits earned toward the degree. A course designed to give students an opportunity to become involved in independent study in a literary or linguistic area or subject in which they have an interest.