Scenic view of small german town
Degrees Offered: BA MA PhD Minor

German Studies: BA; MA; PhD; minor

Nordic Studies (Scandinavian): minor

Russian Studies: BA; minor

The major in German studies is an interdisciplinary program focusing on the study of the German language, its manifestations in history and its usage in the current cultural and social context. Students explore the literary, artistic and philosophical aspects of German culture in the past and present, as well as the major historical events and developments in Germany and its neighboring countries. Graduates will develop an understanding of the current political institutions and dynamics in Germany within the broader European framework. The major in Russian studies is an interdisciplinary program that studies the current cultural and social context, as well as the literary, artistic and historical aspects of Russian culture.

Undergraduate Opportunities

Students of German investigate the fundamental outlines of German history and culture, the history of modern German literature, the cultural developments in German­-speaking Central Europe, such as arts, cinema and architecture and central issues like the role of women, the Holocaust, German culture after reunification and German attitudes towards non-­Germans. The program leads to a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree, and graduates will also attain the ability to read German at a level to perform critical literary analysis, write and speak German sufficiently to hold critical discussions and write critical essays, and speak and comprehend German in all situations of daily life. 

The Russian major equips students to understand Russian society, culture and history and gain competence in the Russian language. Students become familiar with the outlines of Russian culture from the middle ages to the present, including the major Russian artistic/literary movements of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and their relationship with political, economic and social developments. Beyond basic communication skills, graduates develop the ability to read nonfiction and fiction in Russian, to appreciate how culture is expressed through language and to respond to literary texts as works of art. The program leads to a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Russian Studies.

Foreign language majors learn the skills, information and concepts that are relevant to careers in virtually every area. A knowledge of foreign language is extremely useful in business, industry, commerce, the civil or foreign service, law, library science, the media, the natural sciences, economics, public administration, government, the health professions, the social sciences and teaching, and students can consider a double major in order to increase their career opportunities.

Graduate Studies

In Germany, Austria, Switzerland and many other European countries, it is a strongly held conviction that a doctorate demonstrates intellectual independence, superior research and writing skills, the perseverance and ingenuity to complete an original piece of scholarship and deep familiarity with a different culture. These qualities are equally valuable in the twenty­first century American economy, and indeed in the global marketplace.

The interdisciplinary PhD program in German at CU­ Boulder provides intensive and personalized mentoring, directed reading advice and clinics devoted to dissertation and conference­paper writing, digital and archival research, oral presentation and interview preparation. The program strongly emphasizes interdisciplinary work within a secondary concentration area of the student's choice, and includes one year spent abroad at CU Boulder's partner universities of Göttingen and Regensburg or at other leading institutions in the German­-speaking world. A wide range of graduate­level course offerings is designed to ensure content coverage and to move research projects into publishable scholarship. The expanded graduate faculty includes scholars in disciplines such as political science, comparative literature, Jewish studies, business and library science.

Research Opportunities

The experience of studying abroad can be invaluable for students of Germanic or Slavic languages, and students at CU­ Boulder can take advantage of full-­year exchange programs at the University of Regensburg, at the Free University of Berlin in Germany or during a summer intensive program in Berlin. Students of Swedish can study at Uppsala University in Sweden, and for students of Russian, CU­ Boulder runs a global seminar in St. Petersburg during the summers. Here, students can choose from a number of summer, semester and year­long programs run by other organizations.