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The Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany by Thomas Wolf

German Studies

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School of Humanities and Sciences

Study the German language, linguistics, literature, culture, and thought.

What You'll Study

The Department of German Studies offers a variety of programs in German language and linguistics, literature, culture, and thought. Courses are open to majors and all interested students. Candidates are accepted for the degrees of Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts, and Doctor of Philosophy.

By carefully planning their programs, students may fulfill the B.A. requirements for a double major in German Studies and another subject. An extended undergraduate major in English and German literature is available, as are coterminal programs for the B.A. and M.A. degrees in German Studies, and joint programs for the Ph.D. degree with Comparative Literature, Interdisciplinary Studies in Humanities, Linguistics, and Modern Thought and Literature.

Special collections and facilities at Stanford offer possibilities for extensive research in German studies and related fields pertaining to Central Europe. Facilities include the Stanford University Libraries and the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace. Special collections include the Hildebrand Collection (texts and early editions from the 16th to the 19th century), the Austrian Collection (with emphasis on source material of the time of Maria Theresa and Joseph II, the Napoleonic wars, and the Revolution of 1848), and the Stanford Collection of German, Austrian, and Swiss Culture. New collections emphasize culture and cultural politics in the former German Democratic Republic. The Hoover Institution has a unique collection of historical and political documents pertaining to Germany and Central Europe from 1870 to the present. The department also has its own reference library. Extensive use is made of the language lab in the Undergraduate Library as well as the department’s own audio-visual equipment, films, tapes, and slides.

Haus Mitteleuropa, the German theme house at 620 Mayfield, is an undergraduate residence devoted to developing an awareness of the culture of Central Europe. About 30 students reside there and share mealtimes with a number of house associates. The House organizes many special events, including film and speakers series. It also provides advanced majors with the opportunity to organize events, design film and speakers series, and to supervise conversation courses. Assignment is made through the regular undergraduate housing draw.

Degrees Offered

  • BA
  • Minor
  • Honors
  • Coterm

More Information

Learn more about German Studies in the Stanford Bulletin

Exploratory Courses


Germany in 5 Words


The Queer 20th Century: German LGBTQ Literature and Film (FEMGEN 115A, FEMGEN 215A, GERMAN 215)


Fairy Tales


What is German Literature?


Philosophy and Literature (CLASSICS 42, COMPLIT 181, ENGLISH 81, FRENCH 181, ILAC 181, ITALIAN 181, PHIL 81, SLAVIC 181)


Nietzsche and the Search for Meaning