Skip to main content

Welcome to the German Studies Program!

German Studies is an interdisciplinary program that encompasses subjects ranging from language, literature and film studies to intellectual and cultural history, urban studies, political science, museum studies, art history and women's studies.

Our program

  • develops student's abilities to engage with new knowledge and to apply research methodologies and theoretical approaches to their studies;
  • fosters student's curiosity, creativity and imagination through the analysis of cultural texts from German-speaking Europe;
  • develops transferable skills in critical thinking, oral and written communication and project management in both English and German;
  • challenges students to become a community of self-directed, responsible, life-long learner-researchers and international citizens.

At York, students can pursue a variety of Major or Minor programs in German or select individual courses to complement their existing areas of study. Many of our courses are taught in English and are open to students from all disciplines.

Why learn German and take courses in German Studies?

Academic and Cultural Enrichment

German is a vital tool for academic work in numerous disciplines across the fields of humanities and social sciences. It is hard to think of a field unaffected by writers, philosophers and artists who spoke and wrote in German, from Nietzsche, Freud, and Wittgenstein to Kafka, Brecht, Jelinek, the architects of the Bauhaus, and the filmmakers of the New German Cinema.

Getting Ready for the World

German is also a major language of business, diplomacy and tourism in the European Union and Eastern Europe. Near 100 million people speak German as a primary language, making it the most widely spoken language in the European Union. Some 80 million people speak it as a second language. Language classes are open to students in any discipline and are offered at introductory to advanced levels. Students who complete a required number of language courses and pass an oral/written examination can obtain a Certificate of Proficiency.

Interesting Facts About German and Germany

German is the No. 1 language spoken in Europe.

Germany invests more money into foreign student study opportunities than any other country

Almost 2 out of 10 books in the world are published in German

German is the second most commonly used scientific language in the world

The domain name .de is second only to .com

Germany is the No 1 export nation in the world and has the 4th largest economy in the world

Study Abroad

Students majoring in German Studies also have the opportunity to study in Germany for one year. York has well-established exchange programs with the Freie Universität and Humboldt University in Berlin, University of Konstanz and with many other German universities in conjunction with the Ontario/Baden-Württemberg exchange program.

For more information please refer to the study abroad section.

  News & Events

New General Education Course: AP/GER 1791: The Fairy Tale: From Grimm to Disney

Course Description

Pervasive in most cultures across the globe, fairy tales thrive because of their universal nature. Fairy tales are more than just children's literature. They encapsulate in (usually) succinct form many of the most pressing concerns of human existence: family conflict, the struggle for survival, sexual desire, the quest for happiness, among many others. Published about 200 years ago, Brothers Grimm's Fairy Tales remains one of the most iconic pieces of literature and has had significant influence on modern pop culture. This course examines fairy tales in the context of their longevity, their origins, and their ever-changing roles in media and popular culture.

Note: This course has been approved in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies for general education credit.

Format: Two hours lecture, one hour tutorial per week.

Language of Instruction: English

Summer Course for 2015: AP/GER 2020 6.0: Intermediate German in Berlin

PREREQUISITES: AP/GER 1000 6.0 or equivalent or permission of instructor

DESCRIPTION: Using the city as a space of discovery and interaction, we will visit museums, galleries, neighbourhoods of historical and contemporary interest, and nearby cities (e.g. Hamburg, Leipzig, or Dresden). Students will continue to build all four skills (listening, speaking, reading, writing) through classroom and field trip activities and have a unique opportunity to experience German culture and society first-hand in one of Europe's most exciting and vibrant cities.


FORMAT: The course will be offered in the summer session only. Two weeks on York University campus, followed by four weeks in Berlin, Germany.

York University: June 15 - 26 (MTWR 11:30am-2:30pm)
Berlin, Germany: July 06 - July 31


EXCURSIONS: Trips to Hamburg, Leipzig, and Dresden. Visiting the Pergamon Museum, Reichstag, and guided city tours!

FORMAT: The course will be offered in the summer session only. Two weeks on York University campus, followed by four weeks in Berlin, Germany.

For more information please view the brochure or visit the International York website.

NEW German Language Placement Test

The Placement test is required prior to enrolment. Please visit the online test site and enter the code: ger2013pt .

Connect with German-speaking international students: through the new Wor(l)d Buddy Project

New for 2013-2014: Connect with German-speaking international students at York by becoming a Wor(l)d Buddy at DLLL! For more information, visit:

featured video
Watch Video
Watch Video
Watch Video
German Studies Program Brochure