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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 Course: AP/GER 2791 6.0: Kino-Culture: German Cinema in Competition with Hollywood

(Cross-listed with AP/HUMA 2791 6.0)

NO PREREQUISITE. No knowledge of German is required.

DESCRIPTION: This course introduces students to German cinema and explores its interaction with Hollywood. Through the study of artistically and commercially successful films, this course traces the influence of German cinema on Hollywood films and, in turn, the response of German cinema towards the dominance of popular Hollywood cinema and the effects of globalization on film production. Our analyses will include films from the Weimar period, the Nazi Period, West and East Germany after WWII through to recent German cinema. The close study of selected films within the socio-political context of their production illuminates processes of cross-cultural influence and inspiration that have shaped cinematic culture in Europe and North America. Also, it furthers students' understanding of film as a complex text as well as a social and cultural product which mediates and contributes to discourses on national and cultural identity.

FORMAT: Three hours per week for two terms.

New Summer Course for 2014: 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 16 - 24 (MTWR 11:30-14:30)
Berlin, Germany: July 04 - 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 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:

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German Studies Program Brochure