The German major, which is part of the Department of German and Romance Languages and Literatures, promotes intercultural competence in a changing international environment. Equal emphasis is placed on the development of language competency and the study of literary, philosophical, and cultural topics. Language courses are proficiency-oriented and content-driven, incorporating films and literary and cultural readings. It is a small but intensely active and well-known program and majors and minors are encouraged to study abroad for a semester or a year. Johns Hopkins is one of six universities participating in the Berlin Consortium for German Studies, located at the Freie Universität in Berlin.

Academic Details

Overview of the Undergraduate Curriculum

Majors are required to complete the advanced German sequence, as well as a program of courses in German literature, culture, and thought.

Honors Opportunities

To earn honors in German, students must have a G.P.A. of 3.5 or higher in the courses required for the major, and complete a senior honors thesis.

The German Program also offers highly qualified students the option to complete a combined B.A./M.A. degree in five years. To receive the combined degree, the student must complete advanced courses in German literature and pass the departmental written and oral M.A. examinations. Students interested in this option initiate the process during their junior year.

Student Stories


Samuel Iser ’10, a double major in German and history, used his prestigious Woodrow Wilson Undergraduate Research Fellowship to complete four studies of Holocaust literature, nonfiction, and theoretical works in an attempt to better understand the world of the Holocaust as well as the ways texts function. Visit Arts & Sciences Magazine to learn more about his work.


Students who study abroad through the Berlin Consortium for German Studies often intern at various locations throughout the city, including the Comic Opera, the mayor’s office, the German parliament, and the university hospital. Students with dual interests in German and the sciences have also interned at labs at the Technical University in Munich (TUM), an opportunity made possible through a standing exchange with TUM and Johns Hopkins.

Study Abroad

The German major participates in the highly regarded Berlin Consortium for German Studies at the Freie Universität in Berlin. This is the program of choice for German majors, who can attend for one semester or for the full year. Other students have participated in programs in Freiburg, Germany and in Vienna, Austria. Munich and Cologne are also popular destinations for summer internships and programs. Please visit the German Program’s website to view additional study abroad opportunities.


Related Student Groups

German Club

Campus & Baltimore Resources

The Johns Hopkins Language Lab

German Language Placement

The Goethe-Institut

Majors & Minors Programs