For more than a thousand years the German-speaking countries have been the cultural and political core of Central Europe. During the last two hundred years their importance has steadily increased, and with the recent developments in Eastern Europe their influence seems bound to grow even further. The importance of the German language has grown correspondingly: it is the second foreign language after English in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, and its use is spreading within the European Community.

Learning German opens the door to many fields of intellectual, technical and politico-economic endeavour. German scholars have been leaders in Philosophy, the Sciences, History, Archaeology, Sociology and Political Science. German literature is equally distinguished: writers like Goethe, Kafka, Rilke, Brecht, Mann, Grass, etc., have dealt with the widest possible range of human problems and concerns. Significant works of German literature are the focus of the range of literature courses offered, allowing the student to acquire an historical overview of this element of German life and culture.

Our program offers language courses on the beginning, intermediate and advanced levels, with practice in reading, writing, comprehending and speaking German, as well as stylistics, linguistics, and the specialized vocabulary and concepts of Business German. Language and Literature instruction is integrated with the aim of teaching students advanced critical literacy in German.

German Studies also promotes opportunities for students to study and work in Germany, by encouraging participation in programs established by the German government, by Canadian universities and the Faculty of Arts and Science's "Study Elsewhere Program". A knowledge of German is a virtual necessity for specialists in certain disciplines. It is also very useful in certain career areas (e.g., the foreign service, interpretation and translation, librarianship, business and commerce, music, tourism, and, of course, teaching). The successful completion of a four-year program, including seven approved courses in German, may entitle the student to enter the M.A. or Ph.D. program in the Graduate Division of the Department.

Students entering with some previous knowledge of German but without Grade 12(U) or equivalent qualification may be asked to write an initial assessment test and will then be advised to take courses at the appropriate level. Students who have taken German in High School to Grade 12(U) or equivalent level will normally begin with course GER200Y5.