Honors in German is a distinction awarded at graduation by a decision of the department faculty. To qualify for Honors in German, a student must have, at the end of her/his junior year, a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0, and a GPA of 3.4 or higher in the German major. This options provides the opportunity to delve into an intellectually challenging independent research project and prepares students for graduate and professional work. Under the supervision of a faculty adviser, honors students will either pursue an independent research project that requires the use of German-language source material pertinent to the area of concentration, earn up to 6 credits toward the German Studies major by taking courses on the graduate level, or complete 3 credits in each of these two options. Honors work should normally be completed over two semesters (3 credits per semester), whether it is done within an independent study, in graduate courses, or in a combination of both. Honors theses are generally expected to be ca. 20-25 pages for a 3-credit thesis and ca. 40-50 pages for a 6-credit thesis, although specific expectations, including overall length, will be established by the student's honors advisor.

Conferral of honors is never automatic. Students may request nomination for departmental honors by submitting an application form or they may be nominated by a faculty member. Whether a candidate graduates with departmental honors depends on his or her total performance in German as measured by the recommendations of the faculty. Interested students are encouraged to apply at the department toward the end of their junior year or during the first week of classes in their senior year, by contacting the Undergraduate Director of German.

Eligibility requirements for a graduation with honors are:

  • a GPA of 3.4 or better in German and a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better.
  • the successful completion of an honors thesis (this thesis should be submitted to a German Studies faculty member to be read and approved for credit); or by taking 6 credits of graduate courses with the approval of the undergraduate director.