Bachelor of Arts in German

The academic program leading to a B.A. in German offers a wide range of courses to meet the diverse needs of today's student population. The undergraduate curriculum includes coursework in language, literature, linguistics, and culture. In addition, students can select courses in translation and German for business. To ensure that all students develop advanced language competency, the German program places great importance on small-sized participatory classes, which maximize opportunities to communicate in German.

Innovative teaching methods, films, multimedia, and online materials enhance classroom interaction and enrich the academic experience. In addition, excellent computer facilities and a Foreign Language Multimedia Lab provide support for our academic program.

The German major consists of a total of 44 units, including 30 units of upper-division coursework. Up to 14 units of prerequisite coursework or demonstrated language proficiency is required to begin the major.

Students may receive credit towards the lower-division requirements for the major with the appropriate scores on Advanced Placement Exams.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the Bachelor of Arts in German the student will:

  1. Demonstrate listening comprehension at the advanced level. Understand the utterances of native speakers and extract main ideas from recordings of authentic speech, including excerpts from lectures, films, radio, and television broadcasts.
  2. Demonstrate reading proficiency at the advanced level: Understand and summarize main ideas in target language texts intended for general readers, including social correspondences, general purpose essays, short stories, and news writing.
  3. Demonstrate speaking proficiency at the advanced level: Sustain a conversation on a general topic with a fluent speaker of the target language, narrate, and describe on a variety of topics at paragraph length, and respond to spontaneous developments in an exchange.
  4. Demonstrate writing proficiency at the advanced level: Produce narratives and descriptions, cohesive summaries, and routine social correspondences (e.g. business letters, resumes), demonstrating awareness of diction, syntax, and stylistics in the writing process.
  5. Demonstrate cultural knowledge: Understanding of cultural values, folk beliefs, social conventions and festive celebrations unique to target culture. Identify and characterize exemplars of painting, architecture, music, film, and other fine arts in the target culture. Identify major historical events and order them chronologically.

German (B.A.) — 44 units

Required Courses (26 units)

GER 101First Semester German4
GER 102Second Semester German4
GER 206Intermediate German Conversation3
GER 207Intermediate German3
GER 305Advanced Grammar and Composition3
Select One:3
Exploring the German Language
Linguistics for Foreign Languages
Select One:3
Translation Workshop - GWAR
Reading and Analysis of Cultural Texts - GWAR
GER 535The German Novella of the 19th and 20th Centuries3

Upper-Division Electives (18 units)

Any upper-division course (GER 300+) can be counted as an elective.

Note: A minimum of 30 upper-division units must be completed for the degree (including upper-division units required for the major, general education, electives, etc.). A student can complete this major yet not attain the necessary number of upper-division units required for graduation. In this case, additional upper-division courses will be needed to reach the required total.

Study Abroad

Students are encouraged to study abroad through the International Programs of the California State University. For students opting to study abroad, all study abroad units will count as units in residence and can be used for graduation credit. Up to 31 units required for the major may be taken through the CSU International Program in Germany. These units must be approved by a German advisor. A minimum of 9 upper-division units (GER 300+) must be taken at the home campus at SFSU.

Complementary Studies

Required of all candidates for the Bachelor of Arts degree in German are 12 units of Complementary Studies, which must come from courses bearing a prefix other than GER, and not cross-listed with GER. Complementary Studies for the German major can be satisfied via four possible routes:

  1. 12 units in any foreign language other than German (may include up to 3 units of MLL prefix courses);
  2. 12 units of coursework taken in an approved study abroad program (including CSU Study Abroad and SF State Bilateral);
  3. 12 units of coursework taken as partial completion of a second major, a minor or a certificate;
  4. 12 units of coursework in related disciplines with the approval of a German Program advisor.

Related disciplines typically include linguistics, literature, communication, Jewish studies, philosophy, history, humanities, education, and any aspect of Europe.

Where a course with a non-GER prefix, (and not cross-listed with GER), is taken as a core requirement or elective for the German major, the said course may also (double) count towards Complementary Studies only via the Study Abroad option or the 2nd Major/Minor/Certificate option listed above. Students satisfying Complementary Studies through the Foreign Language option are allowed a maximum of 3 units of overlap of MLL-prefix courses between German major and Complementary Studies units.

Students satisfying Complementary Studies through the Related Subjects option are not allowed to double-count major and Complementary Studies units.

General Education Requirements

Requirement Course Level Units Area Designation
Oral Communication LD 3 A1
Written English Communication LD 3 A2
Critical Thinking LD 3 A3
Physical Science LD 3 B1
Life Science LD 3 B2
Lab Science LD 1 B3
Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning LD 3 B4
Arts LD 3 C1
Humanities LD 3 C2
Arts or Humanities LD 3 C1 or C2
Social Sciences LD 3 D1
Social Sciences: US History LD 3 D2
Lifelong Learning and Self-Development (LLD) LD 3 E
Ethnic Studies LD 3 F
Physical and/or Life Science UD 3 UD-B
Arts and/or Humanities UD 3 UD-C
Social Sciences UD 3 UD-D
SF State Studies
Courses certified as meeting the SF State Studies requirements may be upper or lower division in General Education (GE), a major or minor, or an elective.
American Ethnic and Racial Minorities LD or UD 3 AERM
Environmental Sustainability LD or UD 3 ES
Global Perspectives LD or UD 3 GP
Social Justice LD or UD 3 SJ

Note: LD = Lower-Division; UD = Upper-Division.

First-Time Student Roadmap (4 Year)

The roadmaps presented in this Bulletin are intended as suggested plans of study and do not replace meeting with an advisor. For a more personalized roadmap, please use the Degree Planner tool found in your Student Center.

First-Time Student Roadmap

General Advising Information for Transfer Students

  1. Before transfer, complete as many lower-division requirements or electives for this major as possible.
  2. The following courses are not required for admission but are required for graduation. Students are strongly encouraged to complete these units before transfer; doing so will provide more flexibility in course selection after transfer.
    • a course in U.S. History
    • a course in U.S. & California Government

For information about satisfying the requirements described in (1) and (2) above at a California Community College (CCC), please visit Check any geographically accessible CCCs; sometimes options include more than one college. Use ASSIST to determine:

  • Which courses at a CCC satisfy any lower-division major requirements for this major;
  • Which courses at a CCC satisfy CSU GE, US History, and US & CA Government requirements.

Remedial courses are not transferable and do not apply to the minimum 60 semester units/90 quarter units required for admission.

Additional units for courses that are repeated do not apply to the minimum 60 units required for upper-division transfer (for example, if a course was not passed on the first attempt or was taken to earn a better grade).

Before leaving the last California Community College of attendance, obtain a summary of completion of lower-division General Education units (IGETC or CSU GE Breadth). This is often referred to as a GE certification worksheet. SF State does not require delivery of this certification to Admissions, but students should retain this document for verifying degree progress after transfer.

Credit for Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or College-Level Examination Program courses: AP/IB/CLEP credit is not automatically transferred from the previous institution. Units are transferred only when an official score report is delivered to SF State. Credit is based on the academic year during which exams were taken. Refer to the University Bulletin in effect during the year of AP/IB/CLEP examination(s) for details regarding the award of credit for AP/IB/CLEP.

Students pursuing majors in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines often defer 6-9 units of lower-division General Education in Areas C and D until after transfer to focus on preparation courses for the major. This advice does not apply to students pursuing associate degree completion before transfer.

Transferring From Institutions Other Than CCCs or CSUs

Review SF State's lower-division General Education requirements. Note that, as described below, the four basic skills courses required for admission meet A1, A2, A3, and B4 in the SF State GE pattern. Courses that fulfill the remaining areas of SF State’s lower-division GE pattern are available at most two-year and four-year colleges and universities.

Of the four required basic skills courses, a course in critical thinking (A3) may not be widely offered outside the CCC and CSU systems. Students should attempt to identify and take an appropriate course no later than the term of application to the CSU. To review more information about the A3 requirement, please visit

Waiting until after transfer to take a single course at SF State that meets both US and CA/local government requirements may be an appropriate option, particularly if transferring from outside of California.