German Studies at MIT offers a comprehensive academic program ranging from beginning to advanced levels. Aimed at undergraduates and graduates, the German curriculum engages students in the study of language, contemporary culture, history, film, and literature of German-speaking countries. With current faculty expertise covering the fields of migration, cultural transfer, media, science, environment, and technology – the German Studies encourages broad engagements with Germany in relation to some of the central questions that shape our time. Highlighting transnational perspectives, German Studies contributes to the larger mission in Global Studies and Languages to enable students to become critical global citizens and refine their problem solving skills to local challenges.
The four semester language-focused course series (German I-IV) assumes no background in German language or culture. Students in these courses acquire the communication and cultural competencies that allow them to engage in further study in advanced courses and to participate in the MISTI-Germany Program to gain international work experience. All courses use innovative and engaging pedagogies together with study materials ranging from print to digital. Each course in this sequence is offered both fall and spring semesters. In addition, beginning and intermediate language courses are offered in a 3-week intensive format during the Independent Activities Period (IAP) in January. Undergraduates can elect to concentrate, minor, or major in German Studies.
Students with advanced proficiency can select from courses focusing on literature, film and other media, culture and society, professional communication, and creative writing. A number of courses pertaining to German cultural history and politics, some with HASS-CI status, are offered in English. The unique Max Kade Writer-in-Residence Program brings a German-speaking writer to MIT to teach a special advanced-level course in German every two years. These writers bridge two or more cultures and/or languages by virtue of their biographies and writing, and they provide the students an alternative understanding of German and Swiss society and culture.
German Studies, together with the MIT International Studies and Technology Initiative (MISTI), has established the MIT-Germany Program which sponsors summer and post-graduate internships in industry or research institutions in Germany, Switzerland, or Austria.
Current Semester Language Brochure containing advisor, staff, subject schedule and upcoming schedule information.