2011-2012 Archived Catalog Information

  • German and German Studies

German is the official language of Germany and Austria and one of the official languages of Switzerland. It is also widely spoken in Eastern Europe. In the U.S., German-Americans are one of the largest ethnic groups. Today’s reunified Germany has the largest population and the most powerful economy in the European Union. (On a per-capita basis, Germany is the leading exporting country in the world.) Many German corporations (e.g., BMW, Mercedes, and Siemens) have moved parts of their manufacturing and research operations to the U.S. In the political arena, the Germans now play a more significant role than they did during the Cold War, and the German army (the Bundeswehr) now contributes to peacekeeping missions in such areas as the Balkans and Afghanistan. The capital Berlin, centrally located in the newly expanded EU, is becoming a vibrant metropolis with an avant-garde cultural scene – augmenting traditional strengths in the areas of museums, music, and theater. Other cities such as Cologne, Dresden, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Leipzig, and Munich cultivate a similar mix of the old and the new, as do Vienna, the capital of Austria, and Zürich, the Swiss German hub. The cultural, scientific, and technological achievements of the German-speaking peoples are known and valued throughout the world. Environmental protection is high on the national agenda. The system of graduate education at U.S. universities was patterned after the German model. Suffolk students have two choices with regard to the study of German. They can pursue a traditional German B.A., which entails a thorough study of language, literature, and civilization, or choose the major in German Studies, which involves taking a number of courses in other areas such as Art History, Government, History, Music History, and Philosophy. A double major (with Business, Government, etc.) is also a viable option. A minor also broadens one’s qualifications. All students in the major are strongly encouraged to study abroad for at least one semester before completion of the degree.