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Language Contact and Email Address:

Jutta Schmiers-Heller


Welcome to the Department of Germanic Languages at Columbia!

Our department has long been considered one of the strongest German departments in the country. We offer a rich and comprehensive curriculum on the history of German literature and culture from 1750 to the present. In addition to close mentoring by our core faculty, students profit from working with our affiliated faculty from Art History, Comparative Literature and Society, History, Philosophy, Architecture, and Anthropology. Strong ties to our international partner institution, the Free University in Berlin, allow students to engage in study abroad.

In our undergraduate program, German majors and concentrators acquire proficiency in examining literary, philosophical, and historical texts in the original, as well as critical understanding of German culture and society. Courses taught in translation build on Columbia’s Core Curriculum, thereby allowing students to enroll in upper-level seminars before completing the language requirement.

The German Language Program offers courses for beginning, intermediate and advanced learners. All classes are taught as part of a living culture.

To ensure optimal placement, students who have had prior German instruction are required to take our placement test. In addition, we offer a reading knowledge course to graduate students for academic purposes.

Taking Courses in German will allow you to fulfill the language requirement at Columbia.

Please check the Columbia Directory of Classes for information on class meeting times and locations.

For more information about our department and course syllabi, please visit our website.