About Our Department

Welcome to the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures at Washington University, a close-knit intellectual community of faculty members, graduate students, and undergraduates with a rich history and an international reputation for excellence. Our department offers diverse and challenging degree programs in the languages, literatures, and cultures of the German speaking countries from the Middle Ages to the present.

Our Community

Our faculty members are award-winning teachers, known for their enthusiasm as well as their close mentoring of students, as well as internationally recognized scholars in fields ranging from early modern literature to postwar German cinema. All of our courses, regardless of the level of instruction, emphasize communication and participation in a relaxed environment, helping students to hone their reading, writing, speaking, and critical thinking skills through explorations of German literature, film, philosophy, music, art, politics, and society.

Our community extends beyond the classroom to encompass a variety of co- and extra-curricular activities, from academic lectures and symposia to film-series, theater and museum visits, Pizza-Pausen, and Kaffeestunden. We also offer summer, semester, and yearlong study abroad opportunities at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Our doctoral candidates work closely with faculty mentors on innovative, interdisciplinary research projects, and receive extensive pedagogical training in preparation for careers in academe and beyond.