Learning Outcomes – German Studies Major

The major in German Studies represents an interdisciplinary program that enables students to attain advanced proficiency in the German language and familiarizes students with the literary and cinematic traditions of the German-speaking world while also placing significant emphasis on historical, cultural, and political contexts in which that cultural production takes place.

Upon graduation, German Studies majors should be able to:

  • Possess advanced proficiency in spoken and written German.
  • Demonstrate the ability to engage critically with visual and literary texts from the German-speaking world.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in analytical skills such as close-reading, social, political, and historical contextualization of written and visual texts and be able to write and speak persuasively on those subjects.
  • Demonstrate broad knowledge of literary and cultural traditions, as well as of the history of German-speaking peoples and their interactions with cultural Others.
  • Demonstrate the skills necessary for scholarly research and writing in the Humanities.
  • Demonstrate intercultural competencies necessary for interacting with a foreign culture and the ability to apply those skills in an increasingly global marketplace. 

Students are also encouraged to spend time abroad either during the academic year, as part of a summer language program, or interning with a German company or organization. Interdisciplinary studies and double-majoring is encouraged with related disciplines such as history, fine arts, politics, international relations, other language traditions, and business.

Learning Outcomes – French Major

The French major provides students with opportunities to acquire advanced language proficiency and both a knowledge of and engagement with the literary, cultural, socio-historical, and political traditions of the French-speaking world.

Upon graduation, French majors should be able to:

  • Demonstrate advanced proficiency in spoken and written French.
  • Demonstrate the ability to read critically, interpret analytically, speak persuasively, and write coherently about visual and literary texts produced in the French-speaking world.
  • Demonstrate broad knowledge of literary and cultural traditions, such as major movements, writers, and works of the French-speaking world, focusing on at least one and ideally multiple traditions: European, African, Caribbean, North American, Asian, and other Francophone cultures.
  • Demonstrate familiarity with methodological approaches in the study of literary and cultural texts, such as close reading and socio-historical contextualization.
  • Demonstrate the skills necessary for scholarly research and writing in the Humanities.
  • Demonstrate intercultural competencies that reflect multiple cultural perspectives and cultural empathy.

In addition, we encourage community engagement as well as minoring and double-majoring in related disciplines such as history, fine arts, education, international relations, and business.

Learning Outcomes -- Spanish Major

Upon graduation, Spanish majors will be able to:

Listening: Understand spoken language, even when delivered at native-level speed. Comprehend a range of recorded audiovisual materials in Spanish (film, television, online media, etc.), including those which contain idiomatic usage, follow propositionally abstract and linguistically complex lines of argument, and synthesize and paraphrase the ideas and details of extended speech and academic lectures.

Reading: Demonstrate an understanding of complex and/or extended literary works in Spanish from a variety of periods and genres. Consider intention and effect from the perspectives of the author, the text, and the reader, discern finer points, allusions, irony and other nuances in meaning, and relate formal aspects of the text to its theme.

Speaking: Express themselves clearly, accurately and effectively in a variety of communicative contexts and situations. Sustain an advanced level of spoken interaction with native speakers in academic, professional and informal settings; prepare and deliver well-organized, logical oral presentations; formulate and support ideas and opinions, and to respond to complex lines of reasoning.

Writing: Write clearly, precisely, and cohesively using the disciplinary conventions and methodologies that constitute effective literary analysis. Frame and sustain an argument that includes both the exposition and analysis of information; Demonstrate competence, fluency and clarity of expression, with minimal interference from English, and with a good range of vocabulary and syntax. Incorporate a wide range of expressions and rhetorical forms in their written work (persuasion, etc.) with attention to register and finer shades of meaning.

Intercultural Competence: Interact appropriately and effectively within diverse social and cultural contexts in the target-language-speaking world. Formulate complex questions about the target cultures and articulate answers to these questions that reflect multiple cultural perspectives.

Knowledge and Understanding: Contextualize and cogently explain the significance of a representative selection of figures, texts, and tendencies in the literature and other forms of cultural production from the target-language-speaking world.

Critical thinking: Critically analyze a text, define a position, and substantiate it using thorough research techniques, the integration of disparate areas of knowledge, and innovative thinking.