German Department

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the German major, a student will have demonstrated that they are able to:

  • discuss German-language works from different eras and genres;
  • discuss a range of literary-critical essays and works of philosophy, history, and cultural theory;
  • execute a systematic, sustained, and original research project;
  • choose and define a complex topic from the major field;
  • independently investigate that topic with the support of an advisor;
  • develop and pursue a critical methodology appropriate to the research topic;
  • analyze literary texts or cultural phenomena, including through close reading;
  • use appropriate secondary sources as part of that analysis;
  • read and understand German at a level sufficient to perform such a research project;
  • write a clear and coherent document that is substantially longer than a traditional term paper or project;
  • present, discuss and defend their work orally.

The primary assessment tool for learning in the major at Reed and the level of student achievement in the major area is the senior thesis; the junior qualifying examination, which assesses a student's readiness for thesis, provides a second assessment tool. For more information on the thesis, the Junior Qualifying Exam and the academic program, see Requirements.