Embrace all aspects of Germany, including history, culture, arts and politics, with a minor in German Area Studies. Working closely with department faculty, you’ll be able to tailor your studies to your interests. You’ll develop an awareness and appreciation of cultural differences and be able to reflect on the world and yourself through the lens of another language. Primarily designed as a minor, students wanting to focus in German Area Studies can work with their adviser to create an individual major if they choose.

Student SpotlightIan Albreski '23

Major: English
Minor: German area Studies 

"The best decision I made while at HWS was studying German. The department is small and intimate and along with learning a new language, I have gained a new lens to view the world. 
In Professor of German Area Studies Eric Klaus's GER 214 Berlin: A Cultural Biography, Professor Klaus taught the course as a dialog and encouraged us to pay as much attention to the cultural and intellectual ideas surrounding the events we were studying as to the events themselves. 
I am currently planning on attending graduate school in Germany or Austria and I never would have considered that without German Area Studies."


And Research

German area studies students looking to engage more in their work can study and complete Honors and research projects in their chosen topic with the guidance of a faculty mentor.

Past examples of Honors projects include:

  • Liam John Cranley ’21: Attempts to Preserve Identity Over the Centuries: A Story of Music and Nationalist German Identity
    Eric Klaus, Adviser
  • Jared M. Ratzel ’18: Eine Andere Stille: Moment of Queer German Cinema
    Alysia Kaplan, Adviser



Experiential EducationCultural Exchange

Sample German cuisine at the Intercultural Affairs Center or attend guest lectures on German immigration policy held by the Fisher Center for the Study of Gender and Justice.

At Hobart and William Smith, learning goes beyond textbooks and classrooms. You’ll gain high-impact practical experience that deepens learning and opens doors.


No Borders:Global Education

Study architecture in Berlin or physics in Leipzig.

Wherever you go, our top-ranked global education program will allow you to apply classroom knowledge, develop cultural understanding and build global connections that expand your personal capacity and sense of purpose.

Students applying to programs in Germany can also apply for financial support under the Julius G. Blocker ’53 Endowed Fund. Some programs in Germany are available only to Blocker Fellows.




Belonging, Diversity and Equity

Courses in German area studies highlight the diversity and inclusiveness of German culture and foreground diverse voices from German history. Issues surrounding historically underrepresented groups, as well as contributions by women, are common features of coursework. Recent examples include Lou-Andreas Salomë, Vicki Baum; Hannah Höch, Yoko Tawada and Fatih Akin among others.


Learn the language and build your cultural and historical knowledge of Germany.


    Learn the German language and foster inter-cultural competence by infusing historical knowledge, cultural artifacts, and social structures.


    Explore the streets and spaces of Germany’s capital, the stories it holds and how they came to signify German identity throughout the country’s history.


    Build on your German language skills and acclimate yourself to German culture, including through film, text, politics, music and pop culture.

Alum ImpactHannah Bendull '21


master of arts in museum studies, new york university

"HWS has prepared me for my graduate program through targeted coursework. My professors also helped me with independent and summer research projects and grad applications."