German and Scandinavian

Jeffrey S. Librett
327 Friendly Hall     
1250 University of Oregon
Eugene, Oregon 97403-1250

The Department of German and Scandinavian offers a range of courses and degree programs, from instruction in beginning German and Swedish through a wealth of general-education and advanced undergraduate and graduate offerings in the literatures and cultures of German-speaking and Scandinavian Europe. Students may earn a bachelor of arts (BA) or a bachelor of science (BS) degree with a focus on German language, literature, and culture; interdisciplinary German and Scandinavian studies; or Scandinavian. Minors in all three of these focuses are also possible, and many undergraduates pursue concurrent degrees with second majors or minors in other departments and programs. At the graduate level, the department offers the master of arts (MA) and doctor of philosophy (PhD) degrees in German. Our five-year combined BA/MA program is an excellent option for motivated students. Ours is the only program in the state of Oregon that grants a PhD in German.


No prior knowledge of German is required to major or minor in German.  The beginning is simply curiosity about the language and culture of Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Central Europe.  With some prior knowledge, of course, one will be able to proceed more quickly through the major or minor by placing into a higher level. Similarly, one can choose the Scandinavian focus without prior knowledge of Swedish language or Scandinavian cultures.  Curiosity about the cultures of Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Iceland would here provide the necessary and sufficient point of departure.


Our alumni have found positions in media and communications, government and public service, international business and law, education and teaching, social services, and the travel and tourism industry. Many go on to graduate school in education, law, the humanities, and other fields. Proficiency in a second language opens career opportunities in any number of fields that demand superior skills in oral and written communication, critical thinking and analysis, and intercultural understanding. Particularly in combination with another major or minor, the career possibilities are limitless. Students who graduate with a degree in German or Scandinavian enter a great variety of occupations, including but by no means limited to those with a direct connection to the languages and countries of Europe.  

Major Requirements

The regular German Major requirements begin with the second year of German language (German 201, 202, 203).  Once you’ve completed the second year (or placed out of it), you have only 9 further courses to complete.  See ‘Programs’ for details on all German Major foci.

Note: the department does not accept a grade of C- or lower in any course used to fulfill requirements for a major in German.


Corinne Bayerl, senior instructor (16th- to early 18th-century French and German literature and philosophy; gender questions; history of pedagogy). Currently in the Clark Honors College. See Comparative Literature.

Sonja Boos (†), associate professor (19th- through 21st-century German literature, culture, and film; critical thought). MA, 1997, Heinrich-Heine Universität Düsseldorf; MA, 2004, PhD, 2008, Princeton. (2013)

Miriam Chorley-Schulz, assistant professor and Mokin Fellow of Holocaust Studies (German & Scandinavian, Judaic Studies, History, Russian East European and Eurasian Studies). MA, M.Phil., PhD, 2015; 2018; 2021, Columbia University; MA, 2014, Freie Universität Berlin; BA, 2011, Freie Universität Berlin. (2023)

D. Gantt Gurley, associate professor (Scandinavian literature and folklore, Old Norse literature, Jewish studies). Currently in the Clark Honors College. BA, 1994, Bard College; MA, 2002, PhD, 2007, California, Berkeley. (2009)

Elizabeth Howard, Career Instructor (Swedish and Scandinavian). BFA, 2008, Emerson College; MFA, 2010, Boston University; PhD, 2020, University of Oregon.

Martin Klebes, associate professor (18th- to 21st- century literature, philosophy, critical thought). PhD, 2003, Northwestern. (2007)

Jeffrey S. Librett, professor (literature since 1750, theoretical discourses, Jewish studies). BA, 1979, Yale; MA, 1981, Columbia; PhD, 1989, Cornell. (2004)

Dawn A. Marlan, senior lecturer II (German and European literature and culture from 1700 forward; modernist novel). BA, 1989, Bennington College; MA, 1991, PhD, 2000, Chicago. (2004)

Dorothee Ostmeier, professor (18th- and 20th-century literature, culture, philosophy). Staatsexamen, 1984, MA, 1985, Ruhr; PhD, 1993, Johns Hopkins. (2001)

Michael Stern, associate professor (Nietzsche, Kierkegaard,19th-century Scandinavian literature). BA, 1993, MA, 1995, PhD, 2000, California, Berkeley. (2001)

Matthias Vogel, senior instructor II (second-language acquisition); language coordinator, German language programs; coordinator, German Global Scholars. BA, 1993, Johannes Gutenberg, Mainz; MA, 1996, Oregon. (2011)


Susan C. Anderson, professor emeritus. BA, 1978, North Carolina, Asheville; MA, 1981, PhD, 1985, North Carolina, Chapel Hill. (1986)

Kenneth S. Calhoon, professor emeritus. BA, 1979, Louisville; MA, 1981, PhD, 1984, California, Irvine. (1987)

Alexander Mathäs, professor emeritus. Staatsexamen, 1981, Tübingen; MA, 1984, Oregon; PhD, 1990, Texas, Austin. (1996)

James R. McWilliams, associate professor emeritus. BA, 1951, MA, 1957, PhD, 1963, California, Berkeley. (1960)

Helmut R. Plant, associate professor emeritus. BA, 1957, Fairmont; MA, 1961, PhD, 1964, Cincinnati. (1966)

Karla L. Schultz, professor emerita. BA, 1967, Alma; MA, 1968, Washington (Seattle); MA, 1980, PhD, 1984, Oregon. (1987)

Ingrid A. Weatherhead, senior instructor emerita. BA, 1950, MA, 1951, Puget Sound. (1962)

Virpi Zuck, professor emerita. BA, 1964, MA, 1965, University of Helsinki; PhD, 1977, Wisconsin, Madison. (1974)

The date in parentheses at the end of each entry is the first year on the University of Oregon faculty.

German Studies Participating Faculty

Nina Amstutz, history of art and architecture

Jack Boss, music

Anita Chari, political science

Joyce Cheng, history of art and architecture

James Conran, political science

Colin Koopman, philosophy

David M. Luebke, history

John McCole, history

Nicolae Morar, environmental studies

Barbara Muraca, philosophy

Craig Parsons, political science

Daniel Rosenberg, history

Emily Scott, history of art and architecture

Barbara Stawarska, philosophy

Alejandro Vallega, philosophy

Daniela Vallega-Neu, philosophy

Peter Warnek, philosophy

Undergraduate Programs

Major - Bachelor's Degree


Graduate Programs

Major - Master's Degree

Major - Doctoral Degree