Our Students

Undergraduate Students

  • Rosalind DeLaura '22
    Concetration: Germanic Languages and Literatures
    Secondary field: Comparative Study of Religion
  • Mihaela Esanu '23
    Concentration: Government
    Secondary field: German Studies
  • Harry Fu '21
    Concentration: Neuroscience
    Secondary field: German Studies
  • Adam Gordon '21
    Concentration: History of Art & Architecture
    Allied concentration: German Studies
  • Anne Larsen '22
    Concentration: Mathematics
    Secondary field: Scandinavian Studies
  • Malia Marks '21
    Concentration: Psychology
    Secondary field: Scandinavian Studies
  • Graydon Moorhead '22
    Concentration: Applied Mathematics
    Secondary field: Scandinavian Studies
  • Anna Peng '21
    Concentration: Germanic Languages and Literatures
    Secondary field: Film/Video
  • Sydney Penny '22
    Concentration: Comparative Literature
    Allied concentration: German Studies
  • Emma Stimpfl '21
    Concentration: Human Developmental and Regenerative Biology
    Secondary field: Scandinavian Studies
  • Virat Talwar '23 
    Concentration: Philosophy
    Allied concentration: German Studies
  • Idil Tuysuzoglu '22
    Concentration: Government
    Allied concentration: Scandinavian Studies
  • Leigh Wilson '22
    Concentration: Chemistry
    Allied concentration: German Studies

Alumni Voices

Headshot of Brianni LeeBrianni Lee ' 20

Concentration: German Studies
Allied concentration: Philosophy 
Secondary field: History and Literature

I first got interested in Germanic studies because of my background in classical music. I came into college without a specific career goal in mind and wanted to use my time [...] to deeply engage with the humanities. My studies in the German department gave me exactly what I wanted. Germanic studies became a unique and excellent basis for me to branch out to other fields of humanities, while I was immersing in the fascinating world of the German language, literature, and historical and cultural studies.

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Headshot of Becky JarvisBecky Jarvis '19

Concentration: Linguistics
Allied concentration: Mathematics
Secondary field: German Studies 

My internship, working near Berlin at the Potsdam Research Institute for Multilingualism, was excellent. I ran a laboratory experiment on agreement
processing of native and non-native speakers of German, and wrote data cleaning/analysis script in R and programmed the experiment via DMDX. I found
the experience really helpful both in gaining research experience and in clarifying my interests within my chosen field of study.

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Headshot of Karl AspelundKarl Aspelund '17

Concentration: Environmental Science & Public Policy Secondary field: Economics 

I took German out of an intrinsic interest, mostly, but it has become very useful to me in the most practical way: after graduating college, I ended up
working with two German economists as a research assistant. Their research focused on the labor markets of Germany and Austria, and my ability to read German was an important plus that I didn't really know about until I walked into the job interview and they asked me to read an excerpt of a FAZ article!

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Michael Ardeljian' 13

Concentration: German Studies
Allied concentration: History

Warum denn habe ich Deutsch gelernt?  Why did I learn German?  When I arrived on Harvard’s campus and jumped into my German studies with this department, my German educational experience took off in a completely new direction. Introductory courses lucidly and entertainingly built a foundation of technical understanding at a tremendous rate. And then, I began reading German philosophers. It was a fantastic department filled with wonderful professors and graduate students... 

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Jordan Cotton '11

Upon arriving at Harvard I intended to pursue a Secondary Field in the Germanic Languages & Literatures department. I had learned German in high school and enjoyed it massively but thought at first that a degree in German would not be very practical. However, after enjoying my German classes far more than the rest, I realized that a creative and flexible student can make most any subject relevant to a variety of career paths and decided to follow my passion. 

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Jasmine Ford '10

I always knew that I wanted to study German in college for the simple reason that I love the language! I had been taking it since high school and wanted to continue to build upon my previous learning. Initially, I thought I would have it as a secondary field, but after a while I noticed that the classes I took in the Germanic department were the ones that consistently held my interest and drew my eye in the Course Handbook!   I also enjoyed being in a concentration small enough to where there were always multiple familiar faces in class! The neat thing about it is that there are so many directions one could take their studies in the department.  

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Headshot of Brooke IstvanBrooke Istvan '19

Concentration: Applied Mathematics
Secondary field: German Studies

My experience with German and the German department at Harvard is one of the things for which I am most thankful. I came into Harvard with a very
small amount of prior knowledge and knew I was in a place where I could either drop the language without ever having a functional knowledge of it or I
could challenge myself to master the guttural r's, w's that sound like v's, and v's that sound like f's. After shopping a class my freshman year I accepted
that challenge and never looked back, eventually earning a secondary in German.

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Headshot of Ana OlanoAna Olano '19

Concentration: Applied Mathematics 
Language citation: German

The Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures was a defining feature of my Harvard career, and my involvement began through the
department’s incredibly supportive internship program... [Department advisors] guided me in determining the best level of German coming in (and this level of personal guidance continued throughout the duration of my studies). The incredible quality of instruction in all of my courses and profound care for students present through the entire department staff led me to pursue and complete a citation in German.

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Headshot of Nathaniel ver SteegNathaniel Ver Steeg '17

Concentration: Applied Mathematics
Secondary field: German Studies

Completing a secondary in German was one of the highlights of my time at Harvard. The instructors were genuinely interested in helping students learn, and the small class sizes made for a fun and productive environment, with lots of emphasis on practice and discussion. Outside of classes, the Kaffeestunde and Stammtisch gatherings offered even more chances to work on speaking and listening and were a great way to connect with other students and faculty and hear about their experiences with the German language and culture. 

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Preston Copeland ' 11

Concentration: German Studies

Of course your professors are leaders in their fields, and of course you have access to prodigious resources—this is Harvard, after all. But in hindsight, what makes the German Department great are the very things that you, as an undergraduate, will blithely experience daily—class sizes of 5-15 students, genuinely caring professors who know you by name (or, more precisely, who simply know you), and a quality of instruction that most students in America don’t experience until graduate school (if they’re lucky). 

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Trevor James' 11

Take German, even if you have no language requirement to fulfill or previous background in this language.  I did so and became a concentrator in the long run, for the engaging and provocative courses offered by Harvard's German department.  Learning German and reading German literature helped me to build concepts of value foreign to myself but nonetheless prescient.  I grew and continue to grow and shift in my study of this literature.