Placement guidelines for German

Taking the German Placement Assessment

Willkommen an der UCSC!

Prior to taking the German placement assessment, all students must enroll in the Canvas Placement Module.

After enrolling in the Canvas Placement Module, contact the department to schedule an appointment to take the assessment.

Who should take the assessment?

Any students who have taken German language courses before (in high school, community college or elsewhere) or if they speak German as a heritage language will have to take the German placement assessment before enrolling in a German language course.

If you have never taken German before, you can simply enroll in GERM 1 (Fall quarter) or accelerated German, GERM 1A in Winter quarter.

About the assessment

The German placement assessment consists of a 15-minute interview with a faculty member in the German language program. Students can self-identify where they feel they should place, and if there is a discrepancy between their self-assessment and the placement assessment results, they may take a written exam in addition to the oral interview.

There will be a brief orientation/placement session Fall 2024 quarter, TBD.

Placement assessments are also offered in Winter and Spring quarters by appointment.

German Courses at UCSC

There are 10 German language courses offered by the Department of Languages and Applied Linguistics every year:

Fall quarter:  German 1 and German 4

Winter quarter:  German 1A, German 2 and German 5

Spring quarter:  German 1B, German 3, German 6 and German 119 (German Media) or German 120 (Advanced Conversation/Composition) - the last two are offered in alternating years.

German 4-6 (Intermediate German) are for students who have recently completed one year of college-level German or three years of high school German, or their equivalent. The placement assessment will determine the appropriate course for you.

German 119 (German Media) is a German language and culture course at the advanced level that focuses on current social, cultural and political issues. It is designed for students who have completed German 5 or its equivalent (e.g., AP German with a score of 5).

German 120 (Advanced German Conversation and Composition) This third-year language course is designed for students who are comfortable speaking and writing German at the GERM 5 level or above. Using a variety of German texts, including print- and visual media, students practice advanced conversation and composition skills. Taught in German.

Courses in German Literature are offered through the Literature Department (; several of them are taught in German every year. Students who have completed German 5 or its equivalent (e.g., AP German with a score of 5) may wish to enroll in these courses.

More Information

Information about German Courses, possible majors and Study-Abroad Opportunities can be found on the German website of the Languages and Applied Linguistics Department.

If you would like to discuss your placement, or have any questions about the German Program at UCSC or the UC programs abroad, we would be happy to answer them.