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Overseas and Off-Campus Programs

Germany Berlin




Early September to mid December
Offered: Every other fall, odd years
Program Focus: Chemistry/Country Study


For those students on the program who are chemistry or biochemistry/molecular biology majors wishing to take CHEM 310, there is a pre-req of Math 132; the Physics prerequisite for CHEM 310 may be waived with permission of the instructor (only required for Chemistry and Biochemistry/Molecular Biology majors).

GPA of 2.75 or higher is expected.

Fall 2017
Program Leader:

Julio de Paula
Professor of Chemistry

ext. 7705

Program Design:
In cooperation with the Institute for the International Education of Students (IES), Lewis and Clark offers a program of study focusing on the culture, history, art, architecture, and politics of Berlin and Germany, as well as environmental studies.  Chemistry majors may substitute CHEM 310 for the environmental studies course.   Excursions include trips to local and regional sites of interest such as Dresden, Potsdam and the Sachsenhausen concentration camp. Students live in rooms rented in apartments.

Requirements Fulfilled:
IS 260 and 261 fulfill the 8-credit International Studies general education requirement. IS 262, 20th Century Art and Architecture, fulfills the creative arts general education requirement. Art majors may not use IS 262 to fulfill the Creative Arts General Education requirement. 

4 courses per semester/16 credits


Please note that although all courses will be taught in English, the Berlin program will begin with a two-week orientation period of intensive conversational German instruction (as part of IS 261) to help students with their day-to-day lives. You will not be able to earn German Language credit on this program.

IS 260 History of Modern Berlin: From 1815 to the Present (4 credits)
This course provides a history of Berlin focusing on the period from 1815 to the present. Students will examine changes in the economic structure, social development and technical history of Berlin. Topics covered include Berlin as a cultural center in literature, the fine arts, cabaret, and theater, as well as urban planning and the division and unification of a modern city. Particular attention is paid to the periods of reunification and the postwar period.

IS 261 Contemporary Germany (4 credits)
This course will introduce students to a wide variety of contemporary issues in Germany, including the political system, gender roles, regional differences, issues with labor migration and naturalization, and culture. This part of the program will take advantage of the opportunities available in the Berlin area, such as the German capital complex, the large Turkish immigrant community, musical infrastructure (including three opera houses and two symphony orchestras), arts (more museums than rainy days according to one advertising slogan), and the natural landscape beyond the city-limits.  This portion of the course will be supported by travel to the Baltic Sea Coast and Dresden.
As part of the coursework, students will complete an independent study project on a topic of their choice, which they will work on for the duration of the program. Both written and oral presentations will be made during the final week of the program.

IS 262 20th Century Art and Architecture (4 credits)
This course surveys German art and architecture from the rise of modernism circa 1900 through postmodernism and the present. It aims to: study the individual works closely and interpret them critically by analyzing their formal structure, style, technique, iconography, etc.; consider the concerns of the artists who created them; and place the works within their wider historical, political, economic, social, and cultural backgrounds as well as within the international development of the visual arts in Europe and—in the second half of the 20th century—the U.S. Topics include Jugendstil (Art Nouveau), Expressionism, Dada, Surrealism, New Objectivity and Magic Realism, Bauhaus, art and architecture in Nazi Germany, art and architecture in the two German states—the GDR and FRG (1945-1989)—and the reflection of the German past, the reshaping of Berlin as the restored capital of Germany after 1989, and Pluralism in postmodern German art. An essential approach of the course is to work not only with slides and textual sources in class, but also with the original works during several field study visits to museums and walking tours to architectural sites. Thus the specific material qualities of the artworks discussed, and the urban context of the individual buildings, are experienced directly. This can serve as an eye-opener to understand the thinking and artistic procedure of the artists and architects in their time.

IS 263 Metropolitan Development: Urban Studies in Comparative Perspective (4 credits)

This course examines Berlin’s complicated and often turbulent development, taking advantage of the city to explore its urban landscape firsthand, and ask whether the forces that continue to forge Berlin’s identity are the same that have been at work in other European and American cities.

Students in the course visit many of the city’s historic sites, and in class compare them to urban prototypes in Paris, Vienna, St. Petersburg, New York, Los Angeles, Lagos, and Dubai—among other cities. How have absolutist policies, whether monarchic or totalitarian, influenced the city? How have periods of powerful economic growth, whether spurred by industrial revolution or the “economic miracle” of the post-war Wirtschaftswunder, determined urban growth? How have the 20th century’s primary competing ideological systems—democratic market capitalism and Communism—altered the course of urban development in Europe? Berlin offers a unique opportunity to examine these questions in the one location where they have all played a vital role.

The course devotes time to important urban issues, both historical and actual: the relationship of municipal and state government in city planning (the transformation of Paris under Baron Haussmann and Napoleon III in the 19th century; the works programs of Robert Moses in New York City in the 20th century); the role of the automobile in the propagation of suburban sprawl; the impact of new technology on urban development; the city as an imperial or (post-)colonial power center; demographic challenges (shrinking versus expanding cities); the emergence of specific urban movements (Garden City, modernism, postmodernism, “Critical Reconstruction,” “New Urbanism”); contrasting patterns of racism, poverty, and immigration; security in an age of terrorism; and the impact of global warming.

Chemistry majors may substitute one of the following chemistry courses for IS-263, Metropolitan Development, provided the prerequisite(s) have been met. The chemistry course offered will vary by year and instructor expertise.

CHEM 310 Physical Chemistry: Thermodynamics and Kinetics 
Fundamental concepts of classical physical chemistry. The first, second, and third laws of thermodynamics; phase and chemical equilibria; empirical and theoretical studies of reaction rates and reaction mechanisms, including applications to biological systems.

This course is required of students majoring in Chemistry and Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, and may be taken either in Berlin in the Fall of 2017 or at Lewis & Clark in the Spring of 2018.

Program Design



Germany, Berlin

Blog Feed: Berlin

  • September 10, 2017 at 4:44am
    Our first week in Berlin was devoted to an excellent orientation program run by the knowledgeable and friendly staff at IES Abroad. An excursion to nearby Potsdam on September 2 gave us a glimpse of how Frederick the Great lived. During the second week we were consumed by an intensive German language course that ended […]
  • April 13, 2017 at 3:09pm
  • November 30, 2015 at 1:18pm
    Within the course of my travels through Europe this semester, I have visited an immense number of churches and cathedrals—so many that I would probably be better off writing a book about them than a blog post. I recently got to see something a bit different though, when my Contemporary German Society class took a […]
  • November 30, 2015 at 1:02pm
      This story begins where it ends: Germany. Before coming here I’d only the faintest notion of what a “Schnitzel” was. Though I had taken for granted that it was both German and edible, I wasn’t inclined to further investigate this phenomenon until it began appearing on the menus of my every dining experience. I […]
  • November 27, 2015 at 8:00am
    There are many things that never stop surprising me about Berlin, and Germany! I’ve come to have a true appreciation for the people, the city, the culture… I don’t think I could have picked a better time in my studies to spend an extended period overseas for the first time, either. My host family has […]
  • November 24, 2015 at 2:06pm
    The transportation system here in Berlin has been a huge part of my experience abroad. Like my fellow students, I take it every day to and from our classes in the central district Mitte as well as to any part of the city I want in my spare time. Consequently, I have spent quite a […]
  • November 24, 2015 at 10:36am
    We had our first week of classes last week and though they were interesting and all that, I won’t bore you with all the details because I’m sure you can all imagine what an Art History/Regular History class is like. With one notable exception to that: our field trip on Friday! Our History of Berlin […]


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