Date of Award


Document Type

Union College Only

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Second Department


First Advisor

Mark Walker

Second Advisor

David Cotter




university, germany, models, changes, education


Higher education in the United States was based on the model that was created in Germany during the mid-nineteenth century. It is important to understand the history of the university, as well as the theoretical models that support the growth and changes that universities underwent, when examining the relation between the higher education in Germany and the United States. Theoretical sociological models are applied in order to get a better understanding of the growth and development. Two models that explain the growth and changes in universities throughout Germany’s history are Modernization and Structural Functionalism. Applying these models to German university history, the university is looked at in three major time frames; first, from the mid-nineteenth century through the end of World War I; second, from the Weimar Republic through the end of World War II; and lastly, in Post- World War II East and West Germany. Looking at each of these periods and the sociological importance of the changes the university underwent can further the understanding of the transitions in higher education, as well the importance of the original ‘modern’ Germany university.