Students study the German language and German culture for a variety of reasons. Some are most interested in reading classic works of literature and philosophy in the original language; others are preparing for a career in international business, law, or diplomacy; still others are simply fascinated by the challenge of mastering a foreign language and immersing oneself in another culture. Whatever your particular interest, you will be well served by the breadth of our course offerings as well as by the department’s many opportunities for study abroad and co-curricular involvement. For more information about these opportunities, please contact Matt Erlin or Cecily Hawksworth.
Here are a few more specific reasons to consider a German major or minor:
. . . to be exposed to books and works of art that will change your life
Many of the world's most important works of literature, philosophy, cinema, music and art were created in German-speaking countries, and we study them in our courses.
. . . to make the most of your undergraduate experience
Our department is considered to be one of the finest in the country. Our faculty members are outstanding, enthusiastic teachers and experienced advisors. Our classes are small, thought-provoking, intellectually challenging, and fun, and they are complemented by exciting co-curricular activities.
. . . to become a better writer and public speaker
Upon the completion of a German major or minor, you will not only be able to communicate with the 120 million native speakers of German, you will also be able to express yourself with greater clarity and precision in your native tongue. Learning a foreign language is not simply a question of learning new vocabulary and grammar; it also requires one to think about how different languages work and to understand their unique qualities. The challenge of expressing complex ideas in German will help you to develop a sense of how both English and German can be use effectively in oral and written communication.
. . . to become a citizen of the world
A knowledge of German enables you to experience the rich and individually unique cultures of Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein. We offer study abroad programs in Göttingen, Tübingen and Koblenz to get you overseas. In addition, a variety of organizations in the U. S. and abroad provide students and young adults with opportunities to study or work in German-speaking countries. Many of our majors have received fellowships to spend a year overseas after graduation.
. . . to gain a valuable edge in your job search
Familiarity with a foreign language and culture can give you a vital edge in a competitive global economy. The Federal Republic of Germany is America’s largest trading partner in Europe and its third largest trading partner in the world. More that 1,100 companies from German-speaking countries have subsidiaries in the U.S. and more than 750 U.S. companies do business in Germany. Students interested in business have an opportunity to gain valuable professional experience through the Business School’s Koblenz internship program.
. . . to develop a better grasp of major political and social issues
The relationship between United States and Europe has shaped recent history and continues to have an huge impact on world events. A German major can help you develop a better understanding of this impact and prepare you to play a future role in shaping it. A number of our graduates have gone on to positions with governmental and non-profit organizations that focus on German-speaking countries.