Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria

Undergraduate Program

discover the language, history, literature, politics, and culture of Germany & German-speaking countries

German Studies at WashU

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.

Our department is considered to be one of the finest in the country. Classes are small, thought-provoking, intellectually challenging, and fun, and they are complemented by exciting co-curricular activities. Our faculty members are outstanding, enthusiastic teachers and experienced advisors. In addition to its language program, the German Studies major/minor offers courses which examine important aspects of European culture, art, philosophy, literature, media, and criticism from the Middle Ages to the present. Students also have the opportunity to learn business German and to study the politics, economics, and cultures of contemporary German-speaking countries. 

German Language Study through University College

Non-traditional students interested in German language study have the opportunity to take our language courses through University College and the Summer School


Scenic river view in Tubingen, Germany

study abroad

The Tübingen Year or Semester Abroad Program

The Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen, founded in 1477, is one of the oldest universities in Germany. It is situated in a beautiful town in southwest Germany, just an hour by bus or train from Stuttgart. For a number of years the German department of Washington University has had close ties to the University of Tübingen, exchanging both faculty and students. Students may choose to participate in the year abroad program or the semester abroad program, which is offered every spring semester.

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The Vallendar Business Program

Students interested in business have an opportunity to gain valuable professional experience through the Business School’s Vallendar internship program. Students who attend the language course in Vallendar will receive 3 units of credit on the 300 level.

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The Summer Abroad Program in Berlin

Together with our program partner, IES Abroad, the German Department offers students the opportunity to earn up to 6 Washington University credits in German on all levels by spending seven weeks in Berlin, Germany.

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Rebecca Schultz

I started taking German classes at WashU thinking they would be a fun addition to my course schedule, but enjoyed them so much that I ended up graduating with a second major in German. Everyone in the department is incredibly kind and welcoming and took the time to get to know me not just as a student, but as an individual. Being a part of the German department was a defining aspect of my time at WashU and one of the best decisions I made as an undergraduate.

―Rebecca Schultz LA'18