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German Studies Minor

Our increasingly complicated world makes knowledge of a language other than English invaluable.

German Studies at Ship

The focus of the German Studies Minor is both on the exposure to the language to gain proficiency and on knowledge of the historical, cultural, and political background of Germany. All upper-level courses are taught in German. Other courses are taught in English and may be offered by other departments, including those concerning cultures of the German-speaking world.

Reasons to consider a minor in German Studies:

  • German is spoken everywhere: It ranks number three among foreign languages taught throughout the world and is the second most popular foreign language taught in Europe and Japan, after English. It is also the most widely spoken language in the European Union.
  • Germany is an economic powerhouse: It is the largest economy in the European Union and fourth largest in the world. German studies can give you a leg up on employment opportunities: German companies employ 700,000 people in the United States, and US companies have created a comparable number of jobs in Germany. Many German companies have branches here in Pennsylvania.
  • Germany has been a leader in electronic technology since the 1950s, and Germans maintain a preeminent position on the Internet. With its 8 million Internet subdomains, Germany’s domain .de is second only to the extension .com. German is the second most commonly used language on the Internet.
  • Germany, the land of Dichter und Denker (Writers and Thinkers), has a long and rich cultural heritage. German studies allows you to experience major contributors to Western culture such as Goethe, Kant, Freud and Heidegger, to name only a few, with a greater sense of their cultural context and without the distorting filter of translation.
  • Germany is the third largest publisher of books in the world and an important language to the study of many arts and sciences. You will gain access to many different texts, ranging from historical to literary to scientific, in their original form. It is why 40 percent of scientists in the United States recommend that their students learn German.
  • German studies will also give you direct access to the cultures of Austria, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein, which have produced their own great works and made their own major contributions to Western civilization.
  • For those who are Pennsylvania Dutch, German studies will help them understand their own heritage.

Admission and Degree Requirements

Required (12 credits)

One of the following two classes (taught in English):

  • GER150 German Civilization and Culture
  • GER151 German Cinema

One of the following two courses:

  • GER203 Intermediate German Communication
  • GER204 Ideas and Cultures of the German-Speaking World

Electives (6 credits)
Two additional 200-400 level courses (not already taken above) or courses from the list below in agreement with the director of the German Studies Minor and the instructor of the course.

  • ANT351 Peoples and Cultures of Europe
  • EDU426 Methods of Teaching Foreign Languages
  • GEO305 Geography of Europe
  • HIS330 History of Modern Germany: 1919 to Present
  • HIS357 History of the Holocaust
  • MUS224 Music History and Literature of the Classic and Romantic Eras
  • PHL 105 Introduction to Ethical Theories and Problems

Letter of Completion

Students may earn a German Letter of Completion (12 credits) by completing four approved courses from the minor.

Careers in German Studies

Our increasingly complicated world makes the knowledge of a language other than English invaluable. It also broadens the professional possibilities of anyone who has a proficient knowledge of German. The job possibilities range from industry, travel and tourism, service, arts and media, US government to the armed forces. Career opportunities include:

  • German teacher
  • History teacher
  • Bilingual educator
  • Translator or interpreter
  • Literary researcher or librarian
  • Foreign correspondent
  • Publisher
  • Bilingual administrator
  • FBI or CIA special agent
  • Scientific researcher
  • International lawyer
  • International credit analyst, marketing, or advertising executive
  • Travel agent
  • Exchange program coordinator
  • Flight attendant
  • Pilot
  • Proofreader

Or work in institutions like the World Bank, Department of Defense, or the Department of State.

Get Involved

The German Club is a student run organization with the primary goal of supporting interest in the German language, history, and culture. No prior knowledge of the language is required to join, but if you do speak German, you will find many club members on different levels to practice and converse with in an informal setting. The club consists of monthly meetings, movie nights, and other German cultural events that are organized by club members. During past semesters, the German Club has participated in cultural fairs, taken trips to Washington DC for cultural events, and hosted celebrations for Easter, Christmas, and Oktoberfest.