German Studies Minor

Why Study German

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

Why Study German at Ship

The focus of the German Studies Minor at Shippensburg University 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.

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.

Some reasons to consider a minor in German Studies:

  • Germany has the largest economy in the European Union and fourth largest in the world. German studies can give you a leg up on employment opportunities.
  • 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.
  • For those who are Pennsylvania Dutch, German studies will help them understand their own heritage.

Career Opportunities and Salary Estimates

Knowledge of a language other than English broadens the professional possibilities of anyone, especially if you are proficient in German. The job possibilities range from industry, travel and tourism, service, arts and media, US government to the armed forces. 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. Career opportunities include:

  • German/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/ Flight attendant/Pilot
  • Exchange program coordinator
  • Proofreader

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

Minor Requirements

To earn a minor in German Studies, you must complete a total of 18 credits, including three required courses (12 credits):

One of the following 100-level courses (taught in English):

  • GER150 German Civilization and Culture
  • GER151 German Cinema

One of the following 200-level courses:

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

One of the following 300-level courses:

  • GER 309 German Phonetics
  • GER320 Berlin

One of the following 300-level German Grammar or Composition courses:

  • GER312 German Grammar
  • GER313 Composition and Stylistics

Two additional 200-400 level elective courses, which you may choose 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

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

Student Groups

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.

Contact Information

Modern Languages
109 Rowland Hall, 1871 Old Main Drive, Shippensburg, PA 17257
(717) 477-1635
Department Website