German Studies Program

Fourth Floor, Stein Hall
Phone: 508-793-3305
Fax: 508-793-3708

Coordinator of German Studies: Sylvia Schmitz-Burgard
Administrative Assistant: Carolyn Leeman

The German Program is housed in the Department of World Languages, Literatures, and Cultures.

Why German Studies?

German is the most widely spoken language in the European Union. Since its inaugural year in 1951, the EU has grown to be 28 members strong and offers many opportunities for both cultural and economic endeavors. German is the native language in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and Luxemburg.

German is a key business language, especially in the rapidly growing markets of Central and Eastern Europe. In addition, over 1,100 German companies maintain subsidiaries in the U.S. and thus offer international career opportunities to students of German.

Goethe, Kafka, Mann, Kant, Nietzsche and Freud wrote in German. Bach, Beethoven, and Wagner drew on German history and culture for their compositions. Gropius shaped international style with his departure from Germanic architectural eclecticism. Klimt, Schiele, Kokoschka, Kiefer left their mark on art. German directors, including Wilder, Lang, Fassbinder, and Petersen, have had an impact on Hollywood.

Double Major

Foreign languages lie at the very heart of the broader liberal arts curriculum and language study is a vehicle for the understanding of the cultural worldview of speakers of other languages. As such, students who major in German Studies frequently major in another academic discipline. Popular majors include economics, history, music, philosophy, and political science.

Foreign Language Assistants

In addition to classroom learning, students continue to practice German in small practice sessions led by German foreign language assistants (FLAs). The FLAs reinforce classroom lessons through interactive activities and offer a direct insight into contemporary German culture.