German Studies B.A.
Program Type: Major
Degree: Bachelor of Arts
Department: World Languages and Cultures
German Studies prepares you to be a global citizen. German-speaking countries are global economic leaders, are at the forefront in efforts for sustainable living, are innovators in science and industry, and have a rich artistic and cultural past and present. If you are drawn to in-depth interdisciplinary study of language and culture, have a desire to study or work in international contexts, and are eager to expand your horizons, then German Studies is for you.
- German Studies at UMD offers individual attention, an excellent student-faculty ratio, and the opportunity for mentorship.
- UMD offers all the benefits of a comprehensive university, opening exciting possibilities for double majors and minors, for example, Cultural Entrepreneurship, Environment and Sustainability Studies, and International Studies.
- Students in German Studies at UMD develop strong language proficiency and cultural competence in dynamic courses through hands-on work with and in the language. Those skills enable our students to pursue international study and international careers.
- UMD offers rich opportunities for study abroad. Highlights of the many options available include our exchange program with the University of Passau, and a short-term UMD faculty-led course in Berlin. Scholarships are available to support study abroad, and faculty work closely with students to choose the right program and explore funding opportunities.
Courses are taught in German because language is central to communication, communities, and cultures. Through our active, student-centered classes, you will develop the skills to listen, speak, read, and write in German, while also growing your capacity for critical and creative thinking, oral and written communication skills, digital literacies, and intercultural competence. Learning German strengthens your ability to think in new ways and prepares you for in-depth study. In interdisciplinary courses, you will study literature, film, art, music, history, politics, performance, and new media, learning to connect cultural practices, products, and perspectives.
A degree in German Studies from UMD prepares students for the following careers, among others: diplomacy and foreign service, interpretation and translation, bilingual and intercultural education, international NGOs (United Nations, Peace Corps, VISTA, and Americorps), international business and international law, journalism and international media, linguistics, military service, archival work and museum curation. Ask us about what our recent graduates are doing professionally!
German-speaking cultures increasingly play pivotal roles in international relations, making familiarity with these cultures an important asset in several different career fields. Graduate programs in German-speaking countries value and actively seek applicants with German experience. As key players in global markets, German-speaking countries offer unique international career development opportunities, and because of the special relationship between the US and Germany, many programs are in place to facilitate economic, cultural and intellectual exchange, such as: the German Chancellor Fellowship, Heinrich Böll Foundation Grants, several German Academic Exchange programs, the Émigré Memorial German Internship Program at the German Parliament, the Cultural Vistas Fellowship, and the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange For Young Professionals, among others.
Admissions and Scholarships
CAHSS is proud to be able to offer over 90 alumni and donor funded scholarships to our students each year. In total over $190,000 is awarded out to CAHSS majors and some minors as well. Each department facilitates the process for their specific scholarships and students are also encouraged to apply for CAHSS-wide scholarships offered to students in any field. Some scholarships in the Department of World Languages and Cultures include:
- Alayne and Charles Berkins Scholarship
- Jonathan B. Conant Scholarship
- Frances A Knoblauch Scholarship
- Hax Family Scholarship
With trips, cultural events, hikes, parties, and more, the German Culture Club is a student-run organization for all things related to German language and culture. In addition, club members participate in our German Stammtisch, which gives students and community members a chance to speak German and meet new people in an informal setting.
The German Studies program at UMD has a strong team of engaged, motivated and talented faculty, who are dedicated teachers and researchers. Our faculty members work to create a solid curriculum based in research and in line with national and international standards. Recent highlights include Dr. Dan Nolan’s work with the UMD Mobile Language Learning Group, which develops apps for language learning. (For a brief video introduction, click here.) He also recently developed and taught a new course titled Sustainability in German-speaking Cultures. That course brought German Studies students into contact with members of the Climate Smart Municipalities program. By learning from and contributing to this valuable exchange between five cities in Germany and Minnesota, students were able to see how knowledge of the past and in-depth cultural study can impact the way we work on contemporary issues.