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Germany is the most influential, most central member of the European Union, and German the most widely spoken native language within that dynamic and important entity.

German is in many ways more closely related to English than most other languages. It provides an access to studies in philosophy, history, music, literature, and many other academic fields. Mastery of German can be important for those whose interest in business focuses on Europe. It is a language spoken not only in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, but also in neighboring countries, especially to the east, where it has a tradition as a lingua franca.

Learning German provides access to many fields of study and activity. Though to some it is the language of a parent or grandparent, German has become a language of choice for many, valued for its expressive and conceptual qualities. Studying abroad in a German-speaking country provides immersive, incomparable experience in an authentic context.

German Programs

  • A castle in Germany.

    German Major

    Offers courses in literature, culture, and language within a setting that stresses frequent and informal interaction of students with faculty.

  • A map of Germany.

    German Teacher Education Major

    Prepares graduates for K-12 teaching while offering a dynamic interdisciplinary approach for exploring the German-speaking world.

  • A vintage postcard of Berlin.

    German Minor

    Explore new career opportunities with a German minor. Learning German provides access to many fields of study and activity.

Resources For You

  • Student Organizations

    Learn more about the benefits of involvement in a registered student organization.

  • Placement Exams

    If you have previous experience in a language offered at Illinois State, you can take our Online Placement Exams.

  • German Faculty

    Meet the professors and professionals with whom you will be working.

  • Grammar Help Desk

    Students are helped on a first-come, first-served basis with questions that they have concerning their language learning.

Explore Your Options

  • Earn Free Credit Hours

    If you took this language in high school, you may be able to begin at a higher level of this language at ISU, making you eligible to earn four to eight hours credit for free. This can amount to more than $2,000 in savings.

    Email us with questions about placement.
  • Partner with Us

    If you love this language and culture as much as we do, let’s chat. We’re happy to visit high school classrooms, show you around our space, and come up with new ideas to celebrate and pass on this language and culture.

    Email Laura Edwards to start a conversation.

German Alumni

Adam Chambers

"The coursework I had done with the German professors at Illinois State had given me a tremendous advantage in rapidly being able to speak and understand the language fluently and hence concentrate on learning more about the country’s culture."

Adam Chambers ’06
German majorAddie CaDavid'12