The German major offers courses in literature, culture, and language within a setting that stresses frequent and informal interaction of students with faculty and with visiting German students on campus. Students can study literary greats from Goethe to Kafka, examine fairy tales or popular song texts, and learn about the latest developments in the European Union. Honors students and students who are merely interested have deciphered letters written by 19th-century German immigrants; and all are welcome at weekly informal gatherings where our local German students often form bonds with visiting students from Germany.
The student experience is often expanded by study abroad either at Paderborn or Bonn University. A new major and minor in European Studies offers an expanded context for the study of German.
Why Study German?
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.
Despite its reputation for difficulty, 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.