German Waterfront

UE's German program provides challenging courses in the language, culture, and literature of German-speaking countries.

The German faculty works closely with each German major and minor in and out of the classroom to ensure both his/her academic and experiential learning success. Students have input in course topics, have the opportunity to work as supplemental teaching instructors, and pick from a variety of approved study abroad semesters in Germany, Austria, or Switzerland. Students also have the opportunity to collaborate in research with Dr. Pleasant, a 2017-2018 UE Global Scholar.

Students develop their target language skills in speaking, listening, reading, and writing, in addition to their overall critical thinking and writing skills, as well as their intercultural competency and leadership skills through their course work at UE and during their Study Abroad. German majors are encouraged to pursue a minor or a second major in a related field such as international studies, political science, environmental studies, archaeology, English, education, philosophy, psychology, biology, history, or global business.

Students of German at UE obtain a deeper understanding of German culture and civilization through their course work and through their cultural immersion in a required study abroad program in Germany, Austria, or Switzerland; complete a capstone thesis project related to a German-speaking country of their choice during FLC 401; and develop professional competencies via course work, study abroad opportunities, and the completion of the ACE certificate. Students are encouraged to participate in an internship abroad.

The program’s rigorous yet supportive environment prepares students for the demands of successful careers in a wide variety of fields including education, government, international studies, and business, as well as for graduate work in their chosen specialization, be it German studies, international studies, peace studies, comparative literature, etc.

Benefits for UE German Students

  • Close interaction with faculty, small class sizes, tailor-made independent studies and courses.
  • Great study abroad opportunities.
  • Internship opportunities abroad.
  • Experience of working as a UE supplemental instructor helping German students in the lower level classes while also earning money.
  • Opportunity to collaborate on research with Dr. Pleasant.
  • Potential nomination for Phi Sigma Iota, the International Foreign Languages honor society, membership.
  • Possibility of winning the Outstanding German Student of the Year award.
  • Club leadership positions available.

Career Opportunities

Alumni from the German program have used the skills they gained at UE to succeed in graduate school in German studies, English literature, international studies, peace studies, as well as professional work in the US and abroad. In addition, all German education majors in the past decade have successfully found teaching jobs.

Some answers to the proverbial: What do I do with a German major? It’s the plus that gets you to the job! Type in German skill/multilingual in a job search engine and see what comes up!

Become a/an:

  • Mechanical engineer with German language skills
  • Project manager with German language skills
  • Account manager with German language skills
  • Market researcher with German language skills
  • Videogame tester with German language skills
  • Peace Corps officer with German language skills
  • Human Resources officer for a German company with a US branch
  • Archaeologist with German language skills
  • Media curator with German language skills
  • International Brand manager of American company in German speaking country
  • Media Relations Manager for an NGO
  • Bilingual Social Analyst
  • Chamber of Commerce IT manager with German language skills
  • Copywriter with German language skills
  • International lawyer
  • Translation Project Manager with German language skills
  • Chemist with German language skills
  • Biologist with German language skills
  • Your dream job with German language skills
  • Etc.

Citing “an emerging consensus among leaders in business and politics, teachers, scientists, and community members that proficiency in English is not sufficient to meet the nation’s needs in a shrinking world, nor the needs of individual citizens who interact with other peoples and cultures more than at any other time in human history,” the 2017 America’s Languages: Investing in Language Education for the 21st Century -- a report from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences Commission on Language Learning, argues that knowledge of other languages, including German, is critical for the nation’s future in terms of economic and intellectual productivity, security, and intercultural competence. It concludes that “[t]he ability to understand, speak, read, and write in world languages, in addition to English, is critical to success in business, research, and international relations in the twenty-first century.” In addition, the report urges Americans “to value language education as a persistent national need similar to education in math or English.” (Executive Summary)

Study Abroad opportunities in Germany and Austria

Work with Dr. Pleasant and with the Office of Study Abroad to find the best study abroad program for you! Recent graduates have attended:


Work with Dr. Pleasant, the Center of Career Services, as well as the study abroad program of your choice to expand your professional development via an internship abroad. Depending on the responsibilities of the internship, students can gain:

  • Academic credit when the internship satisfies the requirements for FL 420.
  • Professional experience that bolsters their resumes
  • Practice using their target language, their critical thinking, their communicative, their intercultural, and their leadership skills outside of the classroom
  • The opportunity to network abroad

BA in German

The German major is designed for students who want a solid liberal arts background in the language, literature, and cultures of German-speaking countries. Along with the regular literature and cultural survey courses, special topic courses include: The Alps; German, Austrian, and Swiss Krimis; Medieval Epics; Monsters in German film; the clown/fool figure in literature and film; the language crisis; German theater and drama; German science fiction; and South America through German eyes.

Independent Studies have included Fundschichten tailored to archaeology majors; a course focusing on prion research in German for a biology major interested in Mad Cow Disease; a German script writing course; East German Women Writers; and Germans in Russia.

BS in German Education

Want a job after graduation? There is a need for qualified German teachers from K-12 across the nation and in Indiana! According to America’s Languages: Investing in Language Education for the 21st Century, the 2017 American Academy of Arts and Sciences Commission on Language Learning Report, 44 states are in critical need of world language teachers, including German teachers. Read the report’s executive summary.

Students opting for German education degrees also have departmental requirements in addition to courses required by the School of Education. In the past decade, all of our German education students who have sought teaching jobs upon graduation have been successful. A principal who hired a recent German education major praised the “high level of excellence in the work and training that is going on at UE!”

You have taken German courses at UE and think you want to teach, but it is too late to finish the BS in German Education? No problem! There are alternative routes to certification. Look at UE’s Transition to Teaching!

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Office Location:
Room 350, Olmsted Administration Hall