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German and German Studies Major and Minor

Two options: a German Major or a German Studies Major

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Developing a familiarity with other languages and cultures is an essential part of an undergraduate education. We live in a smaller world today than we did in the past, and we are in constant contact with people from other countries. The ability to think globally is a distinct advantage.

Why choose a German major or a German Studies major?

  • German is essential for advanced study in European history and politics, art history, philosophy, literature, and economics.
  • As the dominant partner in the European Union, Germany is an economic superpower, with an economy only slightly less powerful than those of the U.S. and Japan.
  • German investment in the U.S. has been growing dramatically in recent years. Now over 1,100 companies in German-speaking countries have subsidiaries here.
  • German is the world's second most frequently used business language. It is also commonly used as a second language in developing countries of Eastern Europe.
  • Knowledge of German provides access to some of the world's most fascinating cultures as well as their monuments of music, science, literature, philosophy, and art.
  • German students have wonderful opportunities for working or studying abroad during and after they graduate. These opportunities include opportunities through Fulbright, DAAD, Goethe Institut, and many others.

Is studying abroad an option for the German major and the German Studies major?

Yes, indeed. We even require a year for the German major, and a semester for the German Studies major.

Why study abroad? Because we at Linfield believe in the importance of first-hand knowledge of other cultures, we require that all German majors and German Studies majors spend time abroad. During this time you will not only come to appreciate the benefits of learning a second language, but also gain valuable insights into the culture of a German-speaking country.

Note: the year abroad as a German major is usually spent in two consecutive semesters. With special permission it can combine two semesters in different years.

The semester abroad for German Studies majors is usually spent in fall at Linfield's program in Vienna, Austria.

Where can I get information about possible study abroad programs for German majors?

You can always speak with us, the German department members, Prof. Peter Richardson and Prof. Gudrun Hommel.

Here are also five pre-approved programs recommended for German majors by the Department of Modern Languages (Walker Hall, 3rd floor) and the International Programs Office (Melrose, Room 025):

  • Heidelberg College (Heidelberg)
  • Wayne State University (Munich)
  • IES (Freiburg)
  • Brethren Colleges Abroad (Marburg)
  • Bowling Green State University (Salzburg)

Speak with your German professors to see which of these programs might be best for you. Then contact the program itself for information, application forms, and financial aid applications.Your German professor will also talk to you about credit transfer, and other matters that should be addressed before studying abroad.

If none of these programs meets your needs, you are welcome to check the books entitled "Academic Year Abroad" and "Peterson's Study Abroad," available in the Department of Modern Languages and the International Programs Office. Entries in these sources are usually organized by country and then by city. You can also check web sites such as "studyabroad.com", "petersons.com", and "iie.org.""
Be sure to speak with other German students who have studied abroad and are eager to share information about the programs they attended. Also check the files in the Department of Modern Languages for questionnaires filled out by past participants.

German Club

Financial Aid

Linfield Application for Financial Aid; FAFSA; Consortium Agreement (Linfield pays 80% of program's tuition; you may Linfield tuition. You get to use your Linfield and federal financial aid, and airfare up to a certain amount is paid by International Programs) OR Leave of Absence (You get to use your federal financial aid, but Linfield does not pay any fees or airfare. You don't pay Linfield tuition and you pay your own airfare.)

The German Major

 For a major in German: 40 credits in language courses numbered 202 and above, including MDLA380 and 483 (Advanced Cross-Cultural Seminar). By departmental invitation, students may substitute MLGR490 (Honor Thesis) for 483.

Two semesters of study abroad are required, normally yielding at least 20 of the 40 required credits. For entering students who place into a 300-level course, the department will waive four of the 40 credits required for the major.

Candidates for the major who have spent a year abroad before coming to Linfield may need to study only one more semester in a foreign country. This depends on their proficiency and placement when entering Linfield, which must be determined by the Linfield language faculty.

In order to facilitate the advising process for study abroad, students are urged to make their tentative plans for a language major or minor known to the faculty as soon as possible. 

You and your advisor will also work with the department's "Majors Manual", a handbook that helps map out the path to your major.

The German Minor

Courses counting toward the 20-hour minor begin with MLGR202, the fourth semester of study, and include topics in language, literature, and culture. Minors are required to study abroad for one semester. Study during fall semester at Linfield's study abroad campus in Vienna, Austria, satisfies this part of the minor requirement. (Participation in a January term study/travel course does not count.) For a minor in German, students may count up to 12 credits taken in Austria (5 credits of German in the fall semester, 4 credits of Austrian Cultural History, and 3 credits of Austrian Music.) All students must take a language course at the 300 level on the home campus to complete the minor.

The German Studies Major and Minor

The German Studies major and minor aim to foster in students the integrative perspective of a range of academic disciplines from the arts and humanities and the social sciences. Central to the German Studies program are cooperation and collaboration among departments, the insistence on a high level of German language proficiency, a significant study abroad experience (at least one semester), and the opportunity for an internship abroad.

For a major in German Studies: 40 credits including MLGR 202; 212 or 312; 301; 302; MDLA 483 or MLGR 490; four years of German, or equivalent level of proficiency (ACTFL Intermediate High); and 18-20 credits taken abroad in addition to course work in associated departments on the Linfield campus. One semester or more of study abroad or possible internship.

For a minor in German Studies: 27 credits including MLGR 202; 212 or 312; 301 and 9-12 credits taken abroad in addition to course work in associated departments on the Linfield campus. One semester or more of study abroad or possible internship.