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Enrolling in the Right Course | Credit by Exam | Study Abroad | Kaffeeklatsch | German Culture Club | Library Resources | Departmental Honors | Tutoring | Career Opportunities | UROP

German Studies Program

The German Studies program provides language instruction in line with the national standards of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages proficiency guidelines. In accordance with these guidelines, our curriculum prepares students to communicate in all four modalities: reading, writing, speaking and listening. An oral proficiency exit exam is given to all of our majors at the end of their studies.

Furthermore, we provide instruction in literature, film and culture studies. Our goal and mission is to a) make students familiar with German-speaking cultures (dominant and minority cultures and other global cultures b) provide students with an overview of “high” and “low” literary, visual and cultural texts, and c) to provide them with tools valuable for critical thinking and analysis. To that end our curriculum has been developed to provide an overview of German speaking culture from 800 a.d. until today. All our courses are taught in German.

Our goal is for students to comprehend (via listening and reading), to speak and to write the target language in an advanced U.S. academic setting, so that they can meet the learning objectives and become critical thinkers and informed citizens of the world.

Students wishing to seek teaching licensure are encouraged to finish the liberal arts degree in German Studies and then pursue licensure in a graduate program. The Department will work with students to suggest likely programs.

An Oral Proficiency Exam in German is required for all majors. Usually it is recommended that students take this exam as they are about to graduate. Students should consult with Professor Zinn to have this exam scheduled.

Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements (major and minor)

Enrolling in the Right Course

This table provides you with suggested courses based on your language background. If you have any additional questions concerning what course you should take, please contact a German instructor for more information.

Take this...
if you've...

Beginning German I

(Ger 1101, Fall Semester only)

never before studied German, or taken one year of a German language course in high school.


Beginning German II

(Ger 1102, Spring Semester only)



taken two years of recent high school German language courses.

Intermediate German I

(Ger 1201, Fall Semester only)


taken three years of high school German language courses.

Intermediate German II

(Ger 1202, Spring Semester only)


taken 4 years of high school German language courses

Advanced German

(Ger 2301, Fall Semester only)

taken 4-5 years of high school German language courses.


Students normally follow German 2301 with upper division literature and culture courses.

Credit by Exam

Students who begin their work in Ger 1202 or Ger 2301 and who earn an A or a B have the option to receive credit for the courses they have skipped, beginning with Ger 1201. To receive this credit, students will need to pay to Administration a credit-by-exam fee ($50/credit) and fill out the appropriate forms. Please ask your German Studies instructor how to do this.

Opportunities for German Studies Students

Study Abroad

Students may wish -- and are encouraged -- to study abroad during the summer, during an academic semester, or for an entire year.

Students may enroll in study abroad courses (for zero tuition) while they are away. This allows students to maintain their UMD enrollment and to use their financial aid.

Please check with the International Education Office in Kirby Plaza to learn about specific programs. The Department does offer one program, as seen below:

Our German Studies Program's Study Abroad Program - a three-week program offered in May or January, depending on the year, to Potsdam/Berlin; contact Michael Mullins or other German Studies faculty for more information.

Please visit the International Education website for additional information.

Students taking a break from sightseeing in Potsdam, Germany.



The Kaffeeklatsch offers students the opportunity to speak German--with one another and faculty--in an informal setting at a local pub. The gatherings are the first Friday of the month around 6:00 pm. Please contact one of our German Studies faculty for the location.


Der deutsche Kultur Klub

Please contact Kristen Hylenski ( for information on upcoming events.

Students and alumni enjoying a dinner meeting of the German Club.


Library Resources

If you're looking for books either written in German or that deal with topics in German Studies, please see our library link.

Apart from the UMD Library's German resources, feel free to check out our department's German Library, which holds everything form Goosebumps to Goethe--in German, of course! See Lori in Humanities 457 for access.


Departmental Honors

Students who have achieved a grade point average of 3.30 in all German major courses may be invited by faculty to submit a sample of their work, in order to be considered for departmental honors and to receive a degree with distinction. Please contact the department for further information.


Career Opportunities

Our students who have majored in German Studies enjoy a large variety of career options, including graduate programs in licensure K-12. Please see the Department for further information.

If you are interested in seeing some individual profiles of alumni who have benefitted in both their careers and personal lives because of their German Studies degrees, check out our Featured Alumni on our Alumni page.



Majors are encouraged to participate as tutors for the lower division courses.



Participation in UROP (Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program) is encouraged so that students can work jointly on research topics of mutual interest with a faculty member.



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