Program overview

NeuschwansteinWe offer undergraduate majors and minors as well as the M.A. degree in German. Undergraduate courses offered include elementary and intermediate German, advanced grammar and composition, conversation, civilization, introduction to literature, current events courses, as well as special topics such as Literary Responses to the Holocaust, German Film, or Multicultural Germany. Many undergraduates choose to double major in German and European Studies, International Relations, or History, which also enjoy strong programs at the U of A. Graduate students take advanced literature courses and can take courses in educational technology and literary theory and gain first-hand experience as teaching assistants at the elementary and intermediate levels. Incoming freshman should inquire about the premiere Sturgis and Bodenhammer fellowships for students with superior academic records, as well as the 75 new honors college scholarships, all valued at $50,000 each. This scholarship money can be used at the student’s discretion for funding study abroad, buying new computer equipment, etc.

Students are encouraged to work, study, or research abroad for a year, semester, or summer. The U of A has a direct affiliation with programs in Graz, Regensburg, Holzkirchen, Eutin, and Lüneburg, and students have also studied in Vienna, Munich, Freiburg, and Berlin in cooperation with the undergraduate advisor. Each year, students of German receive thousands of dollars in scholarships for study abroad.  Students of all majors work in Germany or Switzerland on paid summer (or longer) internships through either the ICE or CDS programs; our students have held internships at BMW, Volkswagen, Daimler-Chrysler, Kärcher, and a leading chemical engineering firm.  Students majoring in biology, chemistry, physics, earth sciences and engineering are encouraged to apply for the competitive RISE fellowships of the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Program), in which fellows work in paid summer positions in German doctoral laboratories.

The program has many extracurricular opportunities including a weekly Stammtisch where faculty, students, and local native speakers gather to converse in German, and cultural programs such as film screenings and lectures. The U of A is also a testing site for the international German certification exams of the Goethe Institute.  Students from other universities are also welcome to take these exams at the U of A, which are conducted every spring. The U of A also has its own chapter of Delta Phi Alpha, the national German honors society.

While at the U of A, German students regularly receive state, national, and international competitive grants and awards.   Nineteen U of A German students have received Fulbrights or their Austrian equivalents to teach or research abroad in the arts and humanities over the last seven years, and our students in the sciences are also regularly awarded DAAD grants to work in German doctoral laboratories, including those conducting alternative energy research.

Our graduates have gone on to graduate study or careers in numerous fields such as German studies, teaching, economics, science, mathematics, and political science.   Graduate alumni are employed as high school teachers and university professors of German, are working in the business community in the United States and abroad, and have gone on to study in doctorate programs at the University of Chicago, George Washington University, Indiana University, the University of Illinois, the University of Massachusetts, the University of Texas, the University of Washington, and Washington University.