German, B.S.

Program Code: GERBS_BS

Program Description

The B.S. degree in German is designed to allow students to combine fluency in the German language and culture with other academic disciplines. The German-Business option develops basic German business-communication skills as well as fundamental knowledge of German economics. The German-Engineering and Applied German options have a required overseas study and internship component.

Courses in German literature and culture are essential to all German B.S. options, and students in the German-Business option are encouraged to participate in the University's study abroad programs in Germany.

Applied German Option

This option is designed to provide German majors with a background in an area of study where knowledge of German is useful. In consultation with an adviser, majors in this option are required to either study abroad or do an internship that corresponds with their related area of study.

German Business Option

This option is designed to introduce German majors to the principles of business administration. The curriculum combines an exposure to managerial processes with foreign language competency in German.

German Engineering Option

This option is designed to combine the study of German and Engineering in order to internationalize and enhance the study and practice of the engineering profession. (Open only to students enrolled in an engineering major.)

What is German?

German Studies is an interdisciplinary academic sub-field of the Humanities concerned with the languages, literatures, arts, and politics of German-speaking communities in Europe and across the world (e.g., Pennsylvania Germans). In pursuing each of these areas German Studies intersects with the related fields of linguistics, literary studies, visual studies, and history, respectively.

You Might Like This Program If...

  • You are passionate about the language, literature, and arts in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and other German-speaking regions.
  • You understand the critical role Germany plays in the EU and the world today.
  • Your other major is in one of the numerous other fields in which knowledge of the German language and culture is advantageous, such as Comparative Literature, Philosophy, History, or Political Science.
  • You are considering an academic or professional career requiring knowledge of a foreign language and critical thinking skills.

Entrance to Major

In order to be eligible for entrance to this major, a student must:

  1. attain at least a C (2.00) cumulative grade-point average for all courses taken at the University; and
  2. have third-semester classification.

READ SENATE POLICY 37-30: ENTRANCE TO AND CHANGES IN MAJOR PROGRAMS OF STUDY

Degree Requirements

For the Bachelor of Science degree in German, a minimum of 120 credits is required:

Requirement Credits
General Education 45
Electives 20-23
Requirements for the Major 52-66

0-13 of the 45 credits for General Education are included in the Requirements for the Major. This includes: 0-6 credits of GS courses; 0-3 credits of GWS courses; 0-4 credits of GQ courses.

Per Senate Policy 83-80.5, the college dean or campus chancellor and program faculty may require up to 24 credits of coursework in the major to be taken at the location or in the college or program where the degree is earned. For more information, check the Recommended Academic Plan for your intended program.

General Education

Connecting career and curiosity, the General Education curriculum provides the opportunity for students to acquire transferable skills necessary to be successful in the future and to thrive while living in interconnected contexts. General Education aids students in developing intellectual curiosity, a strengthened ability to think, and a deeper sense of aesthetic appreciation. These are requirements for all baccalaureate students and are often partially incorporated into the requirements of a program. For additional information, see the General Education Requirements section of the Bulletin and consult your academic adviser.

The keystone symbol Keystone/General Education Course appears next to the title of any course that is designated as a General Education course. Program requirements may also satisfy General Education requirements and vary for each program.

Foundations (grade of C or better is required.)

  • Quantification (GQ): 6 credits
  • Writing and Speaking (GWS): 9 credits

Knowledge Domains

  • Arts (GA): 6 credits
  • Health and Wellness (GHW): 3 credits
  • Humanities (GH): 6 credits
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS): 6 credits
  • Natural Sciences (GN): 9 credits

Integrative Studies (may also complete a Knowledge Domain requirement)

  • Inter-Domain or Approved Linked Courses: 6 credits

University Degree Requirements

First Year Engagement

All students enrolled in a college or the Division of Undergraduate Studies at University Park, and the World Campus are required to take 1 to 3 credits of the First-Year Seminar, as specified by their college First-Year Engagement Plan.

Other Penn State colleges and campuses may require the First-Year Seminar; colleges and campuses that do not require a First-Year Seminar provide students with a first-year engagement experience.

First-year baccalaureate students entering Penn State should consult their academic adviser for these requirements.

Cultures Requirement    

6 credits are required and may satisfy other requirements

  • United States Cultures: 3 credits
  • International Cultures: 3 credits

Writing Across the Curriculum

3 credits required from the college of graduation and likely prescribed as part of major requirements.

Total Minimum Credits

A minimum of 120 degree credits must be earned for a baccalaureate degree. The requirements for some programs may exceed 120 credits. Students should consult with their college or department adviser for information on specific credit requirements.

Quality of Work

Candidates must complete the degree requirements for their major and earn at least a 2.00 grade-point average for all courses completed within their degree program.

Limitations on Source and Time for Credit Acquisition

The college dean or campus chancellor and program faculty may require up to 24 credits of course work in the major to be taken at the location or in the college or program where the degree is earned. Credit used toward degree programs may need to be earned from a particular source or within time constraints (see Senate Policy 83-80). For more information, check the Suggested Academic Plan for your intended program.

Requirements for the Major

A grade of C or better is required for all courses in the major. To graduate, a student enrolled in the major must earn at least a C grade in each course designated by the major as a C-required course, as specified by Senate Policy 82-44.

Common Requirements for the Major (All Options)

Prescribed Courses
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
GER 301Intermediate Speaking and Listening3
GER 302WIntermediate Composition and Grammar3
GER 310Introduction to the Study of German Literature3
GER 344Intermediate German Culture3
GER 401YAdvanced Composition3
Additional Courses
Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better
GER 201Conversation and Composition4
or GER 208Y Business German
GER 431History of German Literature and Culture I3
or GER 432 History of German Literature and Culture II
Requirements for the Option
Requirements for the Option: Require a grade of C or better
Select an option30-44

Requirements for the Option

Applied German Option (30 credits)
Prescribed Courses
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
GER 200NContemporary German Culture Keystone/General Education Course3
GER 399Foreign Study--German3
GER 499Foreign Study--German3
Supporting Courses and Related Areas
Supporting Courses and Related Areas: Require a grade of C or better
Select 18 credits in related areas such as Hospitality Management, Linguistics, Applied Linguistics, Sociology, Economics, Science, Technology and Society, or in another professional area where competency in German is desirable. The courses are to be selected in consultation with an adviser. At least 6 credits of such courses must be at the 400 level.18
Select 3 credits in German at the 300 or 400 level3

Note: A work experience in a German-speaking country may be substituted for GER 399 or GER 499. The work experience may take the form of an internship (LA 495 or GER 495). If the number of work-experience credits for which a student registered is less than 6, the difference in the number of credits must be earned by taking additional courses in consultation with the Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures.

German Business Option (44 credits)
Prescribed Courses
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
ACCTG 211Financial and Managerial Accounting for Decision Making4
BA 301Finance3
BA 303Marketing3
BA 304Management and Organization3
ECON 102Introductory Microeconomic Analysis and Policy Keystone/General Education Course3
ECON 104Introductory Macroeconomic Analysis and Policy Keystone/General Education Course3
ENGL 202DEffective Writing: Business Writing Keystone/General Education Course3
GER 308YGerman Business Communication3
GER 408Advanced German Business Communications3
IB 303International Business Operations3
IB 403International Business and National Policies3
Additional Courses
Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better
SCM 200Introduction to Statistics for Business Keystone/General Education Course4
or STAT 200 Elementary Statistics Keystone/General Education Course
Select 3 credits from:3
International Economics Keystone/General Education Course
International Management
Global Marketing
Select an additional 3 credits of German courses at the 400 level3
German Engineering Option (33 credits)

Open only to students enrolled in an engineering major.

Prescribed Courses
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
GER 308YGerman Business Communication3
GER 399Foreign Study--German3
GER 408Advanced German Business Communications3
GER 499Foreign Study--German3
Supporting Courses and Related Areas
Supporting Courses and Related Areas: Require a grade of C or better
Select 21 credits of engineering courses in consultation with the engineering adviser21

Integrated B.S. in German and M.I.A. in International Affairs

Requirements for the Integrated B.S. in German and M.I.A. in International Affairs can be found in the Graduate Bulletin.

Program Learning Objectives

  • Students will have developed oral skills in German that allow them to communicate efficiently in a range of settings from informal to professional.
  • Students will have developed literacy skills that allow them to both read and write in German. Majors should be able to read and interpret a variety of media ranging from newspapers to literary texts to formal academic prose.
  • Students will have developed an understanding of the structure of the German language.
  • Students will have developed an understanding of the significance of the major cultural and historical events, personages and developments in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.
  • Students will be familiar with major authors and literary works in German.

Academic Advising

The objectives of the university’s academic advising program are to help advisees identify and achieve their academic goals, to promote their intellectual discovery, and to encourage students to take advantage of both in-and out-of class educational opportunities in order that they become self-directed learners and decision makers.

Both advisers and advisees share responsibility for making the advising relationship succeed. By encouraging their advisees to become engaged in their education, to meet their educational goals, and to develop the habit of learning, advisers assume a significant educational role. The advisee's unit of enrollment will provide each advisee with a primary academic adviser, the information needed to plan the chosen program of study, and referrals to other specialized resources.

READ SENATE POLICY 32-00: ADVISING POLICY

University Park

Liberal Arts Academic Advising
814-865-2545
Use the Liberal Arts Majors and Minors web page to see the contact information for the specific adviser(s) of this program

Suggested Academic Plan

The suggested academic plan(s) listed on this page are the plan(s) that are in effect during the 2021-22 academic year. To access previous years' suggested academic plans, please visit the archive to view the appropriate Undergraduate Bulletin edition (Note: the archive only contain suggested academic plans beginning with the 2018-19 edition of the Undergraduate Bulletin).

Applied German Option: German, B.S. at University Park Campus and Commonwealth Campuses

The course series listed below provides only one of the many possible ways to move through this curriculum. The University may make changes in policies, procedures, educational offerings, and requirements at any time. This plan should be used in conjunction with your degree audit (accessible in LionPATH as either an Academic Requirements or What If report). Please consult with a Penn State academic adviser on a regular basis to develop and refine an academic plan that is appropriate for you.

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
GER 14GER 24
ENGL 15, 30H, 137H, CAS 137H, or ESL 153CAS 100A, 100B, or 100C3
General Education Course (N)3General Education Course (GQ)3
General Education Course3General Education Course (N)3
First Year Seminar (FYS)3General Education Course3
 16 16
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
GER 34GER 201 or 208Y (IL)*4
Applied Option Course, in consultation with adviser*3Applied Option Course, in consultation with adviser*3
General Education Course (GQ)3GER 200N (GH;IL)*3
General Education Course3General Education Course3
General Education Course3US Cultures Course (US)3
 16 16
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
GER 301 (IL)*3GER 401Y (IL)*3
GER 302W*3GER 344 (IL)*3
Applied Option Course, in consultation with adviser*3GER 399 (IL)*3
Applied Option Course, in consultation with adviser*3GER 499 (IL)*3
General Education Course3General Education Course3
 15 15
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
GER 310 (IL)*3Select 3 credits of 300- or 400- level courses in GER, in consultation with adviser*3
GER 431 or 432 (IL)*3400-level applied option course, in consultation with adviser*3
400-level Applied Option Course, in consultation with adviser*3General Education Course (GHW)1.5
ENGL 202 (GWS)3Elective3
General Education Course (GHW)1.5Elective2
 13.5 12.5
Total Credits 120

University Requirements and General Education Notes:

US and IL are abbreviations used to designate courses that satisfy University Requirements (United States and International Cultures).

W, M, X, and Y are the suffixes at the end of a course number used to designate courses that satisfy University Writing Across the Curriculum requirement.

GWS, GQ, GHW, GN, GA, GH, and GS are abbreviations used to identify General Education program courses. General Education includes Foundations (GWS and GQ) and Knowledge Domains (GHW, GN, GA, GH, GS, and Integrative Studies). Foundations courses (GWS and GQ) require a grade of ‘C’ or better.

Integrative Studies courses are required for the General Education program. N is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate an Inter-Domain course and Z is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate a Linked course.

All incoming Schreyer Honors College first-year students at University Park will take ENGL 137H/CAS 137H in the fall semester and ENGL 138T/CAS 138T in the spring semester. These courses carry the GWS designation and replace both ENGL 30H and CAS 100. Each course is 3 credits.

Advising Notes:

  • All incoming freshmen must take a First-Year Seminar (FYS) during Fall or Spring of their first year. Academic advisers can provide a list of FYS being offered and help the student enroll.  Most FYS in the College of the Liberal Arts are worth 3 cr. and count as a General Humanities (GH) or General Social Sciences (GS) course. For this reason, the FYS is not listed separately on this eight-semester plan; most students will be able to fulfill the FYS requirement while also fulfilling a GH or GS requirement.
  • Students pursuing this major at a Commonwealth Campus might require summer attendance, study abroad, or additional semesters to complete the major coursework. Students should contact the University Park adviser to plan their major courses accordingly.

German Business Option: German, B.S. at University Park Campus and Commonwealth Campuses

The course series listed below provides only one of the many possible ways to move through this curriculum. The University may make changes in policies, procedures, educational offerings, and requirements at any time. This plan should be used in conjunction with your degree audit (accessible in LionPATH as either an Academic Requirements or What If report). Please consult with a Penn State academic adviser on a regular basis to develop and refine an academic plan that is appropriate for you.

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
GER 14GER 24
ENGL 15, 30H, 137H, CAS 137H, or ESL 15 (GWS)3CAS 100A, 100B, 100C, 138T, or ENGL 138T (GWS)3
ECON 102 (GS)*‡†3ECON 104 (GS)*‡†3
General Education Course (GQ)3General Education Course (N)3
General Education Course (FYS)3General Education Course3
 16 16
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
GER 34GER 201 or 208Y (IL)*4
BA 301*3ACCTG 211*4
STAT 200 (GQ)*‡†4BA 303*3
General Education Course (N)3General Education Course3
General Education Course (GHW)1.5 
 15.5 14
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
GER 301*3GER 310*3
GER 302W*3GER 401Y*3
ENGL 202D (GWS)*†‡3ECON 333, MGMT 461, or MKTG 445*3
BA 304*3General Education Course3
General Education Course3Elective3
 15 15
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
IB 303*3GER 408 (IL)*3
GER 344*3GER 431 or 432*3
GER 308Y*3IB 403*3
General Education Course (GHW)1.5Elective3
Elective (US)3Elective3
 13.5 15
Total Credits 120

University Requirements and General Education Notes:

US and IL are abbreviations used to designate courses that satisfy University Requirements (United States and International Cultures).

W, M, X, and Y are the suffixes at the end of a course number used to designate courses that satisfy University Writing Across the Curriculum requirement.

GWS, GQ, GHW, GN, GA, GH, and GS are abbreviations used to identify General Education program courses. General Education includes Foundations (GWS and GQ) and Knowledge Domains (GHW, GN, GA, GH, GS, and Integrative Studies). Foundations courses (GWS and GQ) require a grade of ‘C’ or better.

Integrative Studies courses are required for the General Education program. N is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate an Inter-Domain course and Z is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate a Linked course.

All incoming Schreyer Honors College first-year students at University Park will take ENGL 137H/CAS 137H in the fall semester and ENGL 138T/CAS 138T in the spring semester. These courses carry the GWS designation and replace both ENGL 30H and CAS 100. Each course is 3 credits.

Advising Notes:

  • Students pursuing this major at a Commonwealth Campus might require summer attendance, study abroad, or additional semesters to complete the major coursework. Students should contact the University Park adviser to plan their major courses accordingly.

German Engineering Option: German, B.S. at University Park Campus and Commonwealth Campuses

The course series listed below provides only one of the many possible ways to move through this curriculum. The University may make changes in policies, procedures, educational offerings, and requirements at any time. This plan should be used in conjunction with your degree audit (accessible in LionPATH as either an Academic Requirements or What If report). Please consult with a Penn State academic adviser on a regular basis to develop and refine an academic plan that is appropriate for you.

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
GER 14GER 24
ENGL 15, 30H, 137H, CAS 137H, or ESL 15 (GWS)3CAS 100A, 100B, 100C, 138T, or ENGL 138T (GWS)3
General Education Course3General Education Course3
General Education Course (GQ)3General Education Course (N)3
General Education Course (FYS)3General Education Course3
 16 16
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
GER 34GER 201 or 208Y (IL)*4
Engineering Course*13Elective (US)3
General Education Course (GQ)3Engineering Course*13
General Education Course (N)3Engineering Course*13
General Education Course (GHW) 1.5General Education Course3
 14.5 16
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
GER 301*3GER 399*3
GER 302W*3GER 499*3
ENGL 202 (GWS)3GER 310*3
Engineering Course*13Engineering Course*13
General Education Course3Engineering Course*13
 15 15
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
GER 401Y*3GER 408 (IL)*3
GER 344*3GER 431 or 432*3
GER 308Y*3Engineering Course*13
General Education Course (GHW)1.5Engineering Course*13
Elective3Elective3
 13.5 15
Total Credits 121

University Requirements and General Education Notes:

US and IL are abbreviations used to designate courses that satisfy University Requirements (United States and International Cultures).

W, M, X, and Y are the suffixes at the end of a course number used to designate courses that satisfy University Writing Across the Curriculum requirement.

GWS, GQ, GHW, GN, GA, GH, and GS are abbreviations used to identify General Education program courses. General Education includes Foundations (GWS and GQ) and Knowledge Domains (GHW, GN, GA, GH, GS, and Integrative Studies). Foundations courses (GWS and GQ) require a grade of ‘C’ or better.

Integrative Studies courses are required for the General Education program. N is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate an Inter-Domain course and Z is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate a Linked course.

All incoming Schreyer Honors College first-year students at University Park will take ENGL 137H/CAS 137H in the fall semester and ENGL 138T/CAS 138T in the spring semester. These courses carry the GWS designation and replace both ENGL 30H and CAS 100. Each course is 3 credits.

Advising Notes:

  • Students pursuing this major at a Commonwealth Campus might require summer attendance, study abroad, or additional semesters to complete the major coursework. Students should contact the University Park adviser to plan their major courses accordingly.

Career Paths

German is one of the three official working languages of the European Union, and it is the most widely spoken native language in Europe. A degree in German opens up doors to a variety of careers in the US government and military, international business, international relations, international law, human rights, information technology, professional translation, publishing, education, the travel industry, and more. A number of our graduates have been awarded Fulbright and DAAD grants, and some have gone on to pursue graduate degrees in German Studies or related fields (Comparative Literature, Linguistics).

Contact

University Park

DEPARTMENT OF GERMANIC AND SLAVIC LANGUAGES AND LITERATURES
442 Burrowes Building
University Park, PA 16802
814-865-5481
psugerman@psu.edu

http://german.la.psu.edu/