German, Minor

Program Code: GER_UMNR

Program Description

The German minor is designed for students who want to study the language, literature, and culture of German-speaking countries in order to broaden their horizons and meet an increasing demand for people with foreign language skills and international expertise. German is one of the most important languages in Western Europe, being the mother tongue of approximately 100 million Europeans, and in the countries of Eastern Europe it is the most important foreign language of business and commerce.

The Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures offers a wide array of courses in German language, literature and culture as well as in professional and business German, allowing students great independence in shaping their own academic program. Students are encouraged to take advantage of Penn State's study abroad opportunities, which include semester and year programs in Freiburg, Berlin, and Vienna plus summer and year programs in Marburg.

The German minor opens employment opportunities for its graduates in fields and professions where proficiency in one or more foreign languages is desirable or required, i.e., secondary and higher education, government, business, the media, and public relations.

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.

Program Requirements

Requirement Credits
Requirements for the Minor 19

Requirements for the Minor

All courses in the minor must be taught in German.

A grade of C or better is required for all courses in the minor, as specified by Senate Policy 59-10. In addition, at least six credits of the minor must be unique from the prescribed courses required by a student's major(s).

Prescribed Courses
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
GER 301Intermediate Speaking and Listening3
GER 302WIntermediate Composition and Grammar3
Additional Courses
Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better
GER 201Conversation and Composition4
or GER 208Y
Select one of the following:3
German Business Communication
Introduction to the Study of German Literature
Intermediate German Culture
Supporting Courses and Related Areas
Supporting Courses and Related Areas: Require a grade of C or better
Select 6 credits of 400-level GER courses6

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.


University Park

Liberal Arts Academic Advising
Use the Liberal Arts Meet the Academic Advisers web page to see the contact information for the specific adviser(s) of this program

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.


University Park

442 Burrowes Building
University Park, PA 16802