German

Why Study German at the UofA?

 

German Header image

Our German program offers solid career opportunities, and we encourage our students to not only study abroad but also work and research abroad.  We partner with Cultural Vistas to help students secure internships abroad in their major fields.  The International Engineering Program allows students to earn both a BS in engineering and a BA in German in just five years, spending their fourth year abroad both studying abroad and working at a German company.  It is one of only three programs of its type in the United States.  We offer internationally recognized proficiency certification to all majors as an official Goethe Institute testing center, which allows our students to prove their abilities to future employers and graduate programs. 

In addition to traditional courses on German language and literature, we teach innovative courses aligned with faculty research that allow students to explore individual topics in greater detail such as: the German Graphic Novel, Professional German, German Cinema, Migration and National Identity, and Germany and the Holocaust: The Significance of the Holocaust in Differentiated Contexts. 

Plus, German is easier than you think!  You are currently reading a Germanic language, English; although it has many loan words from Romance languages, many basic structures and vocab are shared with English.  Try matching German and English in this quick quiz:

A.  I know your uncle.

B.  Anna is learning English.

C.  My sister has blond hair. 

D.  The book is long.

E.  That is an apple. 

1. Das Buch ist lang.

2. Meine Schwester hat blondes Haar.

3. Das ist ein Apfel.

4.  Ich kenne deinen Onkel.

5.  Anna lernt Englisch.


 A=4, B=5, C=2, D=1, E=3.

Kathleen Condray

Kathleen Condray - Associate Professor of German

 

Jennifer Hoyer

Jennifer Hoyer - Section Head of the German Program

 

Brett Sterling

Brett Sterling - Assistant Professor of German

How is German Important Today?

German is the most widely spoken language in Europe, and Germany has a long history as a high tech center that continues today.  The nation is a leader in multiple fields of business and STEM, such as automotive, biotechnology, alternative energy, pharmaceuticals, and computer science, and is the economic driver of the European Union. 

German gives you access to the rich, world-renowned cultural achievements of the German-speaking countries—contributions by names such as Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, Klimt, Goethe, Kafka, Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud are among those you might recognize.  German Americans are the largest heritage group in the US. Kindergarten, Christmas trees, and Levi jeans were all introduced by German-Americans.

UNIQUE ASPECTS OF OUR GERMAN PROGRAM

The International Engineering Program (IEP) gives students the opportunity to earn two degrees in five years—a BS in engineering and a BA in German. It is open to students in all fields of engineering. The program involves a semester at the Technische Universitat Darmstadt (Darmstadt University) in Germany followed by a paid internship in Germany. Interested students should review this page on the College of Engineering website for more information and application instructions.  

UA's IEP is modeled after a similar program at the University of Rhode Island and we greatly appreciate URI's support in launching our IEP.


Additional Major for Other Colleges

Students who are studying in the Walton College of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Education and Health Professions, the Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food, and Life Sciences, and the Jones School of Architecture have another option available known as the additional major (AMGERM). It allows students to add German as an additional major by completing the 24 hours of upper level coursework (3000-5000 level classes) without having to take the other major requirements for the traditional major.  So, for example, this makes it easy for students to double major in German and business, German and engineering, German and hospitality, etc.  

German Honors Society

National German Honors Society

The Arkansas Iota Xi chapter of the National German Honors Society, Delta Phi Alpha was established in 1983.  We have held an annual banquet and initiation every year since, and our membership now includes over 445 members, making us one of the most active chapters in the country.  Students must have an overall B- average, a B+ average in German, be of sophomore standing or above, and have taken at least one junior level class.  

Courses Offered in Our German Program

All of the following courses count for the major and the minor.  Courses are all taught in German with the exception of The Holocaust in Context.  Interested and linguistically-qualified undergraduates are welcome to enroll in 5000 level courses and may do so with permission from Dr. Condray.

Elementary courses stress correct pronunciation, aural comprehension, and simple speaking ability, and lead to active mastery of basic grammar and limited reading ability.

Intermediate courses lead to greater facility in spoken language and to more advanced reading skills.

Affectionately referred to as “German Boot Camp,” since this class will really help get your German into shape.  In fact, this course and its companion course (Advanced German II) are designed to help you pass the Goethe Institute exams, which are internationally-given certification exams that you can list on your resume to prove your level of German proficiency to future employers and graduate schools. 

Students learn higher level vocabulary (the building block of language), how to distinguish between fine shades of meaning, translate texts, and both review grammar and learn new grammar that is used by educated native speakers (what you will encounter when you read newspapers, study abroad at European universities, etc.)

This is a course every student who is thinking about studying, working, or researching abroad should take before he/she goes.  The course will cover how to navigate everyday German life, with chapters on asking directions, the post office, banks, hotels, the workplace, the university, the doctor’s office, cultural events, the weather, shopping (clothing, food), and apartment hunting. 

Students take quizzes on vocabulary appropriate to the chapter and roll-play situations such as ordering from a menu or opening a bank account.  Additionally, periodic conversations on Blackboard allow students to engage in debates virtually.  In an oral mid-term and final, students read a text to show familiarity with pronunciation, roll play situations discussed in class, and discuss themselves and their home country in short speeches.  Especially motivated students can take this course concurrently with GERM 2013 with permission and an override from Dr. Condray 

Elementary courses stress correct pronunciation, aural comprehension, and simple speaking ability, and lead to active mastery of basic grammar and limited reading ability.

Continued development of basic speaking comprehension and writing skills and intensive development of reading skills.

This course could also be called: “Introduction to Reading Literature.”  The course starts off slow, reading just a few pages at a time, until you get used to reading longer passages.  By the end, you’ll be able to read Kafka’s Metamorphosis (Die Verwandlung) in the original.  Assignments include daily reading quizzes (utilizing questions you’ve prepared in advance) and chapter tests on each book. 

The works covered, in addition to Kafka, are a radio play (Frisch), a drama (Dürrenmatt), and a novel (Böll).  Intro to Lit counts toward the major and the minor; plus, you can impress your friends by leaving your homework lying around (“Wow!  Are you reading this whole book in German?”).

Affectionately referred to as “German Boot Camp,” since this class absolutely gets one’s German into shape.  In fact, this course and its companion course (Advanced German I) are designed to help you pass the Goethe Institute exams, which are internationally-given certification exams that you can list on your resume to prove your level of German proficiency to future employers and graduate schools. 

Students learn higher level vocabulary (the building block of language), how to distinguish between fine shades of meaning, translate texts, and both review grammar and learn new grammar that is used by educated native speakers (what you will encounter when you read newspapers, study abroad at European universities, etc.)

Professional & Academic Opportunities for German Speakers