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 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, English shares many sentence structures and vocabulary with German. 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.
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 the automotive, biotechnology, alternative energy, pharmaceuticals, and computer science sectors, and the German economy drives the European Union.
German additionally 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
International Engineering 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. Students spend their fourth year studying abroad for a
semester at the Technische Universität Darmstadt (Technical University of Darmstadt) followed by a paid internship with a German company.
Interested students should review this page on the College of Engineering website for more information and application instructions.
Language Proficiency Certification
The Goethe Institut Exams are part of the European Union's Common Framework of Reference for Languages. The
administration of the exams is supported by the German government in over 130 countries
around the world and offers concrete proof of proficiency to future employers and
graduate schools. As one of the largest testing sites in the entire southern region, our German program is able to offer students the B1, B2, and C1 exams; the B1 exam
is the exam required by the German government for citizenship. Exams are held each
year on a Saturday in the spring, usually April.
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 initiation every year since, and
our membership now includes over 500 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.
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.
Courses in Our German Program
Each semester, the German section offers Elementary German I (GERM 1003), Elementary
German II (GERM 1013), Intermediate German I (GERM 2003), and Intermediate German
II (GERM 2013). We additionally offer advanced classes for students pursuing a German
major or minor. The complete list of course offerings can be found in the course catalog.
(Taught by Dr. Condray; Ms. Devich) 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. The course counts towards the major and the minor. Especially motivated
students can take this course concurrently with GERM 2013 with permission and an override
from Dr. Condray (email@example.com).
MWF 9:40 AM - 10:30 AM (Condray) and 12:55 PM - 1:45 PM (Devich)
(Taught by Dr. Sterling) The goal of Advanced German II is to provide students with
an organized, thematic review of complex elements of German grammar, from passive
voice to indirect discourse. Coursework and homework include regular review of grammar
topics, lecture on grammar (in German), reading, vocabulary building; and integrating
advanced grammar into writing and speaking. Assignments include homework, tests, short
writing assignments, and oral proficiency practice. We will also tackle questions
of usage (modal particles, adverbs, word order, distinctions in meaning). At the end
of this course, you will know German grammar inside and out AND know how to talk about
grammar – an important skill for the student of a foreign language. This course seeks also to
prepare students for Goethe Institute examinations, internationally accredited German-language
certification tests. Students are required to purchase one text (the same text used
in German 3003) and also to have a good paper dictionary (i.e. not online) that they
can bring to class. This course counts toward both the major and the minor in German.
MWF 10:45 AM - 11:35 AM
(Taught by Dr. Hoyer) German films are awesome. They are fantastic for learning language,
and fantastic for learning the history and grammar of cinema. Film is also a great
way to learn about German culture. In this course, we will study German film vocabulary
as well as general German vocabulary, while we enjoy some of the most important and
well-known German films of all time. The goals are that students will be able to talk
with native German speakers about films they know, as a cultural bridge, and will learn to read film
critically. We’ll begin with classics of Weimar Republic cinema, move through film
noir, cult classics, children’s films, New Wave cinema of the 1970s, and comedy of
the new millennium. Some reading, frequent writing and discussion, and creative project.
Thursdays 3:30 PM – 6:00 PM
(Taught by Dr. Sterling) What happens in the space between words? How do we wrap our
minds around images that can’t be seen? Just what exactly do nightingales, panthers, and sailor-luring river spirits have to do with anything? These questions and more will
be at the heart of this semester-long exploration of German Poetry from the High Middle
Ages to the 20th century. As we proceed by theme and metaphor, we will discuss historical developments
in form across major literary epochs: Medieval, Baroque, Enlightenment/Classicism,
Romanticism, Early 20th Century (Modernism), 2nd World War, Holocaust, Cold War. We will compare poems from different time periods
to reveal changes in the way society viewed a particular theme (Do flowers represent
love, death, yearning, or the search for the mysteries of the universe?). You will
become familiar not only with the seminal ideas that define poetry, but with the canonical
texts that give us the most frequent references in poetic texts in most western cultures.
This course will allow you to play with, pull apart, and dive into the German language,
resulting in an incredible boost to your cultural and linguistic understanding.
Mondays, 4:10 PM - 6:40 PM.
(Taught by Dr. Hoyer)Beginning with the legendary conflict between Rome and the Germanic tribes in 9AD,
we will trace historical and cultural developments that consistently pit the “Roman”
in the Holy Roman Empire against the “Germanic” in its emperors, all the way to the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire, the beginning of the “Rheinbund” in 1806, and the first stirrings of a German nation-state. Students will have reading
homework and questions to answer, periodic grammar homework, one major writing project
and one presentation/film. We will discuss everything from war and borders to the
development of languages (written and spoken), art, and philosophy, and a lot in between,
including the emergence of science, commerce, Christian-Jewish-Muslim relations throughout
history, and the development of political parties. Counts towards the major and the
(Taught by Dr. Condray) This is the literature between the years 1720 – 1805, which is a period that spans radical swings in thinking about what literature
is and what it should do: the Enlightenment, Storm and Stress, and Classicism. We
will read the classics of the German literary canon including: Lessing’s Nathan der Weise (a brilliant Enlightenment play about tolerance that was the first play performed in Germany after the fall of the Third Reich), Wagner’s Die Kindermörderin (a tragedy about a child murderess and based on the contemporary problem of young
unwed mothers murdering their newborns), and many works by Goethe and Schiller which
trace their development from impetuous young men in the Storm und Stress period to their eventual more balanced stance in the Classical period. Goethe and Schiller
are like the Shakespeare and Chaucer of German literature; let’s see what they have
to offer. Counts towards the major and the minor. Advanced undergraduates may enroll
in this course with the permission of Dr. Condray and a petition to the graduate school;
while all students read the same texts, graduate and undergraduate students complete
Wednesdays, 4:10 PM - 6:40 PM.
(Taught by Dr. Condray; Dr. Sterling) 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, how to write various kinds of 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
course also counts toward both the major and the minor.
(MWF 9:40-10:30; 11:50-12:40)
(Taught by Dr. Hoyer) This is an introduction not only to important works of German
literature, but also to strategies for how to read and analyze literature in German
as a foreign language. We will begin with shorter texts in order to develop vocabulary
and grammatical reading skills, and then read three longer works: “Biedermann und Die Brandstifter” (Frisch), “Die
Verwandlung” (Kafka), and “Nathan der Weise” (Lessing). Assignments will include daily reading comprehension exercises and grammar work; there
are 4 exams. Taught in German. Counts toward the minor and major.
(Taught by Dr. Sterling) A man driven insane by subsisting on a diet of only peas.
A cat that comes to life and baffles a confused audience with his surreal attempts
at heroism. Jealous lovers, palace intrigue, peasant uprisings, and war crimes tribunals.
These fascinating topics and more can be found in the dynamic genre of German drama
from the 18th century to present. In this course, we will discuss a range of works including comedies
and tragedies; satires, social commentaries, and so-called “documentary” theater; and experimental works criticizing contemporary culture. You will be introduced to central concepts of dramatic theory
beginning with Aristotle, and exposed to the work of key German-language dramatists
like Lessing, Schiller, Kleist, Hauptmann, Brecht, and Jelinek. There are weekly reading
quizzes covering basic plot items, a mid-term, and a final. Counts toward the major
and minor. All course discussions and texts are in German.
Wednesdays 4:10-6:40 PM.
(Taught by Dr. Condray) This course will investigate German migration and national
identity from two perspectives: 1) from that of Germans living in other countries
who are confronted with what it means to be German by examining the differences between
their native and current cultures and 2) from that of groups living within Germany
who consider themselves German, wholly or to some extent, yet are not immediately
recognized as such by other Germans. We will begin by looking at Arkansas in the 19th
century as German immigrants made their home here. We will read excerpts from the
work of Friedrich Gerstäcker, a novelist who made his living as a fur trapper and
trader in Wild West Arkansas during its territorial years and learn about Das Arkansas Echo, a German weekly newspaper published out of Little Rock from 1891-1932. Then, we
will move on to works by Hans-Jürgen Massaquoi, an Afro-German who chronicles surviving
his childhood in Germany during the Third Reich and who eventually moved to America
and became the head editor of Ebony; by Stefanie Zweig, who writes about how her Jewish family escaped the Third Reich
by moving to a farm in Africa; by Jana Hensel, an East German who came of age just
as the German Democratic Republic was disintegrating and knew West Germany only as
a foreign and hostile country; by Fatih Akin, an award-winning director who explores
Turkish / German relations in his films; and by Wladimir Kaminer, a best-selling German
writer and immigrant who has published 24 books in 17 years, although he knew no German when he moved to Berlin from Russia in 1989.
The course will incorporate traditional literary narrative, autobiography, film, and
music. Counts towards the major and the minor; all course discussions and texts are
(Taught by Dr. Hoyer) In this course we will examine the literature and art of a very
vibrant, dynamic, and chaotic time period in German literary history roughly corresponding
to the 1880s to 1933. It has many different names and classifications that we tend
to group together under the idea of the “Turn-of-the-Century,” synonymous with “end of an era” (fin-de-siècle). Massive political, social, and epistemological change creates a great
deal of anxiety and chaos, but it is precisely in times of anxiety and chaos that
we tend to see artistic and literary production blossom. This era is legendary for
its multifaceted productivity. Alongside the writings of such ground-breaking authors
and poets as Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Franz Kafka, Else Lasker-Schüler, Rainer Maria
Rilke, and Thomas Mann, we will study the theoretical musings of Walter Benjamin,
the music of Arnold Schönberg, the choreography of Modern Dance, and visual creations
by artist Otto Dix, as well as filmmakers G.W. Pabst and Fritz Lang. We will explore
the reasons why the art and literature of this epoch represent so much chaos, upheaval,
and anxiety, and work to contextualize and didacticize these works and authors in
order to understand the deep social, financial, and existential worries of the late
19th and early 20th century in German-speaking countries.
German M.A. Program
Graduate students pursuing the M.A. program World Languages with a concentration in
German take a variety of courses in preparation for the comprehensive M.A. exam, e.g.,
the history and theory of literary genres, representative authors of the chief historical
periods, and thematic approaches to literature such as Faust, the modern city, literature
and film, or the Holocaust. In addition to the course offerings of the German program,
students have options in pursuing individual interests in comparative literature,
history, literary translation, art history, gender studies, or pedagogy. Students
may also wish to take classes in Business German or become certified in community
The M.A. program provides a solid preparation for students who intend to go on for
the Ph.D., enabling them to compete successfully at highly prestigious schools. Its
comprehensive curriculum also provides a sound base for career opportunities in education,
government, and in a corporate environment.
A low student-faculty ratio allows our dedicated, professionally-active faculty to
offer students support and mentoring. The German Club, the German film series, and
the weekly Stammtisch add to the congenial atmosphere and cultural enrichment of the
The program requires either an oral interview or a tape of the candidate's spoken
German. Teaching Assistantships are also available - find out more about being a TA here.
For more info on the German M.A. program, contact the graduate advisor and TA coordinator,
Dr. Brett Sterling. If you're interested in applying, download the German MA Materials checklist for a quick list of everything you need.
Professional & Academic Opportunities for German Speakers
RISE is an excellent opportunity for students in biology, chemistry, physics, earth sciences and engineering to work in paid summer positions in German doctoral laboratories. A part of the
DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst, German Academic Exchange Service), this program is extremely competitive and open to students in all of North America
and Great Britain. U of A students have done very well in this competition.
The main factors in success are a high GPA and strong letters written by professors
with whom the student has conducted laboratory research. Students must be sophomores
to apply. Positions are available all over Germany and vary in length from six weeks
to three months. German is not required since the language of the labs is English,
but since students live in cities in which not all citizens can or want to speak English,
at least two semesters of German are recommended. Students who have taken at least
four semesters of German before participating in this program are eligible to earn
three hours of conversation credit by Credit by Examination; see Dr. Condray for details.
Cultural Vistas offers internships in your field with German companies during the
summer months; pay varies by field, and students can apply for stipends for un-paid
internships. They also have options for semester and year-long internships as well.
The more German one knows, the higher the level of the placement. For example, one
logistics major with a good command of German just finished an internship at BMW,
and another business major received an assignment in Berlin as a manager for on-line
marketing in the American market. Applications are due in December the summer before
one wishes to go abroad.
For more information, please visit this page.
An opportunity to work with scholars and archivists at the Holocaust Museum in Washington,
For more information, please visit this page.
This program is open to students of all majors and generally offers typical summer
student jobs such as working in a department store, at the front desk of a hotel,
or stocking groceries, although there are occasionally jobs in professional fields.
All positions are paid. The deadline is typically the December before one wishes
to work abroad.
For more information, please visit this page.
Three to four week seminars on specific topics such as 3D printing, a start-up crash
course, renewable energy, architecture, and film. There are hundreds of programs
to choose from for all majors, and you can apply for stipends to help off-set the
For a list of courses, please visit DAAD's website here.
In the fall of their senior year, students can apply to be teaching assistants for
English in either Germany or Austria. These are paid positions, and assistants generally
work 10 to 12 hours a week teaching. This is an excellent program and as such extremely
competitive, but U of A students have done very well in this competition, receiving
19 Fulbrights or their Austrian equivalents overall.
Read more about programs in Germany.
Read more about programs in Austria.
Fellowships available for those conducting research abroad in Germany. Students should
apply in the fall of their senior year and should contact Ms. DeDe Long (firstname.lastname@example.org
) about their application.
Find more about these programs.
Work in the German Bundestag. Excellent language skills are a requirement, and politically
active candidates have a better chance of success.
Find out more about this fellowship.
Recommended Study Abroad Programs
German students at the U of A have the opportunity to study, work, or research abroad
for a summer, semester, or year. The programs that we partner with are listed below,
but we also often work with students who are interested in a particular city or field
to make sure their credit transfers. So, for example, one student studied piano in
Freiburg, Germany and another art history in Vienna, Austria.
Whether in one of the programs below or another, students should meet with the undergraduate
advisor, Dr. Condray, before making plans to study abroad in order to discuss program
aspects and transfer credit.
Above: Students of German, Selina and Anthony, during their study abroad experience
in Regensburg, Germany. Check out Anthony's blog
or Selina's blog
from The Study Abroad Office.
Direct Exchange Programs
Direct exchanges allow students to trade places with students at institutions abroad,
thereby significantly reducing study abroad costs. Students take real university courses with native speakers and live in dormitories.
The U of A offers three direct exchanges in German-speaking countries.
Graz is the direct exchange of the University of Arkansas, which means that students
essentially pay no more to attend classes in Austria than on our home campus, since
they are trading places with Austrian students. Graz is a beautiful mountain town
with hiking and skiing that was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Students live in dormitories and receive special help from Austrian student partners
who have either studied at the U of A or intend to. Any course taken in German above
the B2 level is eligible for German major or minor credit; thus, one student was able
to earn 20 hours of advanced German credit during a year’s study in Graz. Students
take an intensive preparation class in German language before attending regular university
classes alongside native speakers.
Visit the Hogs Abroad Graz Program page for application information.
Regensburg was initially built by the Romans, and parts of the Roman settlement are
still standing today, as are medieval sections of the city, since it was largely untouched
by the bombing during World War II.
The program offers an intensive preparation class to help students prepare for the
Zulassungsprüfung, or entrance exam; after passing this exam, students can take classes
alongside native speakers. Housing is in dorms, although students can request host
families to visit with if they would like to get to know the people and culture better.
Visit the Hogs Abroad Regensburg Program page for application information.
In addition to housing the engineering university that Albert Einstein recommended
to his nephew, Darmstadt is also home to the European Space Agency and over 30 other
This exchange is part of the five-year International Engineering program that allows
students to earn undergraduate degrees in both German and engineering. Students spend
the fourth year in Germany. In the fall, they take engineering courses at the Technische
Universität Darmstadt, which is one of the leading German technical universities in
the T9 consortium. Then in the spring, students work in internships at German companies
through Cultural Vistas.
Visit the Hogs Abroad Darmstadt Program page for application information.
Other Recommended Programs
Our German department has been sending students to Eutin (beginning level) and Holzkirchen (intermediate level) for decades; each program offers 9 hours of credit that always reliably transfer.
Included in the program costs are tuition, excursions throughout Germany, spending
money, and room and board. Students live with guest families in an immersion environment.
Eutin is a small city in northern Germany, and Holzkirchen is actually a suburb of
Munich, so students can ride the subway into the city to see concerts and go to museums
in the evening and on the weekends.
This is an immersion language school where only German is spoken in the ski valley
of Taos, New Mexico. Although located in the United States, many students make more
progress here than abroad because of its intensive nature; it is ideal for students
who cannot get abroad for whatever reason or for those studying abroad for a semester
or year who want to polish their German before hand. Students take the certification
exams of the Goethe Institute at the conclusion of the program.
For more information, please visit this page.
German Outside the Classroom at the UofA
Stammtisch is a weekly conversation group held every Friday from 12:00-2:00 in the
Because we believe it is very important for our students to have the opportunity to
practice their language skills in an everyday, conversational setting, the faculty
and staff commit to attending Stammtisch every week. From native speakers to those
who are learning German and just want to listen to some conversation, everyone is
welcome. This is a low-key environment—we’re just chatting, so there’s no stress
involved. Come and give it a try!
Above: Students of German enjoy an evening of cooking authentic German food, the German
Club takes a field trip to Tulsa for Oktoberfest celebrations, and a moment from the
(Children's Day) performance at the Fayetteville Public Library.
Wanderlust und Gemütlichkeit:
The University of Arkansas German Club
The German Club on campus is an organization where university students may participate
in and learn about German language and culture. Our mission is to provide access to and foster a love for German language and culture
through campus and community-wide programs.
Regular events include Spielabend (playing card and board games in German), a sausage
grilling party in the park, and a film festival.
Useful German Resources and Websites
- Das Beste
Wenn Sie wenig Zeit haben, sollen Sie sich auf diesen Podcast konzentrieren. Er bietet
eine Zusammenfassung der wichtigsten Nachrichten des Tages in knappen zehn Minuten.
Von der Site: "Ein Best-Of aus den Sendungen der Bayern 2-radioWelt gibt es jeden
Tag kurz vor Feierabend als Podcast."
- Bayern 2: Sozusagen
„Bemerkungen zur (deutschen) Sprache.“
Alles, aber wirklich alles. Beispiele: Shakespeare, Florenz im Mittelalter, Mauern
und Grenzen, Griechenland heute, die Stalinallee, jüdisches Leben in Regensburg, Willy
Brandt, der Igel, Rapper/Gangster/Agitator, über die Freundschaft, Konrad Duden, u.s.w.
Nachrichten fuer Kinder. (NICHT beleidigt sein! Die Kinder fassen die Themen kurz
zusammen und laden Experten ein, die alles detailliert diskutieren.)