About German and German Studies

Our Program and Courses

German and German Studies at F&M seamlessly integrates the study of German language with culture. With small class sizes and close collaboration between students and professors, you will sharpen your German communication skills in a variety of settings — including in classroom discussions, informal conversations, formal presentations, interpretation, and writing — all while developing a rich understanding of German culture and issues that have shaped German society of the past and present. 

A major or minor in German and German Studies follows one of three tracks: 

German Literature and Culture

Students choosing to pursue German Literature and Culture typically have studied German prior to enrolling at F&M. Within this track, all your courses are taught entirely in German. You would develop an advanced proficiency in the German language and a thorough grounding in the major works and authors of the German literary tradition.

German Language and Culture

You can choose to pursue the German Language and Culture track if you haven’t studied German prior to F&M but are eager to begin. Within this track, all your courses are taught entirely in German. You will develop an upper-intermediate to advanced proficiency in the German language while you study German culture and the German-speaking world.

German Studies

Our German Studies track combines German courses with those taught in English on topics related to German culture. You will develop an intermediate proficiency in the German language and explore the German-speaking world from a blended lens of several disciplines. 

By the time you graduate, you will: 

  • Have attained proficiency in German and be able to communicate effectively and cohesively through speech and writing.
  • Be able to demonstrate a solid knowledge of relevant and current social debates through the news, art, history, film, music, and literature.
  • Be able to present, connect, and analyze German films and texts in a wide variety of genres and discuss the perspectives they represent.
  • Have learned modes of critical analysis that enhance and inform your own questions and interests.
  • Be able to build linguistic, cultural, and cross-cultural competence.

German Language Placement Exam

If you’re admitted to F&M, have experience learning German and plan to continue your study of German at F&M, you must complete a language placement exam. You’ll take this brief test the summer before you arrive on campus.

Wondering what German courses are like? Take a look at our course catalog to explore what’s available to you.

Our Faculty and Staff

Jennifer Redmann

Professor of German, Department Chair of German, Russian & East Asian Languages (Chinese, Japanese)

International Studies

Contact »

Jon Stone

Associate Dean of the Faculty, Professor of Russian

Comparative Literary Studies; German and Russian Studies

Contact »

Meagan K Tripp

Assistant Professor of German

Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies

Contact »

Shari Vegso

Academic Department Coordinator

Chinese Language Program; Comparative Literary Studies; French; German and Russian Studies; International Studies; Italian Studies and Hebrew; Japanese Language Program; Latin American Studies; Spanish

Contact »

Learning Outside the Classroom

Our German professors are committed to tailoring your education to your interests and goals, and helping you discover research and study-abroad opportunities to broaden your understanding of the discipline. 

Off-Campus Study

You’ll have many opportunities to apply your growing knowledge of German outside the classroom. Our students have pursued advanced studies in the Heidelberg College program in Heidelberg, Germany, as well as IES Berlin, Freiburg, and Vienna. The Peter and Irene Seadle Award, which funds study-abroad opportunities, is available to students of German who are active in the department. 
Explore off-campus study at F&M

Research Opportunities

Every student at F&M has extraordinary opportunities to engage in independent or faculty-led research. With faculty guidance, you can do a more in-depth dive into the German topics that interest you most.
Explore research at F&M

Honors in German

High-achieving majors and minors may be inducted into the Delta Phi Alpha National German Honor Society. Acceptance to this society is based on overall engagement and academic excellence.

Success Beyond F&M

Understanding German language and culture offers advantages for any post-college plan. The interpretive skills and creative thinking abilities you gain by studying German at F&M opens up opportunities in a wide range of fields and in international pursuits — especially when visiting or working in the European Union. And, as the internet continues to grow and shape our perceptions of reality, it’s important to note that German is one of the top three languages used online, making it an in-demand skill.

Graduate School

Studying German at F&M provides an excellent foundation for a wide range of graduate programs. Recent German graduates have pursued advanced degrees in the U.S. and in Germany, studying education, law, business, German literature, and art history. 

Career Paths

Recent graduates of German at F&M have pursued careers in teaching, law, business, and medicine and have used their mastery of the language to build careers in German-speaking countries. They hold positions such as:

  • Associate Director of Business Development
  • Assistant General Counsel
  • English Trainer
  • ESL Teacher
  • Financial Advisor
  • Healthcare Consultant
  • Language Consultant
  • Law Associate
  • Librarian
  • Oncologist
  • Professor of German
  • Psychiatrist
  • Speech Language Pathologist
  • Translator

Alumni Spotlight

“I started learning German in middle school and fell in love with the language.”

Whether in studies or a career or life, there are sign posts we pass that point us toward a direction we want to follow. We may not notice them until we’ve passed enough of them. For Alison Geiger '22, a German literature and culture major, not that many slipped by in her experiences at F&M before she realized her future. “I started learning German in middle school and fell in love with the language there, but when I came here, I was planning on being a business and German joint major,” she says. “I ended up dropping the business side of things and just focused on German.”
Read More »

Alumni Spotlight

“I think the questions in German kind of sparked memories she remembered from her life speaking German.”

If you're a bilingual speaker, do different languages trigger certain memories but not others? Griffin Sneath '20 investigated this question during an overseas journey to find his family's roots. When Sneath returned home, he spoke to his grandmother in German about his trip. "She tells several stories in English, but when I started to ask her in German, she told me stories in German that I had never heard before," he said. "I think the questions in German kind of sparked memories she remembered from her life speaking German."
Read More »

Related Fields of Study

History

Embark on an enriching journey through time, exploring a vast range of geographic regions, topical themes, and time periods. By studying history at F&M, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of history and historical processes, and develop keen insight into how they have shaped the present and will influence the future.

International Studies

International studies is an innovative program that combines off-campus study in a non-English-speaking location with on- and off-campus coursework. As a student of international studies at F&M, you will develop a global perspective and immerse yourself in the languages and cultures of non-English-speaking countries and regions.

Philosophy

Learn to think clearly and creatively about the big questions: the nature of meaning, morality, justice, art, the mind, knowledge, language, and reality. By studying philosophy at F&M, you’ll search for understanding while discovering how to value the reason for an answer as much as the answer itself.

Explore German at F&M

May 17, 2023

Dream Achieved: Williamson Medalist Nadya Ivanova '23

Nadezhda Senior Nadya Ivanova Wins the Williamson Medal, F&M's highest academic honor for students

March 25, 2022

Student Realizes Her Future as Teacher in German Studies

Alison Geiger '22, a German literature and culture major, said, “Teaching German is going to be my future goal." Geiger got a glimpse into this future by being a preceptor for German 202, a fourth-semester course that had been redesigned with the theme, "Stories of 20th-Century Germany and the African Diaspora.”

May 13, 2020

Senior Finds Grandmother's Memory Distinctive to Languages

If you're a bilingual speaker, do different languages trigger certain memories but not others? Franklin & Marshall College alumnus Griffin Sneath '20 investigated this question during an overseas journey to find his family's roots. Sneath, a neuroscience and German major at F&M, visited the remote Transylvanian village of Petelea, where he retraced his grandmother's steps during her family's flight in 1945.