Experience the past; join the future

Herzlich Willkommen! German instruction has a long tradition at Franklin & Marshall College. Founded in 1787 in the heart of Pennsylvania German country, the college offered instruction in both German and English for the following decades and was the first bilingual college in the country.

The current faculty is continuing this long-standing spirit of innovation with extraordinary success. As a result of a restructuring of the curriculum in 2009, our focus shifted to developing students’ German linguistic and cross-cultural competencies through a literacies-based curriculum. In the German curriculum at F&M, cultural themes and authentic texts – print, visual, and audiovisual – take center stage at every level, and every course counts toward a major or minor. Our departmental approach to teaching and learning German has become a model for many others, and our students have gone on to win fellowships, enter prestigious graduate programs, and embark on successful careers.

In the fall of 2019, the Franklin & Marshall College German program was named a “German Center of Excellence” by the American Association of Teachers of German (AATG). The AATG German Centers of Excellence program identifies and honors excellence at all levels of instruction K-16. The designation is presented to a well-established and growing German program with strong support from the administration, colleagues, alumni, and students.


  • german faculty
  • AATG Logo

Additional Course Information

Study Abroad

Students are encouraged to study abroad, usually in their Junior Year, choosing from a broad selection of programs approved by the College's Office of Off-Campus Study. 

Read More

Departmental Awards and Honors

German and German Studies offers different departmental awards and honors including membership in the National German Honor Society, Delta Phi Alpha.  

Read More


Read more about some of the fellowships our recent alumni have been awarded. 

Read More
Story 5/4/2021

Nine Students Earn All-College Awards

Franklin & Marshall’s All-College Awards were presented to one graduating senior and eight underclassmen at the April 30 Recognition of Honors and Awards Ceremony.

Read More
Story 7/28/2020

Scholarly Spotlight - Languages

 Scholarly Spotlight features the work of faculty on a regular basis. Here’s a sampling of recent publications by members of several languages departments.

Read More
Story 5/13/2020

Senior Finds Grandmother's Memory Distinctive to Languages

If you’re a bilingual speaker, do different languages trigger certain memories but not others? A Franklin & Marshall College senior investigated this question during an overseas journey to find his...

Read More
Story 2/7/2020

Speaker Argues for Dual Language Education So No Child Is...

Kimberly Potowski, professor of Spanish linguistics in the Department of Hispanic & Italian Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago, reflects on problems with American education policy at...

Read More
Story 11/12/2019

German Department Celebrates 30th Anniversary of Berlin Wall...

On Nov. 9, 1989, the winds of history toppled the Cold War’s Berlin Wall that divided Germany’s once and future capital between democracy and totalitarianism. Thirty years later, autumn gusts across...

Read More