Resources for... William & Mary
William & Mary W&M menu close William & Mary

Undergraduate Program

Why German Studies?

With over 100 million speakers, German is one of the most important languages in the world for science and medicine, commerce, industry, culture and the arts. German-speakers occupy a prominent place on any list of the world's greatest scientists, artists, philosophers, poets, musicians and composers, engineers and architects. Almost every academic discipline has a strong German tradition, in many cases one that largely defines the field. In fact, the modern university itself, with its combination of teaching and research, is a German invention. Also check out the latest Facts and Figures on the increasing relevance of German to U.S. businesses and the economy.

As the German Missions in the U.S. page states, "German is also an official language in Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg and Liechtenstein as well as in Italy's South Tyrol. In addition, German plays a role as a recognized minority language in Denmark, France, Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia. Approximately 55 million Europeans speak German as a foreign language."

The W&M Department of Modern Languages offers a minor in German. Our German Studies minor enables you to advance your German language proficiency while studying German-speaking cultures from an international perspective.  A minor in German Studies offers a valuable enhancement to a wide range of majors, such as International Relations, Government, History, Film & Media Studies, Music, Art History, and Gender, Sexuality, & Women's Studies. Our minor’s emphasis on rigorous analysis and nuanced communication also complements majors in STEM, helping students to maximize the potential of a W&M liberal arts education. Furthermore, a German Studies minor provides particular advantages to students wishing to work, conduct research, or study abroad, whether during their undergraduate years or after graduation

We encourage students to participate in research projects, and to study abroad. Our scholarship closely reflects the research currently conducted nationally and internationally in the field of German Studies.

Options for a Major

Students wishing to build a major around their study of German language and culture can design an interdisciplinary major with a concentration in German Studies. You may also consider a major in Global Studies with a European Studies concentration. This major offers great flexibility to combine language study with coursework in a range of disciplines including history, anthropology, art, literature, religions, and politics of Europe. 

For questions regarding the German Studies program Minor, the Interdisciplinary Major, placement in language courses, or study abroad, please contact the Program Director of German Studies.