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German Major


Learn the language most widely spoken in the European Union and study the culture behind Europe’s strongest economy.





Total Credit Hours: 120

German Major Courses (33 hours)

Elective Courses (42 hours)

General Education (45 hours)

Is it possible to double major? 

Yes, our current students often double major with German and another field of study successfully. Academic advisors are available to help you plan your course of study. 

What You'll Study

Here, you’ll develop fluency in speaking and writing German while you study the literature, art, and culture of German-speaking countries. You’ll take 120 credit hours for a Bachelor of Arts in Foreign Language, including Virginia Tech's Pathways. Learn more about available courses: 

  • Introduction to Culture and Civilization
  • Grammar, Composition, and Conversation
  • Survey of German Literature
  • From the Kaiser to Hitler: Germany 1871 to 1933
  • Heroes and Heroines in German Literature
  • Outsiders, Deviators, Underdogs: The Portrait of “Otherness” in German Cinema


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What is a Major in German?

Prepare to be a global citizen by understanding the culture and society of one of today’s major political, economic, and cultural players. You will work with dedicated faculty to attain fluency in speaking and writing German while developing the critical thinking and communication skills to compete in the global market.

Why Learn German Here?

Study in small classes with award-winning faculty who will share with you their expertise and appreciation of the German language and culture. You will develop the language and cultural knowledge necessary to collaborate with German-speaking partners in professional and research fields.

Beyond the Classroom

Strong Community 

Join our German Culture Club, which organizes a variety of activities.  

We also host a monthly Kaffeeklatsch, where you can enjoy cookies and German conversation. 

Students who excel academically in their German studies are invited to become members of Delta Phi Alpha, the National German Honor Society. 

Participate in Teach for Jamie, an after-school language and culture program for elementary school students. You'll serve with us in memory of Jamie Bishop, a former German instructor at Virginia Tech.


German Culture Club

Undergraduate Research

As you complete undergraduate research, you'll have opportunities to publish your work in peer-reviewed journals, including Philologia, and to submit your work for presentation at conferences.

Jamie Bishop Memorial Scholarship

The scholarship provides support for students majoring or minoring in German who plan to study, intern, or conduct research in a German-speaking country. Apply by December 1 or April  1. 

This fund was created to honor the memory of Professor Jamie Bishop, who, as a German instructor, held “the conviction that learning a foreign language and culture is not just a joy, but is fundamental to our civilization.” If you have questions, contact Dr. Esther Bauer.

German mountain

Virginia Tech in Germany 

Experience German culture and civilization with a 3-week active adventure through Germany and Austria (3 credits). You will visit famous cultural sites such as Neuschwanstein Castle and the Reichstag building. Hiking, kayaking, and a multiple day bike tour are possible. The itinerary includes stops in Munich, Salzburg, Vienna, Nuremberg, Weimar, and Berlin.

You can also extend your stay and earn 3-6 credits at the Freie Universität in Berlin.

Contact:  Dr. Mike Layne




German Tutoring 

Find extra help with your German classes. We offer tutoring for you through the Student Success Center



Summer Internship at the Studierendenwerk Karlsruhe

The Studierendenwerk Karlsruhe offers a 8-week summer internship for an American student from Virginia Tech. Applicants should have knowledge of written and spoken German and at least one 3000-level German course by the end of the semester before the internship. Responsibilities include office duties, assistance to international students, English tutorial programs, and support to the excursion program. Interns receive free lodging, one meal each weekday, public transportation within Karlsruhe, and the opportunity to attend classes and participate in excursions. Interns are responsible for travel expenses to and from Karlsruhe, health insurance, and a visa fee.



What Our Students Are Saying

Careers and Further Study

What do I do with a German major?

With roughly 120 million speakers across the globe, fluency in German will provide you with opportunities like these:

  • International Attorney
  • Automotive Engineer
  • Translator/Interpreter
  • Foreign Diplomat
  • Chemist
  • International Marketing Manager
  • Financial Analyst
  • Foreign Correspondent 
  • University Professor

Our current students often double major with German and another field of study successfully.