Department of German Studies

Why study German Studies?

Knowledge of the language and culture of German-speaking Europe provides students with linguistic and transcultural competence that will enable them to participate productively in a rapidly changing world. German is an official language in six central European countries and the most widely spoken language in the European Union. The United States maintains important economic, political, security, and cultural ties with the German-speaking countries. About 50 million people in the United States claim German ancestry.

Our students complete a diverse and challenging program that encompasses not only the German language but also courses that explore literature, the arts, history, business, and politics. Our program is characterized by interdisciplinary flexibility, a variety of co-curricular activities, and personalized academic advising and mentoring. German Studies students acquire research skills they need to study issues relevant to our field. Many German Studies majors and minors study abroad for a summer, semester, or year, often supported by departmental scholarships, and some complete internships in Germany. All German Studies students have opportunities to make use of the rich resources available at KU, including the Spencer Museum of Art, KU Libraries, Max Kade Center for German-American Studies, Office of Study Abroad, Center for Undergraduate Research, and University Career Center. Our students tend to have a second major or a minor in fields such as Global & International Studies, History, Business, Environmental Studies, Music, Microbiology, and Linguistics.

Our graduates have pursued their passion for language and culture in many ways: working for a non-profit organization affiliated with the U.S. Department of State; translating for a medical software company; serving on the human resources team of a global German sporting goods company; teaching high school German; working as copy editor of a newspaper; and pursuing graduate work in Germanic Languages & Literatures, social welfare, law, and speech pathology.

Special Collections

The Engel German Library is an endowed library with select German books, periodicals, and reference works as well as a space with a media suite.

The Max Kade Center for German-American Studies houses collections on German ethnic culture in the United States and fosters scholarship and student engagement in German-American and transatlantic studies. For further information, contact german@ku.edu.