Department of Foreign Languages & Literatures

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The most widely spoken language in Europe, German is an outstanding major for students interested in the sciences, arts, business, education and social sciences.

It has been used for many of the Western world's most important works­ in philosophy, literature, music, art history, theology, psychology, chemistry, physics, engineering and medicine.

Baldwin Wallace's German program offers a practical approach to language study that connects it to real life. You'll learn about current events, literature, communication and sensitivities, cultural history and contemporary lifestyle of German-speaking nationalities.

The integrative program builds competencies in reading, writing, speaking and language comprehension.

Experiential learning is central to the program. You can attend cultural events and culinary field trips, join student organizations and participate in a German language table (Stammtisch).

Germany, Austria and Switzerland are among the German-speaking countries where you can travel. BW's study abroad offers outstanding opportunities for year-long, semester, six- or two-week immersion experiences.

Also beneficial are internships, independent study projects, service-learning activities and co-curricular involvement.

Interested in Becoming a Teacher?

If you would like to become a German teacher, BW has an outstanding teacher education program.

Leading Language of Global Business

German-speaking countries have a strong international business presence. More than 1,100 companies have subsidiaries in the U.S. and over 2,000 American companies conduct business in German-speaking countries.

Study of Foreign Language Boosts Skills

Benefits of learning a foreign language are multi-fold and include:

Effective oral and written communication

Beyond fostering competencies in foreign language, you can develop communication skills applicable to any discipline.

Critical thinking and analytical reasoning

Reading and translation can enhance your ability to use logic and recognize how meaning is determined by context. It also can build problem-solving proficiencies and an ability to understand abstract ideas.

Global awareness and sensitivity

Learning about other cultures and studying abroad can help you better respect and appreciate people with different traditions, customs and values. You can gain confidence and adaptability skills through immersion in a different culture.

Cultural richness

Speaking another language can open doors to art, literature, music, film, fashion, food and many other aspects of a new culture.

Career marketability

Knowledge of a foreign language can set you apart from monolingual job candidates.

Enriching BW's International Presence

A new BW partnership with LADO Enterprises, Inc. will enrich the campus with an even greater international, intercultural presence. The partnership unites BW and LADO in welcoming international students to campus for classes in English as a Second Language.

Career Opportunities

Government, education, business and nonprofit sectors seek individuals who are fluent in two or more languages. Examples of positions include:

  • Teacher
  • Arts-related manager
  • Linguist/interpreter
  • Foreign service associate
  • Travel industry coordinator
  • Bilingual executive
  • Curator/archivist
  • Import/export manager


Offered as a major and minor, German blends comprehensive coursework with dynamic practical application.

It is an outstanding companion major or minor to other disciplines, including the fine arts, science, business, international studies, mathematics, psychology, political science, history and philosophy.

Within the foreign language department, BW offers additional majors and minors in French and Spanish. Instruction also is available for Arabic, Chinese and Italian.

Placement in Foreign Language

All students are required to take a placement test to determine the appropriate entry point into the study of a foreign language. Placement tests are offered prior to course registration as part of BW's new student orientation.

Course descriptions, requirements for the major and additional information can be found in the University Catalog.


Experiential learning bridges classroom study with real-world opportunities. You can enhance your studies through internships, co-curricular activities and other learning opportunities that include:

Student Clubs & Organizations

German Club
The club provides an opportunity for students to explore and learn about the German language and culture outside the classroom. Other foreign language clubs include the French Club, Italian Club, Middle Eastern Culture Club and Spanish Club.

Language Tables
Language tables are a great opportunity to practice your foreign language skills outside the classroom. All language levels are welcomed.

International Film Series
An annual event on campus, the International Film Series showcases films representing a variety of cultures.

Evenings of Culture: German-American Kulturabend
Held during the school year, the events highlight the present day German instruction at BW while paying tribute to the institution's German heritage, as represented through the union of Baldwin University and German Wallace College.


At Baldwin Wallace, you’ll experience personal and professional growth in a supportive community that challenges and inspires you to succeed.

Baldwin Wallace has long championed the success of its students. Evidence of this can be seen in the extraordinary achievements of its alumni spread throughout the United States and the world.

Among recent accolades, 92 percent of graduates from the Class of 2014 reported being in rewarding jobs or in graduate school studies within six months after graduation.