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German Major

School of Humanities

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Department of World Languages, Literatures and Cultures

(440) 826-2244

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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 take advantage of internships, independent study projects, service-learning activities and co-curricular involvement.

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-long and shorter immersion experiences.

  • Photo of students at BW German Club Oktoberfest

    Enhance your studies by attending cultural events and culinary field trips, participating in a German language table (Kaffeestunde) and joining German Club. The annual BW Oktoberfest is one of the many events organized by the BW German Club each year.

  • Photo of Dancing at BW German Club Oktoberfest

    Dr. Christina Svendsen dancing to polka music at the Oktoberfest event.

  • Photo of Band Die Unpronounceables at Oktoberfest

    BW physics professor Peter Hoekje and his band Die Unpronounceables perform at German Club's Oktoberfest.

  • Photo of Two Students Enjoying Food at BW German Club Oktoberfest

    BW students have many opportunities to participate in German Club events, allowing them to experience a bit of German culture on campus.

  • Students participating in BW's Seminar in Germany meet in the German capitol building complex (Reichstagsgebäude) in the plenary meeting room of the Social Democratic Party.

    Immerse yourself in German language and culture with BW's three-week seminar in Germany. Pictured, seminar students meet in the German capitol building complex (Reichstagsgebäude), in the Social Democratic Party's plenary meeting room.

  • Students dance to the "Fliegerlied" at the BW Oktoberfest.

    Enhance your studies by attending cultural events and culinary field trips, participating in a German language table (Stammtisch) and joining German Club. The annual BW Oktoberfest is one of the many events organized by the BW German Club each year.

  • Students dance to the "Fliegerlied" at the BW Oktoberfest.

    BW hosts events throughout the year that are popular with the local German-American community. The annual German Advent Vesper Service (Adventsfeier) is led by local Pastor John Hoyer, with readings and songs performed in German by BW students.

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

Become a Teacher

Interested in becoming a 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.


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

  • Career marketability
  • Effective oral and written communication
  • Critical thinking and analytical reasoning
  • Global awareness and intercultural competence
  • Cultural appreciation


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.

German courses are open to students of all majors. If you have previously taken classes in German in high school, you will be required to complete a placement test prior to registering for courses.

Within the Department of World Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, BW offers additional majors and minors in French and Spanish. Instruction also is available for Arabic, Chinese and Italian.

The German major prepares students to:

  • Communicate in languages other than English
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of other cultures
  • Use foreign language in connection with other disciplines
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the nature of language and culture
Course Catalog

Course Descriptions

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


Our world-class faculty will help you make your educational experience everything you want it to be. Small class sizes and an 11:1 student-to-faculty ratio mean professors get to know you and your interests.

Experiential learning bridges classroom study with real-world opportunities. You can enhance your studies through internships, fellowships, study abroad and a variety of co-curricular and other learning opportunities.


Delta Phi Alpha - National German Honor Society
To qualify for membership, the student must be of at least sophomore standing, be enrolled in a German course beyond the intermediate level, have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 and have a GPA in German courses of a 3.333 (B+) or better.

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.


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.

Photo of Yasmine WhiteYasmine White '21 is currently working as an au pair in Germany and plans to teach German at the high school level when she returns to the U.S. Yasmine received a degree in German and education. While at BW, she served as president of German Club and was also a part of the honors program.

Photo of Jacob LutherJacob Luther '21 is an assistant national bank examiner at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. He earned a degree in German and finance and received the Milton T. Baldwin Prize, the highest academic achievement at BW. At BW, he worked as an intern for the Center for Innovation & Growth and was treasurer of the German Club.

Katherine BrinkKatherine Brink '13 is industry analyst and copy editor for The Freedonia Group in Cleveland. At BW, Katherine worked as a course assistant and student consultant for BW's business plan clinic. She graduated from BW with degrees in German and English. She is from Strongsville, Ohio.

Leanora LangeLeanora Lange '08 is processing and institutional archivist at Center for Jewish History in New York working with German language collections. Her translation and adaptation of Georg Büchner's "Woyzeck," entitled "Chop-Chop-Zig-Zag-Woyzeck," was performed at FringeNYC in 2015. She is from Newton Falls, Ohio.


Full-Time Faculty

Christina Svendsen
Assistant Professor
Ph.D., M.A., Harvard University

Adjunct Faculty

Stephanie Mauro
M.A., Philipps University-Marburg