The Department of Modern Languages offers a major and a minor in German.
The major in German entails a profound study of the language, history, culture, literature, and film of the German-speaking world. All elementary through advanced-level classes are designed to progressively develop students’ oral and written proficiency and cultural competence, and are conducted exclusively in the target language. Students of German develop a complex understanding of how German culture has evolved in Germany and other German-speaking countries and areas of the world. Thematically cohesive courses in composition and conversation equip students with advanced communication skills that can be used effectively in academic, social, and professional contexts.
Study abroad is encouraged and many students fulfill requirements for the German major in two-week to one-year long individual exchanges, professor-led courses abroad, and at university approved consortium sites. German faculty have recently led short-term ambassador study abroad programs to Germany and Austria. Popular summer-, semester-, and year-long destinations are offered through USAC, ISA, the Ohio Consortium, and direct exchange programs to Germany and Austria.
Learning any foreign language helps students think creatively by exposing them to new ways of conceiving the world and by sensitizing them to the nuances of culture and communication. These skills are highly desirable in today’s globally dynamic marketplace. The German major is particularly useful for students wishing to enter globally oriented careers in the arts and the performing arts, the hospitality and travel industry, business, education, creative writing, international development, government, law, communications, linguistics, medical professions, motion pictures, philosophy, psychology, translation, and interpretation.
Those students who qualify for departmental honors may prepare an in-depth project focusing on an area of expertise, including creative writing, translations, film projects, projects involving service to the Dayton area German-speaking community, and service to local schools, museums, or charitable organizations. Internships are available to students with senior status and serve as the culminating experience using German language skills in a real-life setting. Internships and extracurricular opportunities that include work as tutors, supplemental instruction leaders, first-year programs peer instructors, and German club officers may lead to career placement.
Teacher Preparation Program:
Students who wish to teach German in Ohio public schools earn the Bachelor of Arts degree in German. A sequence of education courses and school placements are required during the bachelor’s degree.
Majors are encouraged early on to contact faculty for a mock Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) and a Writing Proficiency Test (WPT) required of teaching candidates prior to the completion of their undergraduate degree.
Candidates must meet with a College of Health, Education, and Human Services Licensure Advisor early in the bachelor’s degree program to learn how to apply for school placements, deadlines, admission details and other important information.
Requirements for admission to the undergraduate Licensure program include GER 2020 or the equivalent, a cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 2.75 or higher, C or better grades in all undergraduate content and education pre-requisite courses, and standardized testing.
Merit-based scholarships are available.
Program Learning Outcomes:
- Be able to understand, speak, read and write German at an “Intermediate High / Advanced Low” level as defined by the proficiency criteria of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages.
- Understand and respect cultural differences leading to effective interaction within a German-speaking society and in any culturally complex situation.
- Have a strong foundation in the geography, history and literary tradition of the German-speaking world.
- Understand the impact Germany and German culture and language have had and continue to have on other cultures.
- Develop strong analytical and critical thinking skills.
Undergraduate Language Requirement, College of Liberal Arts:
German majors will have met their language requirement for the Bachelor of Arts by completing requirements for the major.
Students with no German background will begin with GER 1010 ; those who have studied German previously or who are heritage speakers will take a placement test to determine the best course for their skill level. Native or near-native German speakers are encouraged to take a proficiency test in oral and written German to verify placement. Details about the placement test and proficiency test for prior learning assessment are available on the Modern Languages website.
Prior Learning Assessment:
The Department of Modern Languages believes that students having learned German in high school, through living abroad, or by any other means have the right to earn prior learning credit in German. Those students who place into German classes between the 1010 and 2020 levels, and attain a grade of C or better, may earn “Pass” credits for sequenced courses below that level. Students who have placed into a 3000- or 4000-level course may earn “Pass” credits for 1010 through 2020. By the ninth week of the semester, students desiring prior learning assessment should request and complete their PLA form at the Department of Modern Languages.
Native and near-native speakers of German may take the German language proficiency test in two areas, Conversation and/or Composition, and receive Prior Learning Assessment “Pass” credits for GER 3110 and/or GER 3210 .
See the Modern Languages website for details, including fees.
If transferring credit, a minimum of 4 upper-level GER courses (12 credits) must be taken at Wright State.
Only courses with a grade of P (Pass/No Credit courses), or a grade of C or better (ABCDF courses) may be applied to the major.
For additional information: