College of Arts & Sciences

Modern and Classical Languages

Why Study German?

Studying German can be beneficial in terms of business, culture, friendship, travel and heritage. You can major or minor in German, or enter a formal double major in German with a combination of your choice. Excellent combinations are German and International Relations, International Business/Marketing or Education (Teacher Certification). You may also combine your German studies with any other university program. Further possibilities include other literatures, Fine and Performing Arts, History, Political Science, Philosophy, and many more. For testimonials from SJU German majors please click here.

There are many reasons to major in German:

  • Germany is one of the world’s largest exporters and a major trade partner for the U.S. and Canada.
  • German is the most commonly spoken first language in the European Union: Over 100 million Europeans speak German as their native language. It is the second most popular foreign language taught, after English, in Europe (and Japan).
  • Germany is the home of numerous international corporations and German corporations have affiliations in more than 100 countries.
  • A knowledge of German improves job opportunities. More than 750 American companies manufacture, market, and research in Germany. German corporations have invested more than $ 35 billion in the United States, employing more than 700,000 Americans. Click here to see America's best-known German Companies.
  • German is the language of Goethe, Kafka and Nietzsche. It is also the language of Mozart and Beethoven, Freud and Einstein.
  • German is an international language in technology, chemistry, medicine, music, philosophy and art. Many graduate programs in the U.S. have a foreign language requirement, and German is often preferred because of its value as a research tool.
  • One out of every ten books published in the world is written in German, more than in any other language except English.
  • German ancestry in North America is strong; in the US alone more than one quarter of the population claims German ancestry.
  • In eastern European countries more than 12 million students learn German.
  • More Germans travel per capita than any other nationals on earth – you’re likely to meet them everywhere!
  • From musicians, philosophers, writers, and scientists, German thinkers have influenced thought all over the world.