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Why study German?

Student experiences

"The courses taught by the faculty of the German Studies Department are incredible. By focusing on important details and encouraging their comprehension within a broader context, as well as strengthening creativity, my ability to analyze, understand, and solve problems improved immensely. After graduating, I found that these skills are highly sought after on the job and are difficult to teach in a different setting. I would not be as successful as I am today without having taken these courses." — Paul Daeumer ('20, Finance major, German Studies minor)

"Studying abroad in Leipzig and Vienna helped me polish my language skills and deepen my understanding of German culture. My work in German Studies courses has helped me grow, both academically and mentally. This major gives me a pair of eyes to see the beauty of wisdom and humanity, an open heart to diverse cultures, and an analytical mind to stay humble and thirst for knowledge." — Zhiqing (Sasha) Chen ('20, Geology and German Studies double major)

"Minoring in German Studies was the greatest highlight of my time at Binghamton. The German Studies department has been incredible in fostering a welcoming and supportive academic environment. I appreciate that their dedication to not only teaching the German language but also related cultural and historical German subjects allows students to engage in a highly comprehensive course of studies. I also found that all of my professors were extremely available outside of the classroom, and provided me with the support, resources, and knowledge necessary to make the most out of my minor within the department!" — Sarah Baker ('20, Political Science, Philosophy, and Law major, German minor)

"When I first began college, I could have never anticipated the effect the German department would have on my studies. This challenging-yet-rewarding language taught me an incredible amount about the way we communicate with one another, exchange ideas, and become engaged in one another's culture. The courses are engaging and thought-provoking, taught by passionate professors who care just as much about their students as their academics. After graduating with a double-major in German Studies, I feel confident in my ability to think, work, and create on an international level. I could not attempt to picture where I'd be without the German department and its wonderful people, and I will always look back to my time as a German studies student as the highlight of my college career." — Joe Vitale ('20, German Studies and History double major)

"I enjoyed the work in my German Studies courses because it gave me insight into the language, people, environments, and culture of other countries through texts, films, art, and more, providing an in-depth look at the connection between the mediums of expression and the people that produced them. My experiences in German Studies not only helped me cultivate my skills in the language, but also broadened my understanding of German-speaking culture, as well as the historical periods of art and politics that closely surrounded it. Working in the German Studies department allowed me to get firsthand experience in my field, and I was able to study abroad in Germany over the summer, which was funded by one of the many scholarships offered by the department." — Alexandria Pollock ('20, Anthropology and Linguistics double major, German minor)

"My four year relationship with the German Department was one of the most rewarding aspects of my time at Binghamton. The experience of being part of a smaller department is one that I would wholeheartedly recommend to anyone. Compared to my other larger department, pursuing a German major made me feel less like I was a minuscule fish in a huge pond. The courses that I took gave me opportunities to engage with books, films, history and culture that I would have never been able to discover if I had not chosen to major in German. I was able to meet a group of people who were all at completely different levels of German, but all felt excited and supported to be in the classroom. The opportunities that the department afforded me, which included studying in Germany two different times, are ones that I will cherish and reap the benefits of for years to come." — Annick Tabb ('20, German double major)

“It's sometimes the case that professors prioritize their research over the teaching they do for their department. I can’t fully convey how much this is not the case with German Studies at Binghamton. Not only are the professors highly skilled in their field, they are passionate about teaching and mentoring their students, and that passion inevitably inspires you. It leads you from taking Elementary German simply to satisfy the foreign language requirement, without any expectation of actually using the language, to graduating to the advanced level with an avid interest in the subject and enough cultural and linguistic competence to confidently study abroad or even pursue a master’s in Germany, as I am doing now. My only regret about minoring in German at Binghamton is that I could not major in it.” — Giorgi Gogilashvili (‘18, English major, German minor)


German Studies FAQs

Where can you use German?

  • in industry
  • in international business
  • in communications
  • in travel
  • in graduate studies
  • in education
  • in research
  • in life-long personal growth

Why should you study a language?

  • You can become multilingual.
  • You internationalize your perspective.
  • You can attain advanced proficiency in six semesters.
  • You can study abroad.
  • With relatively small class sizes, you get the chance to study with faculty who know you.
  • The intellectual challenge of our courses contributes to your personal growth and professional opportunities.
  • By learning another language, you become a better thinker, reader, and writer in your first language as well.

What concentrations are available at Binghamton University?

  • German Studies major
  • German Studies double major
  • German Studies minor
  • the dual degree with engineering/computer science
  • the minor in German and BA in management

How can I use and learn German at Binghamton University?

  • come to the weekly German table for lively talk in German
  • become friends with our exchange students from Germany and Austria
  • study abroad in Germany or Austria
  • after studying abroad, become a teaching intern; explore career options by participating in some departmental instructional activities under the direction of a faculty mentor.
  • find out about careers and graduate schools from regular contact with alumni who have gone into careers in education, industry, international law, communication, travel, finance, etc.
  • experience close mentoring and advising from faculty who really come to know you in a friendly, supportive environment.

How do former students describe German at Binghamton University?

  • "Studying German has broadened my cultural views."
  • "It opened up a whole creative world of German authors and film makers."
  • "It prepared me for my career in an international law firm."
  • "In a place as large as Binghamton, I found the close-knit German Department a comforting and supportive community."
  • "It made me become a multi-cultural person and gave me more qualifications to find a job."

How do I declare a German major, double major, or minor?

It's easy! To declare a German major, double major, or minor, simply click here. (Note that you must be logged in to your Binghamton University email for the form to be visible.)

Last Updated: 10/21/20