The German major provides, in a systematic fashion through its levels of instruction, a solid foundation in German grammar and vocabulary, comprehension and conversational skills (idioms and slang!), and German-language literature and culture in general. The literary focus reinforces the grounding in the nuances of the language and culture in compelling historical contexts up to the present, including the catastrophes of the first and second world wars and the Holocaust, the Cold War division through the Berlin Wall, and German Reunification in 1990.
The German major prepares students for study abroad or independent research in German-speaking countries (i.e., Germany, Austria, Switzerland) and for graduate study in other disciplines that encourage the acquisition of the German language beyond German Studies.
Further, the German major will prepare students to engage personally or professionally in German-speaking countries or other venues. Many majors do advanced research of their design (under advisement), usually as a Departmental Honors Thesis, and often apply for a Fulbright Scholarship or other prestigious scholarship for funded postgraduate study in Germany.