German Language and Literature Degree

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What is German Language and Literature?

German Language and Literature is a field of study focused on the German language.  German is a West Germanic language primarily spoken in Central Europe.  The German language is the native language for over 100 million people and is the third most widely taught foreign language in the United States.

As a language derived from a branch of the Indo-European family system, it has a portion of words across the lexicon coming from both Latin and Greek.  Similar to the English language, the German language has a wide spectrum of dialects across the globe.  With the popularity of the language and diversity of the literature over the course of time, specialists are often called upon to properly translate materials and works of art.

Top German Language & Literature Degrees

The degree options in German language and literature span a variety of undergraduate and graduate degrees.  Students may choose to enroll in German literature and language degree programs such as:

  • Associate’s of Arts (AA)
  • Bachelor’s of Arts (BA)
  • Master of Arts (MA)
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

As you can imagine, your choice of degree programs will require various levels of coursework and unique responsibilities associated with that specific degree path.  For example, a student enrolled in a bachelor’s degree will take requires students to take classes that fuse liberal arts education with core curricula in a four-year program.  In the meantime, graduate students may be able to complete their degree program in less time than a bachelor’s degree but will likely have fewer, more intense classes which may include a thesis project.

You may also choose to learn in a variety of ways, depending on the school’s offerings.  Students may have the opportunity to enroll in a traditional classroom-based degree program, online degree program, and/or hybrid program that blends classroom and online learning modalities.  The choice of learning formats coupled with degree levels will provide ample opportunity for growth for students seeking mastery in German culture and history.

Educational Requirements for German Majors

In terms of educational requirements, German Language and Literature degree holders will have typically studied a variety of topics in college.  The courses you may find in a German Language and Literature programs are not replicated exactly across colleges.  However, there are significant similarities from program to program.  Typical curriculum in German studies include:

  • Globalization and Gender Studies
  • History of Germany
  • Anthropology
  • German Poetry
  • Urbanism in Germany
  • Economic Analysis
  • German Culture & History
  • German Music and Art
  • Introduction to Germany
  • Contemporary German Literature & Language
  • Social & Cultural Change
  • Methods and Theories of German Art
  • English Language
  • History
  • Archeology
  • Sociology
  • Anthropology
  • Education & Curriculum Training
  • Modern Germany

Employment Outlook & Language Specializations

German studies jobs are as varied as the students that enroll in the programs.  In fact, you can find students with a German-specialized degree in all industries.  Common industries you will find German majors can include any number of the following: teachers, public administrators, translators, historians, journalists, bloggers, literacy teachers, bankers, and advertising.

German Literature Job Growth

German majors can expect jobs in and around this area of specialization to grow above the median rate of growth.  In fact, the demand for teachers and interpreters is quite robust.  Specifically, the median job growth interpreters is forecast to top 29% and college professors 13% in the coming decade.  Preparing for high growth fields by utilizing German language can be a great decision for your career.  Sort degree programs and colleges by locating accredited schools below.

Additional Resources in German Language & Literature

Rich German history and traditions can provide a college student the unique opportunity to either specialize in a particular area of study or learn about the country in a more general sense.  In addition to the college and university resources found on our dedicated portal, you may find it useful to continue your research in German literature and language with the following organizations and resources: German Studies Association (GSA),  German Library Resources (GLR), the International Association of Language Centers (IALC).

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Career Summary: German language literature Major




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