College of Arts and Sciences



Why study German?

German Offers Increased Academic and Job Prospects

  • Across the country, 56 undergraduate and graduate majors require or recommend German.

  • Your knowledge of German language and culture will complement such fields as architecture, economics, government, music, art, history, and engineering. Whatever your future career goal may be, you will find that learning German will enrich your professional and personal life.

  • More than 1,100 companies from German-speaking countries have subsidiaries all over the US. Understanding German is a definite plus when you look for an internship or career opportunities with those companies in major cities such as CHICAGO!

German is A Key to a Wealth of Intellectual History!

  • An international language in many disciplines such as philosophy, physics, medicine, music, and art history, German is the original language in which many important texts relevant to your field have been written. A knowledge of German gives you the opportunity to engage in trans-cultural travel of ideas you would have never had without knowing German.

German is Easy to learn!

  • You know more German than you think you know! German immigrants brought to the New World many German words which are an essential part of modern English, e.g. Sauerkraut, Bratwurst, Kindergarten, and Gesundheit.

  • German is very similar to English! Their common ancestry can be easily found in many words in both languages. Can you figure out the meaning of the following words: Musik, Logik, Biologie, Philosophie, Funktion?

germany02Common misconceptions about German and learning German

“German is not important in the US.”

  • More Americans (25%) can trace their ancestry to Germany than to any other country. The United States, therefore, has one of the largest concentrations of German speakers outside Europe.

“Only the Germans speak German”.

  • 120,000,000 people (a fourth of the population) in the European Union speak German as their mother language. 38% say they can converse in German. It is also rapidly becoming the lingua franca of Central and EasternEurope.

About the Minor

Germany06German is available as a Minor as an elective. A Minor is 16 hours of courses, with six hours in upper division classes.

The classes are a mixture of language acquisition, literature, and civilization courses, taught by professors who are active researchers and publishers in these fields. The curriculum ranges from beginning and intermediate studies of the language to advanced levels of literary surveys and courses focused on specific genres or authors. You can practice in our up-to-date computer lab with a variety of software, as well as Internet resources.

Our classes are small. You will not be a nameless face in the crowd; you and your professors will get to know each other. You can also get acquainted with other students who share similar interests in our language clubs. They present opportunities for informal activities such as movies, cooking, and participation in the university’s International Bazaar.

We offer a generous credit for advanced placement, a flexible range of classes to take, and opportunities for immersion study experiences abroad.

So come meet our faculty, explore our facilities, see what we have to offer, and discover the world at Western Illinois University.

German Faculty: Beate Wilson

Language Advisor: Dr. Sharon Hunter

Recent Graduates

Spring 2017:   Holly Melendy