Europe has 94 million native speakers of German, so the study of this language is crucial for students interested in European business, government, philosophy, and literature. German-speaking Europe includes Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. German also is the second language of several other countries.

Why Study at Iowa

Iowa’s Department of German offers excellent programs in traditional areas such as literature, culture, and linguistics as well as the German language itself. The department’s faculty members are involved in all periods of German language and literature. They also do interdisciplinary work involving film, music, religious studies, and contemporary theory.

As a German major, you’ll find outstanding technological aids in your German classrooms, and the University of Iowa Libraries provides access to an extensive collection of works and periodicals in all major areas of German literature and linguistics.

At the university’s Language Media Center, you’ll elevate your comprehension and command of German by working independently with recorded materials and using online multimedia activities such as German TV shows.

German is an ideal major to combine with a second major or a minor, or with an interdisciplinary certificate. At Iowa, you’ll have almost unlimited choices for combined areas of study, which will broaden your options for careers and graduate or professional school.

Course Work

The Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in German requires this course work:

  • Introduction to German Literature
  • Composition and Conversation I–II
  • Senior Seminar
  • One course in German linguistics
  • One course in German culture
  • Four advanced elective courses

Students may take two Department of German courses taught in English if enrolled in the 4 semester hour section of the course(s), but the rest of the student's courses will be taught in German.

See German in the UI General Catalog to learn more about the major and graduating with honors.

Teaching Licensure

If you are interested in teaching, you’ll need to complete the College of Education’s foreign language Teacher Education Program, which includes education courses and student teaching.

Minor in German

See German in the UI General Catalog to learn more.

Admission Requirements

German majors must meet the requirements for admission to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Admission Requirements Tabs

Student Opportunities

In addition to having nearly 600 Student Organizations, Iowa students choose from multiple Living-Learning Communities, Study Abroad Programs, and Undergraduate Research Opportunities.

Every week, students have an opportunity to converse in German with faculty members and students at “Kaffeestunde,” the department’s informal coffee hour. You also may decide to join the undergraduate German Society, which organizes events such as movie nights, field trips to German restaurants and heritage sites, German breakfasts, game nights, a soccer tournament, and an end-of-semester party.

The Global Mosaic Living-Learning Communities in the UI residence halls welcome American and international students. Residents broaden their knowledge of international issues, languages, and cultures while living in a close-knit group. Activities include celebrating international holidays, attending performances and film screenings, conversing with international visitors, and learning about work and study in other countries.

Study & Internships Abroad

The German department offers an academic-year study abroad program at the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität in Freiburg, Germany. It includes a four-week intensive language program followed by special classes and regular German university courses. Organized field trips provide perspective on German culture and vacation periods provide time to travel throughout Europe.

The university also offers exchange programs with the Universität Dortmund and business-oriented programs in Frankfurt and Vienna. It is also possible to participate in an internship abroad course, earning academic credit for work experience that involves significant use of the German language in a German-speaking country.

These types of experiences require advance planning; talk with your adviser as soon as possible if you’re interested in participating.


Iowa graduates have job placement rates ranging from 86-100 percent, depending on their area of study, and our Pomerantz Career Center offers multiple resources to help students find internships and jobs.

Graduates in this area of study frequently enter the teaching profession. They also find positions in government, foreign service, and commercial enterprises.


The Office of Admissions and the Office of Student Financial Aid are great resources for students seeking scholarships.

Application Process

Application Process Tabs

Apply to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.


German (BA)
Teaching Licensure
Honors Courses
Four-Year Graduation Plan