German Major

Program Summary

Our undergraduate students receive a comprehensive introduction to the language, literatures, and cultures of German-speaking countries and to the increasingly multicultural, transnational, and global contexts that define these cultures today. We are committed to providing all students - those who fulfill their language requirement in our courses and undergraduate majors or minors - with a deeper understanding of the German language and the importance of cultural literacy in an increasingly global world.

We offer challenging language, culture and business courses in German and aim to prepare our students for global citizenship as well as the career path of their choice. We encourage all of our majors and minors to participate in the 4-week summer immersion program in Bamberg, Germany or our exchange program with the Pädagogische Hochschule, Weingarten, which is offered each spring semester. We also have two native speakers from Weingarten on campus each fall semester to work with students.

Because of the generosity of alumni and friends of the German program, we are able to offer the following scholarship opportunities to students:

  • The Hilda Hicks Scholarship for German Studies (open to majors and minors)
  • The Junior Scholarship in German
  • The Samford-in-Germany Scholarship for summer study abroad
  • The Baden-Württemberg Stipend for study at the PH in Weingarten

Objectives & Goals

Knowledge

  • German History
  • German Literature (1000 CE - present)
  • German Art
  • German-speaking cultures
  • German Music
  • German Film
  • German Theater
  • German folklore
  • European Business and Politics (and the role of Germany and other German-speaking countries)
  • International Relations (specific focus on the role of Germany within the European context)
  • Business practices in German-speaking contexts
  • Religion and Philosophy in German

Skills

  • Communication - Advanced language proficiency in the four skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking
  • Collaboration - Students use their native and acquired languages to learn from and work cooperatively across cultures with global team members, sharing responsibility and making necessary compromises while working toward a common goal
  • Critical Thinking and Problem Solving - Students frame, analyze and synthesize information as well as negotiate meaning across language and culture in order to explore problems and issues from their own and different perspectives
  • Information Literacy - Students access, manage and effectively use culturally-authentic sources in ethical and legal ways
  • Media Literacy - Students evaluate authentic sources to understand how media reflect and influence language and culture
  • Technology Literacy - Students use appropriate technologies when interpreting messages, interacting with others and producing written, oral and visual messages
  • Initiative and Self-Direction - Students set their own goals and reflect on their progress as they grow and improve their linguistic and cultural competence
  • Social and Cross-Cultural Skills - Students understand diverse cultural perspectives and use appropriate socio-linguistic skills in order to function in diverse cultural and linguistic contexts
  • Leadership and Responsibility - Students leverage their linguistic and cross-cultural skills to inspire others to be fair, accepting, open and understanding within and beyond the local community

View Curriculum

Is This Program for Me?

  • Flexible
  • Open-Minded
  • Tolerates Ambiguity
  • Sense of Humor
  • Self-motivated
  • Self-reflective
  • Self-disciplined
  • Loves puzzles
  • Analytical
  • Risk-taking
  • Open to new experiences

What Makes Us Different?

At Samford University, we are a small program. Our faculty care deeply for the students, and work closely with each of them to ensure their success in the classroom and beyond. Our curricular and extra-curricular activities can be customized to student interests and career plans. We work closely with several departments across campus to ensure that our students have both the necessary linguistic skills and content knowledge to be successful in their chosen career. We actively encourage students to think about their life after university from the very beginning, and assist students in making connections and determining the best possible career.

Career Preparation

  • Advanced Proficiency in the German Language
  • Cultural Competency related to living and working in a German-speaking context
  • Prepare students for advanced studies in German and academic programs related to their field of interest
  • Facilitate contacts between students and German businesses in Alabama
  • Facilitate contacts between students and Alabama businesses working with German-speaking companies

Career Opportunities

  • Public Policy
  • Law
  • Education - Teaching, Administration
  • Business - Accounting, Finance, Economics, Marketing, Human Resources
  • Fine Arts - Music, Literature, Art
  • International Affairs / International Relations
  • Tourism
  • Translation / Interpretation
  • Religion
  • Philosophy
  • History
  • Publishing
  • Automotive Industry

Internships

Alabama-Germany Partnership

Awards and Recognition

Fulbright Grants to teach English in Germany

  • Chase Trautwein, 2013
  • Samantha McFarland, 2013
  • Natalie Bennie, 2016

Notable Alumni

  • Isaac Espy, 2016, Master's program at the University of Mannheim
  • Chase Trautwein, 2013, Fulbright ETA 2013-2014, M.A. in German at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa
  • Natalie Bennie, 2016, Fulbright ETA in Essen, Germany
  • Samantha McFarland, 2013, Fulbright ETA 2013-2014, Public Policy at American University, Advocacy Intern
  • Stephen Shaw, 2012, M.A. in Economics and Philosophy, University of Bayreuth
  • Thomas Espy, 2013
  • Michael H. Johnson, 1987, Honorary Consul of Germany to the State of Alabama (2011-present), International Lawyer

Notable Faculty

  • Angela D. Ferguson, Ph.D.
    Barbara Fischer Education Award, 2016
    Alabama/Germany Partnership
  • Brad Burckell, M.A., University of Alabama

Former Faculty

  • Terry H. Pickett, Ph.D., former Chair of German at the University of Alabama and Samford
  • Hilda Hicks
  • Ursula Hinden