German Studies Major

Enter the international stage with German.

Whether you want to travel abroad or find a great job right here in the Lowcountry, studying German opens a world of opportunities. The German language is widely spoken all over Europe. It is also the third most spoken language in South Carolina due to the over 160 German companies that bring jobs and investment to our state.

Not only a language of philosophy, literature and the arts and sciences, German is also advantageous in business, engineering, communications, international relations, and technology.

Why study German at the College of Charleston?

Our German Studies program has been recognized as a Center for Excellence by the American Association of Teachers of German. This prestigious designation highlights the innovation and high quality of our curriculum and our faculty’s commitment to students.

With our outstanding faculty, you will explore the language, literature, cinema, and culture of German-speaking Europe. You will have opportunities to study abroad and to participate in the Summer Internship Program in Germany. You will also get to explore job and internship opportunities at the annual German American Business Summit hosted by the College.  

What will I learn?

You will learn the language, history, culture, and society of German-speaking Europe. You will study a range of topics from cinema and performance to business and translation. As you explore important issues, such as race and immigration, and the environment and sustainability, you will develop your communication and critical thinking skills.

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Program Highlights

Our department is the only authorized testing site in South Carolina for the internationally recognized Goethe Institute German proficiency exams. Our program is designed to help students achieve fluency in German, while also allowing for a lot of flexibility in the courses and topics you want to study both in German and in English.
  • Hands-On Learning

    German Studies students get to work closely with faculty experts. Advanced students can pursue a self-designed research project or closely study a topic of interest one-on-one with a faculty mentor in an Independent Study course. Our students have been able to conduct research with faculty, present their research at international conferences, and even collaborate on articles for publication.

  • Study Abroad

    The College has partnerships with four universities in Germany and two in Austria, so that you can study abroad for a summer, semester, or even a year and earn credit towards your degree. Immerse yourself in German culture at the University of Bamberg, the University of Tübingen, Aalen University, and the Ludwigshafen University of Business and Society in Germany. Explore beautiful Austria and gain fluency in the language at the Johannes Kepler University in Linz, or study business management at the Management Center Innsbruck.

  • Internship Program

    Every year, a group of advanced German students spend their summer in Germany interning in their chosen fields through the Summer Internship Program directed by Professor Della Lana. Our students have also been able to intern with local German companies thanks to the education and networking opportunities they have received through German Studies. 

Careers & Outcomes

Knowledge of German language and culture can open many professional doors. There are over 160 German companies doing business in South Carolina. German industry provides over 40,000 jobs in South Carolina, and countless opportunities all over the world. One in five jobs in South Carolina is either directly or indirectly affected by the $14 billion that German companies have invested here over the past 15 years. With the right course of study, you can pursue a career in fields including:

  • Business.
  • IT and Technology fields.
  • Education.
  • Supply chain management.
  • Museums and theaters.
  • Non-profits.
  • Environmental work.
  • Marketing and PR.
  • Medicine and public health.
  • Translation.

About the Minor

Ours is one of the top German programs in the Southeast. Our students study the language, literature, cinema and culture of German-speaking Europe. Knowledge of German is important for anyone in international commerce, research and technology. That’s why our faculty members are experts in a wide range of fields from cinema to performance, business to translation and literature.