German Studies

German Studies

German studies at Central offer a broad range of classes in language, literature and culture. Graduates of the program work across the country and around the world at the World Bank, at universities in Germany and Austria, as translators for U.S. intelligence and as middle school, high school and university language teachers.

All of Central’s on-campus German courses include regular conversation sessions with native-speaking language assistants from Germany or Austria. Students also have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the language by living in the German house on campus and through Central's study abroad program in Vienna.

countries designate German as their official language
Central students have a network of internship opportunities available while studying in Vienna

The Central Difference


Central offers German scholarships of up to $2,000 for all students (majors and non-majors) interested in foreign language studies at the college level.

Fiddle or Football?

Ed Henning ’20 is equally at home on the field or the stage.


The Weller Center for Business and International Studies houses faculty offices and classrooms for the modern language departments. The $3.9-million building completed in 1999 includes an interactive computer language lab to supplement traditional methods of language learning through phone exchanges, chat groups, recording and listening activities.

The Language Houses in the Wing International Center offer a unique living alternative for language majors, those returning from a semester abroad or anyone who wants a chance to use French, German or Spanish on a daily basis, celebrate native holidays, share experiences and sample diverse foods. International language assistants from Mexico, Spain, Germany and France also live in these townhouses along with Central College students.

Study Abroad

All majors are required to study abroad in Vienna, Austria, and to have skills in German comparable to those of persons qualified to do advanced work and receive admission to a German-language university. Students are advised to confer with the department regarding the best sequence of coursework to fulfill major requirements, and the courses in Vienna that may be applied toward departmental requirements.

Beyond Central

Putting the “Hire” in Higher Education

  • German teacher, Waukee High School, Waukee, Iowa
  • President, Clark Translations, Pella
  • Defined benefits coordinator, Principal Financial Group, Des Moines

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Take a look back at 2018 with the year’s most popular stories.


  • German Club
  • German table
  • German language house

Graduate Placement

Recent German studies graduates have gone on to study in a variety of international fields, including international business, global management, international affairs and law school.


While participating in the Vienna program, students may choose from internships in many disciplines and professional fields and have access to service-learning opportunities. Vienna internships have included:

  • AMEX
  • Department of Music of the Austrian National Library
  • NGO Committee on Peace
  • Documentation Centre of Austrian Resistance (DOEW)
  • The OpenScience Laboratory
  • Showtime, Vienna’s English-language performing arts school
  • SK Rapid (soccer club)
  • Volkskundemuseum, folk art museum
Central College student

Courses & Faculty

Students completing the German studies major may choose from three emphasis areas: literature, language or cultural history. In addition to the language proficiency, the German studies program lays the foundation for active and responsible world citizenship. Graduating majors are expected to demonstrate skills in German comparable to those of persons qualified to do advanced work at a German or American university. At the heart of each student's program is study in a German-speaking country, typically as a participant in the Central College Vienna program.

Learn more about German Studies in the course catalog.

Meet the faculty:

  • Maria Snyder, B.A., M.A., Ph.D., Associate Professor of German and French
  • Amy Young, B.A., M.A., Ph.D., Associate Professor of German

Sample Schedule

First Year

  • Begin at the highest level of competence based on placement test score
  • Other appropriate advanced course work
  • Core courses and/or electives

Sophomore Year

  • If completed GERM 322Pc or higher, eligible for year’s study abroad. Otherwise, continue the next highest language sequence, GERM 221, 222 or 321, 322 or other appropriate advanced course work including 361.
  • Core courses and/or electives

Junior Year

  • If completed GERM 322Pc or higher as a sophomore, should take year’s study abroad. Students who began German at Central College may apply to study abroad as juniors.
  • Core courses and/or electives

Senior Year

  • If completed GERM 322Pc or 333 as a junior, should take year’s study abroad. If returned from abroad, complete at least one departmentally approved advanced course.
  • Core courses and/or electives


Learn More

Want to find out more about German Studies at Central? Contact us to learn more about this major and our other strong academic programs.

Visit campus to observe classes and experience The Central Difference firsthand.