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
  • Germany is the world’s third largest economy

The Real World


Successful Careers

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


  • German Club
  • German table
  • German language house
Central College student

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

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, interest areas include: teaching French and German as a foreign language, media history, the history of reading, text and image in the Renaissance and Reformation and contemporary West Africa

Amy Young, B.A., M.A., Ph.D. Associate Professor of German, interest areas include: 20th century German and Austrian literature and culture, women's and gender studies, sustainability and translation

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

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.


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.

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.