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German Advising Information

German Major Entrance Requirements: The student must complete one year of full-time study (24 credits minimum) or 32 credits as a part-time student.


  • General Advising Information: PDF documents specific to this program are provided below. The full course catalog, policies, textbook information, and other resources are available from the Office of the Registrar.

    For additional advising information, contact your academic advisor or visit the advising page on myWLC (log-in required). Course offerings are subject to change due to staffing, curriculum changes, or course enrollment numbers.

    • Prospective students should take the placement test as soon as possible to be placed into the correct level of study.
    • Students who have not had German in the last two years should opt for GER 101.
    • Students need to either take or test out of GER 101, GER 102, GER 201, and GER 202 before enrolling in any of the upper level courses.
    • German Majors may wish to consider a double major or a minor in fields such as History, Music, Philosophy, or Business in order to increase their marketability in the job market.
    • German Education Majors must complete a German Major and a Secondary Education Major in order to fulfill the requirements for this program.
    • All students completing a German Major must complete an approved program of residence in a German-speaking country lasting a minimum of 8 weeks.
    • It is recommended that the foreign study experience occur during either the junior or senior year, as this will greatly improve the student's German.
    • An internship in the student's target field is highly recommended in order to gain valuable work experience.

    1. More People Speak German Than You Realize
      • German is the official language of Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and Liechtenstein.
      • German is the native language roughly 120 million people living in all of Europe.
      • German is the third most popular language world-wide.
      • 68% of Japanese students learn German because of its value.

    2. Knowing German Gives You an Advantage in the Business World
      • Germany has the world's fourth largest economy.
      • Germany is the #2 export nation in the world, only recently edged out by China.
      • German companies provide roughly 800,000 jobs in the United States.
      • German speakers are the biggest group of potential business partners in the EU.
      • In sales, a customer is more likely to buy your product if you speak their language.
      • Germany hosts two-thirds of the world's trade fairs.

    3. Germans Have a Knack for Science and Technology
      • Many scientific discoveries happen in German-speaking countries.
      • A lot of scientific information is only available in German.
      • Four of the world's ten most innovative companies are located in Germany.

    4. Germans Have a Rich Culture
      • German Authors: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Thomas Mann, Franz Kafka, Herman Hesse
      • German Musicians: Beethoven, Brahms, Bach, Händel, Mozart, Strauss, Wagner
      • German Philosophers: Kant, Kegel, Marx, Nietzsche
      • German Artists: Dürer, Kollwitz

    5. German Heritage is Everywhere
      • 25% of all Americans have German ancestry, and that number increases to about 50% in the Midwest.
      • German is not as hard to learn as most people believe. German and English are sister languages and they use many of the same words, for example: friend = Freund, house = Haus, perfect = perfekt


    The Usefulness of German for Music Majors

    By Jeremy Zima
    WLC Class of 2007
    M.M. Western Illinois University, 2009
    Ph.D. University of Wisconsin, ABD

    When music majors at Wisconsin Lutheran College are looking to meet their foreign language requirement, they should be advised to meet those requirements with German language courses. While Spanish or Mandarin could be more practical for students majoring in Business, Communication, or Education, German is far and away the most useful foreign language for music students, especially if the student intends to pursue a graduate degree in music. 

    Familiarity with German is important for several reasons, the first of which is that nearly every graduate music program in the United States requires proficiency in German as either a prerequisite for admission or as a requirement for graduation. In fact, most elite programs insist on a certain level of proficiency in two languages, one of which is always German. A quick survey of the graduate admissions requirements for the Eastman School of Music and the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University (two of the largest and most competitive programs in the country) revealed that some level of German competency is a prerequisite for admission to M.M. and M.A. programs in voice, piano pedagogy, orchestral and choral conducting, music history, and music theory. Students who are deficient in their German are often admitted on a probationary basis until the deficiency is met either through remedial coursework or a language competency exam. Taking German at the undergraduate level usually allows the student to test out of their graduate language requirements, which allows them to focus on their primary area of study. 

    Besides preparation for graduate school, there are other important reasons for the music major to study German. For singers and choral conductors, a proper understanding of German diction and poetic forms is essential for the correct performance of lieder, opera, and choral works.  The singer's ability to understand the sung text can aid in the interpretation of works by Bach, Mozart, Schubert, and Wagner. Orchestral literature is dominated by German music, and scores are littered with instructions in German. Many critical editions of early music scores are edited by German speaking scholars, as are the thematic catalogues of most major composers. The field of musicology was invented by German scholars during the nineteenth century, and a large portion of work in the field is still conducted in German. For the historian, the ability to read German is fundamental to his ability to conduct research; some of the world's largest and best archives reside in Austria and Germany.  Furthermore, there are dozens of scholarships and fellowships available to performers, historians, and theorists through the German government, nearly all of which require a preliminary language evaluation. 

    Of course, not all music majors will pursue graduate work or need German to advance their careers.  However, music students should be advised that German language courses are the most practical way to meet their foreign language requirements at WLC, given the ubiquity of the language in the discipline. Establishing a firm footing in German while at WLC will aid students in graduate school applications and auditions, and will improve their interpretive skills. Conscious coordination between the German and Music departments on this matter will not only create better music majors at WLC, but will also equip them more thoroughly for their professional lives.


    International BusinessGerman and Business Administration
    TeachingGerman and Education
    International LawGerman and Pre-Law
    MedicineGerman and Pre-Med
    JournalismGerman and Communication
    Computer-Related CareersGerman and Computer Science
    HistoryGerman and History
    Travel AgentGerman and History
    Military ServicesGerman and Area of Specialty
    Foreign Services OfficerGerman and Area of Specialty
    MusicGerman and Music
    PhilosophyGerman and Philosophy
    TheologyGerman and Theology
    ScienceGerman and Physics/Biology/Chemistry