» German

Students in front of the National Theater (Munich’s opera house)

Herzlich Willkommen! Welcome!

“Wer keine fremde Sprache spricht, kennt seine eigene nicht.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“Those who do not speak a foreign language, do not know their own.”

As the famous German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said two hundred years ago, learning a foreign language also means gaining a more thorough understanding of one’s own, and thus one's own cultural identity, as language and culture are considered by many to be synonymous. But why study German, in particular? Germany today has the world’s fourth largest economy, and German is the most widely spoken language in Europe. It is the official language of Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and Liechtenstein. Also, it is the native language of a significant portion of the population in northern Italy, eastern Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, eastern France, parts of Poland, the Czech Republic, Russia, and Romania, as well as in other parts of Europe. For serious scholars in many fields, German is still the key to some of the world's best research in the sciences, and its literature and history are of paramount significance to the Western traditions.

Thus learning German can connect you to 120 million native speakers of the language around the globe, and many people learn German as a second language. It is the third most widely taught foreign language worldwide and the second most popular in Europe and Japan, after English. 

Our program is designed to meet the individual needs of students from the elementary to the advanced levels, in keeping Pico with students.with Chapman’s mission to “provide a personalized education of distinction that leads to inquiring, ethical and productive lives as global citizens.”

Some upper-division courses that count toward the German minor can also be applied to other disciplines such as Music, Business various fields in the Humanities, and the minor in Holocaust Studies. Our classes cover a range of topics in literature, film, business and culture. Every semester one or two upper-division courses are offered. Under special circumstances, independent studies reflecting the special interests of individual students may also be possible.

Students may also design their own major in German Studies with assistance from the German Language Program Coordinator, Dr. Walter Tschacher.

The performing arts students who are enrolled in our classes help promote German culture by regularly performing recitals and German operas. We also have events on campus that connect students with the German business community, such as the spring 2014 program “Culture and Industry: A German Perspective” sponsored by Bosch Siemens Home Appliances B/S/H in Irvine. The German program and the German Consulate General of Los Angeles advocated for the successful nomination of Gail S. Halvorsen, the famous Berlin Candy Bomber, for an honorary doctorate at Chapman. Students recently attended a German film at the Newport Beach film festival. We also frequently offer an interterm trip to Munich in January, which gives our students the opportunity to experience the German language and culture first hand. 


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Degrees Offered

Requirement for completing a minor in German: Students must complete a minimum of 12 credits from section I, and 6 additional credits from either section I or II, or equivalent courses taken abroad. For more information regarding this program, please see the course catalogue.

Opportunity to Study Abroad

Students and German professor in the city center after a walking tour with a licensed city guideIf you spend a semester or academic year in Germany, Austria or Switzerland, you can earn 12-18 credits toward your minor in German! Some programs require a German language prerequisite while others require no prior German language experience (please check with your advisor or the program to make sure). Students may enroll in German language courses in addition to courses in German history, international relations in Europe, Holocaust studies, and Central European culture and literary history.

The B.A. in Global Communication and World Languages-German

This degree is an interdisciplinary program that allows students to combine their interests in German with the study of evidence–based communication approaches to create shared meaning and understanding of messages. Students become productive global citizens as they learn how to engage in rigorous application of communication theory and research while increasing linguistic and practical skills and broadening their awareness of culture to prepare for the global workplace. Graduates are in high demand as they combine core communication skills with high-level proficiency in a world language. They will be able to pursue careers in diplomacy, government, health care professions, journalism, NGOs, philanthropic organizations with international reach and more. The nine-credit hour Capstone sequence, which includes a service learning course/internship, intensive research in their chosen language, and a senior seminar in the global workplace, will provide students with hands on experience, which future employers will value. The major consists of 45 credits taken through the School of Communication and German. For more information, click here.

Contact Us!


Department of Languages
127 DeMille Hall, Chapman University, Orange, CA 92866
(714) 997-6843