The goal of the German program at USU is to prepare students for a high level of proficiency in professional and academic contexts. Majors take language courses in which they develop speaking, listening, reading and writing skills; culture and literature courses where they learn about the traditions and perspectives of German-speaking communities; and business and translation courses, which offer practice-oriented preparation for the job market. They also have the option to participate in study abroad programs in Germany where they gain proficiency in German and experience exciting travel opportunities.
The faculty members in the German program have culturally diverse expertise in language, literature, and culture which helps majors gain a solid grounding in German language and culture and prepares them to function effectively in a variety of careers and as members of the international community.
- German Teaching: This emphasis is for students who wish to obtain licensure to teach in secondary schools. It includes courses in language history, the interaction of language and society, and teaching methodologies.
This is for the German teaching emphasis only. In order to obtain a secondary teaching license for grades 6-12, students must complete the 35-credit Secondary Teacher Education Program (STEP), which includes one semester of student teaching in a public school. This program is administered by USU’s School of Teacher Education and Leadership (TEAL) within the Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services. Student must apply to the School of TEAL the semester before taking STEP courses. This is usually the fall of their junior year. Students learn subject content through the Languages, Philosophy, and Communication Studies Department, and spend the last year or two studying education techniques through the STEP program.
Students in the German teaching program are required to select an approved teaching minor in order to expand their career options.
With a degree in German, students may pursue the following careers:
- Translator or interpreter
- Customs worker
- Government translator
- Immigration services
- Language teacher or tutor
- Social services
- International business or development
- Peace Corps
- Tour guide
German Teaching Emphasis
- German teacher in middle school or high school
Career Services provides counseling and information on hundreds of job and internship opportunities and even helps students apply and interview.
In addition to Utah State University’s admissions requirements, the German program has additional requirements:
- Freshmen: New freshmen admitted to USU in good standing qualify for admission to this major.
- Transfer students: Transfer students from other institutions and students transferring for other USU majors need a 2.5 total GPA for admission to this major.
- The department administers placement tests for new German students who have had prior exposure to the German language.
STEP Requirements (German teaching with secondary school licensure emphasis only): In order to be accepted into STEP, students must go through an application process, which includes the following:
- Complete 60 semester credits with a minimum GPA of 2.75
- Complete certain core courses (see department for more information)
- Complete OPI test and score a minimum of “Advanced Low”
- Complete a speech and hearing test
- Pass the Teacher Education Writing Exam
- Provide an unofficial copy of your transcript
- Pass a criminal background check (this should be done one semester before submitting the application)
International students have additional admissions requirements.
Professional Organizations, Honor Societies, and Clubs
American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages: This is the only national organization dedicated to the improvement and expansion of the teaching and learning of all languages at all levels of instruction. ACTFL is an individual membership organization of more than 9,000 foreign language educators and administrators from elementary through graduate education, as well as government and industry.
Phi Sigma Iota: This is the highest academic honor in the field of foreign languages. This honor society recognizes outstanding accomplishment in the study or teaching of academic fields related to foreign language, literature, or culture. These fields include foreign languages, as well as classic languages, linguistics, philology, comparative literature, bilingual education, second language acquisition, and other interdisciplinary programs with a significant foreign language component. Phi Sigma Iota promotes the principles of dedication, enthusiasm, and initiative at both the graduate and undergraduate level by encouraging leadership opportunities in chapter development and scholarship awards.
German Club: USU's German Club is open to any interested student on campus. The club meets to discuss academic topics, job opportunities, and compete and participate in a number of different activities with organizations around campus.
Labs, Centers, Research
With the second oldest undergraduate research program in the nation, USU offers students a wide range of opportunities to gain hands-on research experience. USU’s Honors Program prepares students for excellent graduate programs by helping them build relationships with professors, participate in research projects, take smaller, more intensive classes, and develop leadership skills.
Technology Assisted Language Center: This center serves primarily as a self-paced, language practice facility for students majoring in foreign languages.