Departments, Programs and Centers


World Languages and Cultures
  • Director: Claudia Grossman
  • Professors: Gabrielle Bersier
  • Associate Professor: Daniel Nützel
  • Senior Lecturer: Claudia Grossmann
  • Professors Emeriti: John Barlow, Giles Hoyt
  • Adjunct Assistant Professor: Ruth Reichmann
  • Adjunct Associate Professor: Julie A. Belz
  • Academic Advising: Cavanaugh Hall 539D, (317) 274-3943
  • Website:

The IUPUI German program trains students to achieve linguistic proficiency and cross-cultural competency in German. Linguistic proficiency is the ability to communicate orally and in writing about subjects of common knowledge in the target language. A step-by-step systematic progression of language courses aids students to achieve fluency in German and allows them later to concentrate on chosen areas of linguistic specialization.

To gain cross-cultural competency, students acquire a solid knowledge of contemporary life in the German-speaking countries and learn to compare their institutions, customs, and mentalities with contemporary U.S. culture. Students also gain intercultural competency through critical knowledge of the historical and cultural movements and personalities that have had the most impact on contemporary culture in the German-speaking countries, especially Germany.

In addition, all students in the program have the option of studying in Germany or Austria for a limited or extended period of time, or to gain practical career experience in business or technology by working as an intern overseas or in a local international corporation.

Courses in German not only broaden students’ cultural horizons by giving them immediate access to a key region of central Europe, but also prepare students for a variety of careers in international business communication, translation, travel, education, and technology exchange. By combining the study of another discipline with specialization in German, students can also prepare more thoroughly and adequately for graduate studies.

Major in German

In addition to the area distribution requirements for the School of Liberal Arts, the major in German requires the following:

  • 29 credit hours above the 100 level, 
  • including at least one 400-level language course (G423, G431, G445, G465),
  • one contemporary culture course (G365),
  • at least one 400-level historical culture and literature course (G407, G408, G409, G410) and
  • a capstone portfolio (G498).

Other courses may also be selected on the basis of placement level by test or course work and/or focus of interest. They include all 200-, 300-, and 400-level courses, except courses taught in English.

Minor in German

The minor in German language skills is for students who are interested in the German language as a tool of communication. Its emphasis is on competence in the skills of reading, writing, and understanding spoken German, as well as on conversational proficiency in German.

Requirements consist of 14 credit hours, to include G225 and G230 or G299, plus a minimum of 6 credit hours from courses at the 300 or 400 level taught in German (a minimum of 6 credit hours must be completed on the IUPUI campus).

Program for International Engineering

Students majoring in biomedical, mechanical, electrical, or computer engineering can also earn an applied German major. German language requirements and some School of Liberal Arts requirements are modified for this major. The dual degree program takes five years to complete and includes a one-semester internship in Germany during the fourth year of study. Students may formally enter into the program after completion of the Freshmen Engineering program. For further information, contact the director of the Program in German and refer to the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology section of this bulletin.

Teacher Certification for Secondary School

Teaching certification can be required after completion of the B.A. degree with a major in German through successful completion of the Transition-to-Teaching Program in the School of Education. Please contact the School of Education regarding details and the application process.

Honors in German

Honors in German can be achieved either through an honors degree or through the H-Option in individual courses. For the Honor’s Degree, a cumulative GPA of 3.3 and a GPA of 3.5 in German courses must be achieved. 24 credit hours of coursework must be earned with honors, with a minimum of 18 credits in German courses above the 100-level. Honors credits through the H-option are available in upper-division language courses, as well as upper division literature, film, culture, and topics courses taught in German.

Study Abroad

Any form of foreign study is highly recommended, and the department gives credit for such study wherever possible. IUPUI offers a two-week summer study abroad program in Heilbronn in southwestern Germany for students who have completed at least first-year German. The program includes intensive language training, educational field trips, and a service learning component.  Outstanding students with a substantial command of German, a minimum GPA of 3.0 and a B average in German courses may apply for the Overseas Study academic year program in Freiburg, Germany, during their junior year. Up to 30 IU credit hours may be earned through the program. Semester programs are also available in Freiburg. A summer program is offered in Graz, Austria, for students who have completed course work through G230. Contact the German Program or International Affairs for more information.

Internship in Baden-Württemberg

Students in the Schools of Liberal Arts; Science, Engineering, and Technology; and Business may apply for a two-month summer internship with a German firm in southwestern Germany. Advanced standing, a minimum overall GPA of 3.0, and German language skills are required. Each area of the exchange has a specific language requirement. Three credits may be earned.

Other Activities

German Club The department sponsors a German Club, open to all interested students. Various topics are discussed and events of cultural interest are presented during the academic year.

Max Kade German-American Center The Center is established to facilitate research and teaching in German-American Studies and also offers two awards annually for students to study German overseas, two graduate fellowships, and a scholarship for the Dual-Degree Program in Engineering and German.