Nighttime in city

Study German!

There are many reasons to learn German at Duke including fantastic teachers, a close community of fellow students, and fun activities in and out of class!

In Europe, more people speak German as their native language than English, French or Spanish. German, Austrian, and Swiss-German composers, philosophers, and authors have changed the way we think and live.

German is an excellent language to learn in preparation for professional careers in international business or law, engineering, government and international affairs, economics and finance, and education, as well as for academic careers in such fields as history, religion, philosophy, art history, political science, literature, and music.

German Courses at Duke – Language and Culture

Our courses will encourage you to think of yourselves as belonging to global communities and allow you to understand yourselves and the world from multiple perspectives. In addition to German language instruction at all levels, our cultural courses foster critical thinking and cultural awareness, and also teach sound and persuasive argumentation and effective oral and written presentation.  

Advanced seminars taught in German include:

  • The Image of America in German Culture
  • The Uncanny German Canon
  • Ethics and Literature
  • German Underworlds

Our intriguing classes in English include:

  • Fairy Tales from Grimm to Disney
  • Marx, Nietzsche, Freud
  • Virtual Reality: Imaginary Worlds from Plato to Cyberspace
  • What is Beauty?
  • The Legend of King Arthur
  • The Viking Age
  • Kafka

German Studies course offerings fulfill many of the modes of inquiry required by the Duke curriculum, including ALP (Arts, Literature, and Performance), CCI (Cross-Cultural Inquiry), CZ (Civilizations), and EI (Ethical Inquiry).

Global Education – Duke in Berlin

Our popular Duke in Berlin program allows you to experience the drive and energy of Europe’s new cultural capital. Many of our students rank this program as the most rewarding and formative in their student lives. You can go to Berlin during the summer, for a single semester, or for an entire year. In collaboration with the Duke Pratt School of Engineering, we have also established a special spring/summer engineering track. Students can take classes taught by Duke faculty members and enroll in courses at both the Free University and the Technical University in Berlin. Duke in Berlin courses count as normal Duke courses so students can make significant advance toward a minor or major in German.

Study and Work in Germany – Fellowships and Internships

With its internationally connected universities and corporations, Germany offers numerous fellowships and internships for students. For example, the federal German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) sponsors more than 55,000 exchanges in higher education every year. Recent majors and minors have also secured internships at companies and institutions in fields such as business, finance, software development, diplomacy, law, and biotechnology. We are committed to assisting our students when applying to a range of programs. Please contact Andrea Larson for more information.

German Outside the Classroom

German Department life at Duke extends beyond the classroom. The student-run Duke German Club holds regular meetings and organizes film series. Regular presentations from guest speakers provide additional exposure to German culture. A recent example of extracurricular activities includes a semester long series of events to commemorate the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989. Thanks to a generous grant from the German Embassy in Washington DC, the department brought German politicians to campus as well as organized a gala event.