Let's start with 100 million reasons—that's the number of people who speak German around the world. German is more than one of the most common languages—it's also one of the international standards for engineering, science, business and many other academic and professional fields. This program is for students who want to be fluent in German, study the largest economy in the European Union, and learn more about the birthplace of Einstein, Arendt, Nietzsche, Beethoven and other world-famous Germans. 

What will I learn?

As a German major, you’ll spend a lot of your time in small classes, with plenty of opportunities to practice speaking and work closely with your classmates and teachers. This program is designed to make you proficient in understanding, speaking, reading and writing German. In addition, you’ll gain knowledge and insight about German culture, which gives you an advantage as you’re preparing to work as a teacher, translator and in other careers.

What can I do outside of class?

How does a semester in Germany sound? Or a summer in Austria? As a German major, you’ll be strongly encouraged to spend at least a semester taking classes in a German-speaking country, living among native speakers and immersing yourself in German culture.

Closer to campus, many students (especially those interested in linguistics) do an internship, either in a local public school or at a service agency such as the International Institute of Buffalo or Literacy Volunteers. An internship lets you build your network and gain more real-world experience.

Of course, UB also has hundreds of student groups—including groups for students who are interested in different languages and cultures.

Study Abroad
Student Clubs

What can I do with a German degree?

German is one of the most common languages in the world, which means a German degree gives you choices throughout your career. Common career paths include:

  • Academia and education. Teach at schools and universities in the U.S. or German-speaking countries, or help develop effective educational materials.
  • Publishing and translation. Become a translator, announcer, interpreter, technical writer, journalist or specialist at a book publisher, media company, immigration agency or many other types of organizations.
  • Industry, research and consultation. Work as a linguist or diplomat for a government agency. Study and document how German is used for a research lab. Become an import/export specialist or lawyer, or perhaps consult for law enforcement and other professionals.

Many students continue their education in graduate school, often for an advanced degree in teaching English as a second language, linguistics or a related field.

Who will I learn from?

Our faculty members have earned Humboldt Research Fellowships, National Science Foundation grants, UB’s Exceptional Scholar Award and many other honors. They conduct research on some of the world's most spoken (and least spoken) languages, collaborate with scholars around the globe on data-driven linguistics research, have helped lead professional organizations such as the Linguistic Society of America, and support the study and survival of endangered languages. They are authors, conference presenters and journal editors who are widely recognized for their expertise.

In addition, our faculty are exceptional teachers and have earned the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching. As a student here, you'll appreciate the small classes and access to faculty as you get to know some of the leading scholars and mentors in the field.