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Butler campus
Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures

German

Student in Austria

Germany has the largest economy in the European Union (EU) and the fourth largest in the world. The German language holds official status in seven EU countries and, locally, is the third-most-spoken language in Indiana.

The Department of Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures offers a German major and minor that prepare you for today’s globalized world—providing the linguistic fluency and cultural competency needed to obtain a broad range of academic, service, and professional opportunities.

Led by native speakers, our German program supports interdisciplinary study with many other Butler departments, programs, and colleges, including International StudiesHistory and AnthropologyText and Ideas (T&I)BusinessCommunicationPharmacy, and the fine arts.

Join us and take advantage of:

Browse our course offerings.

Financial Support

Please read through these lists of numerous Prestigious Scholarship Opportunities (scroll down to "language study"), as well as study abroad scholarships (CIEE and IFSA-Butler) and travel grants.

Check out the annual Liberal Arts and Sciences $1,000 essay contest (typically due by January), the annual Gerstein Holocaust Travel Fund (typically due by January), the annual John Weidner Endowed Scholarship for Altruism (typically due by March), and the annual Corrine Welling Scholarship (typically due by April).

For international students, here's some advice and information on Scholarships and Grants set aside specifically for you.

If you encounter a short-term, unforeseen financial hardship or immediate expense that's impacting your academic success, please read about the Butler Emergency Assistance Fund.

Requirements for the German Major

Download our German major/minor info packet. (PDF)

Overview

The German major consists of a minimum 33 credits in the language.

At least 24 of these credits must be at the 300 level or above.

At least two courses must be at the 400 level.

Students who major in German normally include study abroad in their programs.

Visit the Core Curriculum site for Core requirements.

Skills Courses
Additional Courses
  • GR 315, German for Business (3)
  • GR 320, Contemporary German Authors (3)
  • GR 322, The German Play (3)
  • GR 330, Children’s Literature (3)
  • GR 335, German Studies I: Tradition and Innovation (3)
  • GR 340, German Studies II: Nation and Identity (3)
  • GR 342, German Studies III: Modernity and Tyranny (3)
  • GR 360, German Film (3)
  • GR 390, Topics: German Literature and Culture (3)
  • GR 401, Internship in German (counts as 300- or 400-level elective) (1)
  • GR 402, Internship in German (counts as 300- or 400-level elective) (2)
  • GR 403, Internship in German (counts as 300- or 400-level elective) (3)
  • GR 467, Topics in German Studies: Age of Goethe (3)
  • GR 470, Topics in German Studies: The 19th Century (3)
  • GR 475, Topics in German Studies: The 20th Century (3)
  • GR 490, German Seminar (may be repeated with different topics) (3)
  • GR 499, Honors in Thesis in German (counts as 300- or 400-level elective) (3)
  • FL 390, German-focused Seminar (in English; counts toward German major only, not minor; may only be counted once) (3)
  • FL 499, Keystone (in English; strongly encouraged for all senior majors and minors) (1)
Suggested Supplemental Course (in English)
  • TI 225, Text and Ideas (T&I): Literary Responses to Two World Wars (Core) (3)

NOTE: Requirements for incoming students may not reflect the degree requirements of current students.

Current students are encouraged to consult their academic advisement report in my.butler.edu to see their individual requirements and progress toward program completion. However, students are welcome to consult the Modern Languages department chair, who determines program completion confirmation.

Requirements for the German Minor

Download our German major/minor info packet. (PDF)

Overview

The German minor consists of a minimum 21 credits in approved courses.

At least 12 credits must be at the 300 level or above.

At least one course must be at the 400 level. 

Students who minor in German normally include study abroad in their programs.  

Courses Offered
  • GR 301, German Conversation
  • GR 305, Society and Politics Today (Speaking Across the Curriculum when designated) (3)
  • GR 310, German for Writing (3)
  • GR 315, German for Business (3)
  • GR 320, Contemporary German Authors (3)
  • GR 322, The German Play (3)
  • GR 330, Children’s Literature (3)
  • GR 335, German Studies I: Tradition and Innovation (3)
  • GR 340, German Studies II: Nation and Identity (3)
  • GR 342, German Studies III: Modernity and Tyranny (3)
  • GR 360, German Film (3)
  • GR 390, Topics: German Literature and Culture (3)
  • GR 401, Internship in German (counts as 300- or 400-level elective) (1)
  • GR 402, Internship in German (counts as 300- or 400-level elective) (2)
  • GR 403, Internship in German (counts as 300- or 400-level elective) (3)
  • GR 467, Topics in German Studies: Age of Goethe (3)
  • GR 470, Topics in German Studies: The 19th Century (3)
  • GR 475, Topics in German Studies: The 20th Century (3)
  • GR 490, German Seminar (may be repeated with different topics) (3)
  • GR 499, Honors in Thesis in German (counts as 300- or 400-level elective) (3)
Suggested Supplemental Courses (in English)
  • FL 390, German-focused Seminar (in English; counts toward German major only, not minor; may only be counted once) (3)
  • FL 499, Keystone (in English; strongly encouraged for all senior majors and minors) (1)
  • TI 225, Text and Ideas (T&I): Literary Responses to Two World Wars (Core) (3)

NOTE: Requirements for incoming students may not reflect the degree requirements of current students.

Current students are encouraged to consult their academic advisement report in my.butler.edu to see their individual requirements and progress toward program completion. However, students are welcome to consult the Modern Languages department chair, who determines program completion confirmation.

How to Declare the German Major or Minor

To declare a German major or minor, simply complete a "Major/Minor/Program Change Form" in the Dean's office of your primary major.  The LAS Dean's office is located in Jordan Hall 237.

Under "old plan", list all majors and minors that you currently have.
Under "new plan", list all of the majors and minors that you want to appear on your transcripts.  If there is more than one major, document which will be your primary major and which will be your secondary major.  List all minors.

Example:

Old:   English - primary major

          No minors

New: English - primary major

         German - secondary major

         Psychology - minor

 

The sooner you declare a major or minor, the sooner you can ensure that you are on track to complete all the requirements.

Once the form has completed the approval process, Registration and Records will update your My.Butler portal.  The Administrative Specialist in Modern Languages (MLLC) will email you with an acknowledgment of the added major or minor, and assign an advisor if necessary.  The advisor can help you find a selection of language courses that complement your other work being done at the University, as well as help you prepare for study abroad programs.

German Courses

Below is a listing of classes that may be offered during your studies at Butler.  For the most updated topics and other information, please review our course offerings.

 

GR101 Beginning German 1

Development of speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills and insights into German-speaking cultures. Prerequisite: No previous formal German instruction or placement in GR101. (U)(3) Fall

GR102 Beginning German 2

Development of speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills and insights into German-speaking cultures. Prerequisite: GR101 or placement in GR102. (U)(3) Spring

GR200 German Conversation

Students will develop their oral proficiency by concentrating on pronunciation and practical vocabulary. Extensive use of class discussion to increase accuracy and fluency. Course cannot be counted toward the major or minor and does not fulfill the language requirement. Prerequisite: One year of college German or placement in GR203. (U)(1) Annually, term varies

GR203 Intermediate German I

Review of the basic structures of German with an emphasis on active skills. Introduction to German literature through readings, film, and discussion in German. Prerequisite: One year of college German or placement in GR203. (U)(3) Fall

GR204 Intermediate German II

Continuation of the review of the basic structures of German with an emphasis on active skills. Practice through readings, films, and discussions in German. Exploration of social, artistic, historical, and/or political topics. Prerequisite: Three semesters of college German or placement in GR204 (U)(3) Spring

GR301 German Conversation

Weekly practice in conversation in German to maintain and increase oral proficiency. Discussions of topics of current interest, based on readings of journalistic texts. Prerequisite: two years of German or equivalent. (U)(1)

GR305 Society and Politics Today

This course offers practice in oral German to develop accuracy and fluency through guided conversations, discussions, individual presentations, vocabulary building, and grammar review. Topics deal with contemporary German culture, society, politics, media, and business. Prerequisite: Two years of college German or placement at the 300 level. (U)(3) Occasionally

GR306 Contemporary Culture: Music, Film, and Media

This course offers an introduction to contemporary cultural life in the German-speaking countries. Topics focus on music, film, TV, and advertising, as well as art and literature. Practice in oral and written German to develop accuracy and fluency through analysis of cultural texts, discussions, vocabulary building, and grammar review. Prerequisites: Completion of GR204, placement at the GR 300 level, or permission of the department chair. (U)(3) Occasionally

GR310 German for Writing

This course offers practice in written German to develop accuracy and fluency through the analysis of various writing styles and genres, vocabulary building, and grammar review. Emphasis is on the process of writing, guided corrections, and enhancement of self-evaluation. Prerequisite: Two years of college German or placement in German at the 300 level. (U)(3) Occasionally

GR311 Contemporary German Authors

A course providing reading and discussion of selected texts by post-war authors. Oral and written literary analysis. Prerequisite: Two years of college German or placement in 300-level German. (U)(3) Occasionally

GR315 German for Business

This course offers an introduction to the structures, institutions, procedures, and terminology of the German business world. Current business news is explored through a variety of media, such as print, television, and the internet. Prerequisite: Two years of college German or placement at the 300 level. (U)(3) Occasionally

GR319 Germany: Land of Science and Innovation

Today, Germany justifiably defines itself as an innovation powerhouse leading the world into a future of sustainability and interconnectedness. This course delves into the German-speaking world of science, innovation, and discovery. Through hands-on experiences and research students will be prepared for internships in STEM fields in German-speaking countries and the globally collaborative work environment of the 21st century. Prerequisite: completion of GR 204, placement at the 300 level, or permission of the department chair. (U)(3).Occasionally

GR320 Contemporary German Authors

An introduction to literary studies in German through close readings and critical analysis of selected texts by post-war authors such as Grass, Durrenmatt, and Wolf. Prerequisite: Two years of college German or placement at the 300 level. (U)(3) Occasionally

GR322 The German Play

A seminar in textual and performance studies in which students learn about all aspects of theatrical production from costume design, props, lighting, sound design, and stage management to directing and acting. The course will focus on a single dramatic work studied in depth, culminating in the staging of the play. Prerequisite: Two years of college German or placement at the 300 level. (U)(3) Occasionally

GR330 Children's Literature

This course in literature for and about children and adolescents offers an introduction to German culture and history from 1800 to the present. Issues considered include social inequality, gender, family, education, and growing up in authoritarian regimes. Prerequisite: Two years of college German or placement at the 300 level. (U)(3) Occasionally

GR335 Germany Studies I

Tradition and Innovation: A survey of the evolution of Germany from the Middle Ages to the Enlightenment through the study of literature, art, and other cultural material. Prerequisite: Two years of college German or placement at the 300 level. (U)(3) Occasionally

GR340 German Studies II: Nation and Identity

A survey of the evolution of Germany from Storm and Stress to Realism through the study of literature, art, and other cultural material. Prerequisite: Two years of college German or placement at the 300 level. (U)(3) Occasionally

GR342 German Studies III: Modernity and Tyranny

A survey of the evolution of Germany from Naturalism to the present through the study of literature, art, and other cultural material. Prerequisite: Two years of college German or placement at the 300 level. (U)(3) Occasionally

GR360 German Film

Analysis and discussion of German films within their cultural, historical, political, and social contexts. Prerequisite: Two years of college German or equivalent or placement at the 300 level (U)(3) Occasionally

GR390 Topics in Literature and Culture

Study of a selected topic in German literature or culture. Course may be repeated with each different topic. Prerequisite: Two years of college German or placement at the 300 level. (U)(3) Occasionally

GR401 Internship in German

A faculty-supervised work experience in schools, hospitals, not-for-profits, government, media, business, or other institutions. Primary language must be German. May be completed abroad or in the United States. Prerequisites: Acceptance into the internship program and permission of the department chair. (U)(1) Fall, spring, and summer

GR402 Internship in German

A faculty-supervised work experience inschools, hospitals, not-for-profits, government, media, business, or other institutions. Primary language must be German. May be completed abroad or in the United States. Prerequisites: Acceptance into the internship program and permission of the department chair. (U)(2) Fall, spring, and summer

GR403 Internship in German

A faculty-supervised work experience in schools, hospitals, not-for-profits, government, media, business, or other institutions. Primary language must be German. May be completed abroad or in the United States. Prerequisites: Acceptance into the internship program and permission of the department chair. (U/G)(3) Fall, spring, and summer

GR467 Topics in German Studies: Age of Goethe

Study of select writers, genres, or themes within the context of German culture from the Enlightenment to Romanticism. Topics may include the Faust theme in literature, art, and music, the rebel and the genius, Goethe, and Schiller. Prerequisite: Three years of college German or equivalent. (U)(3) Occasionally

GR470 Topics in German Studies: The 19th Century

Study of select writers, genres, or themes within the context of 19th-century German culture. Topics may include the German nation, fairy tales and fantastical literature, and the novella. Prerequisite: Three years of college German or equivalent. (U)(3) Occasionally

GR475 Topics in German Studies: The 20th Century

Study of select writers, genres, or themes within the context of 20th-century German culture. Topics may include fin-de-siècle literature, Kafka, GDR literature, and multicultural Germany. Prerequisite: Three years of college German or equivalent. (U)(3) Occasionally

GR490 Seminar

Investigation of a selected topic in German such as a genre, time period, writer, artist, or historical figure in its historical and social context. Course may be repeated with each different topic. Prerequisite: Three years of college German or equivalent. (U/G)(3) Occasionally

GR491 Independent Study

An opportunity for qualified students to pursue a topic of special interest. Open to majors and minors in German, by permission of the instructor and department chair. Prerequisite: Three years of college German or equivalent. (U/G)(1) Annually, term varies

GR492 Independent Study

An opportunity for qualified students to pursue a topic of special interest. Open to majors and minors in German, by permission of the instructor and department chair. Prerequisite: Three years of college German or equivalent. (U/G)(2) Annually, term varies

GR493 Independent Study

An opportunity for qualified students to pursue a topic of special interest. Open to majors and minors in German, by permission of the instructor and department chair. Prerequisite: Three years of college German or equivalent. (U/G)(3) Annually, term varies

GR494 German in Indianapolis, Then and Now

This course enables German students to have an internship experience in Indianapolis. It consists of multiple components: on-site work at IGeL (Indianapolis German Language Institute); field work in organizations and institutions that foster the German language, history, and culture in Indianapolis; and academic research and readings to supplement the more practical parts of the course. The course is comprised of approximately half internship-type work and half independent study-type work. Prerequisites: At least two courses from GR 300-399, permission of the instructor, and permission of the department chair. (U)(3) Annually, term varies

GR499 Honors Thesis

(U)(3) Annually, term varies 

 

 

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Extracurricular Activities

Kaffeestunde and Spielstunde

Enjoy free coffee, tea, hot chocolate, snacks, games, and conversation in German. Held multiple times each semester in our student Modern Language Center for students of all levels. 

German Klub

Founded in 2003, this student group provides you the chance to create and participate in German events for fun and for social, service, and academic development—including trips to Hofbräuhaus in Cincinnati and Chicago Christkindlmarket, visits to Perk Up Cafe and Heidelberg Haus Cafe, volunteering at various local events such as making Zuckertüten (IgeL Schule), GermanFest (Athenaeum), and Karneval (Athenaeum), and dinner at the Rathskeller, an authentic German restaurant in Indianapolis.

Visit our Facebook page.

Filmabend

Join us for evening movie showings on our student Modern Language Center's big screen, where you can enjoy popcorn and snacks, curled up on our comfy couches.

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Words From Alumni

Studying German at Butler allowed me to fully realize the potential of a liberal arts education. Not only was I learning a foreign language, but the classes I took taught me history, social science, literature, and business from a new perspective. What I learned in my German classes directly benefited me in all my undergraduate studies. —Sean Saxe

"As a part of my German major at Butler, I completed a summer internship with Caritas Jugendmigrationsdienst (Youth Migration Services) in Berlin, Germany. In addition to traveling, practicing German, and living in one of the coolest cities in Europe, my internship also gave me valuable work experience in the nonprofit sector."

—Avery Stearman

"After graduating, I spent seven months near Cologne, Germany working for Bayer CropScience, and it was an amazing experience. To immerse yourself in the language and culture of a country not your own—German classes and being part of the German Klub at Butler gave me the foundation I needed to have the courage to do that, and I am forever grateful."

—Sarah Strobl

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Service Learning Opportunities

IGeL Schule (Indianapolis German Language Institute)

The IGeL Schule is a school for bilingual children aged 0-12. The school is run by the German-speaking parents and generally meets Tuesday afternoons at the Athenaeum in downtown Indianapolis. Children learn and play in groups according to age led by at least two teachers.

Indianapolis German School (Samstagschule)

The Indianapolis German School is a language immersion program for children. It generally meets Saturday mornings at the International School of Indiana. The Indianapolis German School is an outreach program of the IUPUI Department of World Languages and Cultures. Teachers are native or bilingual speakers. Children of all language abilities are welcome. 

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What Bulldogs Dream, We Do

Julie O'Mara

German Alumna Julie O'MaraGerman and vocal performance double major Julie O'Mara went home, sort of, when she left for her 10-month Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Germany.

When she was 9, O'Mara's father was transferred to Germany, and the family spent five years there.

"I'm so excited to get to go back," she said. "Since I've already lived in Germany, I have some sort of vision of what it's going to be like. I want to continue my German practice and continue learning the language.

"I want to be fluent. That's my goal."

O'Mara won her Fulbright, in part, by discussing her interest in musical theater—including performing in Indy productions of Hair and Jesus Christ Superstar—and how to incorporate musical performance into her teaching.

"If I could get involved or help start a school program where we could do music—that was definitely part of my application," she said. "That's what they were interested in as a [method] of teaching English.”

O'Mara came to Butler from Flemington, New Jersey. Butler initially wasn’t on her radar, but then she heard about the University when the men’s basketball team went to its first Final Four.

I fell in love with Butler as soon as I got here. —Julie O'Mara

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Primed for Professional Success

Logos of German SubsidiariesAchieving a high proficiency in German primes you for success in the U.S. and on the international stage in the humanities, science, business, law, medicine, and more.

Many of the biggest organizations in the western hemisphere are actually German subsidiaries:

Daimler Group, T-Mobile, Siemens, BASF, BMW, Allianz, Robert Bosch, Bayer, Trader Joe’s, Aldi, ThyssenKrupp, Volkswagen, Lufthansa, SAP, and Adidas

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Leading, The Butler Way

Butler Alumna First Female African American Graduate in IndianaGertrude Amelia Mahorney—the first female African-American graduate of any Indiana college or university—graduated from Butler with a bachelor's degree in 1887, specializing in German. Mahorney then earned her master's degree from Butler two years later (the same year her younger brother John earned his bachelor's degree from Butler).

Mahorney was born in Indianapolis near the end of the Civil War. Following a year living in London’s East End in 1877, her family moved to Indianapolis' east-side Irvington neighborhood in 1879 with the hope Gertrude and John would attend Butler.

Degrees in hand, Mahorney taught German for many years in Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS).

In addition to teaching German, she translated German stories into English for Indianapolis newspapers.