See the world from a global perspective with a major or minor in German. From Kant to Kafka, and Gauss to Planck, Germany has produced some of the world’s most influential and enduring contributions to literature, philosophy, science, and mathematics. As a German student at RMC, you can choose to focus your studies on the language, to develop important communication and critical thinking skills, or the German studies track, where you’ll explore German-speaking cultures through literature, film, art, music, intellectual and political history. Since German is a valuable language for business and academic pursuits, many students combine their interest with other majors including political science, international studies, business and economics, biology, math or religious studies.
A semester or year abroad is a transformative experience for German majors. Randolph-Macon’s direct exchange program with Phillips Universität in Marburg is a popular option. A charming university town, Marburg is set in a river valley in the middle of Germany and offers some of the best-preserved medieval architecture in the country, as well as lots of cool cafes, restaurants, and entertainment. As a direct exchange student, your Phillips Universität courses transfer directly for Randolph-Macon credit. Interested in studying elsewhere? No problem. Through Randolph-Macon partner ISEP, you may also choose to study at other exciting universities in Germany, Austria or Switzerland.
Through capstone research, independent study, or as part of the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program, German students are encouraged to pursue their own research on topics related to German culture, film, history, art and literature. A German faculty advisor mentors you throughout the research process. This hands-on research experience is yet another way to immerse yourself in your learning and equips you with valuable research and critical thinking stills that are applicable in a range of careers. Departmental awards, The Gerd and Johanne Gilhoff Award in German and the Prämienbücher Award, often honor students whose extraordinary dedication to the study of German language and culture includes a research project.
Advising and Mentorship
Modern languages department faculty take pride in guiding RMC students through their language and cross-cultural experiences with empathy and support. They foster community among students studying German, and more broadly languages at RMC, and guide not only your academic journey, but your future career.
35the number of dialects in the German language
155Mpeople speak German
6countries designate German as the official language (Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg and Liechtenstein)
Conversation and Film: The Context of the Two Wars
Learn how World War I and II affected German society and culture. Apply critical thinking skills to a range of films, texts, visual art and music to reflect on the nature of the political and social changes that influenced and shaped lives. Study Stefanie Zweig’s autobiographical account of her family’s risky self-exile to escape Nazi persecution; and analyze Bernhard Schlink’s novel The Reader about post-war German society and how it comes to terms with the Holocaust and the war in Germany.
Conversation in German: Diversity in German Culture
Analyze recent German history through the lens of migration and transculturation. Discuss literary and visual representations of migrants and social outcasts in German literature, film, music, and art. Examine the work of multiethnic writers and artists to explore concepts of otherness and belonging.
Advanced Business German
Learn how to use German in specific business-related contexts and function in business settings. Study current economic and political events related to the European Union, environmental issues, recent historical events, cultural issues that inform business practices, job search and job interviews, office organization and equipment, social meetings with business partners and small talk.
German Lunch Table gatherings
Kaffee & Kuchen
Learning German for coffee, cake, and conversation auf Deutsch.
Jeremy Binder ’05
Senior Manager of Publisher Operations
“I had nothing but great experiences through my RMC journey! Through the support and guidance of the incredibly bright professors and staff, I fostered and gained increased curiosity in the world. If you have the opportunity to study abroad, I highly recommend you do!”
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