German Program


Why should I study German?

·         Get in touch with your roots. There are more Americans of German ancestry than any other.

·         Get in touch with the world. Between World War One and the Fall of the Wall, much of the twentieth century happened in Germany. With Germany as the largest member nation of the European Union, much of the twenty-first century is taking place there, too. In addition to momentous historical events, Germans have made fundamental contributions to music, art, literature, architecture, and many other fields for centuries.

·         Get in touch with your boss’s boss. Germany is the largest economy in the European Union, and one of the top exporting nations in the world. Many German companies are active in the U.S. or have purchased American firms. You never know where your career will take you, but knowing German could prove useful. Also, be sure to look at Brooks Haderlie’s information about careers in translation.

·         Get ready for grad school. Many graduate programs require ability in one, two, or more additional research languages, very often including German, because German scholars were some of the earliest leaders in many fields of the sciences, social sciences, and humanities.

What German course should I take?

·         If you’ve never had German before, take German 101.

·         If you had a couple years or more of German in high school, you’ll probably want to start in German 102 or possibly 201. Take the online placement exam and contact the instructor of the course that seems right for you. For German 101 and 102, take a look at the textbook (Kontakte, 7th ed.) and see if the material from the first half of the textbook (for 101) or second half (for 102) seems familiar to you, or if it seems completely foreign. Come to the first few days of classes and see how it goes. Talk to your instructor. One way or another, we usually get students sorted out quickly.

·         If you’ve been in Germany for 6-12 months or more, and you’ve been studying the language diligently, you should probably take German 202. 

             What courses do I need for a German minor?

German 101, 102, 201, 202, 321, 400, and 410. If you’ve been abroad and already have strong proficiency in German, you need to take German 202, 321, 400, and 410, and then apply for vertical credit for German 101-201.

What courses do I need for a German cluster?

For beginning students, you need to take German 101, 102, and 201. If you have been abroad, you must take at least one course at BYU-Idaho to complete a cluster, either German 202 or 321.

What about a teaching minor?

German teaching minors need to take the foreign language pedagogy course, German 377, but are only required to take German 400 or 410, not both.

All German minors should go abroad, but for teaching minors, that advice should be taken much more seriously. You probably can’t pass the German praxis exam without the high-level language ability that most students can only acquire through substantial experience living in German, Austria, or Switzerland. You should only plan to complete a German teaching minor if you have a plan to acquire this experience.

Can I test out of German courses?

You can if you are a German-speaking returned missionary or have had extensive non-academic experience with the German language, but in nearly all cases, taking German 202 and then applying for vertical credit for German 101-201 is a better option. You can apply for vertical credit in any advising center, and the process is quick and inexpensive once you’ve passed German 202. It’s even possible to take this course, apply for vertical credit, and complete a German cluster the semester you graduate.  

I want to go to Germany. What study abroad options in Germany are available through BYU-Idaho?

At the moment, none - but don’t let that stop you! BYU-Idaho students can apply to the many programs offered through BYU-Provo, and to programs offered through many other universities as well. There is a huge range of study abroad programs out there, depending on your needs and your schedule. If you’re prepared to go, we’ll find one for you. 

I want to be a German tutor or a TA.

Each semester, the German program hires 2-3 students as TAs. All TAs must have an excellent knowledge of the language, and preference is given to students enrolled in the German or German Teaching minor. The tutoring center does its own hiring and training for tutors.