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Why learn German? Learning German can help you connect with 100 million speakers in Europe.

German is among the top ten most commonly spoken native languages in the world. The German-speaking countries at the heart of Europe form a densely populated area that is rich in economic power, innovation, and cultural activity. Germany has the most native speakers in the European Union, far more than English, French, or Spanish.


Why learn German?
Learning German opens doors to exciting global careers.

The German economy ranks number one in Europe and number four worldwide. Germany is one of the largest exporters in the world and home to many international corporations. In turn, many German companies maintain a presence in the U.S. Direct investment from Germany in the U.S. has increased six fold since 1990. Employees with knowledge of German are in high demand, and they earn top salaries.


Why learn German?
Learning German opens new horizons.

Many of the Western world’s most influential works of philosophy, literature, music, theology, psychology, medicine, physics, and engineering were written in German. German is the language of Luther, Marx, Freud, Goethe, Einstein, Beethoven, Mozart, Schumann, Kant, Heidegger, Wittgenstein, Mann, and Brecht. Today 18% of all the books in the world are published in German, and few of these ever appear in English.


Why learn German?
At many U.S. universities, German is the world language required most often.

German is the second most commonly used scientific language in the world. Germany is the third largest contributor to research and development and offers research fellowships to scientists from abroad. Among the many academic programs requiring or recommending German are: Art History, Biology, Linguistics, Music, Philosophy, Physics, and Religious Studies.


Why learn German?
Germans form the largest single heritage group in the U.S.

More than 60 million Americans are at least partly of German heritage, making German Americans the largest single heritage group in the U.S. In waves of immigration that span nearly 4 centuries, Germans brought with them many customs and traditions that have become so ingrained in American ways that their origin is often forgotten.

sign that says duetschland

Why learn German?
German is a user-friendly language.

Of the languages commonly taught in the U.S., German is the most closely related to English, so many German words and sentences are easy to understand (i.e. Freund = friend, Buch = book, Theater = theater, Universität = university).

Welcome to the German Program at SDSU

Department of European Studies
San Diego State University
5500 Campanile Drive
San Diego, CA 92182-7704
Office: SH-224A
Mail Code: 7704
Phone: (619) 594-5111
Fax: (619) 594-8006

German Studies Program Director
Kristin Rebien

German Studies Undergraduate Adviser
Kristin Rebien

The German Program at SDSU offers students multiple pathways to discovering the language and culture of German-speaking Europe, one of the most populous, vibrant, and economically successful regions of the continent.

Our lower-division language courses prepare students to speak, comprehend, read, and write German with fluency. They also begin to build a nuanced understanding of cultural, social, and political particularities of the German-speaking world. All of our courses emphasize proficiency, that is, the ability to communicate effectively in German from the very first day of class.

Students who continue on the upper-division level explore German language and culture in greater depth, ranging from medieval to contemporary and studying literature, linguistics, intellectual and political history, film, visual arts, music, theater and the performing arts. Students are encouraged to pursue individual interests within the program.

The German Program hosts a variety of activities throughout the year, most of which are free and open to the public, including lectures, film series, and social events. It is also home to the SDSU German Club, a Student Organization that is open to all interested students on campus.

News and Events

Germany ranked “Best Country” by U.S. News and World Report.
Read the article

German Film Showcase: March 2nd and April 20th

Lecture: The European Union Today, March 22nd

Lecture: Teaching as a Profession, April 27th

More News and Events