Germanic Studies

Major Description

The majors in German Studies, German Business and Commercial Studies, and Scandinavian Studies develop competence in German or Scandinavian cultures and languages, and become familiar with business, contemporary political and social issues, intellectual history, literature, and science in these cultures. Majors become adept at intercultural communication, a sought-after ability by employers and graduate programs. Students learn linguistic structures of their chosen language, and also learn how cultures find expression through their languages, literatures, and cultures. These majors lead to careers in the law, in business, finance, government, non-profit organizations, teaching, information technology and services, and more.


Several concentrations are offered through the major.


Designed to provide students with an understanding of the language and customs of the business world in German-speaking countries, together with study of international affairs and commerce, especially trade with Europe.

Designed as a traditional study of German, providing students with a balanced knowledge of German language, literature, and civilization.

Designed for students with a broad interest in Scandinavian Studies, including acquiring proficiency in a modern Scandinavian language (Danish, Norwegian or Swedish) and a study abroad experience in Scandinavia.

Leads to the Bachelor or Arts in the Teaching of German.

Courses That Introduce the Major:

Any course in GER or SCAN potentially can introduce the major. Students should consult with the Director of Undergraduate Studies about course selection, prior to the registration period

Possible Career Opportunities:

Majoring in German Studies, German Business and Commercial Studies, or Scandinavian Studies can lead to careers in the law, in business, finance, government, non-profit organizations, teaching, information technology and services, and more.

  • Ability to persuade/influence
  • Clear and concise writing
  • Comprehensive command of grammar and vocabulary
  • Creating and clarifying ideas
  • Critical thinking
  • Cross-cultural communication
  • Good listening, clarifying and responding skills
  • High proficiency in reading, speaking and writing
  • Language competence for speaking, writing, reading and listening
  • Oral presentation/public speaking
  • Understanding of cultural differences
  • Understanding of Germanic history, literature, music, and folklore
  • Working social and professional competence in German or Scandinavian language
  • Account Executive
  • Analyst
  • Anthropologist
  • Archaeologist
  • Bilingual Instructor (ESL)
  • CIA/FBI Special Agent
  • Civil Service Worker
  • Community Relations Rep.
  • Copy Editor
  • Corporate Specialist
  • Customs Official
  • Employment Interviewer
  • Foreign Correspondent
  • Foreign News Journalist
  • Foreign Services Worker
  • Foreign Travel Advisors
  • Historian
  • Hotel Manager
  • Immigration Specialist
  • Import/Export Agent
  • Information Science/Archivist
  • Intelligence Specialist
  • International Engineering Aide
  • Interpreter
  • Language Researcher
  • Linguist
  • Museum Curator
  • Overseas Teacher for Foreign
  • Peace Corps Volunteer
  • Personnel Manager
  • Scientific Researcher/ Translator
  • Service Representative
  • Speech Pathologist
  • Teacher
  • Technical Liaison to US firms in foreign countries
  • Textbook Author/Editor
  • Translator
Enhancing Your Academic Experience:
  • Participating in undergraduate research
  • Applying for a study abroad experience
  • Utilizing resources of The Career Center
  • Joining a Registered Student Organization (RSO) related to this major, such as:
    • Deutschklub: promotes the German culture and language in the U of I community.
    • Scandanavian Club: increases community appreciation of Scandinavian cultures by celebrating them in ways that are not only educational, but also are fun.
Further Information:

There are several professional organizations dedicated to Germanic languages.  Their websites might be able to provide a glimpse in the world of Germanic languages.  These organizations include Modern Language AssociationAmerican Association of Teachers of German, and Women in German.