World Languages & Cultures | German
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The German program is designed to enrich the educational and professional qualifications of students interested in any field.  A German major can stand alone as a field of study that enables students to participate – through language and in-depth study of texts, documents, and cultural objects – in both the contemporary life and the historical study of a major world culture.  At the same time, the tools of linguistic and cultural understanding developed in a German major enrich students’ knowledge and professional prospects in any field, and the major is designed to be combined successfully across departments and colleges, from engineering and business to design and education.

The student learning outcomes identified here are based on the Standards for Foreign Language Learning in the 21st Century (National Standards in Foreign Language Education Project). This document, a collaborative effort of nine national foreign language organizations, establishes a context that defines the central role of foreign language in the learning of every student. The standards, as well as our program outcomes and individual course objectives, suggest a paradigm shift in foreign language education that focuses on students’ ability to use the language in authentic situations.






If your first major is in the College of Agriculture, Business, or Engineering then you can get a professionally-focused second major or minor with us.


Visit the ISU Study Abroad Center website to access information regarding their services and university-wide programs. In addition to this central office, each college at Iowa State has its own study abroad office, programs and scholarships to explore. To view these, visit our study abroad page and click on ‘Contact’ to view an interactive campus map, that provides links to all study abroad office pages. To search (and apply for) all study abroad programs, visit isuabroad, click on ‘Programs’, and refine your search (i.e. by city, country, program). NOTE: Study abroad is open to every student, regardless of field of study. Discuss your plans with your academic adviser as well as study abroad advisers on campus to plan your journey.


The ISU German program works individually with students to find study abroad programs that can best fit their academic, professional, and personal goals. Students have successfully undertaken a wide range of short-term and long-term study and internships in German-speaking countries hosted by a range of institutions.


Dr. Mark Looney & Dr. Sandra Looft lead a 3-week course, ‘Berlin’s History & Culture’ (in English for International Studies 395B credit), to Berlin each July. The course analyzes the recent history of Berlin – Nazi Germany through Divided Germany – through the examination of art, architecture and memorials. If you are looking for a short  introduction to a longer study abroad later or if you want to stay after the program and take an intensive German-language course in Europe, you can find more information here.


For exchange programs and affiliate programs in Austria, Germany or Switzerland, start a search at ISUAbroad.


For more information on study abroad as part of the ISU German program, students may speak with any German instructor; the German program’s Study Abroad coordinator, Mark Rectanus (; or WLC advisers, Sandra Looft ( or Ginger Nally (