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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Mission Statement

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The German undergraduate program offers a major and minor, a teaching licensure and a range of courses in German language, literature, and culture studies. It is committed to teaching across disciplines in the humanities and social sciences, including film, history, gender studies, literature, art and art history, political science and personal heritage, and the cultural, social, philosophical, and/or historical contexts in which the German language is situated. Many students combine a course of study in German with another major or concentration in another field.

Courses in the German program ask students to reflect on the nature and value of literary, cinematic, and artistic works as part of a larger inquiry into the making of cultures and views of the world as well as the meaning of life through the analysis of cultural artifacts. Through intensive study of canonical and contemporary works in the original German language, our majors and minors develop inquisitiveness, critical analysis, judgment, creativity, and appreciation for literature and art. Courses in translation offer the campus community insights into culture and history that foster self-awareness on the part of the reader and respect for people around the world. A strong point in the German program is the faculty’s personal attention and commitment to its students and confidence in the merits of German language, literary and cultural studies.

Language Instruction

The German program at MSU approaches language instruction with the understanding that it will train students in cultural competency of the language they are learning. Students are not only to understand and learn grammar and vocabulary, but comprehend language as an individual and cultural expression. Students acquire a sense of cultural and social appropriateness in language situations as they are exposed to the study of literary and cultural texts and contexts. Students should take a placement test if they have had previous German language instruction.