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  • Minor

The German minor program of the Department of Modern and Classical Languages allows students to develop skills in German and to broaden and deepen their understanding of one of the world’s richest cultural traditions. The department’s mission is to prepare and enable students, through the acquisition of a second language, to participate in a multilingual and multicultural world.

The German language program employs a culture-based communicative approach that fosters the requisite skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing German. Cultural awareness is integrated at every level of study.

What Can I Do With This Minor in German?

The graduate with a German minor is prepared to participate in multilingual and multicultural communities in the United States and in German-speaking countries abroad.

Curriculum Requirements

  • Requirements for a Minor in German

    Requirements for German Minor (18 credits):
    A minor in German requires 6 courses beyond GE 203.

    Required Courses (12 credits):
    GE 305 Conversational German - 3 credits 
    GE 315 Advanced German Grammar and Composition - 3 credits
    Any 300 level course in literature - 3 credits 
    Any course in culture and civilization - 3 credits

    Any two courses from the 200 or 300 level - 3 credits

    Study abroad is essential to attain proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Students, therefore, who wish to minor in German are strongly encouraged to study abroad.

    Courses must be taught in the target language, i.e., in German. A minimum of a 9-credit summer program or one semester of study in Germany would qualify. For students who are not able to study German abroad, language study in an German immersion setting may be substituted. All programs must be approved by the department chair.

Program Highlights


The German minor requires 18 credits including Conversational German and Advanced German Grammar and Composition, as well as courses in literature and culture and civilization. Students minoring in German are strongly encouraged to study abroad. The minor develops skills in listening, speaking, reading and writing German, and prepares graduates to participate in multilingual and multicultural communities in the United States and abroad.


Vera and Jaroslav Slezak Scholarships

These scholarships honor the memory of Vera Slezak who served for decades as a professor of German and Jaroslav Slezak, a long-serving professor of physics.  One scholarship is awarded annually to a sophomore or junior physics major or physics-related minor and another is awarded to a sophomore or junior language major or minor, with preference given to students minoring in German. Language students can request an application packet from Dr. Doreen Blandino.

The Slezak Scholarship was made possible by the generous bequest of Professors Jaroslav and Vera Slezak, who joined the faculty of Saint Vincent College in 1960. Professor Jaroslav Slezak taught Physics and his wife, Vera, taught German and Russian. Vera Slezak’s appointment to the faculty was historic, making her the first female faculty member in the history of Saint Vincent College.

Refusing to join the Communist Party in Czechoslovakia, the Slezaks courageously left everything behind their family, friends, careers, and possessions as they fled to the hills of Austria where they lived “underground,” exhibiting remarkable strength, determination and an unwavering Catholic faith that would culminate in their safe arrival at Saint Vincent College in 1960.

Professors Jaroslav and Vera Slezak were held in high regard by their students and colleagues. They were outstanding professors who had set high standards for academic excellence and character in and outside of the classroom. Generations of students praised the couple because they were compassionate leaders who readily and faithfully served their community and had instilled the development of these traits in their students for several decades.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students who minor in Germany have the opportunity to

  • develop skills in listening, speaking, reading and writing German. 
  • develop an awareness and appreciation of German culture.
  • engage in cross-cultural comparisons. 
  • make connections with other disciplines of study. 
  • participate in multilingual or German immersion program abroad or in the U.S.