Why Study German?

Knowledge of German provides access to a culture that for more than a millennium has been central to the history, economy, arts, and sciences not just of Europe but of Western civilization as a whole. In the contemporary world, German-speaking countries have Europe’s strongest economies and are playing an increasingly important role in world affairs. Because the percentage of Wisconsinites of German ethnic background surpasses that of every other state in the union, many of our students are motivated to study German by their desire to explore their own family’s heritage. UW–Madison has been a leader in the field of German studies for more than a century.

Our extensive undergraduate offerings include courses in the languages, literatures, and cultures of the German-speaking countries, with beginning, intermediate, and advanced courses offered every semester. Furthermore, in coordination with the UW-Madison International Academic Programs, the program supports study abroad opportunities for majors and non-majors alike. Undergraduate majors and non-majors, as well as prospective majors, should take a look at the Undergraduate Program. If you are interested in taking a placement test click here.

For more information on Major and Certificate requirements, please contact our Director of Undergraduate Studies.


I can speak my mind well, and because of learning a new language, I have also consequently learned a new culture, way of thinking, and feel more “myself.”

Don’t believe us? Check out some of the profiles below from past students who had the opportunity to study the German language at UW-Madison!

Recommended Online Resources for German Learners

Online German Dictionary: (Trust us, it’s better than LEO!).
UW – Madsion Library German research guide:
UW Digital Library German Studies Collection: