The contributions of German writers, philosophers, scientists and musicians are alone enough to warrant the study of German language and culture. As with any foreign language, studying German will also help you develop intercultural skills and global hospitality.


Calvin offers a comprehensive German major that embraces both the language and culture of German people. Calvin's German curriculum includes classes ranging from beginner to advanced and features cultural expressions through literature, film, visual media and online sources. You can also take advantage of opportunities to study abroad in Germany for a semester, or during Calvin's three-week January interim.

Careers in German

  • Engineer
  • Teacher
  • Foreign Service Worker
  • Marketing Representative

See job placement rates for Calvin grads.

Student involvement

Attend German movie evenings in Calvin's Bytwerk Theater; Help plan student-led German chapels; Eat at the German table in the dining hall; Go to special lectures, presentations, games, skits and coffee hours sponsored by the German Department.

Keep Exploring

Visit the department's website

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By the numbers

Students who participate in cross-cultural learning
Modern languages taught at Calvin
Students who studied off-campus last year


Dollar amounts reflect awards given for the 2014-15 academic year.

Wallace Bratt and Barbara Carvill German Scholarship
  • award amount: $2,500
  • sophomore, junior or senior
  • GPA of 3.0+ in German
  • financial need considered; demonstrate dedication to the German languages as well as an interest in using the language in the professional realm; preference given to students from over 500 miles from Calvin's campus
  • apply through the German department
Wallace and Marianne Bratt German Interim Abroad Scholarship
  • award amount: varies
  • any class level
  • GPA of 3.0+
  • financial need considered; for the German Interim Abroad
  • apply through the German department
Alan and Jan Pauw Family Scholarship
  • award amount: $2,500
  • junior or senior
  • GPA 3.0+
  • financial need required; majoring in history, philosophy, or a foreign language
  • apply through the Calvin Portal
View all scholarship opportunities


Mary Buteyn

Mary Buteyn
Assistant Professor of Germanic Languages and Literature
Department of German
HH 427D
(616) 526-8766

Herman De Vries

Herman De Vries
Frederik Meijer Chair in Dutch Language and Culture
Department of Dutch
HH 423
(616) 526-6804

Pennylyn Dykstra-Pruim

Pennylyn Dykstra-Pruim
Associate Professor of Germanic Languages
Department of German
HH 425
(616) 526-8868

Qin Herzberg

Qin Herzberg
Instructor, Chinese Language
Department of Chinese
HH 402B
(616) 526-8624

F. Corey Roberts

F. Corey Roberts
Associate Professor
Department of German
HH 426
(616) 526-7583

David Smith

David Smith
Director, Kuyers Institute for Christian Teaching and Learning
Department of German
HH 425
(616) 526-8609

Talk to us

F. Corey Roberts F. Corey Roberts
Department Chair
Department of German
HH 426
(616) 526-7583


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Teach This

Interested in teaching? You can gain certification in German as a:

Calvin's teacher education program also contains education-specific course requirements that you must complete prior to certification. See course requirements for:

Professor Robert Keeley talks about the education program.

Learn More

Explore Calvin's teacher education program.

Contact David Smith for more information about teacher certification in German

Read the teacher education guidebook for more detailed information about certification.

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