Mission Statement

The German Studies Program at Michigan State University seeks to serve all undergraduate and graduate students in their acquisition of the German language and of critical knowledge about the cultures of German-speaking countries in their historical context. This is achieved by broad-based knowledge dissemination and effective language instruction on the undergraduate level, the production and dissemination of new knowledge on the graduate level, and by creating innovative outreach strategies to integrate various local, state, national, and international needs. Within MSU’s land-grant mission of teaching, research and service, the German Studies program has specific responsibilities:

  • Offering undergraduate and graduate degrees in German Studies.
  • Offering a curriculum in German Studies that stimulates debate, identifies areas of attention, includes both majority and minority perspectives, and meets the needs of our discipline and our students.
  • Conducting, presenting, and publishing the results of research in Germanic languages, language pedagogy, literary and cultural theory, and German Studies.
  • Presenting on-campus, co-curricular opportunities for students, faculty and the broader community to enrich the understanding of German language and studies and to promote increased language proficiency.
  • Developing and offering outreach programs to promote language proficiency, the understanding of the German-speaking world, and better articulation between the German Studies Program at MSU and German K-12 programs in Michigan schools.
  • Participating in related curricular offerings in the College and the University, such as Center for Integrative Studies in Arts and Humanities, Global Studies in Arts and Humanities, the freshman seminar program, and study abroad initiatives.
  • Infusing our instruction with methods and content that help students achieve the following humanistic goals:
    • to make meaning out of information;
    • to manage technology in the acquisition and processing of knowledge;
    • to be open to new learning and diverse ideas;
    • to develop a sympathetic imagination;
    • to assume responsibility for one’s thoughts and actions;
    • to communicate one’s ideas, values, beliefs, and imagination to others;
    • to form reasonable judgments after considering facts and opinion;
    • to understand the value of independent and collaborative work habits.