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Founded in 1901, Penn State German is one of the oldest programs in German in the United States. Its diverse faculty hail from some of the best institutions in the country and its graduates hold prominent positions in industry and education. Penn State German offers a full range of undergraduate and graduate degrees. In each program, students become intimately familiar with German, while also learning more generally how to think, read, and write critically.

Penn State University provides an innovative, rich, and diverse environment in which to achieve the goals of the departmental degree programs. Graduate study and research is well-supported by the newly expanded Pattee-Paterno library which ranks 9th among US public institutions.

The Max Kade Research Institute focuses on German-American relations in a region of the country where German heritage and culture are still prevalent today and where Pennsylvania German is still spoken natively. The Institutes mission is supported, in part, by the Allison-Shelly Collection of the Rare Books Room, one of the best collections of German literature in translation in the US. The Max Kade hosts visiting scholars and provides funding and research opportunities for graduate students.

The Linguistics Program offers courses in linguistics on the undergraduate and graduate level. The Linguistics Program offers a Dual-Title Doctoral Degree in Language Science to graduate students enrolled in doctoral programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders, German, Psychology, or Spanish. The goal fo the Dual-Title training program is to train and prepare students from different disciplines to conduct cross-disciplianry research in the rapidly growing area of Language Science. 

The Center for Language Science is an interdisciplinary working group of linguists, psycholinguists, applied linguists, and cognitive neuroscientists who share an interest in language acquisition and bilingualism. The CLS meets weekly to discuss research, read papers together, share new methodological developments, and practice giving conference talks. A particular interest is in developing collaborative research projects across the disciplines.

The  Center for Language Acquisition, a research unit in the College of the Liberal Arts. Its primary focus is conducting and supporting Applied Linguistics research on the teaching , learning and assessment of foreign and second languages.