Department ofGermanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures



Pre-majors, minors, and German majors 

Shawn Bainbridge – Academic Adviser

Email Address: sab191@psu.eduOffice Address: 160B Burrowes
Office Phone: (814) 863-8074

Advising Appointments are scheduled in Starfish and are currently held via Zoom:

  • Schedule in Starfish:
  • Students can view my availability and schedule an advising appointment via Starfish. I will be offering both 15-minute quick question advising appointments (ideal for Minors or quick questions) and 30-minute advising appointments conducted virtually this fall. Appointments are on a rolling basis so please check back if you are seeking to schedule an appointment further ahead into the semester.  

An advising appointment can assist with:

  • German Major/Minor planning
  • Scheduling questions 
  • Concurrent major planning (feasibility, courses needed)
  • Academic difficulty
  • Faculty Senate petitions (retroactive withdrawal or registration, etc.)
  • Referrals, other

Choice/Declaration of the German B.A. or B.S. major

Professor Forrest Finch, Director of German Undergraduate Studies

Advising Roles

  • orientation to various German major options
  • declaration of German B.A. or B.S. major
  • discussion of career opportunities
  • study abroad advising for German major/minor
  • course substitutions for overseas classes

The Liberal Arts Alumni Mentor Program is an opportunity for students to leverage the influence of the Penn State Alumni Network. The program pairs students with liberal arts alumni working in fields related to the student’s major. Some students work with their mentor in person, others over the phone, and others simply through email. Applications are open throughout the year and students can learn more information and apply at the Alumni Mentor Program website (

German majors and minors interested in study abroad, internship opportunities, undergraduate research, alumni mentoring, or funding to help support an enrichment activity should take full advantage of the Liberal Arts Career Enrichment Network (

Please use your Nittany Lion Career account ( to search and apply for academic and employment opportunities, view important announcements, and schedule appointments with a Network staff member to talk about resumes, specific career interests, or funding opportunities to support enrichment experiences.

An important goal of the College of the Liberal Arts is to involve undergraduates in appropriate enrichment activities. Accordingly, the College has modest funds available to assist students participating in activities such as internships, education abroad, or undergraduate research. Liberal Arts majors seeking financial support for an enrichment activity are encouraged to apply on-line for enrichment funds. Details about the enrichment application process, including eligibility and application requirements, can be found on the Career Enrichment Network website (

German Day is an annual community outreach event that the Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures hosts. Between 450 and 500 high school students from all over Pennsylvania who are currently taking German at their school rejoice in this fun-loaded event.

Students compete against each other individually or in team competitions such as:

  • Design competition (the winning design will be showcased on our tote bag giveaways)
  • Poster Competition
  • Geography Game
  • Trivia
  • Spelling Bee
  • Poetry Recitation

Awesome prizes like German books and games await the winners of the competitions!

In addition, each competing student will win points for their respective school! At the end of the day, the winning schools are announced and will not only earn fame and glory, but they will get a Nittany lion statue for display at their schools!

Each year, we pick a new motto, and our faculty and graduate students put together an interesting program for our guests! High School students have the chance to partake in our regular basic language classes or experience our awesome faculty and graduate instructors in classes that are specifically designed for this day and go along with the motto!

High School students will also be able to take a campus tour, to ask questions about German at PSU in an info session that we offer, and last but not least, they will engage with our undergraduate students inside and outside the classroom to get a first-hand experience on studying German at PSU!

Join us for German Day 2023!

For more information please check out our website:

and/or contact:


The Department highly recommends study in a German-speaking country for its majors and minors. Penn State offers a wide variety of study abroad opportunities. Follow the links below to explore the possibilities! Additional programs may be found by visiting the Office of Global Programs.

Liberal Arts majors are encouraged to visit the Liberal Arts Career Enrichment Network website for more information about study abroad and international opportunities. The Career Enrichment Network website features a step-by-step guide to studying abroad, including information about researching programs, meeting with academic and education abroad adviser(s), and funding opportunities to support international experiences. Liberal Arts majors can also schedule appointments with a Network staff member to discuss enrichment funding, College and University-wide resources, or to talk about incorporating education abroad experiences into resumes and career planning.


Exchange program for spring or the academic year: On this program students enroll directly in courses at the University of Freiburg. Students must have reached junior standing and completed at least 5 semesters of German prior to the start of the program as all university courses will be taught in German (with the additional completion of GER 310 or GER 344 recommended, but not required). This is an ideal program for students majoring or minoring in German who want to take regular university courses with other German students in Freiburg.


International Undergraduate Study Program for fall, spring, full-year: On this program students enroll in courses offered by the IUS Program (not Phillips Universität), including an intensive language program at the beginning of the time abroad. Students interested in counting courses toward the German major or minor should make sure to take courses taught in German. The primary advantage of this program is that it is designed to match the American academic calendar.

Intensive German Studies Program for spring: This program is designed for students who have only 1-2 semesters of German prior to the start of the program. Students enroll in a series of intensive German language courses and one German literature/culture course.


IES Language and Area Studies program for fall, spring, full-year: On this program students enroll in courses with other American students offered by IES. Depending on schedule and availability, students may also be able to take courses at one of the universities in Berlin. Students must have completed at least 4 semesters of German prior to the start of the program. This program is designed to match the American academic calendar.

IES Berlin Internship Program (Summer): This program offers unpaid summer internships in Berlin in a wide variety of areas (placements have included internships in arts and arts administration, business, cooking and catering, cultural institutions, education, environmental organizations, marketing, media and communications, museums and galleries, political organizations, social organizations, and tourism). This is an internship-focused program that allows students to earn 3, 6, or 9 credits.

IES Berlin Language and Culture (Summer): Students on the IES Language and Culture program take one German language course taught by a German faculty member at the IES center. Students also enroll in one or two supporting courses of their choosing, instructed in either German or English. Students do not need prior language experience to study on this program, and the summer program is open to students as early as after the first year of university study. This program offers a wide variety of courses in art history, cinema, history, literature, Jewish studies, and political science. Students can enroll in 6 or 9 credits at the IES Berlin Center.


All students interested in studying abroad should contact the Office of Global Programs (all students) and the Career Enrichment Network (College of the Liberal Arts students only) for more information about financial assistance related to study abroad.

Non-Penn State Programs

For current students

  • RISE (Research Internships in Science and Engineering) through DAAD
  • Study & Internship Program (SIP) through UAS7 and DAAD
  • DAAD Undergraduate Scholarship

For graduating seniors

  • DAAD Study Scholarship
  • DAAD RISE Professional
  • Fulbright Program
  • US Teaching Assistantship Program in Austria

Please visit the Career Enrichment Network website ( for more information about internship opportunities, career-related activities, and professional development events. use your Nittany Lion Career account ( to search for internships, upload resumes for review, RSVP for upcoming events, and schedule appointments with a Network staff member to talk about resumes, specific career interests, or funding opportunities to support enrichment experiences.

Paterno Fellowship is a gateway to becoming an honors student for Liberal Arts students. It offers is a great way to secure financial support for enriching out-of-class experiences such as study abroad, research, and internships. Visit the program’s website to learn more about becoming a Paterno Fellow (