German Program

Studying German is practical and fun!

GermanyGermany is a riddle. It gave us some of our most influential philosophers, scientists, and artists, but was also behind some of the most turbulent and destructive events in modern times. Today, Germany balances this historical legacy with a forward-looking mindset that will make it a trailblazer for decades to come.

Currently, Germany has the largest economy in Europe and is one of the world’s leading exporters of goods. Because of this, the Germans are major players in some of the 21st Century’s most influential industries, including: chemical, pharmaceutical, medical, security technology, machinery and equipment, and plastics. Germany is also a leader in the rapidly growing markets of green and renewable energy, and of course in the automotive industry.

By learning German at Ferris State, you help position yourself for a successful career after graduation.

Plus, learning German is a lot of fun!

Our German classes focus on language learning and communication, as well as on introductions to German culture. Instruction is centered on practical, real-life situations that help prepare you for the real world. The old style of learning a language through strict memorization and grammar exercises has no place at Ferris State. Instead, we focus on learning German in order to communicate with others. The classes are exciting, challenging, and energetic.

Why study German?

GermanyThere are lots of reasons why studying German is a smart career choice. First and foremost is Germany’s tradition of technological innovation, and their strong economic ties to Michigan and to the United States.

  • German companies employ well over a half-a-million people in the US.
  • Michigan is one of Germany’s most important trading partners in the US.
  • Michigan is home to approximately 350 German-owned companies.
  • Approximately 78,000 people in Michigan are employed by German companies (more than by any other foreign country).
  • German companies employ more people in Michigan than in any other state.
  • Five of the top ten foreign owned businesses in south-east Michigan are German companies.
  • More than 75 Michigan-based companies have operations in Germany.
  • The two largest foreign-owned companies in Germany come from Michigan.


German courses at Ferris State

GermanyTaking German at Ferris State will give you a language and cultural framework to support your future career goals. We regularly offer four levels of language instruction (101, 102, 201, and 202). These courses are designed as a sequence, but if you’ve had German before, you can test into a higher level for free. Click here for more information.

In addition to the language courses, we also offer cultural courses, including German for Business and Travel (GERM 100) and German Culture (GERM 331). These courses are offered both in the classroom and online.

All German courses at Ferris State fulfill Global Consciousness and Cultural Enrichment requirements.

Take a trip to Germany!

GermanyIn addition to German courses, the German program also organizes a trip to Germany and Austria every summer for interested students. Come with us and expand your horizons! Please click here for more information.



Dr. Derek Drake
(231) 591-2598

Department of Languages and Literature
Ferris State University
820 Campus Drive, ASC 3080
Big Rapids, MI 49307
(231) 591-3988