Fluency in German and intercultural competence greatly improve students’ opportunities in careers in business, science, and engineering.

In 2018, 5,300 companies with headquarters in Germany employed more than 700,000 Americans. In Indiana, Germany is the second largest foreign investor. Overall, Germany has the fourth largest economy in the world and is the third largest exporter. American companies with operations in Germany are often in need of employees with German language skills and intercultural competence.

The German department offers five German courses for Specific Purposes to help students further develop their language and intercultural skills and gain global perspectives - qualifications sought by many international businesses and organizations. Three of these courses focus on Business German while two courses focus on Scientific German. We also offer the possibility for students to obtain a 15-credits Certificate of German for Specialized Purposes. 


Courses in German for Specific Purposes

I. Scientific German

GER 223 - Scientific German

Practical reading, writing, speaking, and listening comprehension skills, directed toward the use of German in science and technology. Work on grammar as needed. Use of materials from recent publications in science and technology. Introduction to general and technical vocabulary. Conducted primarily in German. Credit will not be given for both GER 20200 and 22300. Pre-req: GER 201

GER 323 - German for Science and Engineering

Continued development of German-speaking, listening, reading, and writing abilities, using materials from recent publications in science and technology. Building of general and technical vocabulary. Conducted in German. This course is an alternative to GER 302.  Pre-req: GER 301


II. Business German

GER 224 - Business German

Practical reading, writing, speaking, and listening comprehension skills directed toward the use of German for business purposes. Work on grammar as needed. Course materials cover daily business dealings as well as national and international trade, living conditions, environmental and social problems. This course is an alternative to GER 202.  Pre-req: GER 201

GER 424 - Business German

A study of the terminology and techniques used in commercial transactions, including the interpretation and writing of business materials. Development of the four language skills, with emphasis on writing and speaking. Pre-req: 
GER 302

GER 524 - German for International Trade

A broad spectrum of business and cultural materials to prepare students for work in international firms. Intensive study of technical terminology used in business transactions; stylistics in business correspondence and report writing; training for accurate oral expression in business negotiations. Pre-req: GER 424


Certificate of Achievement in German for Specialized Purposes 

This certificate offers students the opportunity to certify a high level of proficiency in professional German. It focuses on topics in business, economics, science, and engineering. It complements majors in other subjects across the Purdue campus. 

For questions about the German courses for specific purposes, please contact Dr. Marc Rathmann (

Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907 (765) 494-4600

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