University of Minnesota
Department of German, Scandinavian & Dutch
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Department of German, Scandinavian & Dutch's home page.

FAQ for High School Students

How many years of a foreign language do I need to get into college?

Most colleges and universities require at least two years of a single foreign language during high school for admission.

Is there a foreign language requirement to graduate from college?

Many liberal arts colleges (including the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota) require students to successfully complete a fourth semester course or pass a proficiency test at the equivalent level. This corresponds roughly to 4-5 years of language in high school.

Who chooses to major in German, Scandinavian, Dutch?

Some students love the language and know right away they want to major in it. Others add it as a second major after completing many of the requirements during study abroad or on campus. GSD majors go on to careers in law, medicine, engineering, social work, academia, business and more! Meet some of the students in our department to find out more.

What do I need to do to become a foreign language teacher?

In addition to studying language and culture, you will need to complete specific courses in cognitive psychology and pedagogy, that is, how people learn and how to teach. Each state has specific requirements for teacher licensure. For more information about degree programs and licensure, visit the College of Education & Human Development's Second Languages & Cultures Program website.

What can I do with a foreign language besides teach?

Foreign language skills are a plus that help you communicate with and understand your neighbor or business partner in today's global society. Discover how knowledge of another language and culture helps people in a variety of professions!

Can I major in German, Scandinavian, Dutch and something else?

Yes! Over 60% of the students in our department complete a double major. Here are two sample 4-year schedules for a student with a major in German and History: the first (DOC) assumes the student passed the Language Proficiency Exam prior to or upon starting at the U of M; the second (DOC) assumes the student had 2 years of high-school German. See also our advising FAQ page for more information on double-majoring.

I'd like to study abroad, but I don't know if I have time in my schedule or if I can afford it.

Study abroad opportunities range from 3-week seminars to year-long immersion programs. Most financial aid is transferable. Check out the Learning Abroad website for more information.

How many courses do I need for a minor?

The Department of German, Scandinavian & Dutch offers minors in German, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish. The minors require 5 courses beyond the fourth semester of the language. For more information see the Undergraduate section of our website.