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German Advanced-Level Proficiency Certificate

German, Nordic, Slavic & Dutch
College of Liberal Arts
  • Program Type: Undergraduate credit certificate
  • Requirements for this program are current for Spring 2023
  • Required credits to graduate with this degree: 6 to 8
  • This certificate requires an intensive German-language immersion experience. See certificate requirements for the options to fulfill this requirement.
  • Degree: German Advanced-Level Proficiency Certificate
This certificate is designed for students interested in achieving advanced-level proficiency in German and having their skills formally recognized. People who have advanced-level proficiency in German possess the speaking, reading, writing and listening skills sufficient to satisfy the requirements of everyday situations at home and at work. They also generally understand and are understood by native speakers of German. For an extended definition of advanced-level proficiency, please visit the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages website: The Certificate of Advanced-Level Proficiency is open to all University of Minnesota undergraduate students, especially those who seek higher levels of German proficiency in order to become more competitive for graduate or professional programs, careers with domestic German-speaking populations, or international careers.
Program Delivery
This program is available:
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Admission Requirements
For information about University of Minnesota admission requirements, visit the Office of Admissions website.
General Requirements
All students in baccalaureate degree programs are required to complete general University and college requirements including writing and liberal education courses. For more information about University-wide requirements, see the liberal education requirements. Required courses for the major, minor or certificate in which a student receives a D grade (with or without plus or minus) do not count toward the major, minor or certificate (including transfer courses).
Program Requirements
German LPE
Pass the German Language Proficiency Exam (LPE). This exam is typically taken after 4 semesters of college-level study, or the equivalent. For more information, please visit
Composition, Communication, and Content-Based Courses
There are three options for completing this requirement. The first option is to take GER 3011W or its equivalent abroad and one pre-approved content-based course. The second option is to take two pre-approved content-based courses. The third option is to take both GER 3011W and GER 3012W.
Take exactly 2 course(s) totaling 6 - 8 credit(s) from the following:
German Composition and Communication
Take 0 - 2 course(s) from the following:
· GER 3011W - Conversation and Composition [WI] (4.0 cr)
· GER 3012W - Conversation and Composition [WI] (3.0 cr)
· Pre-approved content-based courses
GER 3014, 5011, or any GER 31xx, 34xx, or 35xx may count as a pre-approved content-based course, provided they meet the writing requirements.
· A content-based course is defined as one that is either taught almost exclusively in German, or for which the discussion section is delivered in German, and explores literature, culture, media, or other issues from an academic perspective. A minimum of 10 pages of written work in German must be completed, including at least one single assignment of at least 5 pages. This same requirement must be met if the courses are taken abroad.
Take 0 - 2 course(s) from the following:
· GER 3014 - German Media (3.0 cr)
· GER 3104W - Reading and Analysis of German Literature [LITR, WI] (3.0 cr)
· GER 3421 - 18th-Century German Literature (3.0 cr)
· GER 3431 - 19th-Century Literature (3.0 cr)
· GER 3441 - 20th-/21st-Century Literature (3.0 cr)
· GER 3501 - Contemporary Germany (3.0 cr)
· GER 3510 - Topics in German Studies (3.0 cr)
· GER 5011 - Advanced Conversation and Composition (3.0 cr)
German Language Immersion
Participate in an intensive German language immersion experience. There are three options for completing this requirement:
Option 1
Participation in an academic study abroad experience of at least six weeks that includes at least one course taught in German
or Option 2
Completion of an pre-approved immersion experience
or Option 3
Completion of two full semesters of weekly language exchange with a native speaker through the CLA Language Center’s TandemPlus program including 15 hours devoted to conversation in German
Self-assessment Instrument
Take the self-assessment and use this information to gauge your own proficiency level. It is strongly recommended that you do not attempt the ACTFL exam until the self-assessment results indicate that you may have achieved advanced-level proficiency.
Critical Reflection Essay
Submit a short essay (of 450-600 words) written in English that; (1) reflects on your German self-assessment results; (2) describes your current level of German language proficiency; (3) demonstrates how you have used your language and cultural understanding skills at the University and beyond through completion of some or all of the “Additional Recommended Experiences” listed below.
Achieve Advanced-Low or Higher on the ACTFL
When your self-assessment results indicate that you may be at advanced-level proficiency, you may take the ACTFL Advanced-level Exam. In order to complete your certificate, you must achieve a rating of Advanced-Low or higher in all 4 sections: speaking, writing, listening and reading. The cost for 4 sections of the ACTFL is $200. However, if you participate in the PACE Project you will be able to take the reading, listening and speaking exams at no cost and pay only for the writing exam.
Additional Recommended Experiences to Increase German Language Proficiency
- Study abroad in a German-speaking country for at least a semester (this is highly recommended). - Additional upper division coursework taught in German (see the Certificate website). - Service learning, volunteer work, or internship in a German-speaking context for at least a semester. - Participation in TandemPlus. - Participation in the GSD House. - Spend an average of 15-20 hours per week outside of class actively using your German (reading, writing, speaking, listening)
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· College of Liberal Arts

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· German Advanced-Level Proficiency Certificate
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GER 3011W - Conversation and Composition (WI)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Achieving proficiency in professional or academic German. Refinement of oral/written expression. Review of important communicative modes of language. Wide range of topics to develop advanced level of proficiency. prereq: 1004
GER 3012W - Conversation and Composition (WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Prepares students for upper-level language and content courses in German. Continues the same focus and approach as 3011 with the addition of a larger reading component. prereq: 3011
GER 3014 - German Media
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Introduction to German language media. German language newspaper/magazine articles. The Internet. Radio/TV broadcasts. Structure/style of journalistic prose. prereq: 3011
GER 3104W - Reading and Analysis of German Literature (LITR, WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Introduction to literary analysis. Readings from drama, prose, and lyric poetry, from 18th century to present. prereq: 3011
GER 3421 - 18th-Century German Literature
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
German literature, 1720-1810, Enlightenment/Weimar classicism in historical/cultural context. Reading/discussion of literary/philosophical works, aesthetic criticism. prereq: 3011
GER 3431 - 19th-Century Literature
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Literary/cultural exploration of 19th-century German literature through an investigation of romanticism, realism, and naturalism. Reading/discussion of literary/critical texts. prereq: 3011
GER 3441 - 20th-/21st-Century Literature
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
German literature, from 1890 to present, in historical, political, social, and cultural context. prereq: 3011
GER 3501 - Contemporary Germany
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Social, political, and cultural developments in Germany, from 1945 to present. prereq: 3011
GER 3510 - Topics in German Studies
Credits: 3.0 [max 9.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
One topic in depth dealing with culture or civilization of German-speaking countries. prereq: 3011
GER 5011 - Advanced Conversation and Composition
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Fall Odd Year
Achieving high proficiency in writing/speaking professional/academic German. prereq: 3012, [grad student or adv undergrad]