Undergraduate Certificate in German

The Department of German, Nordic, Slavic & Dutch, in conjunction with the CLA Language Center, offers a Certificate of Advanced-Level Proficiency in German for students interested in achieving advanced-level proficiency in German and having their skills formally recognized.

The certificate 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, or in their future careers.

Benefits of the Certificate

This certificate helps students move from intermediate-level proficiency to advanced-level, and provides one with an internationally-recognized marker of advanced proficiency. This certificate also encourages the integration of language and culture learning across one’s academic and professional life while empowering students to be responsible for their own second language learning.

How to Get Started

If you are interested in pursuing the certificate, please contact Helena Ruf (rahd0001@umn.edu) for additional information.

Required Steps for Completion of the Certificate

For details on the options for each of these steps, see the catalog or contact Helena Ruf (rahd0001@umn.edu).

  1. Pass the German Language Proficiency Exam (LPE).
  2. Take two upper-level composition, communication, and/or content-based courses taught in German.
  3. Participate in an intensive German-language experience (e.g., study abroad or extended conversations with a native-speaker tandem partner). For more information, see the Learning Abroad Center or the TandemPlus Program.
  4. Complete an online self-assessment to verify that your skills are in the advanced range. Contact Helena Ruf (rahd0001@umn.edu) for access.
  5. Write a short essay reflecting on your current language ability.
  6. Take the ACTFL advanced-level exams in German. This exam will rate your language proficiency in reading, writing, listening, and speaking. In order to complete the Certificate, one must achieve a rating of Advanced-­Low or higher in all four sections.

Additional Recommended Experiences to Increase your German 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 an internship in a German-­speaking context for at least a semester.
  • TandemPlus participation with a German-­language partner.
  • Spend an average of 15-­20 hours per week outside of class actively using German in one or more of the contexts above or by engaging with German speakers or media in other ways (reading newspapers, watching films, accessing online materials).   Keep in mind that you will be tested in reading and writing as well as in speaking and listening.

Cost to Complete the Certificate in Advanced-Level German

The current cost for four sections of the ACTFL Proficiency Exam is $208. There is special funding for students to take the reading, listening, and speaking exams at no cost and only pay for the writing exam. Please inquire to learn more.

For more information, contact Helena Ruf (rahd0001@umn.edu).