German Certificate

What is a language certificate?

German car production

Universities across the United States now offer certificate programs in languages. Unlike a minor or major, most certificate classes can be counted towards other G.E. requirements. Little 'extra work' is required—only good planning. Certificates require fewer units than a minor, and their requirements are more flexible.

Certificates put the focus on culture, business, and professional language use.

Upon completion of the program, students receive a certificate reflecting their proficiency in German (specified according to ACTFL proficiency guidelines). Students beginning the certificate program with no knowledge of German can expect to attain an intermediate high proficiency.  Those who enter the program at more advanced levels, or who participate in study abroad programs or international internships, can expect to obtain much higher proficiency ratings.

For intermediate-level proficiency, a grouping of 200/300 level courses has been developed which can be completed (with prerequisites) in approximately 2½ years.

Copies of your German certificate can be enclosed directly with applications for jobs or graduate study.


Pre-requisite courses (if needed)

  • Elementary German I, FL 111 (offered Fall, Winter, Spring)
  • Elementary German II, FL 112 (offered Winter only)
  • Elementary German III, FL 113 (offered Spring only)

Required courses

  • Intermediate German FL 211 (rotating, offered every other Fall)
  • Intermediate German Reading FL 212 (rotating, offered every other Fall)
  • Intermediate German Composition and Conversation FL 213 (rotating, offered every other winter)
  • German Civilization FL 317(rotating, offered every other winter)

Optional additional courses

  • Special Projects (by arrangement).  Projects have included the following:
    • Topics in German Film
    • Contemporary Readings in German
    • German Resume and CV Writing

Work Internationally Take Advantage of the German Language Certificate


German car The German Language Certificate is beneficial for international careers in:

  • Business, economics and international law
  • Architecture, art, fashion, film and music
  • Hospitality, science and engineering

Language learning increases employment possibilities and gives an edge over other applicants. Many employers pay more if applicants have proof of knowledge of another language.

It also offers an advantage for

  • Study abroad (being well-prepared will help you get more out of the experience)
  • International internships (in engineering, business, and other fields. Germany is home to leading international companies.)
  • Graduate school (many require proof of foreign language proficiency)
  • European travel

Some additional reasons for studying German...

  • Germany, Austria and Switzerland are leaders in the European Union.
  • Germany is the 5th largest trading partner of the U.S. after Canada, China, Mexico, and Japan.
  • Four of the largest world trade fairs are held in Germany.
  • Austria, Germany and Switzerland have a strong presence in high-tech and other cutting-edge products.
  • Germany awards approximately 2000 grants annually to study in Germany.  Cal Poly Pomona offers exchange programs with a long list of German universities and for numerous disciplines in the arts, architecture, international business, high tech, and more.
  • Germans love to travel and are among the biggest spenders of tourist dollars worldwide.


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Program documents

Spanish major

Spanish minor

French minor

Chinese certificate

German certificate

Languages advisors

  • Isabel Bustamante-Lopez, Spanish
  • Irene Daniel, German
  • Kent Dickson, Spanish
  • Meijuan Dong, Chinese
  • Liliane Fucaloro, French
  • Amalia Llombart, Spanish
  • Daan Pan, Chinese