How do you picture the “college experience?”
Maybe it’s groups of friends lounging on a lawn. Or frantic students cramming a study guide in the cafeteria. Or crowds around a keg in a dirty apartment.
But that’s just one type of college experience.
In fact, you don’t even have to set foot in a classroom to earn college credits in German. You can be at home, in your pajamas, sipping on some coffee as you study your vocabulary. Feel like typing that essay in the park, with the sounds of the city providing white noise? You can do that too!
Learning German online for college credits is just a click away. We’ll even show you four programs that offer college credit for a range of German language courses. So no matter your career path, gaining valuable German skills doesn’t have to include the “typical” college experience.
Why Take German Courses Online?
If you have access to the internet, you have a pass to the world’s largest collection of information, whenever you want. If it’s German language learning you’re looking for, there are tons of resources out there, just like this one!
Most people are starting to realize that learning a language online can be as effective as learning in the classroom. The materials are as readily available as they would be in the classroom and online discussions replace face-to-face interactions.
Online learning is also incredibly flexible. If you work full-time but want to earn a degree, you can! It might mean a few years of late nights and a high Starbucks tab to deal with, but earning college credits online is an easy way to work around your already busy schedule.
Many people utilize the time they have off during the summer to pursue their passions, and language learning is no exception. Setting aside three months out of the year to attend “summer school” online could be a great way to learn a new skill like German. It’s fun and rewarding to learn alongside students who enjoy the same things you do—even if they might be a few hundred miles away!
All the same, online learning should still be supplemented with in-person interaction and immersive practice. For example, join your local German-speaking clubs and show off what you’ve learned online.
You can use online resources—especially, immersive ones like FluentU—to prepare for real-life German conversations.
FluentU is one of the best websites and apps for learning German the way native speakers really use it. FluentU takes real-world videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.
Watch authentic media to simultaneously immerse yourself in the German language and build an understanding of the German culture.
By using real-life videos, the content is kept fresh and current. Topics cover a lot of ground as you can see here:
Vocabulary and phrases are learned with the help of interactive subtitles and full transcripts.
Hovering over or tapping on any word in the subtitles will automatically pause the video and instantly display its meaning. Interesting words you don’t know yet can be added to a to-learn list for later.
For every lesson, a list of vocabulary is provided for easy reference and bolstered with plenty of examples of how each word is used in a sentence.
Your existing knowledge is tested with the help of adaptive quizzes in which words are learned in context.
FluentU keeps track of the words you’re learning and gives you extra practice with difficult words. It'll even remind you when it’s time to review what you’ve learned.
This way, you have a truly personalized learning experience.
Start using FluentU on the website with your computer or tablet or practice anytime, anywhere on the mobile app for iOS and Android.
Who Can Enroll in Online German Courses?
If you’re going to be earning college credit, you’re most likely a high school student ready to graduate. Juniors and seniors in high school can earn college credits, but so can currently enrolled college students and even those who would be considered non-traditional students. Non-traditional students would include those who are past the typical enrollment age who are looking to go back to school for a number of reasons.
Whether you’re a high school or college student, earning college credits is a great way to speed up the graduation process. But even if you’re not looking to transfer credits to a university, an official university course can do wonders for your resume or simply fast-track you to German fluency.
Will My German Course Credits Transfer?
This is one of the first questions most online students ask. If you’re intending to take extra coursework in order to transfer credits, it’s best to know where you’ll want them to transfer. Each institution has their own guidelines. What may transfer over to one university may not be acceptable at one even in the same city.
If you’re like many college students who choose to get their extra courses out of the way at a lower-cost community college, you’ll inevitably be asking the same question for all your credits. Weigh the benefits and costs, but make sure the coursework you’ll be completing will transfer. You wouldn’t want to waste a semester just to take the same courses again.
Most in-state, local campuses will have information on transferring nearby universities’ credits. If you’re transferring in-state or out-of-state, however, it’s always best to talk with an admissions counselor. They can check into your coursework and advise you as to what’s transferable and what potentially is not. A good way to expedite this process is to get the syllabus for the course you’re planning to take. Some schools may require you to cover certain topics before accepting language credits from another institution.
For each of the below resources, we’ve made sure to list the corresponding information on transferring credits. However, you should always verify before you enroll. All it takes is a few phone calls and/or emails to save you a lot of headaches.
Earn College Credits in German Online! 4 Flexible Programs for Any Type of Student
Oregon State University Ecampus
This program from Oregon State allows students to pay in-state tuition for online courses, no matter where you’re located. If you don’t already know the difference, in-state tuition costs are much lower than out-of-state. This comes in handy when tuition is due!
There are four years’ worth of German language courses as well as specialized classes on German culture, German cinema, etc. offered at varying points throughout the year. These courses offer online discussion boards and multimedia learning materials. Though this is the same curriculum on-campus students receive, online students can utilize these resources as much as is necessary.
The first- and second-year courses of the German online program are four credits each, at a cost of $297 per credit. In total, your first two years of German courses would cost $2,376 (and your monthly internet bill, of course). Many big-name, in-state colleges will charge you more per credit and require you to be present in the classroom at specified times, so cost-wise, online learning is incredibly efficient.
To learn more about Oregon State’s Ecampus program, check out the “before you apply” section and transfer information available on their website. Contact an administrative representative and you could be starting a new semester very soon!
University of Maryland
The University of Maryland offers a series of online German language courses from elementary to advanced levels, as well as a course on modern German-speaking cultures.
Students who enroll in this program will need to purchase a microphone, speakers and complete time-sensitive work when necessary. In this way it’s similar to a typical on-campus college course, rather than a fully self-paced online course.
In the University of Maryland’s German program, students will learn about cultural aspects of the language and explore the language itself as well. Both components are key to well-rounded knowledge of Germany and its people.
Check into the transfer FAQs along with their transfer information and transfer credit tool. You might soon be one of the University of Maryland alumni!
Mesa Community College
What makes MCC different is that they offer two tracks you can pursue: conversation and foundation. The conversation track is good if you’re going to travel abroad or if you’re looking to learn German for job-specific requirements. If you have no German language experience or are aiming for full language fluency, the foundation track is more what you’re looking for.
Each foundation course focuses on listening, speaking, reading and writing. There are four courses that’ll prepare you to continue learning at the intermediate university level, should you choose.
Mesa offers free tutoring services, so there’s always a resource to turn to in case you’re looking for help. You can find out more information about transferring here.
Continuing Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison
Interested in studying German literature? Need to give your German reading and writing skills a serious boost?
In this course, you’ll learn how to read complex German texts with only a dictionary to guide you. Students will be taught step-by-step techniques to succeed in comprehending advanced German written passages.
The course can be taken at your own pace, anywhere in the world. You’ll have to check with your chosen university to see if the course will transfer, but again, keep a copy of the syllabus handy in case there’s any doubt.
Tuition for this course is $981. See more about fees and tuition waivers here.
Bonus for High School Grads: AP and IB Transfer Credits
For those who don’t want to start their college career early by enrolling in classes before their peers, there’s another option available. High school students who demonstrate subject proficiency on the AP and IB tests can transfer their scores as college credits.
Some institutions might delineate between credits depending on the scores you receive. A score of 3 might be passing for some colleges, but in the eyes of another college, you might need a 4 to get those credits to transfer. While this applies to AP and IB tests generally, it’s entirely possible to transfer a German score as college credits and even begin your college career with one year’s worth of credits already earned.
Check with your desired institution and their current policies to verify the scores will transfer.
As you can see, lifelong learning can be rewarding and even get you ahead of the game. Check out the online resources we’ve listed above and jump start your German-learning journey!
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn German with real-world videos.