International Engineering Program
The International Engineering Program (IEP) gives students the opportunity to earn two degrees in five years—a BS in engineering and a BA in German. It is open to students in all fields of engineering. The program involves a semester at the Technische Universitat Darmstadt (Darmstadt University) in Germany followed by a paid internship in Germany. Interested students should review this website and complete this form. UA's IEP is modeled after a similar program at the University of Rhode Island and we greatly appreciate URI's support in launching our IEP.
The German economy is the powerhouse of Europe. As a country, Germany has traditionally led engineering fields with firms such as BASF, Bayer, BMW, Mercedes, Merck, Porsche, and SAP. Germany is also a leader in renewable energy research, with an announced government goal of 80 percent of energy provided in the country by sustainable sources by the year 2050. German firms also invest heavily in the United States and Arkansas. There are 23 German-owned companies that provide 1,540 jobs in Arkansas (including automotive parts, power tools, plastics, and steel). The German government is actively recruiting foreign workers for jobs in the STEM sectors that are going unfilled. [make-it-in-germany.com.--Click on EN for an English translation of the site.]
Add German to Your Engineering Skills
A knowledge of German gives you another skill set when looking for jobs. According to a 2014 Economist article, knowing German resulted in a 3.8% premium in salary, or $128,000 over an average career. [“Johnson: What is a Foreign Language Worth?”] All International Engineering students at the University of Arkansas will participate in the proficiency exams of the Goethe Institute at the B1 level, part of the European Union’s proficiency scala (the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages). This gives students an internationally recognized certification of language skills that can be used when looking for employment or applying to graduate schools [Goethe Institut].
Study and Work in Germany
IEP students spend their fourth year abroad. In the fall, students take engineering courses at the Technische Universitat Darmstadt, which is one of the leading German technical universities, represented by the TU9 consortium and which Albert Einstein recommended to his nephew. The courses that students enroll in are regular engineering courses taught by German professors, rather than special courses designed for foreigners.
In the spring, students will intern German companies through Cultural Vistas. Most internships are paid. The University of Arkansas German program has partnered with Cultural Vistas since 2001, and our students’ assignments have included BMW (transportation and logistics), a start-up in Berlin (marketing), an aeronautics firm (engineering), a web-based software company (economics), an architecture firm, and a medieval hotel and restaurant (hospitality management). Students work alongside German professionals in regular offices, and successful internships can lead to full-time offers of employment.
What if I haven’t had any German yet?
The degree plans require students to begin their studies in Intermediate German I (GERM 2003), which is possible for students who have studied at least two years of German in high school. However, students who were not able to study German in high school can easily catch up by taking Elementary German I and II (GERM 1003 and 1013) in their freshman year and then taking Intermediate German in summer school or as an on-line course. Interested students should review this website and complete this form.
What if I am already fluent in German?
If you are an international student who holds the Großes Sprachdiplom or the Kleines Sprachdiplom, you can make faster progress towards the degree by receiving Credit by Achievement for beginning and intermediate language courses and concentrating on content courses. Students who have had some German in high school are also eligible for Credit by Achievement credit. Students who pass an upper level language course with a C or better earn retroactive credit for the lower level language courses that cover material they have already mastered. Interested students should review this website and complete this form.