Graduate program

The Department of Modern Languages offers a two-year MA degree program in German. Its main objective is to introduce graduate students to all important aspects of modern German culture. The faculty is committed to providing graduate students with a firm foundation in scholarship and an opportunity to acquire teaching experience. Our students have been accepted into some of the best Ph.D. programs in the country or pursued other professional careers, e.g. at the Deutsche Schule in Chicago or at SAP in Karlsruhe. Expertise of German faculty and affiliated members is wide-ranging and comprises, for example: Literary studies from the eighteenth century to the present, German philosophy, history of ideas, Holocaust studies and human rights, nationalism, gender studies, performance & folklore studies, film studies. The German program encourages the pursuit of interdisciplinary interests and offers students ample opportunity to explore other intellectual disciplines.

For more information, see also the German Graduate Flyer


REQUIREMENTS (for general University requirements and for information on how to submit an online application, see Graduate-Studies): BA in German or equivalent, complete and acceptable academic transcripts ("good standing"); GRE score (Verbal and Quantitative); GPA (of last two baccalaureate years) of at least 3.00 on a 4-point system; TOEFL scores for foreign students whose native language is not English. In special circumstances, a student who has not had such preparation may, with special approval from the Associate Chair for Graduate Studies, remedy any deficiencies concurrently with work on the advanced degree. Consultation with the Associate Chair for Graduate Studies will determine the appropriate procedure.


Graduate students in German are eligible for teaching assistantships as well as other scholarships and other awards, many of them supported by the Ada Belle Winthrop-King Memorial Fund. These include funding for summer study, conference, and research funds, such as the Winthrop-King Summer Graduate Scholarship in German. This award is open to graduate students majoring in German who are seeking support for a research project or for language development in a German-speaking country during the summer semester. Click here for more details including application deadlines.


MA in German – Thesis-type Program

A minimum of thirty (30) semester hours of credit in graduate courses (including minor, if any) and a minimum of six (6) hours of thesis credit, a minimum of two (2) of these must be in the final semester. At least eighteen (18) of the total of 30 hours must be taken on a letter grade basis. The student must constitute an MA Supervisory Committee made up of the student's Major Professor, one Minor Professor (if any), and two other faculty members. The student must also submit a thesis to the Supervisory Committee that reveals independent investigation and knowledge of the methods of scholarship within the major field.

MA in German Studies – Thesis-type Program

The German Division also offers an MA in German Studies. The degree requires a thesis (see regulations above). The courses are determined in consultation with the Major Professor.

MA in German – Course-type Program

A minimum of 32 semester hours of credit in graduate courses (including minor, if any), at least 21 of which must be taken on a letter grade basis.

MA Comprehensive Examination

This is only for Course-type program and will be on the courses taken in the MA Program. Questions will be specific in nature, will normally be of the essay type, and will be written in a period of eight (8) hours (normally in two periods of four hours on consecutive days). An oral examination, approximately one week after the written portion, is required when the student has failed one or more sections of the written examination.

Reading Portfolio

Each candidate for an MA in German or German Studies must complete a reading list. Each student will compile a portfolio based on readings selected in consultation with the major professor. This portfolio must be completed before the degree is awarded.

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