Our distinguished graduate program in German is both comprehensive and innovative, dedicated to German literature and linguistics, language and culture, but also to media, film, intellectual history, and theoretical approaches that reach beyond disciplinary boundaries.
We offer a broad range of research seminars that reflect the interests of our diverse faculty and most recent developments in the field. The topics of our courses range from Medieval literature to 21st century literature; from the literature of migration to studies in media and film; from Old Saxon and Gothic to modern German dialects; from bilingualism to the study of language and power; covering also relations among literature, law, space, philosophy, and religion.
Our curriculum offers a great range of flexibility. We are highly committed to working closely with our students to help them design the course of study that is most appropriate to their interests. Students can also qualify for one of many Designated Emphasis programs.
In addition, we encourage our students to spend at least a year at a university in German-speaking Europe. Our department maintains an extensive network of international collaboration with the most innovative departments in the field at universities in German-speaking countries, notably with the Humboldt Universität and the Freie Universität in Berlin, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Universität Zürich, Universität Wien, and Universität Konstanz. We regularly host a considerable number of doctoral and postdoctoral students, as well as visiting faculty from these institutions, and they actively participate in our research seminars and colloquia.
Thus students develop their own networks with German colleagues early on during their careers. Nearly all of our students participate in exchanges with these universities and spend a year or two at host institutions in Germany, and most of them do so with the support of outside fellowships. Our students have been highly successful at securing such funding.
Students further support themselves in their studies by teaching lower-division German language courses. They can also apply to teach courses in Reading and Composition (offered in English on German topics). Our students prepare to teach with our language pedagogy program; they may also attend seminars about teaching Reading and Composition.
As part of their training, students are encouraged to participate in conferences and other professional activities, both on and off campus. The department offers several working groups, and students plan and put together the department’s annual interdisciplinary German Studies Conference. Based on their training in the department and their experience within our extensive international networks, our graduate students enter their careers with outstanding skills and a range of professional contacts in the US and in Germany. An excellent record of external grants and of job placement testifies to our students’ success.