German, PhD

for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in German

acting head of department: Laurie Johnson

director of graduate studies: Anke Pinkert

department website:

college website:

overview of graduate college admissions & requirements: Graduate Admissions

overview of college admissions & requirements:

department office: 2090 Foreign Languages Building, 707 South Mathews Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801

phone: (217) 333-2020


Graduate Degree Programs in Germanic Languages & Literatures

German, MA


Medieval Studies

German, PhD


Medieval Studies|Second Language Acquisition & Teacher Education

The Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures offers graduate programs leading to the degrees of Master of Arts in German, and Doctor of Philosophy in German. Students in the department may choose an additional specialization in Cultural Studies and Interpretive Research or a concentration in Medieval Studies. Candidates for the Ph.D. in German may additionally obtain a certificate in Second Language Acquisition and Teacher Education (SLATE Certificate).


Applicants should apply online ( and submit a statement of purpose, three letters of recommendation and a sample of their written work in English or German or both. For admission to the Master of Arts program, the writing sample might be a term paper, and for admission to the doctoral level, a master's thesis or seminar paper. Original transcripts (with English translations if applicable) showing all undergraduate and graduate work completed should be sent to:

SLCL Graduate Student Services
3070 Foreign Languages Bldg.
707 S. Mathews Ave.
Urbana, IL  61801

Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores are required. The applicant should ask the ETS to submit scores to institution 1836. Applicants whose native language is not English are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and must score at least 79 on the internet-based test (iBT); they must also pass the speaking sub-section of the iBT with a minimum score of 24 (see

Graduate Teaching Experience

Although teaching is not a general Graduate College requirement, experience in teaching is considered an important part of the graduate experience in this program, and all students teach. Non-native English speakers must first pass a test of their oral English ability (see

Research Interests

The department faculty includes nationally and internationally recognized scholars in all areas of research within the field, from older and modern German language, literature, and culture to Scandinavian languages, literatures and cultures. Some of the current research areas of faculty encompass (but are not limited to) Arctic Studies, Literature and Music, Literature and Medicine, Migration and Multilingualism, Film and Visual Studies, Digital Humanities, Memory Studies, and Intersectional Studies of Race, Gender, and Sexuality. We offer courses on topics in German and Scandinavian languages, literatures, and cultures across all periods, including historical and synchronic Germanic linguistics, and German language pedagogy. The University Library has one of the nation's outstanding collections of works pertaining to study and research in Germanic literatures of all periods and in Germanic and general linguistics.

Financial Aid

All students accepted into the program have financial support, usually in the form of a Teaching Assistantship (see

The department has contacts with a variety of universities and institutions in German-speaking countries; these cooperative endeavors also include arrangements for graduate students to study and teach abroad.

For continuing graduate students, the awarding of financial aid of all types is contingent upon making satisfactory progress toward a degree.

for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in German

Applicants must meet the admission standards outlined for the Master of Arts and, in addition, hold a Master of Arts in German (or equivalent) with a graduate grade point average of 3.5 (A = 4.0). Admission to the program is on a competitive basis.

Candidates for the Ph.D. in German may specialize in older German literature, modern German literature, Germanic linguistics, or Scandinavian literature.

Students working toward the Ph.D. degree must have completed all requirements for the Master of Arts degree given above and must complete an additional 40 graduate hours of coursework approved by the graduate adviser. At least 32 graduate hours must be for courses in Germanic Languages and Literatures. No more than 8 hours of credit in 400 level courses beyond those presented for the M.A. will be counted toward these ten units. The 40 hours may include up to 4 hours of GER 593, but may not include any credit for GER 496 for work taken as independent study. Residence requirements are those of the Graduate College.

One course in German or Scandinavian literature before 15004
One course in German literature since 15004
One course in German, Germanic, or Scandinavian linguistics4
GER 582German Language Teaching4
GER 515
GER 520
Middle High German
and History of the German Language (unless completed during masters)
Course work electives at the 500 level (to total 40)
GER 593Research in Special Topics (4 max hours applied toward degree)0-4
Language Requirement: a reading knowledge of two research languages other than English and German
GER 599Thesis Research (min/max applied toward degree)12-32
Total Hours68-72

Other Requirements1

Other requirements may overlap
Credit in GER 496 will not count toward degree requirements
Teaching of elementary or intermediate German (at least one half-time appointment as teaching assistant for one academic year).
Minimum Hours Required in the Unit: 32 (not including GER 599)
Minimum 500-level Hours Required Overall: 72
Masters Degree Required for Admission to PhD? Yes
Preliminary Exam Required Yes
Final Exam/Dissertation Defense Required Yes
Final Exam/Dissertation Defense Required Yes
Dissertation Deposit Required Yes
Minimum GPA: 3.0