German

Admission Requirements

Applicants apply for admission to the program via the Graduate School application for admission. Requirements listed here are in addition to Graduate Council policies listed under GCAC-300 Admissions Policies.

Minimum qualifications for admission include 30 undergraduate credits in German beyond the intermediate level. Provision is made, however, for provisional admission with limited deficiencies. Students with a 3.00 junior/senior average (on a 4.00 scale) and with appropriate course backgrounds will be considered for admission. The best-qualified applicants will be accepted up to the number of spaces that are available for new students. Exceptions to the minimum 3.00 grade-point average may be made for students with special backgrounds, abilities, and interests.

Degree Requirements

Master of ARts (M.A.)

Requirements listed here are in addition to Graduate Council policies listed under GCAC-600 Research Degree Policies.

The M.A. in German is designed to offer students a general foundation in German culture, language, linguistics, and literature. After completing a small set of core requirements, students may pursue their individual interests from among the courses offered by faculty who specialize in German Applied Linguistics, Culture, Linguistics, and Literature. The M.A. degree requires a minimum of 36 credits, with at least 18 at the 500 level, and is designed as a terminal degree.

The following courses are required for the M.A. degree:

Required Courses
GER 510Literary Theory: An Introduction3
GER 511The Teaching of College German3
Select one of the following:3
German Phonetics and Phonology
German Syntax
GER 515
Total Credits9

Practical experience in supervised teaching is required for all graduate degrees. Students who wish to earn a master's degree must enroll in GER 596 and write a scholarly research paper of between thirty and fifty pages on a topic defined in conjunction with a faculty adviser. The research paper should demonstrate mastery of primary and secondary literature, interpretative skills, and academic prose in both German and English. A one-hour oral defense of the paper shall be scheduled two weeks after its formal submission to the adviser. A committee consisting of faculty adviser and two other members of the German program selected by the M.A. candidate shall evaluate the student's knowledge of the subject matter.

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Requirements listed here are in addition to Graduate Council policies listed under GCAC-600 Research Degree Policies.

For the Ph.D., a student must complete at least 54 credits (these can include M.A. credits) of graduate-level work. The following courses are required of all students:

Required Courses
GER 510Literary Theory: An Introduction3
GER 511The Teaching of College German3
Select one of the following:3
German Phonetics and Phonology
German Syntax
GER 515
Total Credits9

Other requirements include:

  1. demonstrated reading knowledge of one foreign language in addition to German and English,
  2. successful passing of the comprehensive examination with written and oral components, and
  3. completed doctoral dissertation and passing a final oral examination (the dissertation defense). The dissertation must be accepted by the Ph.D. committee, the head of the graduate program, and the Graduate School.

Dual-Titles  

Dual-Title Ph.D. in German and Language Science

Requirements listed here are in addition to requirements listed in GCAC-208 Dual-Title Graduate Degree Programs.

Graduate students with research and educational interests in German and Language Science may apply to the dual-title Ph.D. in German and Language Science. The goal of the dual-title degree in German and Language Science is to enable graduate students from German to acquire the knowledge and skills of their major area of specialization in German, while at the same time gaining the perspective and methods of the Language Science.

Admission Requirements

Students must apply and be admitted to the graduate program in German and The Graduate School before they can apply for admission to the dual-title degree program. After admission to their primary program, students must apply for admission and meet the admissions requirements of the Language Science dual-title program. Refer to the Admission Requirements of the Language Science Bulletin page. Doctoral Students must be admitted into the dual-title degree program in Language Science prior to taking the qualifying examination in their primary graduate program.

Degree Requirements

To qualify for the dual-title degree, students must satisfy the Ph.D. degree requirements in German. In addition, students must complete the degree requirements for the dual-title in Language Science, listed on the Language Science Bulletin page.

Some courses may satisfy both German and Language Science degree requirements. Final course selection must be approved by the student's Ph.D. committee. Students who hold a master’s degree from another institution may petition to have equivalent course credits accepted.

The qualifying examination committee for the dual-title Ph.D. degree will be composed of Graduate Faculty from German and must include at least one Graduate Faculty member from the Language Science program. Faculty members who hold appointments in both programs’ Graduate Faculty may serve in a combined role. There will be a single qualifying examination, containing elements of both German and Language Science. Dual-title graduate degree students may require an additional semester to fulfill requirements for both areas of study and, therefore, the qualifying examination may be delayed one semester beyond the normal period allowable.

In addition to the general Graduate Council requirements for Ph.D. committees, the Ph.D. committee of a German and Language Science dual-title Ph.D. student must include at least one member of the Language Science Graduate Faculty. Faculty members who hold appointments in both programs’ Graduate Faculty may serve in a combined role. If the chair of the Ph.D. committee is not also a member of the Graduate Faculty in Language Science, the member of the committee representing Language Science must be appointed as co-chair. The Language Science representative on the student’s Ph.D. committee will develop questions for and participate in the evaluation of the comprehensive examination.

Students in the dual-title program are required to write and orally defend a dissertation on a topic that is approved in advance by their Ph.D. committee and reflects their original research and education in German and Language Science. Upon completion of the doctoral dissertation, the candidate must pass a final oral examination (the dissertation defense) to earn the Ph.D. degree. The dissertation must be accepted by the Ph.D. committee, the head of the graduate program, and the Graduate School

Dual-Title Ph.D. in German and Visual Studies

Requirements listed here are in addition to requirements listed in GCAC-208 Dual-Title Graduate Degree Programs.

Graduate students with interests in German culture and the history of visual media may apply to the dual-title Ph. D. in German and Visual Studies. The goal of the dual-title Ph.D. in German and Visual Studies is to enable graduate students from German to acquire the knowledge and skills of their major area of specialization in German, while at the same time gaining the theories and methods of Visual Studies. 

Admission Requirements

Students must apply and be admitted to the graduate program in German and The Graduate School before they can apply for admission to the dual-title degree program. After admission to their primary program, students must apply for admission to and meet the admissions requirements of the Visual Studies dual-title program. Refer to the Admission Requirements section of the Visual Studies Bulletin page. Students must receive approval from the Director of Graduate Studies in German, and must submit a recommendation from a member of the German Graduate Faculty who is also a member of the Visual Studies Graduate Faculty. Doctoral students must be admitted into the dual-title degree program in Visual Studies prior to taking the qualifying examination in German.

Degree Requirements

To qualify for the dual-title degree, students must satisfy the degree requirements for the Ph.D. degree in German. In addition, students must complete the degree requirements for the dual-title in Visual Studies, listed on the Visual Studies Bulletin page.

The qualifying examination committee for the dual-title Ph.D. degree will be composed of Graduate Faculty from German and must include at least one Graduate Faculty member from the Visual Studies program. Faculty members who hold appointments in both programs’ Graduate Faculty may serve in a combined role. There will be a single qualifying examination, containing elements of both German and Visual Studies. Dual-title graduate degree students may require an additional semester to fulfill requirements for both areas of study and, therefore, the qualifying examination may be delayed one semester beyond the normal period allowable.

In addition to the general Graduate Council requirements for Ph.D. committees, the Ph.D. committee of a German and Visual Studies dual-title Ph.D. student must include at least one member of the Visual Studies Graduate Faculty. Faculty members who hold appointments in both programs’ Graduate Faculty may serve in a combined role. If the chair of the Ph.D. committee is not also a member of the Graduate Faculty in Visual Studies, the member of the committee representing Visual Studies must be appointed as co-chair. The Visual Studies representative on the student’s Ph.D. committee will develop questions for and participate in the evaluation of the comprehensive examination.

Students in the dual-title program are required to write and orally defend a dissertation on a topic that is approved in advance by their Ph.D. committee and reflects their original research and education in German and Visual Studies. Upon completion of the doctoral dissertation, the candidate must pass a final oral examination (the dissertation defense) to earn the Ph.D. degree. The dissertation must be accepted by the Ph.D. committee, the head of the graduate program, and the Graduate School.

Student Aid

Graduate assistantships available to students in this program and other forms of student aid are described in the Tuition & Funding section of The Graduate School’s website. Students on graduate assistantships must adhere to the course load limits set by The Graduate School.

In addition, the following awards typically have been available to graduate students in this program.

Exchange Fellowships at Christian Albrechts Universität, Kiel, and the Phillips Universität, Marburg

Available to graduate students in German and other fields for a full academic year. Students must have a good command of German.

Walter Edwin Thompson and Dr. Regina Block Thompson Scholarship Fund

Thompson Fellowships are available each year for graduate students in the Department of Germanic and Slavic Literatures and Languages. These fellowships can be awarded in addition to other grants or stipends.

Courses

Graduate courses carry numbers from 500 to 699 and 800 to 899. Advanced undergraduate courses numbered between 400 and 499 may be used to meet some graduate degree requirements when taken by graduate students. Courses below the 400 level may not. A graduate student may register for or audit these courses in order to make up deficiencies or to fill in gaps in previous education but not to meet requirements for an advanced degree.

German (GER) Course List

Learning Outcomes

Ph.D. graduates in German literature and culture or in German linguistics and applied linguistics will be able to:

  1. KNOWLEDGE: Demonstrate knowledge of appropriate critical and theoretical vocabularies and perspectives about reading and writing so that they can become part of the ongoing national and international discussion central to German literature and culture or to German linguistics and applied linguistics.
  2. CRITICAL THINKING: Demonstrate the ability to critique, edit, and revise written texts, whether their own or their students’.
  3. COMMUNICATION: Demonstrate mastery of the conventions of writing a paper suitable for presentation at a professional conference.
  4. RESEARCH/CREATE: Design a dissertation on a topic that reflects their original research and education in German literature and culture or in German linguistics and applied linguistics.
  5. TEACH: Refine a variety of strategies and methodologies to help improve the reading and writing of students and to teach College German.

Contact

Campus University Park
Graduate Program Head Daniel Leonhard Purdy
Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) or Professor-in-Charge (PIC) Sabine Doran
Program Contact

Laura Boyer Shaffer
442 Burrowes Bldg
University Park PA 16802
lab5@psu.edu
(814) 865-1352

Program Website View