Master of Arts
Candidates must take eight graded graduate courses (24 credits) plus six hours of Non-Topical Research and are encouraged to follow a balanced program, ranging from the Middle Ages to the present. Any plan to seek credit for courses taken while on an exchange program abroad must be agreed upon beforehand by the Director of Graduate Studies and the Assistant Dean for Graduate Programs.
Other requirements for the degree include:
proficiency in Middle High German, demonstrated by a passing grade in GERM 5100 or some departmentally approved equivalent;
an examination (based on the department’s M.A. reading list), normally taken in the third semester, consisting of a three-hour written part and a one-hour oral part, the latter to include a short prepared talk in German;
an M. A. thesis, on a topic approved by the Director of Graduate Studies and by the faculty member who agrees to supervise its writing.
Master of Teaching in German
For students interested in pursuing a high school teaching career, there are two options in conjunction with the Curry School of Education: a 5-year program, in which the student gets a B.A. in German and a Master of Teaching, and a 15-month program, the post-graduate Master of Teaching. For more information, please contact Alicia Belozerco, Curry School of Education, Ruffner Hall or Sybil Scholz, German Department.
Doctor of Philosophy
Requirements for entry into the Ph.D. program are the M.A. degree and departmental permission to proceed. The latter is a decision arrived at in a meeting of all faculty members, and it is based on class work, the M.A. examination, and the general performance of the student in the teacher training program.
Requirements include at least eight graded graduate courses (24 credits are required beyond the M.A. degree). Specialization that prepares for a dissertation is encouraged.
Periodic evaluation of the teaching performance of graduate instructors forms an integral part of the evaluation of the candidate’s progress in the program.
Candidates normally specialize in the works of one author, in a genre, and in one period. The definitions of “genre” and “period” are flexible up to a point.
In the first semester as a Ph.D. candidate, the student submits a proposed reading list in all three areas to a committee of three faculty members (appointed by the chair after consultation with the student). Generally the head of the committee is the student’s dissertation advisor. The author, genre, and theory lists are based on departmental core lists, whereas the period lists are developed along the lines of previous period lists. In certain cases a combination of two specialties not mentioned in the guidelines can be approved by the chair and the committee of three. By the end of the second semester after the M.A., however, all three parts of the list must be in final form.
For the Ph.D. a reading knowledge of French is required—or another language, if approved by the chair and the student’s committee, and this requirement must be fulfilled before the Ph.D. examination. Reading knowledge is demonstrated either by passing a literature course in the respective department with a grade of B or better, or by passing a written examination administered by the relevant department. Students should study French during the summer, inasmuch as this does not count as a regular course.
The Ph.D. examination consists of three written examinations—on the period, genre, and a major author—plus a two-hour oral exam, which includes a 15-minute critical presentation. The oral follows the written exam within a week, and the overall examination is graded as distinguished, passing, or failing. In the case of a failure, the student is granted another opportunity to take the examination within the following two semesters.
Students are expected to complete all pre-dissertation requirements, including coursework, language requirements and the PhD examination, by the conclusion of their sixth term of study (inclusive of their enrollment as a master’s candidate).
The Ph.D. dissertation should be a book-length manuscript suitable for publication. With special permission the department has accepted three publishable articles instead. For the dissertation defense, a committee member is selected from outside the department.