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Northwestern University Course/Program Name
Application closes on
National :15 Jan 
International :15 Jan 

PhD German

 Course Level
Full Time

5 Years
 Start month

 Tuition fee

4052 USD
4052 USD

Application fee

International 75 USD
National 75 USD
Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences
Scores accepted
IELTS (min)7
TOEFL-IBT (min)90
TOEFL-PBT (min)550
GRE (avg)313

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About this course

The Department of German Literature and Critical Thought offers a graduate program that focuses on the theoretical and cultural foundations for the development of German literature and critical thought from 1750 onward. In order to acquire a thorough understanding of these foundations, students take a two-year sequence of six required (core) courses and two pro-seminars. Working closely with an academic adviser, students also choose seven electives based on their own interests and the direction of their individual program. In addition to Yiddish studies, which is an integral part of the department’s graduate-course offerings, Northwestern houses a wide group of related disciplines in which students in the German program are encouraged to participate, including Art History, Comparative Literary Studies, Gender Studies, History, Philosophy, Religion, and Screen Cultures.

Check further details on University website

Eligibility Criteria

TOEFL requirements:

  • Internet-Based Test Score minimum requirement of 90; Minimum for the Computer-Based Test is 213 and the Paper-Based Test is 550. The minimum score for the IELTS is 7.
  • International students need NOT take the TOEFL or IELTS if
  • they can provide official transcripts verifying an undergraduate degree from an accredited four-year institution or equivalent, where the language of instruction was English or
  • they can provide official transcripts verifying a graduate degree from an accredited institution where the language of instruction was English.

Check further details on University website

Course Modules

Course Requirements
There are a total of 15 courses required for the PhD.

Core Courses (6 courses)
GERMAN 401 German Literature and Critical Thought, 1750-1832 (1 Unit)
GERMAN 402 German Literature and Critical Thought, 1832-1900 (1 Unit)
GERMAN 403 German Literature, Critical Thought, and New Media, 1900-45 (1 Unit)
GERMAN 404 German Literature, Critical Thought, and New Media since 1945 (1 Unit)
GERMAN 405 Basic Issues in Foreign Language Teaching (1 Unit)
GERMAN 406 Contours of German History since 1750 (1 Unit)

Pro Seminars (2 courses)
German 407 Pro Seminar
Pro Seminars are spring quarter courses in which students develop a research-level paper, often in conjunction with previous or contemporaneous work in other courses. Students will present their own work in at least one Pro Seminar within the first three years of study.

Electives (7 courses)
Students will choose seven electives, graduate level courses either in the Department of German or in related disciplines.

Additional Degree Requirements For The Ph.D.

  • Participation in the various departmental colloquia throughout the year, including those devoted to professional development;
  • Qualifying Examinations–generally taken in winter quarter of the 3rd year;
  • Dissertation Prospectus–must be completed by the end of fall quarter of the 4th year;
  • German Language Examination (usually taken during the first year);
  • Third-language Examination, which can be accomplished by taking a graduate or upper-level undergraduate course in the relevant language; by passing a reading exam; or by taking an intensive language course during the summer equivalent to second year of college study;
  • Ph.D. Dissertation, a body of original independent research; and
  • Oral Defense of the dissertation.

Check further details on University website

How to Apply

Official transcripts;

  • Three letters of recommendation;
  • A statement of purpose in which the student indicates the reason why he or she would like to pursue graduate studies in the German department and outlines some of the major lines of inquiry that he or she would like to develop;
  • A paper or writing sample representative of their work.

Check further details on University website

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