Areas of specialization available include philology, older German literature before the baroque period, and German literature of the 17th, 18th, 19th, or 20th century. Requirements for the master's degree are 30 credits of course work beyond the bachelor's degree (or 24 credits and a thesis) and an examination covering the general field of German literature. In addition, students must display knowledge of the history of the German language and of Middle-High German.
Students pursuing the doctorate must take a minimum of 48 credits of course work beyond the bachelor's degree and possess a reading knowledge of one additional language, as deemed appropriate by the candidates' advisers. In addition, a candidate must complete successfully a written examination based on a core reading list and an oral examination in his or her area of specialization. Finally, each candidate must submit an acceptable dissertation. The Ph.D. qualifying examination may be taken in parts spaced over six months. No more than 3 credits for the master's degree and no more than 6 credits for the doctorate may be taken in independent study courses. A master of philosophy degree can be obtained by candidates who complete their course work and qualifying examination within four years. Although there is no formal residence requirement, the candidates accepted must be available for close supervision and consultation.
Courses at the 500 and 600 levels are open to all graduate students and constitute the major portion of the program. As part of their graduate training, doctoral students are given the opportunity to assume certain teaching obligations under faculty supervision. Further details concerning the program, including additional information about the qualifying examination and the dissertation, as well as information about teaching assistantships, can be found in Graduate Programs in German and in Guidelines for Graduate Students in German. These pamphlets are available on request from the office of the graduate director. The graduate program in German participates in the Transliteratures Program (q.v.).