Graduate Division

German Ph.D.

Section 1


The German Graduate Program introduces students to innovative approaches in German studies and provides a solid foundation in German literature, thought and culture. We place special emphasis on integrating works of literature, philosophy, and art into cultural and theoretical contexts to better understand literature in its aesthetic, social, and historical dimensions.

We specialize in:

  • modern German literature
  • German philosophy
  • cultural studies.

In research and teaching we focus on:

  • 18th century
  • the Age of Goethe
  • Classicism
  • Romanticism
  • Realism
  • Modernism
  • 20th and 21st  literature.

Additional extensive coursework is available in:

What Sets Us Apart?

Our German Graduate Program excels with its combination of disciplinary specialization and interdisciplinary cooperation. Just as at the geopolitical level the nations of Europe maintain their national identities within a transnational union, so, our graduate program maintains its own course of study while recognizing the need for students to relate Germany’s rich literary, cultural, and philosophical tradition to an international and multi-disciplinary context.

Our German faculty thus works closely not only with those in the other European languages but also with

with which we share many faculty appointments.

Our curriculum focuses on post-1750 culture, covering four major areas:

  • traditional German literary history (doubly anchored in the period around 1800 and 20th and 21st century literature)
  • German cultural studies, which explores socio-political developments and questions of national identity
  • the philosophical tradition from Idealism to the present
  • linguistics, including the cultural history of the German language.

Our faculty has won numerous teaching awards and covers a wide range of interests, including:

  • German linguistics and second-language acquisition
  • German Classicism (Goethe, Schiller, Kleist)
  • Aesthetics
  • German and European Modernism
  • Contemporary literature and film in a global and transnational context
  • Representation of war, violence, and genocide
  • Intellectual history of the inter-war period (Benjamin, Schmitt, Heidegger);
  • Holocaust studies
  • German philosophic tradition in the context of contemporary critical and literary theory.

In research and teaching we are committed to highlighting the ways German culture has contributed to shaping the world we live in today.

Quick Facts

Program Type

Doctoral Program

Normative Time to Degree

6 years

Capstone Type


Accordion Section

Admissions Requirements

The graduate program in German includes both an M.A. and a Ph.D. program. Students may apply to either the M.A. program or the Ph.D. program, but only students applying to the Ph.D. program can be admitted with fellowship funding. Students with a B.A. may apply directly to the Ph.D. program and receive fellowship support, but their official advancement into the Ph.D. program is contingent upon successful completion of the M.A. before or during the second year of study. Students who already hold the M.A. degree are also encouraged to apply to the Ph.D. program.

Application to the program is electronic.

Online application requirements:

  • Official GRE Scores
  • Please upload one unofficial transcript from each college or university you have attended
  • Three letters of recommendation must be uploaded electronically (Paper and hardcopy letters are not allowed)
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Personal History Statement
  • Writing sample in German or English or both
  • For European Applicants who are part of the Bologna process: Please submit Diploma Supplements with your transcripts.

Please also refer to the instructions for applications, and Frequently Asked Questions.

The application deadline is January 7 for the subsequent fall quarter. Admission can be granted for any quarter; however, only fall quarter applications are considered for fellowships and teaching assistantships.

If you are an applicant whose primary language is not English, you must demonstrate proficiency in English for admission consideration. This requirement, however, is waived automatically for applicants who have completed all of the requirements for their high school diploma, bachelors degree, or an advanced degree in a country where the primary and dominant language is English and English was the language of instruction of the school where the requirements were completed. Proficiency in English may be demonstrated by passing either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

If English is not your primary language and you wish to establish eligibility for appointment as a teaching assistant, you must pass one of the following English proficiency exams: Test of Spoken English (TSE), Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet-based Testing (TOEFL-iBT), International English Language Testing System (IELTS), Spoken Proficiency English Assessment Kit (SPEAK) or Test of Oral English Proficiency (TOEP). For further details, please see English Language Proficiency for International TAs.

Financial Support

All admitted Ph.D. applicants receive a five-year funding package from the School of Humanities, which consists of a combination of fellowship, TA-ship, and research assistantship support.  In addition to the school funding package, our program nominates eligible applicants for UCI graduate recruitment fellowships.

Teaching Assistantships

The initial offer and ongoing support of teaching assistantships are based upon the applicant's academic record and the continuing student's annual review by the faculty of the German Department. Teaching assistantships offer substantial fee remissions. For current Teaching assistantship pay and further information, please go to the Academic Student Employee Appointment Notifications site. Entering students are eligible to teach for eighteen quarters (six years).

Tuition & Fees

Graduate/Credential Student Fees 2019-20

  Fall 2019 Winter 2020 Spring 2020 Annual
Student Services Fee 376.00 376.00 376.00 1,128.00
Tuition 3,814.00 3,814.00 3,814.00 11,442.00
Assoc. Grad Students Fee 9.00 9.00 9.00 27.00
Student Center Fee 139.69 139.69 139.68 419.06
Bren Events Center Fee 23.00 23.00 23.00 69.00
Recreation Center Fee 88.00 88.00 88.00 264.00
Document Fee * 80.00 0.00 0.00 80.00
Student Health Insurance 1,459.18 1,459.18 1,459.18 4,377.54
Total California Resident $ 5,908.87 $ 5,908.87 $ 5,908.86 $ 17,726.60
Nonresident Supplemental Tuition 5,034.00 5,034.00 5,034.00 15,102.00
Total Nonresident $ 10,942.87 $ 10,942.87 $ 10,942.86 $ 32,828.60


Posted 12 July 2019 at

The tuition, fees, and charges posted to your billing statement or account are estimates based on currently approved amounts. These figures may not be final. Actual tuition, fees, and charges are subject to change by the Regents of the University of California and could be affected by increases or reductions in State funding, or other developments. Accordingly, final approved levels (and thus your final balance due) may differ from the amounts shown.

* The Document Fee provides lifetime access to official transcripts and academic verifications without a fee for in-person pickup or delivery by USPS. In addition, there is no fee for mailing the initial diploma. Effective Fall 2018, new undergraduate, professional, and graduate students are assessed the one-time document fee. Eligible students are able to use financial aid to cover the Document Fee.

Core Faculty

Anke Biendarra, Associate Professor of German

Kai EversAssociate Professor of German

Glenn LevineProfessor of German; German Language Program Director

David PanProfessor of German; Department Chair

John H. SmithProfessor of German

Career Outcomes

career outcomes data

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