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GERST-PHD - German Studies (PhD)

German Studies German Studies PHD - Doctor of Philosophy

Program Overview

The department provides students with the linguistic and analytic ability to explore the significance of the cultural traditions and political histories of the German-speaking countries of Central Europe. At the same time, the interdisciplinary study of German culture, which can include art, economics, history, literature, media theory, philosophy, political science, and other fields, encourages students to evaluate broader and contradictory legacies of the German past, the history of rapid modernization and the status of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland today.

The German experience of national identity, political unification, and integration into the European Union sheds light on broader issues of cultural cohesion and difference and on the causes and meaning of phenomena such as racial prejudice, anti-Semitism, and the Holocaust. In general, education in German Studies encourages the student to consider the impact of German-speaking thinkers and artists. It provides a lens through which the contours of the present and past, in Europe and elsewhere, can be evaluated.

The department offers students the opportunity to pursue coursework at all levels in the languages, cultures, literatures, and societies of German-language traditions. Whether interested in German literature, the influence of German philosophy on other fields in the humanities, or the character of German culture and politics, students find a broad range of courses covering language acquisition and refinement, literary history and criticism, cultural history and theory, history of thought, continental philosophy, and linguistics.

By carefully planning their programs, students may fulfill the BA requirements for a double major in German Studies and another subject. A coterminal program for the BA and MA degrees in German Studies is offered. Doctoral students may elect PhD minors in Comparative Literature, Humanities, Linguistics, and Modern Thought and Literature.