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Degree Requirements

Graduate Degree Requirements

The Ph.D. in German Studies is a 72-credit-hour program. Students who enter the program with a B.A. must take 60 credit hours of formal coursework; students who enter the program with an M.A. must take 42 credit hours of formal coursework. Formal coursework includes regular seminars and the following required courses:

  • GER 7101: Foundations I: Transition Points of Modern German Culture [3 credit hours]
  • GER 7102: Foundations II: Theories of Literary and Cultural Analysis [3 credit hours]
  • GER 7103: Foundations III: Modes of Scholarly Work and Writing [3 credit hours]
  • GER 7104: Pre-Exam Colloquium [3 credit hours]
  • SLS 6030: Foreign Language Learning and Teaching [3 credit hours]
  • GER 8301: Pre-Dissertation Colloquium [3 credit hours]

We consider graduate students’ teaching experiences to be an integral aspect of their educational and professional training. Teaching is not simply a service to the department, but also critical preparation for career success. Incoming graduate students should expect to teach 6-7 semesters during their time at Vanderbilt. They teach at least three classes as instructor of record in the basic German language curriculum. To diversify the teaching experience, they also serve as teaching assistants in classes taught in English, both within and outside the department.

Download the Ph.D. degree handbook for a detailed description of degree requirements, exam structures, teaching expectations, and typical student trajectories.

Recent Graduate Courses

Ph.D. courses vary by semester and are tailored to fit the interests and academic needs of the current graduate student cohort. Recently offered courses include:

  • Digitization and German Media Theory
  • Friedrich Hölderlin
  • The Imagined Archive: Representations of Collecting in German Literature
  • Twentieth-Century German Modernism
  • Murnau and Modernity
  • Nature Clash: Animals, Plants, and the Formation of German Culture
  • The Death of God in German Thought
  • Werner Herzog
  • Reading Poetry, Writing on Poetry
  • Mapping 20th-Century Berlin
  • Ideas of 1917
  • Wanted for Murder: Medea in Myth, Literature, and Film