The Graduate Program in German Literature and Critical Thought at Northwestern University is currently inviting applications for PhD candidates, for enrollment in the fall of 2023.
The Department of German at Northwestern is a dynamic and diverse department with strengths in German-language literature and culture from the mid-eighteenth to the early twenty-first century, critical theory, philosophy and literature, literary theory, intellectual and cultural history, and literature and religion. We collaborate closely with other departments and programs at Northwestern such as Comparative Literary Studies, Philosophy, Jewish Studies, Spanish and Portuguese, English, Asian Languages and Cultures, Science and Human Culture, and History. Students are encouraged to create a program of study that draws from the strengths of the university as a whole, while also gaining a solid basis in German-language modern literature, culture, and thought.
For PhD candidates, the department also offers the opportunity to participate in Northwestern’s vibrant network of graduate interdisciplinary clusters (including Critical Theory, Poetry and Poetics, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Global Avant-Garde and Modernism Studies, and Critical Studies in Theater and Performance), allowing students to build on their field of study in collaboration with students and faculty across the university. The department has strong ties with universities and institutions in Germany and Austria (including Frankfurt, Münster, Vienna, and the ZfL Berlin), and is closely associated with the Northwestern Paris Program in Critical Theory, which offers students additional fellowship aid to spend a year in Paris pursuing research on current topics in philosophy and theory. A further focus of the graduate program at the Department of German at Northwestern is its acclaimed language program: in addition to its tenure-line faculty, the department includes award-winning professors of instruction and experts in second-language acquisition, who work closely with graduate students in order to develop their professional skills as teachers, mentors, and communicators.
- Students who are awarded doctoral fellowships are guaranteed at least five years of full support (including summers), comprising tuition, a monthly stipend, and health insurance. Two years of doctoral support are generally non-teaching years; in the other three years, students serve as teaching assistants in English-language classes, research assistants, or German-language instructors. The department is also able to subsidize graduate student attendance at professional meetings and conferences, and can contribute funds towards supplementary language training.
- The department has a strong record of academic job placement at both research universities and liberal arts colleges in the U.S. and abroad, and actively supports graduate students with academic mentoring, professional training, and funding past the guaranteed fellowship years.
- The department also has a strong record of outside grant and fellowship acquisition, facilitated by Northwestern’s quarter system, which allows students the flexibility to spend time abroad outside of external fellowships.
- Our PhD program also welcomes applicants interested in pursuing careers outside the academy, and works with the Center for Career Advancement at Northwestern University to provide mentoring, workshops, and internships for graduate students seeking alt-ac and non-traditional post-PhD careers.
Northwestern University, with a primary campus in Evanston, Illinois, is consistently ranked among the top ten research universities in the United States. Located just north of the city of Chicago on the western coast of Lake Michigan, it offers both the advantages of a major city and a lively, welcoming, and diverse academic community.
The Graduate School (TGS) at Northwestern requires all prospective students to apply for admission. Please see the TGS Admissions page where you will find the online application. In addition to the Application for Admission and Financial Aid, the German department also requires the following documents for application to the Ph.D. program.
- Copy of 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.
- We do NOT require the GRE from our applicants.
- 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.
- International students who have received a degree from an accredited, English-speaking institution will not be required to take the new language test (Versant) or attend language course work.
For further information on the department’s course offerings, faculty, admissions process, and placement record, prospective applicants are invited to consult the department’s website (http://www.german.northwestern.edu), or to contact Professor Erica Weitzman, Director of Graduate Studies, at email@example.com. Questions about the application process should be directed to the Department Assistant, Courtney Essenpreis: firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for applications is January 15, 2023.
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