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The application portal for Fall 2024 admissions is now closed.

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.

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.

 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 (, or to contact Professor Erica Weitzman, Director of Graduate Studies, at Questions about the application process should be directed to the Department Assistant, Courtney Essenpreis: