German Studies

Graduate Guidelines

These guidelines are intended to provide graduate students in the German Department with information concerning departmental policies, requirements, deadlines, opportunities and services. For further information, contact the Graduate Advisor or the Graduate Student Coordinator.

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Upon entering the program, each graduate student will be assigned a faculty mentor to consult at least once each quarter about progress, the program, academic questions, or any other issues pertaining to his/her graduate career. A student may change mentor for any reason (indeed, without giving a reason) at any time after meeting with either the graduate advisor or chair.


  • First-Year Review
  • Students ending their first year of study at UCI must undergo a more comprehensive review procedure. This applies to students entering with either a B.A. or an M.A. For a spring-quarter meeting, the faculty will solicit and discuss input from all instructors with whom the student has studied. The following factors will be considered in determining graduate student performance and progress: grade point average, student writing and participation in seminars, and, where applicable, teaching performance. After the review, students will be apprised of the departmental evaluation and advised on a future course of study or recommended for discontinuation of the program. A student may appeal a departmental decision to recommend discontinuation from the program. A student will be given thirty days from notification of the department's decision to respond in writing. The student's statement, addressed to the chair, will be considered only if based upon appropriate cause, such as: procedural error; judgments based on non-academic criteria; apparent personal bias; specific mitigating circumstances affecting academic performance; or discrimination on the basis of race, gender, or handicap not pertaining to academic performance. Following this period of time (30 days), if the student has not responded, the department will notify Graduate Studies with a recommendation of discontinuation.
  • Annual Review
  • All students will undergo an annual review by the faculty of the department. Each spring the faculty will meet to discuss students' progress in the program. Annual review and evaluation of student performance and progress assures both the student and the department that each student is meeting the academic standards, teaching standards (for teaching assistants and associates, readers, and ABD lecturers), and professional standards of conduct expected of graduate students in the program. The review process provides an opportunity to assess and make recommendations for students to remedy any deficiencies or to discontinue the program. The following factors will be considered in determining graduate student performance and progress: grade-point average, student writing and performance in seminars, time to degree, successful completion of exams (including dissertation prospectus and chapter review), foreign language requirement, and teaching performance. The appeal process is the same as for the first-year review.


All graduate students in German, including those in both the master's degree program and the doctoral program, are expected to maintain a 3.3 GPA. A GPA below 3.3 in any quarter falls below the academic standard expected by the department. Pursuant to the terms of appointment, a student whose GPA falls below 3.3 in any given quarter and whose GPA is not 3.3 by the end of the academic year may be ineligible for funding, and faculty may recommend the student be disqualified from the program.


Master of Arts in German

The minimum course requirement for the M.A. degree is nine courses, eight of which must be taken within the German Program. 

Language Requirement

Students must possess reading knowledge of one language other than German or English. This can be demonstrated by completing one year or the equivalent of University-level language study (1C), or passing one of the 97 graduate reading courses, or passing a translation examination administered by the Department.

The Preparation of a Reading List

All candidates should prepare as early as possible a list of works read in the field of German literature, both primary texts and critical works. This list should be augmented by critical texts and by works from other literatures which, in the candidate's opinion, relate to the German works on the list. Since it should ultimately contain representative selections from various eras of German literature and some works of criticism, a tentative list must be discussed with the graduate advisor before the end of the fall quarter of the year in which the candidate expects to receive the M.A. Candidates should indicate on the list a number of works with which they are especially familiar. In its final form (including works read during the course of study both in and outside of class), the list will be submitted together with the master's essay two weeks before the oral examination. It is the student's responsibility to keep the reading list current. On the basis of this list, the candidate should design one course as an Introduction to German Literature and Culture. The course must include reading lists of required and optional texts, main and secondary literature, a written justification/course description, and a basic syllabus for a 13-week semester course. The course must be submitted to the committee at least two weeks prior to the oral exam date.

M.A. Comprehensive Examination (consists of two parts):

1. The Master's Essay. The purpose of the written part of the M.A. comprehensive examination is to show the candidate's methodological progress in interpreting German literature and film. It consists of an essay in which a text is elucidated and related to (a) pertinent works by the same author, (b) its social and historical context, and (c) other works of German or other literatures with which the candidate is familiar. The level of the discussion will normally be enhanced by the candidate's knowledge of the relevant secondary literature. The topic of the essay should be tentatively formulated and reported to the graduate advisor before the end of the second quarter of the student's residence.
2. The Oral Examination. During the oral examination the following items will be discussed: (a) the essay, and (b) the reading list, focusing on the course description. The discussion based on the reading list will focus on works which the student knows well, but may broaden into other areas.

One Year of Residence.

Doctor of Philosophy in German

Teaching German

Since the majority of German Ph.D. candidates choose careers that involve teaching, the faculty recognizes its obligation to offer them both outstanding pedagogical training and real world preparatory experience. Therefore, all candidates for the German M.A. and Ph.D. are required to pass HUMANITIES 398A and 398B, “Foreign Language Teaching: Approaches and Methods,” which together comprise one graduate seminar taught over two quarters. In addition, all candidates for the German M.A. and Ph.D. program are required to teach under the supervision of a faculty member at least one course in each of at least three quarters (for which they will receive credit as GERMAN 399). Three of these courses may be counted toward the 22 courses required for the Ph.D. HUMANITIES 398A and 398B will not count toward the 22 courses required for the Ph.D. The German Ph.D. candidates therefore require 19 graduate courses +  3 German 399 courses.

The department requires a minimum of 19 approved courses + 3 German 399s from students entering with a bachelor's degree. Students entering with an MA or equivalent from another institution can petition to have earlier course work count toward the 19-course requirement. The petition should be submitted to and discussed with the graduate advisor. Students with an MA are generally required to take 10 graduate seminars. Students who choose the Emphasis in Critical Theory, Emphasis in Feminist Studies, Emphasis in Comparative Literature or Emphasis in Visual Studies may include two of the courses required for these emphases in the 19 required courses. Students who do not choose one of these emphases may include a maximum of two graduate level courses in philosophy, history, comparative literature, gender & sexuality studies, critical theory, and others suitable for the individual student's program of study in the 19 required courses. These courses must be approved by the graduate advisor.

Foreign Language Requirements

Students must possess reading knowledge of one language other than German or English. This can be demonstrated by completing one year or the equivalent of University-level language study (1C), or passing one of the 97 graduate reading courses, or passing a translation examination administered by the Department. In the two-hour examination, the student translates selections from a scholarly book or article in the target language into English. A dictionary may be used during the examination. Full-time students must demonstrate near-native speaking abilities in German and English. Students with significant deficiencies in language competency that will adversely affect their academic progress normally will not be admitted to doctoral candidacy. Students in the doctoral program will meet language requirements on a schedule established by their doctoral committees, but in all cases the requirements must be met prior to taking the Ph.D. qualifying examination. If these requirements are not met in a timely manner, faculty may recommend disqualification from the program.

Qualifying Examination

In order to advance to candidacy, the student must take and pass a qualifying examination. At least two months prior to the planned date of the exam, students must submit a comprehensive reading list, prepared in consultation with their committee chair, to the examination committee. The committee may make recommendations to the list. On the basis of that list, students must design three courses, drafted in consultation with the student's committee chair. These courses should be graduate seminars organized around topics, genres, authors, or periods. At least one of these courses must comprise the student's intended area of dissertation research. The three courses must be clearly distinct and have minimal overlap. These courses must include reading lists of required and optional texts, main secondary literature, a written justification/course description, and a basic syllabus (for a 13-week semester course). No more than one course may be a modification of a seminar taken in the program. These courses must be submitted to the committee members at least two weeks prior to an oral examination date. Students must submit a dissertation prospectus to their advisor and, following approval by the advisor, circulate it to the entire committee. The oral exam will be a three-hour exploration of the reading list, focusing on the courses. In addition, part of the qualifying exam will involve a discussion of the student's dissertation prospectus. Upon successful completion of the qualifying examination, the candidate will have advanced to Ph.D. candidacy.

Dissertation Prospectus

Students must submit a dissertation prospectus to their advisor and, following approval by the advisor, circulate it to the entire committee.

Dissertation Chapter Review

Students must submit a substantial piece of writing (approx. 45 pp.) from their dissertation, ordinarily in the form of a chapter, and a comprehensive bibliography. In consultation with their dissertation committee chair, they schedule a date and time for the oral review with the committee, which lasts approximately 2-3 hours. Prior to the oral review the student will make a public presentation, open to the UCI community and guests, in the form of a lecture with Q and A.

Doctoral Colloquium

Students who have advanced to candidacy and are in residence must attend a colloquium for doctoral candidates. The colloquium will be held at least two times per quarter. Students will be expected to present sections of their prospectus or dissertation.

Dissertation Defense

The oral defense of the dissertation focuses on the adequacy of the student's research and thesis.


Normative time to degree is currently set at 18 quarters.

For students entering with a B.A.:

  • Year 1: Course work;
  • Year 2: Course work; M.A. completed;
  • Year 3: Course work; Qualifying Examination and Dissertation Prospectus (latest, fall of year four); advance to candidacy;
  • Year 4: Dissertation chapter review and public presentation;
  • Year 5 or 6: Completion of dissertation; defense.
For students entering with an M.A.:
  • Year 1: Course work;
  • Year 2: Course work; Qualifying Examination and Dissertation Prospectus (latest, fall of year three); advance to candidacy;
  • Year 3: Dissertation chapter review and public presentation;
    Year 4 or 5: Completion of dissertation; defense.


A leave of absence up to one year's duration may be granted if consistent with the student's academic objectives and approved by the graduate advisor, the Humanities associate graduate dean and the Graduate Studies dean.


We strongly encourage German graduate students to avoid Incompletes and, if necessary, to clear them within two weeks. For currently enrolled students, the maximum time limit for making up an 'I' grade is three quarters of enrollment. After this time the grade can no longer be replaced and will appear permanently on the record.

Incomplete (I) Grade Agreement Form

‘NR’ stands for No Report meaning no grade is assigned. An ‘NR’ becomes an ‘F’ after the subsequent quarter of enrollment.


Emphasis in Critical Theory

An emphasis in Critical Theory is available to graduate students in all departments of the School of Humanities. Admission to the emphasis may be granted by the Critical Theory Committee in response to the student's petition. The petition normally is submitted by the middle of the second year of graduate study, after completion of the Critical Theory Workshop, and upon the recommendation of the workshop's instructor or a faculty representative of the student's department.


The student who satisfactorily completes the emphasis will be given for his or her dossier a letter signed by the director certifying that fact.

  • A three-quarter Critical Theory Workshop
  • Three Humanities 270 courses offered under the supervision of the committee
  • Participation in two mini-seminars (6-8 hours) offered by visiting scholars
  • A research paper written under the guidance of a three-member committee (selected by each individual student in consultation with the director of the emphasis), with at least one member from outside the student's own department. The paper may (but need not) be part of the student's dissertation.
Emphasis in Feminist Studies

The Department of Gender & Sexuality Studies offers an emphasis in Feminist Studies. The emphasis may be awarded in conjunction with the M.A. and the Ph.D. degree in participating departments. The WSGPC determines admissions in consultation with the Gender & Sexuality Studies Core Faculty. Applicants are advised to apply early in their academic career in order to best integrate the Feminist emphasis with their departmental plan of study.

  • Two core courses, Gender & Sexuality Studies 200A-B
  • Any two courses selected from the list of courses in Feminist Studies as long as one of these is a graduate course in the student's own department or area of interest. For doctoral students, the qualifying examination and dissertation topic should incorporate gender as a central category of analysis. One member of the candidate's qualifying examination committee and of the candidate's dissertation committee should normally be a member of the Women's Studies Core Faculty.
Emphasis in Comparative Literature

An Emphasis in Comparative Literature is available to graduate students in the Ph.D. Program in German who submit an application to the graduate advisor in the Department of German. The department tracks the student's progress and fulfillment of emphasis requirements. Upon graduation, the student receives a letter from the graduate advisor, certifying the student's completion of the emphasis.

  • Five graduate courses in the Department of Comparative Literature One of the above courses may be a Humanities 270 seminar in Critical Theory. One of the above courses should be Criticism 220A or C or Comparative Literature 200. At least three of the above courses should have a Comparative Literature designation.
  • One topic in the Ph.D. qualifying examination on a Comparative Literature topic prepared with a professor from the Comparative Literature Program who also serves as a member of the student's Ph.D. examination committee
  • Demonstration of some expertise in comparative critical methodologies as well as knowledge of a literature and tradition other than German
Emphasis in Visual Studies

An emphasis in Visual Studies is available to graduate students in the Ph.D. Program in German who submit an application to the graduate advisor in the Department of German. The department tracks the student's progress and fulfillment of emphasis requirements. Upon graduation, the student receives a letter signed by the appropriate dean and the director of Visual Studies certifying the student's completion of the emphasis if the following requirements are met.
  • At least four courses in Visual Studies excluding Visual Studies 291, 292 or 293 which are currently dedicated to students enrolled in the Visual Studies doctoral program
  • Drawing from seminar offerings in the history and theory of Visual Studies, students will demonstrate expertise in the analysis, theorization, and historical contextualization of diverse visual objects.
  • One area of the Ph.D. qualifying examination should be on a Visual Studies topic and should be prepared with a professor from the Program in Visual Studies who would serve as a member of the student's exam committee.
  • One member of the student's dissertation committee would be from the Program in Visual Studies.


All students participate in each of the department's colloquia. The student is expected to attend the presentation by the speaker and is encouraged to participate in the following discussion. Students are strongly encouraged to attend the reception and dinner following the colloquium. This provides a great opportunity for meeting faculty from other universities.



Filing deadlines are set by the Office of Graduate Studies and published on their web site (Graduate Division Deadlines).

Advancement to Candidacy for the M.A.

Prior to the beginning of the final quarter of enrollment, the student must be advanced to candidacy for the degree. Deadlines for submission and approval of Application for Advancement to Candidacy are published each quarter on their web site (date is usually 30 days before the beginning of the quarter in which the student expects to graduate). The Advancement to Candidacy Masters Degree form is available on the Graduate Division website (Advancement to MA Candidacy Form). To graduate in a specific quarter, all requirements have to be met and the paperwork has to be submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies by the last day of instruction.

Advancement to Candidacy for the Ph.D.

The student advances to candidacy for the Ph.D. upon successfully demonstrating a high level of scholarship in full-time study at the Ph.D. level, when all preparatory work has been completed and the student is ready to proceed to the dissertation phase. Upon completion of the Qualifying Examination, the results should be submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies on the Report of the Ph.D. Candidacy Committee, Ph.D. Form I (PhD Form 1).

Filing the Dissertation

The checklist for all the forms required to file the dissertation is available by clicking here: PhD Checklist.
Once the Report on Final Examination and Approval of Dissertation, Ph.D. Form II (PhD Form 2) is signed by the members of the Dissertation Committee, the student should electronically file the dissertation by following instructions available at (Thesis Instructions).  Friday of the tenth week of classes is the deadline for submitting theses and dissertations during each quarter in order to graduate in that quarter. However, those students who complete requirements, submit theses, dissertations and the Ph.D. paperwork after the end of the tenth week, but prior to the start of the next quarter, will earn a degree the following quarter and will not be required to pay fees for that quarter.

Filing Fee Quarter

The Filing Fee Policy applies to students who have completed all requirements for a terminal M.A. or Ph.D. degree except for final submission of a thesis or dissertation, or the final formal examination (i.e. the oral examination for M.A. candidates). The policy states that students may pay a filing fee for the quarter in which they file the thesis or dissertation and/or take examinations if prior to the beginning of the quarter, all other requirements for the degree have been met, including advancement to candidacy. Filing fee status can be used for one quarter only during the student's graduate training and will not be accepted immediately following an academic leave of absence. The policy has severe restrictions on the use of university services:Students should check with the department or the Office of Graduate Studies for further details before submitting a Filing Fee Petition ( , which must be signed by the chair or graduate advisor and the Humanities associate graduate dean.

  • Loss of eligibility for university administered financial assistance
  • Loss of services such as health services, including GSHIP
  • Loss of student housing and library privileges
  • Loss of eligibility for UCI academic or student appointments
  • Loss of eligibility in most cases for deferment of student loan repayment obligations


Travel Awards

Contingent on the availability of funding, the School of Humanities makes available two grants of up to $500 each per student over the course of his/her graduate studies to allow travel to a conference to present a paper.

Fellowships and Grants

All students are encouraged to seek fellowship support. Students who entered the program with an M.A. degree and are in their third year of support, and students who entered the program with a B.A. degree and are in their fourth or fifth year of support will need to demonstrate that they have attempted to secure outside support. Most fellowships require significant lead-time to create a convincing narrative about research plans, and students should work closely with their dissertation advisor to develop such a narrative.

Fellowship and Scholarship Opportunities (External)

Gina Anzivino is the Fellowship Coordinator for the Office of Research and Graduate Studies. Located in 120 Administration, the Fellowship Coordination staff can assist graduate students seeking outside fellowships and scholarships. The telephone number for the Office of Graduate Studies is 824-6411.

Another source for fellowship information is the "IRIS" on-line search system at:

And a free scholarship search system is available at:

Some of the grants and fellowships commonly applied for by graduate students in German are:

1) DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service)
DAAD awards scholarships to advanced graduate students and Ph.D. candidates of high academic caliber who are currently enrolled full time, and have an interest in doing research at a German institution of higher education during the summer or for one academic year.

Contact them for descriptions of various grants: DAAD, 871 United Nations Plaza, New York, NY 10017. E-mail:; Website:

2) Fulbright

Various Fulbright awards are available for US citizens with B.A. degrees, but not yet with the Ph.D. For information see the web site

3) Fulbright-Hayes

Coordinated by UCI’s Graduate Division, The Fulbright-Hayes Program is a separate and distinct program from the Fulbright listed above. The purpose of the Fulbright-Hayes program is to provide support opportunities for graduate students to engage in full-time dissertation research abroad in modern foreign languages and area studies in specific priority geographical areas. Students interested in this program should refer to the Department of Education web site at for detailed information.

4) Andrew W. Mellon Foundation/ACLS Early Career Fellowships

The Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships are to assist graduate students in the humanities and related social sciences in the last year of Ph.D. dissertation writing. This program aims to encourage timely completion of the Ph.D. Applicants must be prepared to complete their dissertations within the period of their fellowship tenure or shortly thereafter. The fellowship offers a $25,000 stipend, funds for research costs of up to $3,000 and funds for university fees of up to $5,000. The call comes in the fall for the following year and is open to domestic and international students. Completed applications must be submitted through the ACLS Online Fellowship Application system (

5) Fellowship and Grant Opportunities (Internal)

For all internal grants and fellowships, consult the graduate coordinator for deadlines and forms required for the application packets.

6) Regents' Fellowship

(for incoming graduate students only)

7) Dean's Fellowship

(for incoming graduate students only)

8) Humanities Center Research Grants

The maximum award for a Humanities Center Research Grant is $1,500. Calls for proposals come in the fall and spring. Students may request support for travel and travel-related expenses directly related to a research project, payment of honoraria to invited symposia participants and the purchase of relevant supplies (excluding computers, printers and other hardware, or personal items.) Applications for individual proposals must state if the applicant is advanced to candidacy and how the project relates to the dissertation; collaborative proposals must include a list of symposia participants with 1-page CVs.

9) Faculty Mentor Program

For diversity Ph.D. students who do not anticipate being at the dissertation stage during the tenure of the award. Students must be meaningfully engaged in research or creative scholarship with a designated faculty member. Call comes in the spring for the following year.

10) President's Dissertation Year

This is a prestigious award for continuing diversity students planning to pursue an academic career. It is for one academic year. The call comes in February for the following year.

11) Fletcher Jones Fellowship (One-Year Fellowship)

For students who are US citizens, advanced to candidacy, UC GPA of 3.8 or better, having at least two years of full-time study at UCI and making satisfactory progress towards degree. Candidates must exhibit excellent interpersonal and leadership abilities and show financial need.

12) Chancellor’s Club Fellowship (Six-Month Fellowship)

For students who are US citizens, advanced to candidacy, UC GPA of 3.7 or better, having at least two years of full-time study at UCI and planning to complete Ph.D. by following fall quarter. Candidates must exhibit excellent interpersonal and leadership abilities, prepare a poster board of dissertation research, and be willing to speak during a Chancellor’s Club meeting regarding research and career plans.

13) Phi Beta Kappa (For International Students)

For international Ph.D. students in their final year of study. Evidence of registration is required before distribution of award, Visit:

14) Public Impact Fellowship (One-Quarter Fellowship)

For Ph.D. students whose current or proposed research will have important societal value, and will significantly benefit local, national and/or global communities’ interests. Recipient must maintain UC GPA of 3.7 or higher, be a full-time student, conduct research which has critical public impact, and be called upon to discuss research to prospective donors and policy makers.

15) Graduate Dean’s Dissertation Quarter Fellowship

For full-time Ph.D. students who are nearing completion of their dissertation. Doc 2As (more than nine quarters beyond advancement) are eligible, but will receive no further University aid.

16) Summer Dissertation Fellowships

Students who have been advanced to candidacy for the Ph.D. and are within normative time of 6 years (18 enrolled quarters) by spring quarter are eligible for these awards. This is a one-time only award; the deadline for application is in the spring.

17) Special Scholarships

These are merit-based awards primarily for continuing students with special qualifications:

  • The Bryon Davis Scholarship is for students whose parent is or was a regular member of either the U.S. Navy or Marine Corps.
  • The LaVerne Noyes Scholarship is for students who are descendents of Army or Navy World War I veterans.
  • Calls for above two come in the spring.
18) School of Criticism and Theory Summer Fellowship at Cornell University

This fellowship covers tuition of $2,100 for the summer plus up to $2,000 for living expenses. The department must contribute $1,000 of the fellowship. The call comes in the winter for attendance the following summer.

19) James J. Harvey Dissertation Fellowship

This fellowship offers $10,000 during Spring Quarter to enable a doctoral student to dedicate full time to completing the dissertation. Successful nominees must be studying male or female homosexuality.


Students have the opportunity of teaching first- and second-year language courses and serving as teaching assistants in other courses offered by the department. Students who are advanced to candidacy are eligible for teaching appointments in the Humanities Core Course.


Students may apply to study or pursue research at the EAP (Education Abroad Program) affiliated Georg-August Universität Göttingen; the University of Vienna; the Free University, the Humboldt University, the Technical University in Berlin, or the University of Potsdam. Students must have the support of the department. Individual arrangements apart from EAP at these or other universities may also be considered. Students must discuss the question of credit for study abroad with the graduate advisor before applying.


The university has an established career planning service which keeps placement files for graduate students. The Office of Graduate Studies conducts regular workshops on thesis and dissertation preparation as well as career planning and advisement. It is recommended that students discuss their letters of application and curriculum vitae with their departmental advisors. In addition, the department may conduct occasional workshops with mock interviews to prepare the student for the job market.


The Teaching, Learning & Technology Center (TLTC), offers a variety of services and programs to aid instruction. The center's goal is to support UCI's learning mission by providing teaching consultation, pedagogical development, instructional technology and classroom support. The Pedagogical Fellows Program is one of the services offered by the TLTC. For detailed information about all services and programs offered, see the TLTC's website at The TLTC office is located on the 3rd floor of the Anteater Instruction & Reasearch Building; the telephone number is 824-6060.


The Graduate Student Representative is nominated and elected by the graduate students of the German Department at the beginning of the calendar year and serves a one-year term. Traditionally, more senior students are given precedence in the nominations. The representative is present at all non-personnel faculty meetings and represents the graduate students' concerns at these meetings. Relevant information from the faculty meetings is then passed on to the graduate students as appropriate. The representative acts as a liaison between the faculty and the collective German Department graduate student body.


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