General Information

1. Graduate degrees.

Master of Arts (MA)

Work toward the MA degree at the University of Kansas consists of a traditional curriculum that provides students with important foundational knowledge. Our curriculum includes historical surveys of the major literary periods and genres, understanding of the structure and function of German and Germanic languages, knowledge of disciplinary methodologies employed in our field, development of appropriate language capacity, and control of writing and research strategies.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Building on the MA foundational base, the KU PhD degree program encourages students to develop their particular intellectual interests in collaboration with KU faculty and their areas of specialization. Ours is one of the relatively few graduate programs in the country that offers specialization in:

  • German literature
  • Medieval philology
  • Germanic linguistics
  • German applied linguistics

2. GTA Appointments and Fellowships

Our Graduate Faculty finalizes GTA and GRA (Graduate Teaching and Graduate Research Assistantships) decisions by March 1, or shortly thereafter. GTA and GRA appointments come with a salary for the academic year and a 100% tuition waiver. To ensure that your application is considered for financial assistance, you should complete your application, including the submission of all supplemental documents and letters of recommendation, prior to that date. Some students may still be considered for funding after that date in exceptional cases. Applicants seeking funding in the form of a Graduate Fellowship should apply no later than January 15. Applicants who also wish to be considered for a fellowship must submit GRE scores. Please indicate in your letter of intent or in the on-line application form whether you wish to be considered for funding and which form(s) of funding you are seeking.

During the week before instruction begins, the coordinator of the language proficiency sequence will conduct an orientation and workshop for new GTAs and the Germanic L&L Graduate Committee will administer a diagnostic examination for new graduate students. This examination consists of a one-hour essay written in German, followed by a conversation in German (for native speakers of German this examination will be conducted in English)

3. Faculty.

The Departmental graduate staff (currently 7-8 members) consists of a number of specialists who, as a group, represent the discipline in its entirety. The student will be exposed to both American and German- trained members. Each spring semester a Distinguished Max-Kade Professor from Germany teaches in the Department. The Max-Kade Professorship provides a regular contact with outstanding German scholarship and adds intellectual profile to the campus community.

4. Faculty and student research.

Faculty members engage in various research activities in their areas of specialization. The Max Kade Center for German-American Studies is attached to the Department. Some staff members have been involved in editorial work for national organizations. Furthermore, the staff regularly participates as readers of research papers and as officers in professional organizations at the regional, national and international levels. Faculty and graduate students contribute to the Departmental Research Colloquia.

The following scholars have held this position: Gerhard Storz, Stuttgart (1965), Heinz Otto Burger, Frankfurt (1966), Wilhelm Emrich, Berlin (1967), Friedrich Beissner, Tübingen (1970), Richard Alewyn, München (1971), Helmut Koopmann, Bonn (1972), Friedrich Sengle, München (1973), Lutz Röhrich, Freiburg (1974), Wilhelm Vosskamp, Bielefeld (1975), Jacob Steiner, Karlsruhe (1976 and 1983), Hans Eggers, Saarbrücken (1977), Ulrich Fülleborn, Erlangen (1978), Hans- Jürgen Schings, Würzburg (1981), Hartmut Steinecke, Paderborn (1984), Hugo Steger, Freiburg (1985), Jörg-Ulrich Fechner, Bochum (1986), Helmut Arntzen, Münster (1987), Uwe-K. Ketelsen, Bochum (1988), Hans Esselborn, Köln (1989), Bernd Witte, Aachen (1990), Rolf-Peter Janz, FU Berlin (1991), August Stahl, Saarbrücken (1992), Kurt Rein, München (1994), Hans-Gert Roloff, FU Berlin (1995), Walter Haug, Tübingen (1996), Burghard Dedner, Marburg (1997), Gert Sautermeister, Bremen (1998), Inge Stephan, Humboldt Berlin (1999), Klaus Mattheier, Heidelberg (2000), Irmela von der Lühe, Göttingen (2001).Ulrich Gaier, Konstanz (2002), Walter Erhart, Greifswald (2003), Ludwig Eichinger, Mannheim (2004), Per Øhrgaard, Copenhagen (2005), Wilfried Barner, Göttingen (2006), Irmela von der Lühe, Berlin (2007), Nina Berend, Heidelberg and Mannheim (2008), Dieter Lohmeier, Kiel (2009), Jan-Dirk Müller, München (2010).

5. Graduate curriculum.

The graduate curriculum is composed of six distinct groups of courses, which are designed for a learning process in three stages (introductory - general - specialized) in the three major areas of study: literature, philology, linguistics, and applied linguistics. Within the total number of approximately 40 graduate courses listed, the program emphasizes in-depth knowledge of German language and literature, specifically a thorough acquaintance with (1) the outstanding figures and works of German literature, (2) the historical and cultural dimensions of literature, (3) the historical development of the language, (4) older language forms of the Germanic family, (5) the linguistic analysis of modern German and its dialects, and (6) the teaching of German as a foreign language.

6. Student training and participation in Departmental operation.

Most graduate students are Graduate Teaching Assistants, who teach elementary courses under faculty supervision. This practical preparation for the teaching profession is an important dimension of our training program. Graduate students participate in the decision-making process by electing representatives to the Departmental Voting Staff and various Departmental committees.

7. Function in the State of Kansas.

The University of Kansas is the only institution in the state offering the highest degree in the field. For students pursuing B.A. and M.A. degrees at other institutions in the state our program represents the logical choice for advanced work. Through the Kansas Association of Teachers of German the Department maintains strong ties with high school and college German programs throughout Kansas. The Department sponsors public lectures and symposia. These are attended by residents of Kansas and Missouri within a 60-80 mile radius. The Max Kade Center for German-American Studies provides information concerning German-American cultural relations. Faculty members also provide outreach through programs sponsored by the Kansas Humanities Council.




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