Programs by Campus


Germanic Studies

College of Arts and Sciences

Departmental E-mail: germanic [at] indiana [dot] edu

Departmental URL:

(Please note that when conferring University Graduate School degrees, minors, certificates, and sub-plans, The University Graduate School’s staff use those requirements contained only in The University Graduate School Bulletin.)



Degrees Offered

Master of Arts, Master of Arts for Teachers, and Doctor of Philosophy

Special Departmental Requirements

(See also general University Graduate School requirements.)

Master’s Degrees

Master of Arts Degree

Students may follow one of two different curricula in pursuit of the M.A. degree: Master of Arts in Germanic Studies and Master of Arts in Modern German Culture. Admission requirements are the same for both programs, and the official degree title for both options is the M.A. in Germanic Studies.

Admission Requirements

Near-native command of German and undergraduate major in the field or other evidence of adequate background. Deficiencies may be removed by course work or special examination.

Master’s Project

Both the Master of Arts in Germanic Studies and the Master of Arts in Modern German Culture require successful completion of a master’s project, which is intended to give students experience in carrying out a limited scholarly investigation to their fullest potential.
The project is normally submitted after three or four semesters of study but may be submitted as early as the first year. It entails appropriate revision and oral defense of a research paper of 20 to 30 pages originally written for a graduate course in Germanic Studies. The paper should demonstrate command of expository English or German, competence in the use of bibliographic and research tools, ability to conceive and develop a scholarly project, and effective critical and analytical thinking.

It is recommended that students consult with appropriate faculty members regarding selection and revision of the project paper. A three-person faculty committee evaluates each project and conducts an oral defense that examines the candidate’s ability to present concisely the main argument(s) of the project, place the project in larger scholarly contexts, discuss sources and scholarly literature used, and respond effectively to committee members’ questions and comments. Students have the option of enrolling in German G850 Master’s Project for one credit so that the project’s completion is reflected on their permanent academic record and transcripts.

Master of Arts in Germanic Studies

Course Requirements

A total of 30 credit hours, including one of G532, , G548, G551, G558, G632, G635, G638, G639 or G640; one seminar or colloquium at Indiana University. At least 
9 additional credit hours in Germanic studies and one Germanic Literature course numbered 500 or above.

Language Requirement

Reading proficiency in an additional foreign language, preferably French.


Not required.

Master of Arts in Modern German Culture

Course Requirements

A total of 30 credit hours of which at least 21 one must be and all 30 may be in German. Up to 9 credit hours may be taken in other relevant programs and departments (history, comparative literature, etc.).

Language Requirement

Reading proficiency in an additional foreign language, preferably French.

Master of Arts for Teachers Degree

Admission Requirements

20 credit hours of course work (or the equivalent) beyond first-year German.

Course Requirements

A total of 36 credit hours; at least 20 of these must be in Germanic Studies, including G500, two courses from G532, G548, G551, and G558; two literature or culture courses in German, one of which may be at the 400 level. Students must demonstrate proficiency in depth in German; contact the language coordinator in the department for information.

Doctor of Philosophy Degree General Information Admission Requirement

M.A. in German or equivalent. Students with a master’s degree in a related discipline who have completed extensive graduate-level work in German may also apply.

Credit Transfer

Entering doctoral students may present up to 30 credit hours of previous graduate-level work towards the 90-hour minimum required for the Ph.D. degree, subject to the regulations and approval of the University Graduate School.


Reading proficiency in French. A substitution may be permitted; such a substitution should serve the candidate’s major research interests.

Other Requirements

Specific departmental course and credit-hour requirements for each of the three Ph.D. majors are outlined below.


A two-part written examination followed by an oral examination. The form, content, and scheduling of the separate examinations vary from major to major.


All doctoral students are required to complete at least one year of service as an associate instructor in Germanic Studies.

Ph.D. in Germanic Linguistics and Philology

Total credit hours: 90

Professional course (3 cr.) - G500 Linguistics courses (12-14 cr.)

Four from the following: 
G532, G548, G551, G558, G632, G635, G638, G639, G640, G601 Introduction to Old English, G655 History of the English Language.

Seminars (6-8 cr.) (two required at IU)

• G825 (3-4 cr.) or G835 (3-4 cr.) • G825 (3-4 cr.) or G835 (3-4 cr.)

Literature courses (6 cr.)

Two from any modern German literature or culture courses numbered 500 or above (including G825 with a modern topic).

Dissertation (up to 20 cr.) Outside Minor (minimum 12 cr.)

Ph.D. in Medieval and Early Modern German Literature and Culture

This major is intended as one in medieval literature and culture, and the languages involved are regarded as tools rather than as ends in themselves. The interdepartmental outside minor should preferably be taken in Medieval Studies. The 30-32 hours of required course work in German literature should include sufficient study of modern literature to prepare the candidate to teach college courses in this area on the second- and third-year level.

Total credit hours: 90

Literature Courses (30-32 credits):

  • G571 German Lit. I (3 cr.)
  • G573 German Lit. I (3 cr.)
  • G636 Old Icelandic Literature; prerequisite G635 (3 
  • G625 (with medieval topic) (3 cr.)
  • G825 (with medieval topic) or another seminar with medieval topic (3-4 cr.)
    • • 
Required courses in Medieval Studies: M500 Introduction to Medieval Studies or M600 Medieval Manuscripts 
Required courses in Renaissance Studies: R501 The Culture of the Renaissance or R502 Topics in Renaissance Civilization (4 cr.) 
Other literature courses: (7-9 cr.)

Total: 30-32 cr.

Linguistic Courses

(6-9 credits):

  • G638 Old High German (3 cr.)
  • G640 Middle High German (3 cr.) 
One of the following is recommended:

G532 History of Germ. Language; G635 Old Icelandic; G639 Old Saxon (3 cr.); G601 Old English (3 cr.) or G602 Middle English (3 cr.)

Total: 6-9 cr.

Required courses:

F501 Medieval French Literature I (3 cr.) or L505 Medieval Latin (4 cr.)

Additional hours in medieval culture (15-19 cr.)

Total: 18-22 cr.

Ph.D. in Modern German Literature and Culture

Total Credit hours: 90

Professional course: G500 (3 cr.) Seminars (two required at IU) (8 cr.):

  • G825 or G835 (3-4 cr.)
  • G825 or G835 (3-4 cr.) 
Literature Courses (9 cr.):

• Any three from: G571, G573, G575, G577 (may be repeated for credit, if different topic). Linguistic courses (6. cr.):

  • One from G532, G632, G635, G638, G639, or G640 (3 cr.)
  • One from G540, G548, G551 or G558 (3 cr.)
  • Dissertation (up to 20 cr.) 
Outside minor (at least 12 cr.)
  • Outside Minors for the Ph.D. 
All three Ph.D. program options in Germanic studies require the completion of an outside minor. The outside minor is selected in consultation with the graduate director or faculty advisor. Requirements for the outside minor are set by the outside minor department or program (i.e., not Germanic Studies). Please note that Dutch or Yiddish may be selected by Ph.D. students in Germanic Studies as an outside minor. 
Some Ph.D. candidates in Germanic Studies complete
the minor entirely outside the department, for example in cognitive science, French, European studies, or gender studies. Detailed information about minors offered by other departments and programs can be found elsewhere in this bulletin. Detailed below are sample minor programs.

1. Dutch: GER-N402, GER-N403, GER-N404, and GER-N508 or GER-N509.

2. Comparative Literature: four courses in Comparative Literature, including C501; fluent reading knowledge of at least one foreign language.

3. Cultural Studies: 4 courses for a minimum of
13 credits in courses approved for the Cultural Studies program, including C601 and either C701 or C790. Students must officially declare the minor during the early phase of their Ph.D. studies by consulting with the director of the Cultural Studies program. Satisfactory performance on the qualifying examinations in the student’s major department is also required.

4. English and Germanic philology: four courses, to include English G601 Introduction to Old English and at least one of the other older Germanic languages, i.e., German G632, G635, G638, G639, and G640. The remaining courses may be chosen from ENG G602 Introduction to Middle English, G655 History of the English Language, L710 Beowulf, L711 (Topic: Old English Literature), GER G532, G625 with appropriate topic, G636, G835 with appropriate topic, and any of the remaining older Germanic languages listed. Also offered is an Area Certificate in English and Germanic Philology, requiring four courses in addition to the four required for the minor. These may include any of the courses listed above, as well as courses in other departments that are relevant to the history and prehistory of the Germanic languages, and to early Germanic literature and culture.

5. Linguistics: 12 credits in linguistics or related courses, with a grade point average of 3.0 (B) or higher. The specific program for satisfying this requirement should be developed in consultation with the linguistics outside minor advisor.

6. Norwegian: three semesters of Norwegian language (K150/502, K200/503 and K250/504) as well as three additional literature or culture courses (9 credit hours), taught in English, chosen from E361, E362, E363, or HIST-B 303/D300/CEUS R309 (approved topic: Modern Scandinavia and the Baltic States).

7. Yiddish: Requirements include 12 credits, consisting of GER Y502, GER Y503, GER Y504, 3 remaining credits to be chosen from GER Y505, GER Y506, GER Y815, and other courses focusing on non- language Yiddish Topics.

Ph.D. Minor in Germanic Studies

Doctoral students from other departments desiring to minor in Germanic studies will choose one of the following:

1. German: 12 credit hours, including at least two courses numbered 500 or higher.

2. Netherlandic: GER-N402, GER-N403, GER- N404, and GER-N508 or GER-N509.

3. Yiddish: Requirements include 12 credits, consisting of GER Y502, GER Y503, GER Y504, 3 remaining credits to be chosen from GER Y505, GER Y506, GER Y815, and other courses focusing on non- language Yiddish Topics.

Ph.D. Minor in History of German Thought

The German intellectual tradition stretching from Luther's Protestant Reformation to the present is among the most fertile and consequential in Western thought and has had a profound impact on a great variety of intellectual endeavors, among them theology, ontology, ethics, aesthetics, epistemology, the philosophy of science (especially of biology), political theory, psychoanalysis, the philosophy of history, and cultural theory.

Jointly administered by the Departments of Germanic Studies and Philosophy, the minor requires a minimum of four courses (12 credit hours) at the 500 level or above from the approved list of courses or courses approved by either of the Directors of Graduate Studies. At least one course each must be taken in Germanic Studies and Philosophy. At least three courses must be taken in these two departments, but the fourth course may come from another department.

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