The Graduate Program
The Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures at Washington University in St. Louis offers one of the finest graduate programs in North America. It is dedicated to training exceptional scholars, well-rounded pedagogues and skillful administrators able to meet and exceed the expectations of the university job market today and in the future.
Our faculty pursue a multiplicity of approaches in their research and offer seminars that provide a healthy balance of theory and the history of German literature and culture. The department offers numerous opportunities for interdisciplinary study, including a one-of-a-kind joint doctoral program with Comparative Literature and innovative certificate programs. Both faculty and students teach and conduct research in wide range of related disciplines, including Art History, Comparative Literature, European Studies, Film & Media Studies, Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Religious Studies, and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.
We consider international exchange to be a crucial component of graduate education. Exchange agreements with multiple German universities enable us to guarantee a year abroad for all of our doctoral candidates while at the same time enriching our program by bringing German exchange students to campus to study and teach alongside the full-time students in our program. In addition, our graduate students have regularly qualified for scholarships for additional study abroad from such agencies as the Fulbright-Hays Commission and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).
Exceptional Training for Teaching
Our students have an opportunity to assist with and teach a wide variety of courses, including introductory through advanced German, as well as courses in Comparative Literature, Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, and Film & Media Studies. At the beginning of their teaching experience, students work in close collaboration with the Foreign Language Pedagogy specialist, as well as other faculty members. As they gain more experience and prove themselves, students have the opportunity to teach their own courses under the supervision of a faculty mentor.
As part of their training, all graduate students take a series of 1-2 unit seminars that facilitate and reinforce their development as teachers over the course of their graduate studies. A unique, two-semester apprenticeship then allows advanced graduate students to observe literature and culture classes taught by professors in the German Department as well as professors in other departments, to teach model classes themselves, and to develop draft syllabi.
A Foundation for Success
The combination of our extremely competitive funding packages and the low cost of living in St. Louis ensures that students have the resources they need to stay focused on their academic work. As a consequence, our graduate students not only produce first-rate dissertations, they also go on to accept positions at top research universities and liberal arts colleges across the country.