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College of Arts & Sciences
Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures


Graduate Studies in German at USC

MA in German | MAT in German | PhD in Comparative Literature | PhD in Linguistics

The German Program at the University of South Carolina trains students to teach and do research in German and related fields. The expertise of the German faculty ecompasses literature and culture from the Middle Ages to the present day, modern and historical linguistics, applied linguistics, literary theory, philosophy, music, film, and women’s and gender studies. Additional faculty members affiliated with the Program specialize in German philosophy, music, art history, religious studies, and medieval English and medieval Scandinavian language and literature. Graduate programs lead to the MA in German, the MAT in German, the PhD in Comparative Literature with a concentration in German and the PhD in Linguistics with a concentration in Germanic linguistics. Financial support is available in the form of teaching assistantships and a variety of fellowships. Graduate students have the opportunity to study and conduct dissertation research at our partner university, Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg.

German Graduate Advisor: Agnes Mueller

MA in German

Students wishing to pursue academic careers in German literature or German linguistics begin with an MA in German followed by a PhD in Comparative Literature with an concentration in German literature and culture, or a PhD in Linguistics with a concentration in German and Germanic linguistics. More in formation on PhD requirements may be found at the Comparative Literature Program and the Linguistics Program. Admissions to the MA and PhD Programs are determined by the graduate committee of the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures or the admissions committee of the Linguistics Program. Detailed information on the application procedure is available at Admission Procedures.

Curriculum Requirements

The MA in German requires 33 semester hours of graduate credit, normally completed in four semesters. A maximum of 9 hours may be completed at the 500-level with the remainder at the 700-level. There are two options: Thesis and non-thesis. The thesis option requires a minimum of 18 hours at the 700-level and 6 hours of thesis research. The non-thesis option requires a minimum of 24 hours at the 700-level. All students are required to take GERM 700 and one linguistics course, chosen from GERM 515, 516, 517, or 518. All teaching assistants are required to take FORL 776. Additional information about the thesis may be found in the Department’s Graduate Handbook. The Graduate School Bulletin also provides more detailed information. Under the non-thesis option, students must submit an enhanced seminar paper. Students must also pass written and oral comprehensive examinations, covering their basic knowledge of the field. The written examination is based on the MA reading list, while the oral examination is devoted to the thesis proposal or the enhanced seminar paper. Normally, the comprehensive examination is taken at the beginning of the fourth semester and the thesis or enhanced seminar paper is completed during the fourth semester. Please consult exam information and the reading list for more information: German MA Reading List | German MA Comprehensive Exams.

Financial Support

The Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures offers graduate teaching assistantships with stipends ranging from $11,000 up to $15,000 per year, depending on teaching experience, plus full tuition abatement. Students who apply for admission to a graduate degree program will automatically be considered for these awards. Normally, students will be eligible for an assistantship in their first year of study. Renewal of the award is at the discretion of the graduate committee, but in general students in good standing can expect support for two years in the MA Program and four additional years in the PhD Program. All graduate assistants undergo both theoretical and practical training in the teaching of German. Normally they teach in the beginning German language program. In addition to limited teaching duties, less experienced TAs are given assignments related to language teaching or extra-curricular language learning activites for undergraduates. Additional information on assistantships is to be found under Graduate Assistantships.

The Bamberg Exchange

The Bamberg Exchange offers graduate students the opportunity to study and conduct research at the Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg. Graduate students are eligible for an assistantship in Bamberg. The Klaus Ernst Travel Fund subsidizes travel expenses.