Graduate Program Handbook
Table of Contents
- Chair’s Welcome Note
- Departmental Website
- General Information for Graduate Students
- Faculty and Their Roles
- Graduate Program
- Coursework and Program of Study for MA and PhD students
- Additional Degree Requirements
- Transfer of Credits
- Current Courses
- TA Development
- Admission & Financial Aid
- Conference Support
- Summer Support
- Study Abroad
- Graduate Student Career Resources
- Graduate Bulletin and Policies
- Registration and Academic Calendar
- Academic Integrity/Academic Misconduct Issues
- Leave of Absence
- Grade Appeals
- Language Study Scholarships and Policies
- International Issues (Office of Global Services)
- Graduate School Contacts and Resources
- Graduate Student Government (GradGov)
- Graduate Student Ombuds
- Georgetown Alliance of Graduate Employees (GAGE-AFT)
- Sexual Misconduct and Harassment Policy Statements
- Student Health Services
- Financial Aid for Graduate Students
German Studies Graduate Program
This handbook provides practical information on the policies, procedures, and resources related to the Graduate program in the Department of German. The Department offers MA and PhD degrees in German Studies. With the BMW Center for German and European Studies, the Department also offers the joint MAGES/PhD in German.
Chair’s Welcome Note
We are delighted that you have chosen the German Department at Georgetown University to pursue a Master’s or PhD degree in German Studies!
Graduate study brings with it great opportunities and challenges that require informed decisions. We have drafted this Handbook to assist you with many of these decisions by providing essential information on policies and resources available to you. The Handbook contains information specific to your degree program in the German Department (part I) and information on general policies of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (part II). The online version includes hyperlinks to the Graduate School and other pertinent websites. Please take time to familiarize yourself with the information provided in the Handbook and contact your advisor or me with questions about any aspect of our graduate program.
We are a mid-sized department of faculty and students with a long-standing tradition of collaboration on research projects, including curricular issues, often resulting in joint publications. As chair of the department, I want to encourage you to make use of these opportunities and get fully involved in our departmental life beginning with your first semester at Georgetown! This involvement includes participation in committees, workshops, lectures, and symposia at Georgetown and beyond (e.g., at the local Goethe Institut), as well as in graduate student initiatives (ranging from brown bag lunches with visiting scholars to organizing graduate student conferences). In short, try to benefit from your time at Georgetown not only in the classroom but also beyond!
Our graduate program is ideally positioned to respond to the challenges in the profession and to the changing role of the humanities. Many program features already reflect the recommendations of the recent MLA report on Doctoral Study, illustrating the forward-looking character of the Graduate Program in German (examples include the central role of teacher education and year-round financial support). Results of a recent graduate alumni survey confirm that the graduate program prepares our alumni well for a range of career paths in academia and other professional contexts.
On behalf of the entire German Department faculty, I wish you a successful and rewarding time at Georgetown.
Peter C. Pfeiffer, Professor of German & Chair
Departmental Web Site
The department’s web site is your primary resource for information about the Department of German. It contains announcements, academic guidelines, course offerings, and administrative policies and procedures. The website URL is http://german.georgetown.edu/
General Information for Graduate Students
Checklist for new students
This section provides useful information for graduate students in the German MA or PhD program at Georgetown University, and it can also be a helpful resource for exchange students. (The Office of Global Services also offer additional important information for exchange students.)
Before their arrival at Georgetown, new graduate students and exchange students should read this section carefully and submit necessary documents.
All students regardless of age are screened for tuberculosis by completing the risk assessment questionnaire form. All students under the age of 26 at Georgetown University are required to submit proof of immunizations as required by the District of Columbia. The deadline for submission for new and incoming students entering in the fall semester is July 1, and for the spring semester the deadline is January 1. For additional information, please go to the Immunizations website.
According to registration criteria, Georgetown University requires most students to have health insurance. Most full-time students in a degree-seeking program are required to have adequate health insurance. A charge for the Premier Plan appears on students’ accounts when their course registration meets the eligibility criteria. If graduate students are granted a graduate stipend, Georgetown University will also cover the cost for the Premier Plan. Students who want this coverage need to accept it online. Enrollment in the Premier Plan can be waived if a student has other adequate coverage. More information about Student Health Insurance can be found through the Student Health Office’s online insurance resources.
Stipends, Income, and Taxes
Graduate School Tuition Scholarships and Assistantships, along with federal Work-Study paychecks, are considered earned income and therefore subject to federal, state, and local tax withholdings. Students employed under the Federal Work-Study program at Georgetown will receive a W-2 form documenting all earnings at Georgetown and are required to report those earnings as income on federal, state, and local tax returns. All recipients of assistantship stipends who have not been employed previously by Georgetown University during the current calendar year (or who have been terminated) must complete Form I-9 by the first day of the semester. For more detailed information about tax documentation please go to Georgetown University, 15.2 Merit-based Aid in this handbook and use the provided links.
Georgetown University does not offer graduate student housing, which means that graduate students are fully responsible for their student living. The Department of German advises its new graduate students to start searching for housing a few months prior to the beginning of their first semester at Georgetown. For off-campus housing inquiries, graduate students should call or write to the university’s office of Neighborhood Life (202-687-5138; firstname.lastname@example.org), use ApartmentList, craigslist, the Washington DC housing Facebook group, or PadMapper for their apartment hunt, or contact one of the graduate students in the Department of German. Desirable housing locations are close to public bus stops, to GUTS bus stops (university-operated buses that are free for Georgetown students), to metro stations (Georgetown does not have a metro station but can be accessed by buses that leave from various metro stations such as Rosslyn or Dupont Circle), and to the Capital bikeshares (https://www.capitalbikeshare.com/). Suggested neighborhoods are as follows:
North Arlington, Virginia: Rosslyn, Courthouse, Clarendon
Washington, DC: Georgetown, Capitol Hill, Dupont Circle, Glover Park
It is recommended that exchange students also consult the document “Tipps für Austauschstudenten” provided by the Department Administrator.
The Department is committed to providing individual advising and mentoring to all of its graduate students. While all professors participate in this process, students select a permanent advisor during their first year. Students are encouraged to stay in close contact with their advisor throughout the degree program and to discuss their academic interests and questions related to the profession with this person. The advisor also approves course selection during pre-registration and signs required paperwork.
Incoming graduate students are advised by the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS). At the beginning of the first semester, new graduate students meet with the DGS to discuss course selection and registration. In the spring semester of their first year (before registration in early April), graduate students select a faculty member as advisor whose research interests correspond with their own. (Note for PhD students: The advisor is not necessarily identical with the dissertation mentor. If students’ research interests change over the course of their studies, they are encouraged to find a new mentor.)
The Parlor and Faculty Offices
The Parlor is the office space for all graduate students. The Parlor provides a space to work, study, grade, and relax. Upon their arrival, new graduate students will receive a key for the Parlor. Graduate students who are teaching do not hold their office hours in the Parlor, but rather use one of the faculty members’ offices. Graduate students will be assigned to a faculty office and coordinate their office hours with the respective faculty member.
The Department of German assigns graduate students their own mailboxes. These mailboxes are mainly used for departmental and university-related communication. Students are discouraged from using the Department’s address as their personal mailing address. Every student will receive her/his own NetID and can access her/his Georgetown email account through Georgetown Apps.
The Department of German uses the university’s online platform, Georgetown Box, to store, upload, and manage curricular and administrative documents. Graduate students who are teaching and/or preparing to teach in the Department of German download and use existing teaching materials available in Box. Before uploading new teaching material onto Box, graduate students need the approval from the Director of Curriculum.
Canvas is the university’s online platform that lists all courses offered at Georgetown. Graduate students use Canvas in two distinct ways: As students, they can access course materials and post their responses online when asked to participate in course blog or online class discussions. As instructors, they upload and make available class materials to their students. They can also use Canvas to communicate with their students and post discussion board questions.
Events, talks, and meetings relevant to or organized by the Department of German can be found on the Departmental Calendar. The calendar changes every semester and the most recent version is available in Box (All Files > All Department).
Faculty and Their Roles
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Director of European Studies Certificate Program
Peter C. Pfeiffer
19th and 20th century German and Austrian literature, literary history, literary representations of social change
|Assistant Professor of Teaching||
FL pedagogy; business culture
Director of Curriculum
D. Joseph Cunningham
Second language acquisition, interlanguage pragmatic development, technology-mediated language pedagogy, foreign language curriculum design, teacher education
Mary Helen Dupree
18th and early 19th century literature and culture, performance studies, sound and media, gender studies, feminist literary history
|George M. Roth Distinguished Professor||
Literature and Culture from 1900 to the present with special focus on post-1945 literature, memory studies, autofiction, space and narrative, gender studies
20th and 21st century literature and culture, German modernism, film and media studies, Digital Humanities
Director of Graduate Studies
Foreign language curriculum design, second language acquisition, advanced foreign language learning, second language writing, discourse analysis
|Professor (joint position with the Center for German and European Studies)||
Cultural theory, queer and feminist theory, theater and performance, post-1945 German culture
|Professor of Teaching||
18th and 19th century literature, gender and genre, business culture
|George M. Roth Distinguished Professor, emerita||
Applied linguistics, second language acquisition and pedagogy, advanced second language literacy, curriculum development
|Associate Professor, emeritus||
Stefan R. Fink
Second language acquisition and teaching, semantics, Hörspiele
Kurt R. Jankowsky
Germanic linguistics, specifically the numerous dimensions of the history of language, semantic theory
|George M. Roth Distinguished Professor, emeritus||
G. Ronald Murphy
Early Medieval period, Romanticism, Classicism, early 20th century literature, religion and literature
|Associate Professor, emeritus||
Area studies (Landeskunde); dialectology
Coursework and Program of Study for MA and PhD students
This document provides a chronological overview of the MA and PhD programs in German at Georgetown, including coursework, teaching opportunities, and specific requirements and recommendations. It lays out the program of study for a “typical” MA/PhD student, i.e., a student entering the MA/PhD program in the fall semester of a given academic year with a BA degree and no prior teaching experience. For students entering the PhD program with an MA degree the program of study will be adjusted accordingly.
Students advance through the graduate program in close consultation with their advisor, the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS), and the Director of Curriculum.
The graduate program fosters students’ critical thinking, intellectual engagement (with a range of competing ideas, concepts, and approaches), and comprehensive knowledge either in the area of literary and cultural studies or in German second language teaching and learning (G/SLA). The Department defines “comprehensive knowledge” as the ability to make connections between texts and ideas across historical periods and theoretical approaches at a high conceptual level.
MA students usually take a total of 12 courses over a period of four semesters. PhD students usually take 17 courses in six semesters, including a minimum of two courses in G/SLA or Applied Linguistics. First year students may take courses in the German department only. Thereafter students may take no more than one course per semester in another department with approval of advisor, with the exception of SLA students who may occasionally take more than one course in the Linguistics Department. Beyond the required coursework, this document includes a number of recommendations that are meant to foster students’ intellectual and professional development as researchers and teachers.
Student performance will be assessed in the annual graduate review letters from the Director of Graduate Studies, based on written input from all faculty and discussion of students’ performance at the first faculty meeting of the calendar year. Continuation in the graduate program is contingent upon academic progress and faculty recommendation.
At the end of their course work, students in the MA program take the MA colloquium in German to demonstrate their ability to draw meaningful connections between topics, texts, and historical periods. PhD students take the PhD qualifying examination consisting of a written and oral component (see “Degree Requirements” for further information). Both parts of the exam are designed to assess comprehensive knowledge and intellectual engagement as defined above. Students are expected to demonstrate their qualifications as generalists and as specialists in a given research area. Preparation for and successful completion of the exam will also assist them in identifying a dissertation topic. Particular emphasis is placed on an examinee’s preparedness to perform independent research. Students who have successfully completed the exam advance to PhD candidacy.
In addition to these departmental rules and guidelines, all rules of the Graduate School regarding completion of the PhD degree apply.
- MA & PhD students: Regular course load of nine credits: three graduate level courses, one of which is “Fundamentals of Teaching towards Advanced Literacy in a Foreign Language.” (Joint MAGES/PhD students usually take this course in their second year.)
- Course load
- MA students: 2nd semester through 4th semester: regular course load of nine credits
- PhD students: 2nd semester and subsequent three semesters: regular course load of nine credits
- By early April (before pre-registration), first year students select a permanent advisor by asking the respective professor and by informing the DGS of their choice.
- Extensive observation at Levels I – III or paired teaching with experienced instructor
- Recommendation for PhD students: enrollment in a 2nd foreign language course
- Annual reflective statement due to advisor by mid-August for first year MA and PhD students. See section 5.2.2 for more information on the reflective statement.
- Summer support via TA- or RA-ships or approved internships in the DC area; occasional opportunity for spending the summer semester in Dresden or Trier (upon recommendation by DGS and advisor).
- Extensive reading: Begin compilation of Reading List for MA oral colloquium at the end of the 4th semester or oral PhD exam at the end of the 6th semester (see “Degree Requirements” for further information).
- Recommendation for PhD students: individually tailored annotated bibliography as a helpful research tool.
- 3rd semester and subsequent semesters: Teaching with class visits and feedback by Director of Curriculum and other faculty.
- Recommendation for PhD students: enrollment in a 2nd foreign language course.
- PhD students receive a Master’s in passing.
- MA degree candidates: course-based oral colloquium in German (for more information, see section 5.2.1).
- Annual reflective statement due to advisor by mid-August for second year PhD students.
- Summer support via TA- or RA-ships or approved internships in the DC area; occasional opportunity for spending the summer semester studying in Dresden or teaching for the Georgetown Summer School in Trier (upon recommendation by chair and advisor).
- Initial Statement of Teaching Philosophy in consultation with the Curriculum Coordinator.
- Extensive reading: continued work on reading list and annotated bibliography.
- Recommendation: revision of a course-based research paper and submission to a journal and/or conference.
- Extended class observations of “Text in Context” or “Issues and Trends” are required for students interested in teaching a Level IV course; other options may include RA-ship with Curriculum Coordinator
- Last semester of course work for PhD students: Enrollment in two courses and pre-thesis research (to maintain full-time status).
- In consultation with their advisor, PhD students choose their exam committee that usually consists of two additional faculty members.
- Due after spring break to all committee members: 1. final version of PhD Reading List; 2. Statement of Intellectual Development (SID), including three or four broad themes (determined in consultation with the committee) that will guide the oral examination.
- Preparation for the oral PhD exam.
- Preparation of an abstract for the written part of the exam (Literature Review), due to the committee before the Oral PhD exam.
- After end of classes: Oral PhD exam, including feedback on abstract for written exam (total length: two hours).
- Summer support via TA- or RA-ships
- After successful completion of the oral exam and approval of the abstract, students spend approx. six weeks on the Literature Review.
- Public Presentation and Discussion of Literature Review. Once a student has passed the PhD exam, a departmental presentation on the Literature Review is scheduled (open to all faculty and graduate students). The feedback at this event informs the student’s dissertation project and proposal.
- Submission of dissertation proposal to the Graduate School.
- Recommendation: application for research grants or dissertation fellowships (deadlines for DAAD/Fulbright are usually in the early fall) and/or for conference participation.
Period between submission of dissertation proposal and completion of dissertation:
- Contingent upon satisfactory progress, students receive support for three additional semesters (including the summer months).
- It is recommended that students apply for a DAAD or Fulbright dissertation fellowship to conduct research in a German speaking country (most deadlines are in the early fall).
- Students who have the requisite background in teaching upper level courses are encouraged to submit a proposal for a Level IV or V course. An important part of the job market portfolio, the syllabus demonstrates the student’s ability to translate research interests into a viable course. In accordance with the department’s goals, the syllabus should clearly spell out the integration of language and content. (Actual teaching assignments at this level depend on the Department’s curricular needs.)
- Students are encouraged to submit a revised version of a research paper to an academic journal.
Upon completion of dissertation:
- 20-minute presentation of dissertation research and results followed by comments and questions from dissertation committee and the public (total length: two hours).
Additional Degree Requirements
At the end of their course work (usually in early May), students who complete their studies with the MA take an oral colloquium in German to demonstrate their ability to draw meaningful connections between topics, texts, and historical periods. This course-based colloquium is administered by two professors of the student’s choice (length: one hour). Prior to the colloquium, students submit a Statement of Intellectual Development (SID), a list of all courses taken during their time at Georgetown, and a list of materials studied in these courses. In the SID (3-4 pages), students reflect on how their interests have evolved during their time in the graduate program; these reflections will provide the point of departure for the colloquium.
The following sections provide detailed information about specific requirements for PhD students beyond coursework regarding the annual reflective statement, second foreign language exam, the qualifying examination, and dissertation writing.
Annual Reflective Statement
The annual reflective statement helps students to engage in academic and professional development through reflective practice. Reflective practice is already an integral part of the graduate program at Georgetown University’s German Department. While the coursework and teaching opportunities throughout the academic year foster critical thinking skills, intellectual development, and comprehensive knowledge, the summer break presents an ideal opportunity for graduate students to pause and reflect on how their academic interests have evolved and on what kind of issues they plan to pursue in the future. In addition, the summers also give students the time to actively explore and engage with professional development resources, as well as to develop a basic understanding of their professional profile vis-à-vis the demands of the job market.
Consequently, the goal of the annual reflection is twofold. On the one hand, students ponder their intellectual development, their future course of study, and how connections between past and future coursework can be drawn. On the other hand, students look forward and contemplate how their current academic profile and skill set relates to the demands of the job market. In order to reach these goals, graduate students will work both independently and with guidance from their advisor.
The graduate student: engages with past coursework; draws on professional development resources curated by graduate students; explores the job market and develops an understanding for research foci and skills that are in demand.
The advisor: provides guidance on future academic coursework and relevant readings in the student’s area of interests, as well as on how research projects can develop (non)academic skills the student hopes to attain.
Ultimately, the annual reflection aims to support graduate education by helping students identify and/or develop areas of research interest in a targeted manner with guidance from the advisor early on and over their entire course of study; fostering an intellectual and mentoring relationship between advisor and advisee; familiarizing students with the task of writing the Statement of Intellectual Development (SID; see below); encouraging students to actively explore and familiarize themselves with the demands and dynamics of the job market, as well as with career/professional development resources on and off campus.
Format and time frame: the reflective statement is 1 – 3 pages in length and should be submitted to the advisor no later than mid-August; it serves as the basis for a conversation with the student’s advisor.
Second Foreign Language Requirement
As part of the PhD program in the German Department, students complete a second foreign language requirement. It is fulfilled by completing six credits in a foreign language with a minimum grade of B, irrespective of instructional level, during their studies at Georgetown and prior to taking the PhD qualifying examination. (Students in the joint MAGES/PhD program fulfill the requirement by completing the MAGES 2nd FL requirement.) Classes have to be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies and tuition scholarships have to be requested according to the rules of the Graduate School. This requirement reflects a number of intellectual and experiential goals that align with the graduate program’s academic and educational profile. Among these are the values of
- enhancing one’s language abilities so that they can be used to advance research and professional communication;
- experiencing language learning and language teaching with a higher level of awareness regarding the teaching and learning of a foreign language in a classroom setting;
- projecting qualities of an educated person in the humanistic tradition who is able to move about in the global multilingual and multicultural environment of research and researchers.
PhD Qualifying Exam
At the end of their course work, students will take the PhD qualifying exam that consists of an oral and written component. (The student’s advisor will coordinate all logistical aspects of the exam.) Both parts of the exam are designed to assess comprehensive knowledge and intellectual engagement as defined above. Particular emphasis is placed on an examinee’s preparedness to perform independent research. Students are expected to demonstrate their qualifications as generalists and as specialists in a given research area. Successful completion of the examination will assist them in identifying a dissertation topic. Students who have successfully completed the exam present the results of the written exam (i.e., the literature review) at a public event and advance to PhD candidacy.
Oral Part of the PhD Examination
Required Documents Prior to the Oral Exam:
At the end of spring break (or at least one month prior to the Oral Exam) students submit two documents: the final versions of a Course-Based Reading List consisting of all primary and major theoretical sources covered in the student’s coursework; and a Statement of Intellectual Development (SID) of approximately five to six pages. There is no prescribed format for the SID but it includes both reflections on how the student’s academic interests have evolved during the time at Georgetown and on what kind of issues the student plans to pursue in the future. As part of the SID and in consultation with the committee, the student identifies three or four broad themes that will guide the oral PhD exam.
The Course-Based Oral Exam
Immediately following completion of coursework, students take a course-based oral exam (in either English or German) based on their Reading List. Students are expected to demonstrate comprehensive knowledge by making connections between texts and ideas across historical periods and theoretical approaches at a high conceptual level. The oral exam is guided by three or four broad themes the student identified in the SID. The exam also includes a brief discussion of the student’s abstract for the written part of the PhD Examination (see below). Total exam time is two hours.
(For some students whose research focus is SLA, the committee for the written exam may be different from the course-based oral exam. In those cases, feedback to and approval of the abstract for the written part of the exam will not take place during the oral exam but at a separate meeting to be convened by the student’s advisor.)
A student who does not pass the oral exam receives written feedback from the exam committee and is granted one retake. It will take place within two weeks of the original exam date.
Written Part of the PhD Examination: Literature Review/Forschungsbericht
Document Required Prior to the Literature Review
At the end of the final semester of coursework and prior to the Oral PhD examination, students submit an abstract that describes the area of scholarship they intend to review and the rationale for selecting it. The research question(s) need not be explicitly formulated, but the overall topic should be clear. The student’s exam committee members will review the abstract and it will become the focus of a 10-15 minute discussion during the oral examination. Upon approval, students spend part of the summer (approximately six weeks) writing the literature review so that it is ready for submission no later than the first day of classes in the fall. Students who complete their coursework in the fall semester write the literature review during the first six weeks of the spring semester.
The Literature Review/Forschungsbericht
Before embarking on the writing of a dissertation, any researcher in German literature, culture, or G/SLA must be able to survey the existing literature on the topic of her/his choice, indicate and evaluate a range of views and approaches to that topic, and identify gaps or disagreements in the literature that merit further research. The literature review goes beyond summarizing existing research and analyzes, synthesizes, and historicizes distinct views, methodologies, and schools of thought. The literature review surveys and assesses theory and criticism. In the case of G/SLA, the literature review surveys previous empirical research and clearly indicates major findings and their implications for our understanding of language learning and teaching.
Writing a literature review will help students construct a research question or problem and will enable them to begin to specify an appropriate critical/methodological approach for the selected topic. It should therefore culminate in the articulation of a genuine puzzle or substantive research question(s). Particularly in the case of G/SLA, research questions should be stated in a way that allows them to be investigated through empirical research.
For the literature review, students select a topic in German literature, culture, or G/SLA. The review should be 25–30 pages in length, excluding bibliography or references. Students writing an SLA-themed literature review are likely to draw on empirical research of language acquisition other than German (e.g., English); however, such research must be directly relevant to the research topic, which is focused on a phenomenon in German.
The topic and sources encompass a body of research that is sufficiently large so as to make it possible to discern distinct theoretical/critical/historical/aesthetic/methodological trends. In particular, the literature review:
- includes books as well as articles;
- incorporates different points of view in German literature, culture, or G/SLA; understood as interdisciplinary fields. The topic may require reading in adjoining fields. If such sources are included the review should address questions of disciplinarity and how a field’s dominant methodology shapes researchers’ approaches to the topic.
- uncovers important changes in perspective over time. The discussion of the selected topic should seek to uncover important changes in scholarly approaches and should include German intellectual discourses and critical traditions. For G/SLA, the historical scope of the topic may not extend beyond a few decades. It is nonetheless possible to identify distinct theoretical and empirical trends in research, and a discussion of such developments and their causes is necessary.
The literature review demonstrates why the topic is important, why approaches have changed over time and/or why critical/field affiliations have resulted in different foci and findings. Most important, it identifies what questions or problems now merit the kind of research that is proposed.
A student who does not pass the written part of the PhD exams receives written feedback from the exam committee and is granted one retake. The retake consists of three additional weeks devoted to revisions of the student’s Literature Review following the feedback of the exam committee.
Public Presentation of the Literature Review
Once a student has passed the PhD qualifying exam, a presentation on the Literature Review is scheduled (open to all faculty and graduate students). The feedback at this event informs the student’s dissertation proposal.
Dissertation Proposal and Dissertation Format
The Dissertation proposal (see the Graduate School form), approved by the dissertation committee, should be submitted to the Graduate School during the same semester in which the student presents the literature review.
The Department accepts two dissertation formats: the monograph form; or a series of five related projects and a reflective essay. Both formats demonstrate the student’s ability to perform independent and original scholarship. The second format (five related projects) requires particularly close consultation with the advisor and the dissertation committee.
Upon successful completion of the dissertation, a two-hour dissertation defense is scheduled. The defense consists of the student’s presentation of dissertation research and results (approx. 20 minutes), followed by comments and questions from the dissertation committee and the public. Once the requested revisions are completed and approved by the advisor, the dissertation is submitted to the Graduate School.
Transfer of Credits
Students entering the PhD program with an MA degree from another institution may request transfer of credits. Requests for transfer of credits are decided by the Director of Graduate Studies in consultation with the student’s advisor.
For detailed information about course offerings please visit our list of course synopses.
The German Department offers graduate students exceptional opportunities to develop their teaching abilities in its exemplary, nationally recognized curriculum, Developing Multiple Literacies. The curriculum carefully integrates language and content instruction in unique ways. Our TA development program enables students to teach on all levels of the undergraduate curriculum, including the most advanced undergraduate courses. Graduate students also participate regularly in collaborative projects to develop instructional materials and curricular revisions where they translate their knowledge of second language acquisition research into the programmatic realities of curriculum construction and pedagogy. The Department’s content-based curriculum inherently presents a particular focus for TAs. Overall, the TA program has the comprehensive aim of training classroom teachers to be independent and reflective decision makers and views learners as autonomous participants. More information can be found in our section on TA development.
Admission and Financial Aid
Applications include a statement of purpose, academic writing samples in English and German, and TOEFL results (for non-native English speakers who hold no college degree from the U.S. or another English-speaking country).
Deadlines for the fall semester:
Jan 15: all MA and PhD fellowship applicants
April 1: non-fellowship applicants
Deadline for the spring semester: November 1
The department awards competitive fellowships, tuition scholarships, and teaching and research assistantships. For up-to-date information about applications and admissions or to download an application form, please visit the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
The German Department provides generous year-round support, making the completion of the PhD program in five years (for incoming BA students) financially and academically feasible. Full financial support is guaranteed for this period for students in good academic standing. Students pursuing a terminal Master’s degree are also eligible for financial support, although funding for PhD students usually takes priority.
Financial Support for PhD students includes:
- Full tuition coverage and a competitive annual stipend for the academic year*
- Summer support granted for teaching, research, internships, or study abroad (see below)
- Optional coverage of the health insurance made available through the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
- Reimbursement for all required course materials
- Support for approved conference participation, travel and study abroad
*Depending on the stage of their graduate careers, graduate students receive annual stipends in the form of (1) Research Assistantships, (2) Teaching Assistantships or (3) Dissertation Fellowships.
Note: Students are expected to plan ahead and comply with the Graduate School’s deadlines for funding requests.
Conference participation is an important part of professionalization and requires a substantial time commitment (writing/revising a paper and attending the conference itself). It thus has to be carefully planned, especially if the conference takes place during the semester when you are busy with coursework and your RA or TA responsibilities. Most importantly, conference participation has to make sense academically and is recommended primarily for advanced PhD students (year 3 and beyond) who are ready to present their work to a community of scholars.
- If you are interested in participating in a particular conference, please discuss your plans with your advisor and/or chair prior to the submission of your proposal. Travel support is contingent upon approval from your advisor and the chair. Generally, the Department will support conference participation if the project is related to the student’s dissertation research.
- In exceptional cases, the Department will support the presentation of papers at the AATG/ACTFL even when they are not related to your dissertation research. Support will be limited to the most successful projects developed in conjunction with departmental SLA classes.
- All students who seek departmental support are expected to apply for conference travel grant funding from the Graduate School.
- This takes planning and cannot be done at the last minute (Grad School deadlines are in September and January). Departmental support is limited to one conference per academic year (fall through spring semester).
- The Department will cover expenses for approved conference visits (i.e., the part not covered by the Graduate School) with the understanding that students make every effort to contain costs (by sharing accommodation, registering early, finding reasonable flights, etc.). Maximum amount covered per academic year: $1,000 (this includes up to $500 in Graduate School support).
- We recommend that students attending conferences take full advantage of them: Beyond the presentation of your own paper, this means attending other panels, special events (including social events like cash bars), keynote addresses, book exhibits — all of which are opportunities for establishing contacts with other scholars. (Faculty members attending the same conference are happy to help in these efforts but it also takes individual initiative.)
- If you are interested in attending a conference close to the DC area, some departmental support might be available even when you are not presenting a paper. In these cases, please contact the chair ahead of time.
Graduate School Policy
The Graduate School is pleased to support the professional development of graduate students by providing Conference Travel Grants to both master’s and doctoral students on the Main Campus and the Medical Center.
The Graduate School also invites nominations for Dissertation Research Travel awards for up to $5,000 each. These competitive awards support the travel costs of students enrolled in doctoral degrees as well as students engaged in archival or field research outside the United States.
Summer months are integrated into the course of study. Graduate students are eligible to receive summer support by taking on teaching responsibilities (Georgetown summer school or Trier program), RA responsibilities, or approved internships in the DC area. As part of the Department’s graduate exchange programs with the Technische Universität Dresden and the Universität Trier, students may also request support to spend the summer semester in Dresden or Trier.
Summer support is provided with the understanding that students spend the summer months, in addition to the above responsibilities, on deepening their learning experience and on developing their research interests. This engagement can take different forms, including:
- reading additional materials
- taking courses in a 2nd foreign language
- taking courses in Germanistik in Trier or Dresden
- revising a paper for publication
- preparing for exams
- working on the dissertation
Prior to reaching the dissertation-writing stage, students may request to spend the summer semester at the university of Trier or Dresden. The department has longstanding and well-established exchange programs with the TU Dresden and Universität Trier and provides full financial support.
Students who have completed their coursework are encouraged to apply for DAAD or Fulbright dissertation fellowships or short-term research grants to conduct research in a German speaking country (most deadlines are in September/October). Faculty provides feedback and support in the application process. Detailed information can be found on our Graduate Study Abroad site.
Graduate Student Career Resources
Information has been assembled by German department graduate students in order to provide a comprehensive list of resources provided by Georgetown University to assist in career planning. This document is continuously changing and the most up-to-date version can be found in Google Drive or in the Georgetown Box folder All Department > Graduate.
Also available in the same location is a wide-ranging collection of external internship and fellowship opportunities in the Washington, DC area.
The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
Graduate Bulletin and Policies
The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences establishes minimum requirements for admission and the award of degrees. Students should familiarize themselves with all the rules, regulations, and procedures relevant to their pursuit of a Graduate School degree. The Graduate School updates their policies and the Graduate Bulletin each year.
Registration and Academic Calendar
Important policies and procedures pertaining to graduate student registration are found in the Graduate Bulletin, Section II: Registration. The Graduate School offers a website on procedures and links for graduate student registration.
In addition, all graduate students must be aware of the registration schedule, withdrawal deadlines, academic calendar, course schedules, and other important academic information published each semester by the University Registrar on the Registrar’s website.
Academic Integrity/Academic Misconduct Issues
The policies and procedures for Academic Integrity issues are found in the Graduate Bulletin, Section VI: Academic Integrity: Policies and Procedures (view/download the Graduate Bulletin from the top of the Policies page).
Leave of Absence
During the course of a graduate student’s time at Georgetown, it may be necessary to take a leave of absence for personal or medical reasons. The policies and procedures for this are found in the Graduate Bulletin, Section VII: Graduate Student Leave Policies (view/download the Graduate Bulletin from the top of the Policies page).
If a graduate student feels that there is reason to appeal an official grade, the policies and procedures for this are found in the Graduate Bulletin, Section III-A-5: Academic Regulations and Procedures/The Grading System/Appeals Contesting Grades (view/download the Graduate Bulletin from the top of the Policies page).
A grade of Incomplete (I) denotes that the student has not satisfactorily completed all course requirements or met stated learning objectives, but the student has made arrangements with the faculty to meet course requirements by an agreed date. It is the responsibility of the student to contact the faculty member before the course ends to arrange make-up work. All incomplete coursework must be finished within six months of the last day of that course. If the required course work is not completed within the requisite time, the grade of (I) will become the grade of record.
Language Study Scholarships/Policies
There are specific policies and procedures that cover graduate student enrollment in language classes. The policies and procedures for this are found in the Graduate Bulletin, Section II-E-4 Registration/The Registration Process/Language Study Scholarships (view/download the Graduate Bulletin from the top of the Policies page).
International Issues (Office of Global Services)
Issues of special relevance to international graduate students are handled by Georgetown University’s Office of Global Services (OGS). These include visa and immigration issues; work visas; full-time/part-time study issues; emergency situations; and other topics. OGS is located in the Car Barn building at 3520 Prospect Street NW (near 35th and Prospect Street) in Suite #210.
Graduate School Contacts/Resources
A list of GRADUATE SCHOOL DEANS & OFFICES and contact information is updated periodically by the Graduate School.
The GRADUATE STUDENT LOUNGE is located at 3520 Prospect Street, on the roof pavilion (4th Floor) of the Car Barn. It provides a quiet space exclusively for graduate students to study. The Graduate Student Lounge is wifi-enabled, has comfortable seating and study desks, and is open weekdays from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. or as posted.
Graduate Student Government (GradGov)
Georgetown University Graduate Student Government (GradGov) is the governing body for graduate students and also serves as an advisory board for student organizations composed primarily of graduate students. To help unite graduate students across the Georgetown campus, GradGov hosts academic, networking, cultural and social events and also allocates funding to member organizations for events and programming.
Graduate Student Ombuds
THE GRADUATE STUDENT OMBUDS OFFICE provides an informal, impartial, neutral, and confidential environment where graduate students can discuss University-related concerns and disputes. The Ombuds office does not advocate for any individual point of view, and does not participate in any formal grievance process, but works to promote a fair process for all. The function of the Graduate Student Ombuds Officer is to listen thoughtfully and sympathetically to the concerns of graduate students and to assist them in identifying options for addressing their concerns. The Graduate Student Ombuds Office has a website, and graduate students can contact the Graduate Student Ombuds directly at email@example.com.
Georgetown Alliance of Graduate Employees (GAGE)
Information regarding the collective bargaining agreement between Georgetown University and the Georgetown Alliance of Graduate Employees and the American Federation of Teachers (GAGE-AFT) can be found on the GAGE-AFT Resources page.
Sexual Misconduct and Harassment Policy Statements
- Georgetown University’s website addressing sexual misconduct
- Georgetown University’s Sexual Misconduct Policy Statement
- Georgetown University’s Harassment Policy Statement
- Other University policies pertaining to diversity, equity, and affirmative action
Student Health Services
Student Health Services provide psychological and medical care to Georgetown students, helping them to stay healthy as well as focused mentally and physically.
Counseling and Mental Health (CAPS)
The University offers its own Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS) that serve the mental care needs of students and the campus community. Many students go to CAPS when they experience life events or academic pressures that leave them feeling anxious, confused, lonely, angry, depressed, or overwhelmed. CAPS is located at the back of Darnall Hall and operates Monday – Friday, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm. CAPS phone numbers are 202-687-6985 (during business hours) and 202-444-7243 for after-hours emergencies (ask to speak to on-call clinician). The CAPS website offers more detailed information on their services.
Medical Care and Student Health Center
The Student Health Center (SHC) provides medical care and is a service provided by the Georgetown University Hospital at Georgetown University. Students can make appointments for common health issues either by phone: 202-687-2200 or online via My Medstar Connect. A list of services available can be found on the Health Center’s website.
Financial Aid for Graduate Students
Need-Based Aid: Office of Student Financial Services
The Office of Student Financial Services (OSFS) provides counseling services to prospective and current students and their families about:
- Options available for financing higher education costs
- Eligibility for assistance
- Applying for and obtaining funding
- Budgeting expenses and paying bills
For both undergraduate and graduate students, the OSFS determines eligibility for assistance from federal, state, and private financial aid programs based on the rules and regulations established by those external agencies.
Merit-Based Aid: Graduate School Dean’s Office
The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences offers merit-based awards on a competitive basis to some programs for incoming and continuing students. The primary purpose of this financial assistance is to support qualified graduate students in the pursuit of their academic careers and the timely completion of their Graduate School degrees.
The Graduate School offers additional information on their website about the types of merit-based aid available to graduate students.