Princeton’s graduate program in German offers students the opportunity to participate in a lively and engaged intellectual community composed of scholars working in an unusually wide range of interdisciplinary and theoretical approaches to German culture. In addition to the full breadth and depth of the German literary tradition, our faculty specializes in intellectual history from 1700 to the present, media studies, critical theory, aesthetic philosophy, twentieth-century art (including painting and photography), cinema studies, feminism and gender studies, psychoanalysis, and systems theory. These specializations of the full-time members of our faculty are further complemented by our close affiliations with other departments and interdisciplinary programs at Princeton such as Architecture, Art and Archaeology, the Center for the Study of Religion, Comparative Literature, European Cultural Studies, History of Science, Judaic Studies, Media + Modernity, and Medieval Studies.
Each year the department admits a small number of highly motivated applicants who intend to obtain the Ph.D. degree. It does not offer a separate M.A. program, but an M.A. degree is awarded, upon request, after successful completion of the general examination. The only major formal requirements for the Ph.D. are the general examination and the dissertation. After they have fulfilled the University residency requirement of one year, students are qualified to take their general examination. For students with the A.B. this typically means the beginning of the third year of study, although students who arrive at Princeton with previous graduate training occasionally take it earlier. While students admitted to the Ph.D.program are guaranteed five years of financial support, the majority of our candidates compete successfully for prestigious external grants, effectively extending the period of institutional support to six years. In most cases, these grants are used for university study and dissertation research in a German-speaking country.
Under the mentorship of one of the leading researchers in second language acquisition, students are required in their third year to teach two semesters of German language, an experience that establishes the foundations for their further pedagogical career. While our students are required to teach only one year out of five, they recognize that classroom teaching is a core aspect of our profession and often teach additional courses, both in the German Department and in other fields in which they are specialized.
As our superb placement record indicates, this ambitious and exacting curriculum has established the Princeton German department as one of the leading programs in German studies. We invite you to explore our website and welcome applications to the program, submitted through the Graduate School. Our application deadline is December 15th, 2016.
For additional information, please contact our Director of Graduate Studies, Sara S. Poor.