The Graduate Program in German Studies

PLEASE NOTE: Due to the unprecedented circumstances surrounding COVID-19, the Graduate School has instituted a one-year pause in admission to Ph.D. programs for the academic year beginning Fall 2021. Please contact the Director of Graduate Studies, Susan Bernstein, if you have questions about applications for admission in Fall 2022. 

The Department of German Studies at Brown offers a Ph.D. program which both provides a coherent perspective on major developments in German literature, culture, and critical thought in the modern period (1517 to the present) and provides students with the opportunity to develop their own specialized interests in German Studies.  The program requires a secondary field of study consisting of a coherent sequence of four courses outside the Department.  With guidance from the Director of Graduate Studies, each student plans this sequence in a specialized area of interest.  Some examples of possible specialized programs of study are Media Studies, History, Jewish Studies, Visual Arts, Philosophy, Music, or Theater.  Drawing on the expertise of eminent scholars in these fields, who are teaching at Brown both in and beyond the German Studies Department, the program thus fosters a transdisciplinary approach in the field of German Studies.

The guiding principles of our curriculum is a conscious exploration of those topics and moments in the history of German culture and critical thought which define its uniqueness, exemplify broader issues in the humanities, or have resonated most strongly in other cultures.  Fields which unify these golas - aesthetics, and critical theory - are among our strengths.

The program is designed to prepare students for a diverse and ever-changing workplace, within academia and outside.  To become first-rate scholars and researchers, students are trained to develop their writing skills and to deliver publishable work in their graduate work.  To turn into mature and innovative teachers, they are exposed to a rigorous program of theoretical and practical approaches to teaching.  To enable them to become esteemed professionals, students will learn to perform research and to process information effectively and efficiently and to communicate highly complex subjects to a variety of audiences.

The information on the rest of these pages summarize the requirements and structure of the graduate program, along with details on admission. You can also download the information as a PDF here.