Twin Cities campus
 
Twin Cities Campus

Germanic Studies Ph.D.

German, Nordic, Slavic & Dutch
College of Liberal Arts
Link to a list of faculty for this program.
Contact Information
Department of German, Nordic, Slavic & Dutch, 320 Folwell Hall, 9 Pleasant Street SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455 (612-625-2080; fax: 612-624-8297)
  • Program Type: Doctorate
  • Requirements for this program are current for Spring 2021
  • Length of program in credits: 60
  • This program does not require summer semesters for timely completion.
  • Degree: Doctor of Philosophy
Along with the program-specific requirements listed below, please read the General Information section of this website for requirements that apply to all major fields.
The Germanic studies program in the Department of German, Nordic, Slavic & Dutch (GNSD) is distinguished for its interdisciplinary approach to the study of literature and culture. The program equips students to be creative scholars and skillful teachers through research and teaching programs covering the literature and culture of German-speaking and Nordic countries. Students work closely with faculty dedicated to scholarly innovation, teaching excellence, and interdisciplinary collaboration. The Germanic studies program offers both MA and PhD degrees and allows students to tailor their programs to their individual needs and interdisciplinary interests. Students have the option to pursue a track in German (MA, PhD), Germanic Medieval studies (MA, PhD), or Scandinavian studies (MA) by completing a specified number of courses in one of those areas.
Program Delivery
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Prerequisites for Admission
The preferred undergraduate GPA for admittance to the program is 3.50.
MA or equivalent from another institution in German or a related field.
Other requirements to be completed before admission:
Students with a BA only are usually admitted to the PhD program, but the MA must be completed first. Applicants must have fluency in German.
International applicants must submit score(s) from one of the following tests:
  • TOEFL
    • Internet Based - Total Score: 79
    • Internet Based - Writing Score: 21
    • Internet Based - Reading Score: 19
    • Internet Based - Speaking Score: 27
    • Paper Based - Total Score: 550
  • IELTS
    • Total Score: 6.5
  • MELAB
    • Final score: 80
The preferred English language test is Test of English as Foreign Language.
Key to test abbreviations (TOEFL, IELTS, MELAB).
For an online application or for more information about graduate education admissions, see the General Information section of this website.
Program Requirements
24 credits are required in the major.
12 credits are required outside the major.
24 thesis credits are required.
This program may be completed with a minor.
Use of 4xxx courses toward program requirements is permitted under certain conditions with adviser approval.
Language Requirement: See requirements listed below.
A minimum GPA of 3.00 is required for students to remain in good standing.
All courses graded on both the A/F and S/N grade basis must be taken A/F, with a minimum grade of C for each. Reading competence in two languages or a high degree of proficiency in one language other than English or German. Two semesters of teaching experience are required.
Required Core (9 credits)
Take the following courses:
GSD 5103 - Teaching of Germanic Languages (3.0 cr)
GSD 8001 - Approaches to Textual Analysis (3.0 cr)
GSD 8801 - Dissertation Seminar (3.0 cr)
Outside Coursework (12 credits)
Select 12 credits outside the major in consultation with the advisor and director of graduate studies. Directed Study, Directed Research, and Directed Readings courses may be applied to this requirement with advisor and director of graduate studies approval. Up to 2 courses from the MA may be applied to this requirement.
CSCL 5xxx
CSCL 8xxx
CSDS 5xxx
CSDS 8xxx
ENGL 5xxx
ENGL 8xxx
HIST 5xxx
HIST 8xxx
RUSS 5xxx
Thesis Credits
Take 24 doctoral thesis credits.
GSD 8888 - Thesis Credit: Doctoral (1.0-24.0 cr)
Germanic Studies - No Emphasis
Electives (0 to 15 credits)
Students completing one of the tracks are exempt from this Electives requirement. Students completing the PhD without a track select 15 credits from the following, in consultation with the advisor and director of graduate studies, to complete the minimum credit requirements. GER 5011 cannot be applied to the Electives requirement.
DTCH 5xxx
FIN 5xxx
GER 5xxx
GER 8xxx
SCAN 5xxx
SCAN 8xxx
Program Sub-plans
A sub-plan is not required for this program.
Students may not complete the program with more than one sub-plan.
German
Electives (12 credits)
Select 12 credits from the following in consultation with the advisor and director of graduate studies. GER 5011 cannot be applied to this requirement.
GER 5xxx
GER 8xxx
Additional Elective (3 credits)
Select 3 credits from the following in consultation with the advisor and director of graduate studies. GER 5011 cannot be applied to this requirement.
DTCH 5xxx
FIN 5xxx
GER 5xxx
GER 8xxx
SCAN 5xxx
SCAN 8xxx
Germanic Medieval Studies
Electives (12 credits)
Select 12 credits from the following in consultation with the advisor and director of graduate studies:
ENGL 4612 - Old English I (3.0 cr)
ENGL 4613 - Old English II (3.0 cr)
GER 5711 - History of the German Language I (3.0 cr)
GER 5721 - Introduction to Middle High German (3.0 cr)
GER 5734 - Old Saxon (3.0 cr)
GER 5740 - Topics in Germanic Medieval Studies (3.0 cr)
GER 8200 - Seminar in Medieval German Literature and Culture (3.0 cr)
GER 8210 - Seminar in Early Modern German Literature and Culture (3.0 cr)
SCAN 5502 - The Icelandic Saga (3.0 cr)
SCAN 5701 - Old Norse Language and Literature (3.0 cr)
SCAN 5703 - Old Norse Poetry (3.0 cr)
SCAN 8500 - Seminar in Medieval Scandinavian Languages and Literature (3.0 cr)
Additional Elective (3 credits)
Select 3 credits from the following in consultation with the advisor and director of graduate studies. GER 5011 cannot be applied to this requirement.
DTCH 5xxx
FIN 5xxx
GER 5xxx
GER 8xxx
SCAN 5xxx
SCAN 8xxx
 
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GSD 5103 - Teaching of Germanic Languages
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Second language acquisition theory, methods, testing, and technology applicable to teaching of modern Germanic languages.
GSD 8001 - Approaches to Textual Analysis
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Theoretical approaches to textual analysis that shape disciplinary discussions in Germanic studies.
GSD 8801 - Dissertation Seminar
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: S-N or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
For doctoral students in German and Scandinavian studies who are beginning to establish topics and do research for their dissertations. Discussion of a variety of topics related to this process as well as presentation of some written work.
GSD 8888 - Thesis Credit: Doctoral
Credits: 1.0 -24.0 [max 100.0]
Grading Basis: No Grade
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
(no description) prereq: Max 18 cr per semester or summer; 24 cr required
ENGL 4612 - Old English I
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: EngL 4612/EngL 5612/MeSt 4612
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
"I am learning Anglo-Saxon and it is a vastly superior thing to what we have now" (Gerard Manley Hopkins, letter to fellow poet Robert Bridges, 1882). This course is an introduction to the rich language and literature of Anglo-Saxon England (ca. 500-1100). "Old English," or as it is sometimes known, "Anglo-Saxon," is the earliest form of the English language; therefore, the primary course goal will be to acquire the ability to read Old English texts in the original. No previous experience with Old English or any other language is necessary or expected; undergraduates and graduate students from all departments are welcome. For graduate students in English, Old English I may count for the rhetoric/language/literacy distribution area. This course also fulfills the literary theory/linguistic requirement for the undergraduate English major. A knowledge of Old English will allow you to touch the most ancient literary sensibilities in the English tradition; these sensibilities are familiar and strange at the same time, as we sense our deep cultural connection to these texts across the centuries, yet also find that the past is a strange place indeed. The power of Old English literature has profoundly influenced authors such as Tennyson, Pound, Graves, Wilbur, Hopkins, Gunn, Auden, Seamus Heaney, C.S. Lewis, and of course, J.R.R. Tolkien.
ENGL 4613 - Old English II
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: EngL 4613/MeSt 4613
Typically offered: Periodic Spring
The second semester of Old English is devoted to a full translation and study of the great Anglo-Saxon epic "Beowulf." J.R.R. Tolkien wrote of the poem that "its maker was telling of things already old and weighted with regret, and he expended his art in making keen that touch upon the heart which sorrows have that are both poignant and remote." "Beowulf" is an exciting tale of strife and heroism; but it is also a subtle meditation upon the character of humanity as it struggles to understand the hazards of a harsh world, the inscrutability of fate, and the nature of history itself. "Beowulf" is not only important for a detailed understanding of Anglo-Saxon culture, but it is also a significant and moving poetic achievement in the context of world literature. We will read and translate the poem in the original Old English; thus ENGL 4612 (or a similar course resulting in a basic reading knowledge of Old English) is a prerequisite. "Beowulf" has been the object of intensive scholarly study; we will delve into the debates over the poem's date, genesis, manuscript and historical context and critical interpretation. Spending an entire semester studying one complex work can be an invaluable experience. Please contact the instructor for any questions concerning the prerequisite.
GER 5711 - History of the German Language I
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Fall Even Year
Historical development of German, from beginnings to 1450. prereq: 3011
GER 5721 - Introduction to Middle High German
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Fall Odd Year
Introduction to Middle High German language and literature. Study of grammar through formal description of Middle High German phonology, morphology, and syntax. Normalized MHG texts read.
GER 5734 - Old Saxon
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Study of the poetry of Old Saxon. Detailed investigation of Old Saxon in comparison with the other Old Germanic languages.
GER 5740 - Topics in Germanic Medieval Studies
Credits: 3.0 [max 9.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Spring
Topics specified in Class Schedule.
GER 8200 - Seminar in Medieval German Literature and Culture
Credits: 3.0 [max 9.0]
Typically offered: Spring Even Year
Topics on specific author, group of authors, genre, or subject matter in German literature, ca. 800-1450. prereq: 5721
GER 8210 - Seminar in Early Modern German Literature and Culture
Credits: 3.0 [max 9.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Topics on specific author, group of authors, genre, or subject matter in German literature, 1450-1750.
SCAN 5502 - The Icelandic Saga
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Study of the sagas written in 13th-century Iceland. Discussion includes cultural and historical information about medieval Iceland and analysis of a selection of saga texts using contemporary critical approaches. All readings in translation.
SCAN 5701 - Old Norse Language and Literature
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Acquisition of a reading knowledge of Old Norse; linguistic, philological and literary study of Old Norse language and literature.
SCAN 5703 - Old Norse Poetry
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Reading and analysis of either eddic poetry from the Poetic Edda or skaldic poetry. Texts read in Old Norse.
SCAN 8500 - Seminar in Medieval Scandinavian Languages and Literature
Credits: 3.0 [max 9.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Spring
Sample topics: [Volsunga Saga], studies in Snorri Sturluson's [Edda], dialogue analysis in the Icelandic saga.