Master of Arts

The Master of Arts degree requirements in German Studies are intended to give students a broad overview of the field of German Studies, including literary history, intellectual history, cultural studies, and pedagogy. Holders of teaching assistantships must fulfill the Graduate School and departmental requirements for assistantships. First-time teaching assistants in our program are required to enroll in German 518/576 during fall quarter and participate in the fall orientation program.

We offer two MA tracks: an MA in Literature and Culture  and an MA in Pedagogy and Culture


Applicants to the MA program in German Studies should have fulfilled requirements equivalent to those for the Bachelor of Arts degree in German Studies at the University of Washington. These requirements include advanced proficiency in the German language and knowledge of the modern periods of German literature and civilization. An applicant who does not fully meet these requirements or their equivalent may be admitted at the discretion of the department, provided the applicant agrees to attain competency in these areas by completing preparatory class work before commencing the graduate program.

Applicants who are not admitted to the department may improve their preparation by taking courses in the department through the Extension Program on a non-matriculated basis. Application for non-matriculated graduate status is made to the Graduate School on a form available from the department.


All students are required to meet with the Graduate Coordinator at the beginning of their first quarter and throughout the academic year to plan their programs. Students should feel free to consult with the Graduate Coordinator and the other members of the faculty at any time during their entire period of study. Students enrolled in courses are required to submit an academic planning form at the beginning of fall quarter and a self-assessment form in spring to the Graduate Coordinator. PhD candidates submit these forms to the Chair of their Supervisory Committee.

Graduate School Requirements for the MA Degree

Students who intend to work toward advanced degrees must meet the requirements of the Graduate School as outlined in the University of Washington Catalog:

1. The master’s candidate must present a minimum of three quarters of course work earned in residence at the University of Washington (part‑time quarters may be accumulated to meet this requirement).

2. Although the normal course load carried by graduate students is ten to fifteen credits per quarter, a load of not less than ten credits per quarter is considered full‑time.

3. Graduate students are required to be continuously enrolled in the Graduate School.  Students who will be out of town must petition for on‑leave status.

4. During the first two weeks of the quarter in which the critical MA paper will be completed, the student must apply for the MA degree with the Graduate School. Degree applications are completed on-line. No application will be accepted after the first two weeks of the quarter. 

5. Every student, whether in absentia or in residence, must be registered for a minimum of two credits for the quarter in which the degree requirements are to be completed.

6. All work for the MA degree must be completed within six years, including work transferred from other institutions.

7. The Graduate School foreign language requirement is automatically fulfilled by the completion of the Master’s Degree in German Studies.

8. Graduate Students are required to maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0.


Two Degree Options


1. MA in Literature and Culture

Departmental Requirements

Candidates for the MA degree must complete 40 hours of course work, pass an oral examination on three reading
lists, and submit one critical MA paper.

The areas of expertise for the MA in German Studies are:

1) Literary History

2) Intellectual History

3) Cultural Studies

Students must demonstrate foundational competency in two of these three areas of expertise. Evaluation of this expertise will be based on two evaluation procedures: one comprehensive oral examination (based on the directed reading lists for that area) and one critical MA paper (based on work in a graduate seminar).

 Course Work

1. 20 credits of core requirements:
a. German 518/576, Methods and Materials in Teaching German (required for new teaching assistants regardless of prior teaching experience).

b. German 500, Introduction to Theory, Methodology, Bibliography

c. German 575, Teaching of German Literature and Civilization

d. 5 cr. in the category of literature, culture, or intellectual history (German 580, 590, 591, or 592)

e. For MA students entering with a Kade Fellowship: During their first three quarters, students will register for a 1-credit directed reading course with a designated faculty member.Each student should meet with the graduate adviser prior to the beginning of the fall quarter to plan the overall sequence and to determine the faculty advisers appropriate to each list. This course will culminate in an oral examination intended to test students’ competence to speak intelligently about a broad spectrum of texts in German literary and cultural studies

 2. 20 cr. of approved electives.
Graduate student enrollment in German 411, 451, 452 is normally restricted to MA students. Exceptions may be made at the discretion of the Graduate Coordinator.

Oral Exam 

 1. The MA comprehensive examination is based on the three directed reading lists. The exam questions are based on the reading list finalized in consultation with the faculty members teaching the directed reading course during the first three quarters. The basis for these lists can be found here.

 2. Students will be given questions ahead of time by each faculty member so that they can prepare, but these questions should ideally give rise to a discussion during the oral that can lead to further new questions.

 3. The two-hour exam will be scheduled at the end of the third quarter. The three faculty members will each have 20 minutes to ask the students questions. The remaining time will be a friendly discussion meant to help students develop their research interests into ideas and to select a seminar essay to expand into the MA paper. (Students who enter the program with TA support can fulfill this requirement over a longer stretch of time in consultation with the Graduate Coordinator.)

Critical MA Paper

1. The critical MA paper should be based on an essay written for a graduate seminar. The final paper should be approximately 20-25 pp. in length, include a critical apparatus, and demonstrate the ability to present focused and sustained argumentation on a specific topic or problem.

2. The MA paper should normally be developed in conjunction with the faculty mentor in the German Studies Department for whom the initial seminar paper was written. The faculty member must note written acceptance of the essay as fulfilling the criteria for the critical MA paper. The faculty member’s written evaluation must be submitted with the paper and will become part of the student’s departmental record.

3. The critical MA paper should be keyed to one of the three areas of expertise listed above. If accepted by the faculty mentor, it will satisfy the requirement for that area of competence.

4. The accepted critical MA paper, along with the written evaluation by the student’s faculty mentor, must be submitted to the Graduate Coordinator no later than January 15 of the quarter in which the student plans to complete work on the MA. The MA paper will be evaluated by the MA committee as part of their overall assessment of the candidate’s work.


1. The Graduate Coordinator will appoint an ad hoc MA committee. Normally, the MA committee will consist of the three faculty members responsible for the directed reading lists along with the MA Critical Paper adviser. The MA committee is charged with the following duties:
a. The advisers of the directed reading lists shall give written feedback on the Oral Examination at the end of the first year.
b. The MA paper adviser shall submit an evaluation of the critical paper, indicating its acceptance. The evaluation should assess the accomplishments of the paper and offer suggestions for further improvement.
Acceptance of the critical MA paper by the faculty mentor certifies that the student has passed that segment of the overall MA requirements.
c. The committee shall meet to discuss the results after all materials have been evaluated and before results are released to students. The committee shall submit a brief written evaluation for each student, detailing the strengths or weaknesses in each area of expertise. The chair of the MA committee shall return all materials to the main office and report the results to the Chair and the Graduate Coordinator.  The department Chair shall report the results to the candidates.

Additional Comments

a. If a student fails to pass in any of their chosen areas of expertise or competence, she/he/they will be permitted to take the failed section(s) one more time at a subsequent administration of the exam.  Different exam questions or text passages will be given for the re-examination.

Sample Schedule

First Year (Kade)




·      Grad course 1

·      Grad Course 2

·      Directed Reading

·      Grad course 3

·      Grad Course 4

·      Directed Reading

·      Grad course 5 (Kade)

·      Grad Course 6

·      Directed Reading

·      May/June: Orals


Second Year




·Grad Course 7(Pedagogy)

·Grad Course 8

·Work with faculty mentor on MA paper

· Jan 15: MA paper due

· Grad course 9

· Grad Course 10

· [Feb: Permission to   Proceed to PhD]

· Grad Course 11 (Kade)

· Grad Course 12


2. MA in Pedagogy and Culture

Course Work

Candidates for the MA degree in pedagogy and culture must complete 60 hours of course work.

  1. 20 credits of core requirements:
  2. German 518/576, Methods and Materials in Teaching German (required for new teaching assistants regardless of prior teaching experience).
  3. German 500, Introduction to Theory, Methodology, Bibliography
  4. German 575, Teaching of German Literature and Civilization
  5. 5 cr. in the category of literature, culture, or intellectual history (German 580, 590, 591, or 592)


  1. 15 credits of required courses in the MA TESOL program:

Engl 571 (5 cr) Theory and Practice on Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

Engl 576 (5 cr) Testing and Evaluation in English as a Second Language

Engl 575 (5 cr) Pedagogical Grammar


  1. 15 credits of electives in German Studies and other programs from the following:

Engl 572 (5cr) Methods and Materials For Teaching English as A Second Language

Engl 471 (5) Theory of and Practice of Teaching Writing

Ling 432 (5) Sociolinguistics

Ling 580 (4) Problems in Linguistics

Japan 441 (5) The Acquisition of Japanese as a Second/Foreign Language

Note: This course is open to graduate students specializing in any foreign language, with permission. Contact instructor for details.

German 501 Proseminar in Methods and Writing (5, max. 15)

German 503 Contemporary German Literature (5, max. 15)

German 504 Special Studies in Literary Criticism and Theory (5, max. 15)

German 510 Studies in Medieval Literature and Culture (5, max. 15)

German 511 Studies in Renaissance and Baroque Literature and Culture (5, max. 15)

German 525 Seminar in Romanticism (5, max. 15)

German 526 Seminar in Nineteenth-Century Drama (5, max. 15)

German 527 Seminar in Nineteenth-Century Prose (5, max. 15)

German 528 Seminar in Nineteenth-Century Poetry (5, max. 15)

German 529 Studies in Literature 1870-1920 (5, max. 15)

German 533 Seminar in Eighteenth-Century Literature (5, max. 15)

German 534 Storm and Stress (5, max. 15)

German 535 Classicism: Goethe, Schiller (5, max. 15)

German 537 Studies in Literature 1770-1830 (5, max. 15)

German 540 Twentieth-Century Poetry (5, max. 15)

German 541 Twentieth-Century Drama (5, max. 15)

German 542 Twentieth-Century Prose (5, max. 15)

German 550 Gothic (5)

German 551 Seminar in Germanics Philology and Linguistics (5, max. 15)

German 552 Old High German (5)

German 555 Old Saxon (5)

German 556 Middle High German (5)

German 558 Middle High German Literature (5)

German 560 Modern Dialects (5)

German 565 Seminar in Courtly Epic (5)

German 566 Late Middle High German Narrative (3)

German 567 Minnesang (3)

German 568 Seminar in Heroic Epic (5)

German 580 Seminar in German Literature (5, max. 15)

German 581 Seminar in Poetry (5, max. 15)

German 582 Seminar in Drama (5, max. 15)

German 583 Seminar in Prose (5, max. 15)

German 590 Philosophical Issues in German Culture (5, max. 15)

German 591 Studies in German Intellectual History (5, max. 15)

German 592 Cultural Studies (5, max. 15)


Note: of these 15 cr of electives, at least 5 cr need to be taken from the following courses:

Engl 478 (5) Language and Social Policy

Engl 560 (5) Nature of Language

Engl 471 (5) Teaching Writing

Ling 549 (5) Second Language Learning

Ling 432 (5) Sociolinguistics

Ling 457/Psych 457 (5) Language Development

Ling 548 (4) Problems in Linguistics

Japan 441 (5) The Acquisition of Japanese as a Second/Foreign Language

Note: This course is open to graduate students specializing in any foreign language, with permission. Contact instructor for details.

EDC&I 545 (3) Multilingual Socialization and Development

EDC&I 451 (3) Bilingual Education

EDC&I 542 (3) Seminar in Bilingual Education

EDC&I 505 (3) Language Literature and Culture

German 552 Old High German (5)

German 555 Old Saxon (5)

German 556 Middle High German (5)

German 560 Modern Dialects (5)


  1. 10 credits of Independent Study or Research for the Capstone Project:

German 600 (10) Independent Study or Research

Capstone project: The purpose of the capstone is to provide a deepening of professional expertise or practical experience, depending upon the needs and interests of the student, as determined by the student in consultation with the program advisor, i.e. the departmental language coordinator. The final product can have a variety of forms:

  1. a research paper and a materials development project
  2. a curriculum development project that includes both writing a rationale and designing materials
  3. another pedagogical project to be approved by the program adviser

Research Paper: This project is most suitable for students who have research agenda they would like to explore based on previous coursework. This part of the capstone project involves original or library research in the area of second/foreign language pedagogy or second language acquisition, and writing of a high quality literature review or research paper. The topic should increase the student's academic expertise in this field.

Materials Development: This part of the capstone project involves preparation of substantial original materials to teach the student's foreign language of specialization. Materials are to be presented in a portfolio containing: 1) a description of the materials included, the student population for whom they are intended, and how they are to be used, 2) the materials themselves. These materials must be authored by the student and of a substance and quantity consistent with the credit value of the capstone. They may include: lesson plans, instructional materials, such as listening materials, communication tasks, reading material with associated tasks, workbooks, PowerPoint presentations, textbook chapters, technology-based materials, content-based lesson designs (e.g. based on literary texts, movies, etc.), or other appropriate instructional materials. Materials must be original materials, not a collection of materials from other sources. Materials from other sources may be included, but sources must be appropriately cited.

  1. Foreign Language Requirement

Students must demonstrate C1-level language proficiency or equivalency in German according to the European Framework of References. The FL requirement can be waived if the candidate’s proficiency is deemed sufficient by the Language Program Coordinator and a second faculty member who is certified to administer the exam.

Native speakers are exempt from the foreign language requirement.


The Graduate Coordinator, in coordination with the program adviser, will appoint an ad hoc MA committee on a rotating basis in the fall. It must consist of at least two faculty members (one member may be from another department, if approved by the faculty). In ordinary circumstances, the language coordinator chairs the MA committee and oversees the capstone project. The MA committee is charged with reading and evaluating the capstone project in its entirety. The committee determines collectively whether students pass or fail the capstone project and the committee as a whole is responsible for assigning grades (high pass; good pass; pass; low pass; fail) to both parts of the project. The chair of the committee shall submit a written evaluation for each student, detailing the strengths and weaknesses of the project.

Additional Comments:

MA students are expected to enroll in the course offered by the Visiting Kade Professor in the spring quarter.