German Literature, Culture and Theory

Program Overview

The Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures at the University of Toronto is the oldest and largest department of German in Canada. In addition to the department’s traditional strength in literary and intellectual history, faculty and students are conducting research in German cinema, critical theory, language pedagogy, medieval studies, travel literature, as well as postcolonial, psychoanalytic, and transnational studies.

The department offers a graduate program of study in the field of German Literature, Culture and Theory, leading to a Doctor of Philosophy. The PhD degree is normally completed in four to five years.


Quick Facts

Domestic International
Application payment deadline PhD:

TBA

PhD:

TBA

Supporting documents deadline PhD:

TBA

PhD:

TBA

Minimum admission average PhD:

B+

PhD:

B+

Direct entry option from bachelor's to PhD? PhD:

Yes

PhD:

Yes

Is a supervisor identified before or after admission? PhD:

After

PhD:

After

If a supervisor is identified after admission (as per question above), is admission conditional upon securing a supervisor? PhD:

No

PhD:

No

Is a supervisor assigned by the graduate unit or secured by the applicant? PhD:

Applicant

PhD:

Applicant

Program length (full-time only) PhD:

4 years; 5 years direct-entry

PhD:

4 years; 5 years direct-entry


Doctor of Philosophy

Program Description

The PhD Program in Germanic Literature, Culture, and Theory is taken on a full-time basis and is fully funded for five years. The curriculum engages debates and questions salient to the discipline of German Studies while also forging generative ties with other disciplines to facilitate a synthesis of history and theory, textual analysis, and cultural study. Students have the option to concurrently enrol in one of the collaborative specializations at U of T, such as Women and Gender Studies, Jewish Studies, Transnational and Diaspora Studies, or Book History and Print Culture. This also requires registration in their respective core course(s).

Applicants may enter the PhD program via one of two routes: 1) following completion of an appropriate master’s degree or 2) direct entry following completion of an appropriate bachelor’s degree.

 

PhD Program

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures' additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Admission to the PhD program requires an appropriate master's degree in German from a recognized university, with an average grade equivalent to at least a University of Toronto A– in the applicant's overall program.

  • Applicants must satisfy the department that they are capable of independent research in German at an advanced level.

  • Applicants should arrange for three supporting letters to be sent to the Associate Chair of Graduate Studies of the department, preferably on forms available from the department.

  • Admission is based upon the applicant's academic record, a writing sample, a Letter of Intent (500-word maximum), and the evidence of the supporting letters.

Program Requirements

  • Coursework. Applicants admitted on the basis of a master's degree must take a minimum of 4.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs) including:

    • GER 1000H German Studies Seminar: Culture, Theory, Text (0.5 FCE) with an average grade of at least an A–.

    • At least 3.5 FCEs by the end of Year 1.

    • Any remaining courses required for the degree by the end of Year 2. Course selection may include 1.5 FCEs in a department other than Germanic Languages and Literatures.

    • Course selection is made in consultation with the Associate Chair of Graduate Studies of the department and must be approved by the department.

  • Students must provide evidence of reading knowledge of French or, in exceptional circumstances, of another language approved by the department.

  • Students must pass a qualifying examination with written and oral components in the second session of Year 2 of the PhD program. The qualifying examination has two components:

    • The proficiency exam is based on a student-created and committee-approved, comprehensive list of works and entails writing exams in four (4) epochs (three for the Yiddish field), followed by an oral exam.

    • The research field paper on a topic approved by the examination committee offers a means to explore key theoretical readings and test firsthand the traction of at least one central methodology pertinent to the future thesis. This paper, between 25 and 30 pages in length, is completed during the Summer session following the proficiency examination and strives towards publishable quality.

  • The thesis proposal encompasses an abstract, literature review, detailed discussion of the methodology, tentative chapter outlines, and bibliography/mediagraphy.

  • Students must pass a thesis proposal review under the guidance of their supervisory committee, whose members will read the proposal, and approve the examinee for doctoral candidacy.

  • Students must deliver a departmental lecture on their dissertation topic within one year following the thesis proposal review.

  • Students must submit the doctoral thesis and successfully complete the Final Oral Examination.

  • The department may permit a candidate to write the doctoral thesis in German when the candidate's advisory committee so recommends and when the candidate has satisfied the School of Graduate Studies' conditions (see 12.1.2.8 Thesis section in Degree Regulations, Doctor of Philosophy).

Program Length

4 years

Time Limit

6 years

 

PhD Program (Direct-Entry)

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures' additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Admission to the PhD program requires an appropriate bachelor's degree from a recognized university that includes at least 6.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs) in German language, literature, and culture, with an average grade equivalent to at least a University of Toronto B+ in the applicant's overall program and of at least an A– in the applicant's German courses.

  • Applicants must satisfy the department that they are capable of independent research in German at an advanced level.

  • Applicants should arrange for three supporting letters to be sent to the Associate Chair of Graduate Studies of the department, preferably on forms available from the department.

  • Admission is based upon the applicant's academic record, a writing sample, a Letter of Intent (500-word maximum), and the evidence of the supporting letters.

Program Requirements

  • Coursework. Applicants admitted on the basis of a bachelor's degree must take a minimum of 7.0 FCEs, including:

    • GER 1000H German Studies Seminar: Culture, Theory, Text (0.5 FCE) with an average grade of at least an A–.

    • The department may recommend to the School of Graduate Studies the termination of the registration and eligibility of a student who fails to complete at least 3.5 FCEs, with an average of at least an A–, during Year 1.

    • The remaining courses required for the degree, with an A– average, by the end of Year 2.

  • Students must provide evidence of reading knowledge of French or, in exceptional circumstances, of another language approved by the department.

  • Students must pass a qualifying examination with written and oral components in the second session of Year 3 of the PhD program. The qualifying examination has two components:

    • The proficiency exam is based on a student-created and committee-approved, comprehensive list of works and entails writing exams in four (4) epochs (three for the Yiddish field), followed by an oral exam.

    • The research field paper on an approved topic approved by the examination committee offers a means to explore key theoretical readings and test firsthand the traction of at least one central methodology pertinent to the future thesis. This paper, between 25 and 30 pages in length, is completed during the Summer session following the proficiency examination and strives towards publishable quality.

  • The thesis proposal encompasses an abstract, literature review, detailed discussion of the methodology, tentative chapter outlines, and bibliography/mediagraphy.

  • Students must pass a thesis proposal review under the guidance of their supervisory committee, whose members will read the proposal and approve the examinee for doctoral candidacy.

  • Students must deliver a departmental lecture on their dissertation topic within one year following the thesis proposal review.

  • Students must submit the doctoral thesis and successfully complete the Final Oral Examination.

  • The department may permit a candidate to write the doctoral thesis in German when the candidate's advisory committee so recommends and when the candidate has satisfied the School of Graduate Studies' conditions (see 12.1.2.8 Thesis section in Degree Regulations, Doctor of Philosophy).

Program Length

5 years

Time Limit

7 years

Trevor Stirling

“Graduate school will shape your career for the rest of your life. ”

Trevor Stirling
PhD Candidate, Electrical & Computer Engineering
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