German Studies M.A. Program
(Revised version approved by German Studies faculty on October 27, 2010)
The Department of German Studies is committed to maintaining a high-quality graduate program, which is a continuation of a successful undergraduate education. A fundamental purpose of the M.A. in German Studies is to encourage each graduate student to demonstrate outstanding standards of scholarship, to produce independent research and to develop personal interests within the interdisciplinary field of German Studies. The M.A. in German Studies seeks to prepare students to analyze critically and synthesize various aspects of German Studies such as literary studies, cultural studies, theoretical and applied linguistics, and studies in second language acquisition and teaching, in addition to their diverse theoretical approaches. The Department of German Studies strives to provide the opportunity to develop research skills, to increase knowledge and broaden understanding. The Department sees these as tools for a life-long learning process. The M.A. candidate’s academic goals and achievements, therefore, should reflect a personal commitment to German Studies and to scholarly standards that are well beyond the undergraduate level.
1. Requirements (Units & Courses)
Master's Candidates must complete a minimum of 33 units of graduate work in German Studies.
Candidates must complete at least 30 units in courses offered by the Department of German Studies. The departmental graduate advisor will be responsible for approving students' programs of study before they register for courses, using the required PLAN OF STUDY (See attachment at the bottom of this page). This course work must be completed as follows:
There are three options available to the M.A. candidate:
German 508: Approaches to German Studies
Graduate-level courses (three of which may be taken outside of the Department or as a thesis)
For GATs, this must include German 579: Issues and Methods in Postsecondary Foreign Language Teaching and Learning (3 units)
Total: 33 units
(A list of courses that can be taken to fulfill these requirements is provided below the second option.)
German 508: Approaches to German Studies
German 579: Issues/Methods in Post-Secondary Foreign Language Teaching/Learning; German
2 of the following courses:
German 580: Applied Linguistics for Foreign Language Teaching
German 587: Testing and Evaluation in Foreign/Second Language Programs
German 515: Linguistics for German Language Professionals
German 534: Literacy through Literature
Graduate-level courses in the Department of German Studies
Literature/Culture/Pedagogy Option with Secondary Teaching Certification
3 units German 508: Approaches to German Studies
3 units German 579: Issues/Methods in Post/Secondary Foreign Language Teaching/Learning
3 units German 587: Testing and Evaluation in Foreign/Second Language Programs
3 units German 534: Literacy through Literature or LRC 535: Literacy in a Multicultural Society
3 units German 580: Applied Linguistics for German as a Foreign Language or TTE 539: Recent Research in Teaching and Schooling
3 units German 594b: Practicum/Second language Acquisition and Teaching
3 units German 597b: Workshop/Pedagogy
12 units Graduate-level literature and culture courses in the Department of German Studies
3 units SLAT 615: Second Language Acquisition Theory or EDP 510: Learning Theory in Education
3 units SERP 596c: Introduction to Special Learning Needs in the General Education Secondary Classroom
3 units LRC 516: Structured English Foundations
3 units LRC 517: Structured English Immersion Methods
45 units 16 courses (5 semesters)
12 units TTE 593: Internship (Student Teaching)
Constitution (Online test can be taken within 3 years.)
Students interested in teacher certification should inform the graduate advisor and contact the Director of Admissions, Advising, and Student Services in the College of Education (Tel: 621-7865) upon entering the MA program.
The graduate courses offered by the Department of German Studies are central to the program, and their successful completion is an essential step in preparing for the MA examination. To fulfill the requisite units in German Studies, students may select courses from the following list:
GERMAN STUDIES (GER)
508- Approaches to German Studies (3)
*501- Appropriating and Reshaping the Past (3)
*502- Genre as a Category for Organizing Experience (3)
*503- Erziehung und Bildung in German Culture (3)
*504- 1770-1830: German Literary, Artistic, and Intellectual Currents (3)
*506- Representing the "Other" (3)
*507- Criticism and Creativity in German Culture (3)
*509- Traditions and Modernism (3)
*510- Repression, Revolution, Revision (3)
511- Communication and Miscommunication in Middle High and later German Literature (3)
*512- Minority Discourses (3)
*513- Visual Culture (3)
*515- Linguistics for German-Language Professionals (3)
520- History of the German Language (3)
555- Music and German Literature (3)
575- Advanced Oral Expression and Written Composition (3)
579- Issues in Foreign Language Teaching (3)
*580- Applied Linguistics for Foreign Language Teaching (3)
585- Linguistics and Computer-Assisted Approaches to Literature (3)
587- Testing and Evaluation in Foreign/Second Language Programs (3)
588- German Literary-Political Cabaret (3)
*589- Milestones in German Literature and Culture (3)
*Courses asterixed may be repeated if taught with different contents.
a) Literature (1-6), b) L2 Acquisition and Teaching (1-6), c) Culture (1-6),
d) Linguistics (1-6), e) Translation (1-6)
a) Literature (1-6), b) L2 Acquisition and Teaching (1-6), c) Culture (1-6),
d) Linguistics (1-6), e) Translation (1-6)
a) Literature (1-6), b) Pedagogy (1-6), c) Culture (1-6), d) Linguistics (1-6),
e) Translation (1-6)
a) Literature (3-6), b) Linguistics (3-6), c) Culture (3-6),
d) L2 Acquisition and Teaching (3-6), e) Translation (3-6)
The following cross-listed courses (and any other courses that may be cross-listed with German Studies) as well as Independent Study courses may be taken only with the approval of the Graduate Advisor:
505- History of the English Language (3)
525a-525b- Old English (3)
2. Graduate Assistants in Teaching (GATs)
Candidates seeking a degree in the Department will be considered for Graduate Assistantships in Teaching before other applicants.
The Department normally supports MA degree candidates through graduate assistantships for no more than four semesters. Appointments are made for no more than one year at a time. Reapplication by letter is required for the second year.
All GATs may apply in writing for available summer teaching positions. Selections are made on the basis of departmental need and previous academic and teaching performance.
GATs within the German Studies MA program must take a minimum of 15 units per year within the department.
Independent study courses do not count toward the minimum 15 units that GATs must take during each year of their appointment.
The three hours given for an MA thesis may not count toward the total of 15 units of departmental courses that must be taken each year by GATs.
3. Thesis Option
In addition to the MA examination, candidates may opt to write a thesis. This option should be considered especially by those candidates who intend to continue graduate work beyond the Master’s level. It equips the candidate applying to a doctoral program with solid experience for conducting independent research.
MA candidates may receive three hours of credit for the thesis in their final semester. Students graduating in May must choose a thesis advisor by September 15 of the third semester of graduate study; the advisor will discuss a plan of research with the student. A two-to-three page thesis proposal and a bibliography must be submitted one month later (October 15) to the thesis advisor. The thesis advisor and student will determine the date for the submission of the draft(s) of the thesis. The thesis will be approximately 50-75 pages in length. It is to be completed by April 15. Students graduating in December must choose a thesis advisor by February 1. The thesis proposal and bibliography is to be submitted one month later (March 1) to the thesis advisor. The thesis advisor and student will determine the date for the submission of the draft(s) of the thesis. The thesis will be approximately 50-75 pages in length. It is to be completed by November 15.
4. Independent Studies
While independent studies are an option, they will be very rarely approved for the MA program. Independent study courses do not count toward the minimum 15 units that GATs must take during each year of their appointment. Independent studies may be considered only when a student is interested in pursuing a particular topic that cannot be accommodated within a regularly offered course and may be taken only with the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies.
5. Orientation Meeting
Early in the fall semester, the graduate advisor will organize an orientation meeting for new graduate students. Topics will include:
introduction of faculty and students;
discussion of graduate program expectations;
guidelines for graduate study, with an emphasis on the program of study over four semesters and applicable deadlines.
assignments of faculty and peer mentors
6. Faculty and Peer Mentors
At the beginning of their first semester, graduate students will be assigned a faculty mentor. This faculty member will be available to the student for informal advising and consultation. In addition, each first-year student may request a second-year student as a peer mentor. (Please refer to university website on mentoring).
7. Language Proficiency
A. Non-native speakers of German will be required to demonstrate satisfactory German language proficiency in the following manner. Before appearing for the M.A. Examination, students are required either to pass Goethe-Zertifikat B2 administered by departmental “Prüfungsberechtigte” accredited by the Goethe-Institut, during the first Spring Semester of their studies, or to provide alternative evidence of language proficiency, the validity of which shall be determined by the Graduate Committee of the Department of German Studies. In addition, about fifteen minutes of the M.A. Oral Examination will be conducted in German.
B. Native speakers of German and other non-native speakers of English will be required to demonstrate satisfactory English language proficiency in the following manner. 1. During their first year of studies, students will write one seminar paper in English. 2. When there is concern about the student’s English proficiency, she/he will be asked to take English 407, “Advanced Composition for International Students.” This course will have to be taken by the student as an overload. 3. In addition, about fifteen minutes of the MA Oral Examination will be conducted in English.
8. MA Examinations
Upon completion of course work (or during the semester in which courses will be completed), MA candidates must pass both a written comprehensive and an oral examination.
By the end of the semester before the one in which the examination will be taken, the student must have selected a committee chair and two other faculty members, and have prepared a complete reading list. By the fifth week of the examination semester, the final version of the reading list must be approved by all committee members. The committee members will sign the final reading list.
It is the responsibility of the student to consult with her/his committee members on a regular basis in preparation for the examination. Candidates must meet with the Graduate Advisor by November 1 (March 1 for students taking their exam in the fall) to discuss the format of the examination and the reading list. It is the responsibility of the committee chair to give a copy of each student's approved reading list to the Graduate Advisor, who will set a date for the written examination and — upon successful completion of the written examination — for the oral examination as well. The written examination will take place at the end of March (at the end of the first week in November for those taking the exam in the fall).
The date for the written examination must be set by
October 15 for the Fall Semester and by
March 1 for the Spring Semester
Goals and structure of the MA Examination
The MA Examination is designed to encourage and evaluate bredth and depth in the field of German Studies, as well as in the student's chosen specializations. It is the responsibility of each candidate for the Masters of Arts in German Studies to compile an Individualized Reading List, which will be finalized in consultation with the student's MA Committee. This list is in two parts: 1) a general list that exemplifies historical and generic bredth over the various periods of Germanophone literature and culture and, 2) three thematic lists based on three specific topics within the field of German Studies of the student's choosing, in consultation with the respective committee member who will oversee this thematic list.
For students in the literature/culture track, the reading list contains a minimum of 65 titles by at least 50 authors from the following four groups:
Group 1: 800-1600 — a minimum of 10 authors
Group 2: 1600-1800 — a minimum of 10 authors
Group 3: 1800-1900 — a minimum of 10 authors
Group 4: 1900-present — a minimum of 15 authors
The remaining 20 texts constitute the basis for three thematic lists, which students develop in consultation with their committee members. The general list from Group 1-4 above may of course overlap with the thematic lists. For instance, von Tepl’s Ackermann aus Böhmen (circa 1401) may both represent Group 1 above on the candidate’s general list and also her/his thematic list on “Gender and Marriage” or “Religion and Secularism” in German literary history.
For students in the literature/culture/pedagogy track (including those pursuing Secondary Teaching Certification), the reading list contains a minimum of 45 titles by at least 30 authors: 6 from Groups 1, 2, and 3 listed (above) and 12 from Group 4 (above). The remaining 20 texts on topics relating to pedagogy and applied linguistics will be selected in consultation with the committee member responsible for Second Language Acquisition and Teaching.
The written examination will be five hours in duration. The exam is comprised of 2 questions from each committee member, from which the candidate will choose one question to respond to in essay form. All questions are completed on a single day. Students must log in with the SILLC Graduate Services Coordinator (Ms. Susana Ruiz) when beginning, and log out upon completion. The candidate will be given a blank thumb drive, and will be assigned a computer without Internet connectivity. No books, notes, cellular devices, or other materials may be used. The candidate may not use his / her own computer. Each committee member reads all questions.
In order to be admitted to the oral examination, the candidate must receive a “Pass” on the written examination. Upon successful completion of the written exam, a date will be set for the student’s oral exam, which should take place around the middle of April (prior to Thanksgiving for students taking the exam in the fall). The oral exam offers the candidate the opportunity to demonstrate her/his capacity to 1) synthesize and make connections between different areas in the field of German Studies, 2) to explore individual topics in depth, and 3) to clarify any aspect of her/his argumentation in the written exam. At least fifteen minutes of the oral examination will be conducted in German for non-native speakers of German, and in English for non-native speakers of English. The examining committee may confer the grade of “Pass with distinction” on those candidates whose performance on the written and oral examinations is exceptional.
(Should the candidate not pass the written or oral examination, s/he may retake at the discretion of the committee after a minimum interval of four months. In this case of the retaken oral examination, the presence of a Graduate College Representative is required. The candidate may not retake either the written or the oral examination more than once.)