Willkommen! The Department of German Studies offers MA and PhD degree programs with a focus on German literature, culture, and applied linguistics.

Two smiling students sitting in front of a computer

Our graduate students represent the diverse lives, identities, cultures, and communities that make up the German-speaking world. Join us!

The University of Arizona Department of German Studies offers two graduate degree programs: a Master of Arts degree in German Studies and a PhD/Dr. phil. dual degree program in Transcultural German StudiesOur department is an AATG Center of Excellence and has a sizable number of full-time faculty, of which approximately half focus on applied linguistics/pedagogy and the other half on literature, culture, and film. In our research, teaching, and advising, we cross traditional thresholds between “literature” and “linguistics” as well as other disciplinary boundaries and encourage our students to pursue their own innovative interests. Because of the size of our faculty, we can offer the whole array of historical perspectives in literary and cultural studies from the medieval period to the present, in addition to approaches to environmental humanities, gender studies, digital humanities, Black studies, Jewish studies, migration and decolonization, and theories of multilingualism.

Our MA program offers tracks in literature/culture, pedagogy, and translation and comes with intensive mentoring and support for a range of professional futures. Our Secondary Teaching Certification program culminates in US high school teaching credentials, including a semester-long internship. Our dual PhD/Dr. phil. degree program in Transcultural German Studies includes a year of coursework in Germany, either at the Universität Leipzig or the Universität zu Köln. All admitted PhD students spend two semesters in their second year at one of these two institutions and can graduate with both the US Ph.D. and the German Dr. phil. degree as a result. Please see the Graduate Handbook for all program details. 

We offer comprehensive financial support through Graduate Teaching Assistantships (to teach German language courses and/or serve as Teaching Assistants in larger General Education course taught in English), which include a salary, tuition waiver, and health insurance, and additional scholarship optionsAs we prepare graduate students as scholars and teachers, our curriculum is complemented by comprehensive pedagogical training that includes both courses in teaching methods and active teaching support. 

Tucson is a multicultural border city in the Arizona-Sonora Desert with around one million people who speak English, Spanish, Navajo… and German. Graduate students at Arizona come from countries around the world—in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Europe. We pride ourselves on fostering a transcultural community where diverse experiences, backgrounds, and research interests are respected and actively mentored. Faculty and students interact in many ways that go beyond teaching and research, such as colloquia and departmental events. If you are interested in applying, check out our Virtual Tour to meet your future colleagues!  

MA Program

The MA in German Studies prepares you to analyze critically and synthesizing various aspects of literary studies, cultural studies, theoretical and applied linguistics, studies in Second Language Acquisition & Teaching, and related professional disciplines. 

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PhD Program

With its German partner universities in Leipzig and Cologne, the dual PhD/Dr. phil. degree program in Transcultural German Studies offers interdisciplinary doctoral training in two rigorous academic environments, while providing intensive mentoring opportunities and comprehensive financial support. 

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If you have any questions, please contact the Director of Graduate Studies.  


Kyung Lee Gagum | PhD
There were three reasons why I chose to pursue my PhD in Transcultural German Studies at the University of Arizona. The first reason was the opportunity to study a the University of Arizona in Tucson and at the University of Leipzig in Leipzig, Germany. I have had the opportunity to study not only under professors at both universities but also work and collaborate with them. Due to the uniqueness of the PhD program, I have been able to gain experience in teaching students in Germany and in the US. This is a valuable experience that has proved to be vital for my career and in my research. The second reason was my research topic. My dissertation explores the German literary influences in Manga and Mahwa. Central to the dissertation are the Grimm's fairy tales. Remarkably, these tales have been in the Japanese reading culture since 1887 and have permeated the Japanese canon. My third reason for undertaking this program of study was the opportunity to pursue a dual degree and to receive doctoral degrees from the University of Arizona and the University of Leipzig.