Teaching assistants must be in full-time residence for at least two semesters. Completion of the M.A. normally requires two years.
- 6001 (or test), 7500 (if a Graduate Teaching Assistant)
- Competency in an additional modern foreign or classical language (2002, 2500 or equivalent, with a grade of B or better)
Students with an emphasis in Literature must take at least one course in linguistics.
Students with an emphasis in Linguistics must take at least one course in literature or film.
No more than one Directed Readings/Projects (GRMN 8160, 3 hours) may count towards the total number of hours required for the M.A. degree.
Credits required by the Graduate School for M.A. degree: 30 (min. 24 in course work/max. 6 thesis or research). Students pursuing the non-thesis option are required to complete a minimum of 33 hours of course work in German Studies or Linguistics, excluding courses normally taken in connection with the thesis, such as GRMN 7000 Master's Research or GRMN 7300 Master's Thesis.
The final examination for the Master's degree consists of a written exam and a written thesis followed by an oral defense. The thesis will be written under the direction of a faculty member, whom the student should select in the course of the third semester of study in the program. In addition to the major professor (thesis director), the M.A. Committee will consist of two readers, whom the student should appoint in consultation with the thesis director by the end of the third semester of study. The major professor and readers are also charged with the evaluation of the written exam.
The Written M.A. Exam
The purpose of the M.A. exam is to test the student's knowledge of German literature or Germanic linguistics as well as of a self-selected area of expertise. The exam is based on:
- A core reading list (Core Reading List in Literature, Core Reading List in Linguistics) is provided to the student upon acceptance into the program. The reading list is meant to be studied independently and should be prepared in full by the student for the exam. Students prepare the list that reflects their area of concentration in either literature or linguistics. Students may request the substitution of readings from their respective reading list with works from either the same period or area similar in scope or content. Requests for substitutions shall be made in consultation with the major professor and will have to be approved by the entire committee.
- A supplemental reading list in an area of specialization of the student's choice, preferably related to the student's thesis topic. This reading list should be compiled by the student in consultation with the major professor and be distributed to all members of the M.A. Committee upon completion of the third semester of study.
The exam is comprised of questions from the three different professors serving on the student's M.A. Committee. It is three hours in length. Two hours of exam time should be devoted to questions concerning the core reading list (a), and one hour to questions concerning the supplemental reading list (b). The major professor will be responsible for questions related to the supplemental reading list.
Further specifications for the M.A. exam are as follows. The exam:
- will be given in the department on the first Thursday in February
- may be written by hand or on a computer
- may be written in either English or German
The student's M.A. Committee will vote on the entire exam. A two-thirds majority constitutes a pass.
The M.A. Thesis
The purpose of the M.A. thesis is to apply advanced research skills and demonstrate the ability to analyze a given subject critically and in-depth.
Specifications for the thesis are as follows:
- focuses on a topic in German Literature, German Studies, Germanic Linguistics, or Pedagogy.
- may be the result of a substantially revised research paper or an independent project agreed upon in consultation with the faculty member directing the thesis.
- must be at least 30 pages in length (in accordance with graduate school guidelines for formatting), excluding bibliography, dedication, table of contents, and appendices not belonging to the body of the thesis.
- must be turned in to readers at least seven (7) days before the scheduled defense and fourteen (14) days before the student's submission of the thesis to the graduate school.
- may be written in either English or German.
Students writing a thesis must complete at least 3 credit hours of GRMN 7300 Master's Thesis. The student must defend the thesis in an oral defense. While the Graduate School requires only a pass/no pass decision for thesis and oral defense, the department will internally evaluate the quality of the student's work in the following three categories: pass with distinction, pass, and no pass. This evaluation shall be announced to the student at the end of the oral defense.
The department offers graduate students the option of a non-thesis M.A. Students who select this option will have to submit a comprehensive portfolio in lieu of the thesis and complete an additional nine credit hours of coursework in German Studies or Linguistics, excluding courses normally taken in connection with the thesis, such as GRMN 7000 Master's Research or GRMN 7300 Master's Thesis. Further specifications are as follows: In principle, graduate students selecting the non-thesis option shall abide by the rules and adhere to stipulations given for the exam and thesis (as outlined above), including the timeline. Accordingly, following their first year of study in the program, students will select an examination committee consisting of three faculty members, one of which shall serve as chair of the committee. The two other committee members shall be appointed by the student in consultation with the committee chair.
The Written M.A. Exam
Students will undergo the written examination in their area of specialization in accordance with the M.A. exam guidelines, preparing for an examination in either German literature or linguistics. However, the examinee's supplemental reading list shall be comprised of readings from two graduate seminars taken in the program instead of a single list related to the student's thesis topic.
The Student Portfolio
At least fourteen (14) days prior to the scheduled oral defense, the examinee will submit to the committee members a portfolio consisting of two seminar research papers, a critical essay of 6-8 pages reflecting on the research conducted, and materials related to achievements in research and/or teaching.
The essay should be written in consultation with the major professor who should also be consulted with regard to the content of the portfolio. Materials included in the portfolio do not have to match the specific expertise of committee members.
The student must defend the portfolio in an one-hour oral defense which will serve to evaluate and critique the student's work. While the Graduate School requires only a pass/no pass decision for the defense, the department will internally evaluate the quality of the student's work in the following three categories: pass with distinction, pass, and no pass. This evaluation shall be announced to the student at the end of the oral examination.
For more information, or for questions regarding specific requirements, please contact Prof. Alexander Sager (542-6211, firstname.lastname@example.org).