Graduate Programs

Welcome to the Graduate Program in German Literature, Culture and Theory.

The teaching of German at the University of Toronto goes back to the 1840s and is thus almost as old as the University itself. The Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures has been conferring graduate degrees for over 100 years, and although much has changed since the first PhD was granted in 1912, the department has maintained a strong presence in the discipline internationally. Over the past two decades, the graduate program has established a particularly productive constellation of postcolonial/colonial studies, literature and philosophy, transnational studies, and film studies. In preparation for their future careers as leaders in the field, graduate students also receive training in language teaching and curriculum development. The department is one of the few in North America to offer exposure to the entire span of German literature and culture from the Medieval period to the present. Since 2013, the department offers the unique opportunity to pursue graduate studies in Yiddish.

The M.A. Program consists of two intensive semesters of core courses, innovative elective seminars, and directed study. A major research paper option that replaces two of the seven required semester courses is also possible. M.A. students may concentrate in two fields – Germany Literature, Culture and Theory or Yiddish Studies.

Qualified M.A. students may be offered funding in the form of teaching opportunities and internal fellowships.

The Ph.D. Program consists of eight semester courses beyond the M.A. and is designed to be completed in five to six years. In addition to topical seminars, directed study opportunities, and a defined number of outside electives in relevant fields, students must also pass a qualifying examination and complete the Ph.D. thesis. The thesis process includes the defense of a thesis proposal and the presentation of work in progress before the department.

The Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures offers Ph.D. students a generous funding package that is guaranteed for five years. Sixth-year students are eligible for a doctoral completion grant. Once admitted to the program, students receive support in applying to a number of attractive university and government fellowships and grants.

Graduate students in the Program in German Literature, Culture and Theory enjoy a collegial environment, study in small seminar classes, and close consultation with faculty members.  Our core faculty of nine full graduate faculty are recognized for their scholarship and teaching. Over twenty affiliate members in areas such as Comparative Literature, Drama, History, Music, Philosophy, Political Science and other disciplines contribute additional expertise and depth to the graduate program. Close ties also exist to the Centre for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies. The University of Toronto’s library and media holdings are the most extensive in Canada and among the top three in North America. The department also benefits from the presence in Toronto of high-quality programming from the resident Goethe Institute and German Consulate General. The outstanding programming and resources of the Toronto International Film Festival (including the TIFF Cinematheque and the Film Reference Library), also contributes to one of the most vibrant cultural scenes in North America.