The Department of Germanic Languages offers the Master of Arts (M.A.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees in Germanic Languages.
For information on the Masters Degree
For information on the Doctoral Degree
For information on certificates in related fields that can be pursued while studying for the Ph.D. in Germanic Languages
For the official Graduate Division Program Requirements
For the departmental handbook, Academic Policies for Graduate Students
In addition to the University's minimum requirements all applicants are expected to submit: GRE scores (General), three letters of recommendation, a writing sample, and a statement of purpose.
M.A.: Although a degree in German, Germanic linguistics, or linguistics with a minor in German is preferred, the department accepts applicants with a variety of undergraduate backgrounds. Applicants with deficiencies in undergraduate preparation are considered but if admitted are required to take remedial courses, as recommended by the graduate adviser.
Ph.D.: An M.A. degree in German or a Germanic Language from an accredited U.S. Institution is required for admission to the doctoral program. Also acceptable are European degrees such as German or Austrian Staatsexam, a German or Austrian Magister, or a Swiss Lizenziat. A German Zwischenprüfung is not acceptable.
Applicants with an M.A. in fields other than German (for example, in Comparative Literature or in Linguistics) are required to pass the written part of the M.A. comprehensive examination in German or Scandinavian, as applicable, within three quarters after admission to the department.
For full consideration, applications must be submitted by December 15th. Late applications may be considered, but the chances of receiving financial support are reduced sharply.
There are three M.A. plans that differ with respect to course requirements and comprehensive examinations. Plan A is for students who plan to terminate their studies with the M.A. degree and an instructional credential. Plan B is for students whose main interests are in literature, culture, or German studies and who plan to proceed toward the Ph.D. degree. Plan C is for students whose main interests are in German linguistics and who plan to proceed toward the Ph.D. degree.
Foreign Language Requirement
A reading knowledge of a language other than German or English must be demonstrated before the chair can approve the master's advancement to candidacy petition. This requirement can be fulfilled by receiving a grade of B or better in one of these courses: Dutch 103A, Dutch 103B, Dutch 103C, Dutch 120, Dutch 131, French 1G, French 2G, Old Norse 151, Old Norse 152, the fifth quarter course in the chosen language or an upper division literature course in which texts are read in the chosen language. Students also may fulfill the foreign language requirement by demonstrating to the satisfaction of the Director of Graduate Studies that equivalent requirements were met at another post-secondary institution or in some other way. The choice of language and the means of fulfillment of the requirement must be agreed upon in advance by the student and the Director.
Plan A requires a minimum of nine upper division and graduate courses, of which at least six courses must be graduate level (200- or 500-series). In addition, German 134, and 150 (or equivalent) are required. Undergraduate credit for these courses is applicable in satisfaction of these requirements as long as the courses are taken while in graduate status.
Plan B requires a minimum of nine upper division and graduate courses, of which at least six courses must be graduate level (200- or 500-series). One seminar must be included. The departmental core curriculum must be fulfilled in the first year of study. In the first year incoming M.A. students are obliged to complete at least one course in the each of the following areas: (a) literature and culture before 1700; (b) literature and culture after 1700; (c) critical theory; (d) German linguistics. In each case courses meeting the requirement for the area are designated yearly in departmental course listings. Eligible courses in literature cover a substantial historical period, movement, or topic. Eligible courses in Germanic linguistics might be in the area of history and structure of the language, or theory.
In addition, all students are required to take the German 495 teaching practicum in the first quarter of teaching.
Plan C requires a minimum of nine upper division and graduate courses beyond the language requirements, of which at least six courses must be graduate level (200- or 500-series) and of which up to four courses may be from other departments in a relevant area (e.g., linguistics, applied linguistics, Indo-European linguistics, Romance linguistics). German 217, C238, and one seminar must be included. Students in Plan C are required to fulfill a modified version of the departmental core curriculum that requires them to take designated courses meeting the requirements in two of the following areas: (a) literature and culture before 1700; (b) literature and culture after 1700; (c) critical theory.
Students in Plans A and B may take German 596 twice before the M.A. degree requirements are completed; however, only one 596 course may be counted toward the degree requirements, including the graduate course requirement. Students in Plan C and allied fields may take German 596 twice (eight units) for degree credit; four units of this credit may be applied toward the graduate course requirement. Students may enroll in up to 12 units of German 597 or 598 but not before the quarter in which the course requirements are fulfilled. German 597 and 598 may not be applied toward course requirements for the master's degree.
Examinations are offered each quarter, beginning with the written part during the fifth week of each quarter. Under exceptional circumstances, the chair of the department will receive petitions for M.A. examinations during the summer recess.
One examination committee is appointed for each quarter. The members of the committee administer the written and oral examinations.
Students in Plans A and B select two out of six possible areas of concentration on which to be examined: (1) German literature and culture after 1700; (2) German literature and culture before 1700; (3) history and structure of Germanic languages; (4) Dutch or Afrikaans literature and culture; (5) old Norse literature and culture; (6) critical theory and intellectual history.
For Plan A, students must choose history and structure of Germanic languages as one area of study.
Students select a primary concentration on which they are examined for three hours. They also select a secondary concentration on which they are examined for two hours.
For each examination, one month in advance, students are provided with three broad topics. They are examined on specific questions relating to those topics. The examination in the secondary field follows in the month after the examination in the primary area, and is structured in the same manner.
A one-hour oral examination follows in the week after the completion of the second examination.
For Plan C, the M.A. examination consists of three written examinations of two hours each, followed by a one-hour oral examination. Students are examined in the following areas: one examination on the history of Germanic languages, theory, and historical linguistics; one examination on the structure of German languages, and in theory and synchronic linguistics; one examination on languages and dialects. Students may select one modern language, one philological language, and a third language of their choice. This examination includes translation and parsing. To continue toward the Ph.D. degree, the student must receive a pass with the recommendation to continue.
After the written examinations have been taken, for those in Plan B or Plan C, the M.A. committee decides whether the student may proceed to the oral examination. If the student fails the oral examination, the M.A. committee decides whether the entire examination must be repeated or only the oral portion. The examination may be repeated only once without petition.
If the student applies for the M.A. degree under Plan B (to proceed toward the Ph.D.) and is awarded a terminal M.A. degree, the examinations may be repeated if the student chooses not to have the M.A. degree officially awarded before the reexamination.
In lieu of the written examination requirement, students may submit a thesis. Students in Plan B who elect to submit a thesis must, however, complete a two-hour oral examination in the area of their thesis as well as in two other areas of concentration in order to be approved for further doctoral study. Students in Plan C who elect the thesis option are required to take one two-hour written examination in addition to the thesis.
The following additional rules apply to the thesis option:
(1) The thesis committee must consist of three members, one of whom serves as director. The student selects the director, and the other two members are appointed by the chair in consultation with the student.
(2) No committee member from outside the department is required, except in the case of Plan B. For this plan, one member must be from the related field.
(3) The thesis committee should be established no later than the end of the fourth quarter of the candidate's graduate studies. At that time, the thesis committee must approve the plan for the thesis in writing and submit a copy to the graduate adviser.
(4) No 598 course is required, although students may take one such course in preparation for the degree.
(5) Candidates who fail the examination may repeat it once without petitioning the department. The examination must be repeated no later than one quarter following the quarter in which the first examination was failed.
(6) The Registrar's online calendar specifies the date for filing of the final draft of a thesis with the student's committee and the date on which revised and completed theses must be filed in the library. The examinations must be taken prior to the date on which revised and completed theses must be filed in the library.
The estimated time to the M.A. degree for full-time students with no deficiencies upon admission to graduate status and who are taking a full course load is three to five quarters; estimated time to the degree for teaching assistants is six quarters.
Students must establish a three-member faculty guidance committee, in consultation with their adviser, no later than one year after completing the M.A. examination (or within one year of admission with an M.A. degree). Students who fail to do so within this time limit are not be eligible for teaching assistantships or fellowships.
The composition of the guidance committee must be filed in writing with the Director of Graduate Studies. Students may ask one member from outside the department to serve on the committee if there is a programmatic need. Any changes in this committee must be approved by the graduate adviser and the faculty concerned, and filed with the Director of Graduate Studies. The director of this committee in most cases is the faculty member with whom the student would like to write her/his dissertation. The director must in all cases be a member of the department.
Foreign Language Requirement
In addition to the first language requirement for the M.A. degree, doctoral students are required to fulfill a second requirement in one of the following ways: (1) demonstrate a reading knowledge of a second foreign language in accord with the same criteria used for the M.A. foreign language requirement; (2) demonstrate a superior proficiency in the language used for the M.A. degree by receiving a grade of B or better in three upper division or graduate literature courses in which texts are read in that language; (3) demonstrate competence in the discursive rudiments of one other discipline by receiving a grade of B or better in at least three upper division or graduate courses in the history and structure of a discipline relating to the student's research; (4) demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Director of Graduate Studies that equivalent requirements were met at another post-secondary institution or in some other way. The means of fulfillment of this requirement must be agreed upon in advance by the student and the Director.
Students who specialize in Scandinavian may not use Swedish, Norwegian, or Danish for the second language. Students whose primary field of concentration is Icelandic or Finnish may not use Icelandic or Finnish for this requirement.
Students must have completed eight graduate courses (at least four in the department) beyond the M.A. degree, three of which must be seminars. If students have already taken a seminar in preparation for their M.A. degree, only two of these eight courses must be seminars.
Students may take German 596 twice before the Ph.D. degree requirements are completed; however, only one 596 course may be counted toward the degree requirements. Students in allied fields may take German 596 more than once for degree credit. Students may enroll in up to 12 units of German 597 but not before the quarter in which the course requirements are fulfilled. German 597 may not be applied toward course requirements for the doctoral degree.
Written and Oral Qualifying Examinations
Academic Senate regulations require all doctoral students to complete and pass University written and oral qualifying examinations prior to doctoral advancement to candidacy. Also, under Senate regulations the University oral qualifying examination is open only to the student and appointed members of the doctoral committee. In addition to University requirements, some graduate programs have other pre-candidacy examination requirements. What follows in this section is how students are required to fulfill all of these requirements for this doctoral program.
Students must (1) pass the graduate reading examination in their first foreign language; (2) pass an interdepartmental reading examination either in a second foreign language or in the discursive field of their choice; (3) successfully complete three seminars; (4) pass the qualifying examinations. Upon majority vote of the committee, the written examinations or any of their parts may be repeated once. Initial reading lists should be submitted to all committee members no later than the tenth week of the fourth quarter. A mid-quarter meeting should take place between the student and all committee members in the quarter preceding the quarter in which the written examination is taken. The purpose of this meeting is to finalize the reading lists. No substantial changes should be made to the reading lists after this meeting.
For the written qualifying examinations, students in literature, culture, and German studies are expected to cover six different areas in three examinations, each of which is devoted to two of the six areas they have chosen. The six areas should include one author, one genre, one period, one theoretical or historical problem, and two special topics of their choosing. One examination lasts five hours. The other two examinations last three hours each.
In determining how they will satisfy the six-area requirements, students should keep in mind the structure of the examination: since each examination will cover two areas, the two areas in each examination must make sense together. Regardless of the format chosen, students must take written examinations on campus, no later than the eighth week of the twelfth quarter beyond completion of the B.A. degree (which will normally be the sixth quarter beyond completion of the M.A.) and they must be taken within one week. One week after this examination, students take a one-hour oral examination covering the written material presented.
For the written qualifying examination, students in linguistics complete a three-hour examination in five target languages, and a second three-hour examination in linguistics theory. Students in Old Norse are examined for two hours in language, two hours in theoretical problems of interpretation, and two hours on issues concerning social and historical context. Students in Scandinavian complete a three-hour examination in their major Scandinavian literature, and a second three-hour examination in the other two Scandinavian literatures.
Following successful completion of the written examinations, students in literature, culture and German studies must prepare a dissertation proposal and pass a two-hour University Oral Qualifying Examination. This examination must be taken by the end of the first week of the thirteen quarter of registration beyond the bachelor's degree. Also, students must take the University Oral Qualifying Examination no later than the end of the first week of the quarter that follows their completion of the written examinations.
Following successful completion of the written examinations, students in linguistics, Old Norse, and Scandinavian take a two-hour University Oral Qualifying Examination.
After passing the written and oral qualifying examinations, students enroll in German 599 or Scandinavian 599 for all subsequent quarters of graduate study.
Advancement to Candidacy
Students are advanced to candidacy and awarded the Candidate in Philosophy (C.Phil.) degree upon successful completion of the written and oral qualifying examinations.
Every doctoral degree program requires the completion of an approved dissertation that demonstrates the student's ability to perform original, independent research and constitutes a distinct contribution to knowledge in the principal field of study.
Final Oral Examination (Defense of Dissertation)
Not required for all students in the program. The decision as to whether a defense is required is made by the doctoral committee.
The estimated time for the Ph.D. degree for full-time students with no deficiencies upon admission to the Ph.D. program and taking a full course load, is 12 quarters (after the M.A. degree).
Termination of Graduate Study and Appeal of Termination
A student who fails to meet the above requirements may be recommended for termination of graduate study. A graduate student may be disqualified from continuing in the graduate program for a variety of reasons. The most common is failure to maintain the minimum cumulative grade point average (3.00) required by the Academic Senate to remain in good standing (some programs require a higher grade point average). Other examples include failure of examinations, lack of timely progress toward the degree and poor performance in core courses. Probationary students (those with cumulative grade point averages below 3.00) are subject to immediate dismissal upon the recommendation of their department. University guidelines governing termination of graduate students, including the appeal procedure, are outlined in Standards and Procedures for Graduate Study at UCLA.
Special Departmental or Program Policy
A student whose grade point average falls below 3.00 for two consecutive terms is ordinarily recommended for termination. Every recommendation to terminate a student for reasons other than failure to maintain a grade point average of 3.00 is discussed and decided upon by the departmental faculty. A student may appeal a recommendation for termination in writing.
A doctoral student who fails any part of the written or oral qualifying examinations and who has exhausted or been denied the opportunity to retake all or part of the examinations is recommended for termination. A doctoral candidate who does not complete the dissertation, including the defense (if required), within five years after passing the qualifying examinations, is subject to termination. A doctoral candidate who does not submit a first draft of the dissertation to the doctoral committee chair within three years after passing the qualifying examinations is subject to termination.
Certificates in Related Programs
While pursuing the Ph.D. in German it is possible to work towards a graduate certificate in a related field. Such a certificate indicates that you have taken a certain number of courses and acquired a more than casual competence in that other field. For information on such certificates, follow the link to the program in which you are interested
Program in Experimental Critical Theory
The UCLA Program in Experimental Critical Theory is open to graduate students enrolled in any Ph.D. or MFA program at UCLA, and offers the Graduate Certificate in Experimental Critical Theory. Requirements for the certificate include the two quarter core seminar, offered winter and spring quarters. The Program also sponsors the twice quarterly ECT Colloquium and various lectures and conferences. More information about the program, the full requirements for the certificate, and how to apply to it is available at http://ect.humnet.ucla.edu
Program in Indo-European Studies
The UCLA Program in Indo-European Studies recognizes that graduate students from other departments may choose to take significant coursework in Indo-European Studies. Those who wish to receive formal recognition for such study may now earn a graduate certificate in Indo-European Studies. The graduate certificate requires a minimum of six courses. More information about the program and the certificate requirements is available at the PIES website.
Department of Gender Studies
The UCLA Department of Gender Studies offers a Concentration in Gender Studies to allow graduate students enrolled in UCLA departments, programs and professional schools to acquire expertise and a credential in Gender Studies. To earn the credential, students must take 12 units of 200-level Gender Studies courses and submit a Gender Studies-related major research paper. Upon completion of the requirements, Gender Studies will furnish each concentrator with a letter attesting to their basic competency in graduate work in Gender Studies. For a more detailed description of the program and its requirements, see the information on the Gender Studies website.