Welcome to the German Language and Literature Program!


The Inter-University Doctoral Consortium (IUDC) offers eligible students the opportunity to take graduate courses at other distinguished universities throughout the greater New York area. The IUDC is open to doctoral students who have completed at least one year of full time study toward the Ph.D. Students in the program may take up to two courses at these partner institutions, after consultation with the Graduate Director. Participating schools are:

  • Columbia University, GSAS
  • CUNY Graduate Center
  • Fordham University GSAS
  • Graduate Faculty, New School University
  • New York University, GSAS
  • Princeton University-The Graduate School
  • Rutgers University, School of Graduate Studies
  • Stony Brook University
  • Teachers College, Columbia University

More information can be found at http://gsnb.rutgers.edu/academics/inter-university-doctoral-consortium.

Financial Aid

The Department considers all qualified current and incoming graduate students for various forms of financial support, including the prestigious Charlotte M. Craig Graduate Fellowship in German ($27,000/year + tuition coverage); the Excellence Fellowship ($26,000/year + tuition coverage); the Max Kade Scholarship in German Studies, the Theodor Fontane Fellowship; and the Juliana Ratych Memorial Fellowship. Students may also be considered for a number of other University fellowships that carry a range of stipends. Fellowship packages, of up to five years, typically include one or more years of a Teaching Assistantship (approximately $26,000/year). This includes tuition coverage, health benefits identical to that of faculty, and a stipend.

Students may also have the opportunity to serve as a PTL (part-time lecturer), renewable every semester, as an instructor in the department's undergraduate summer programs at Rutgers, or as a director of the German Housing in Frelinghuysen Hall throughout the academic year.

In addition, the Department actively supports student applications for outside fellowships such as those from the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) and the Fulbright Commission, and offers financial aid to graduate students presenting papers at national conferences.

Outside Fellowships

Erna Neuse Prize for Best Graduate Essay in German Studies

Founded in honor of Erna Kritsch Neuse, Professor II in the Department of German at Rutgers, this prize recognizes excellence in graduate studies in the German program at Rutgers. Professor Neuse was for many years Graduate Director in the Department. She retired in 1996. All essays written within the context of any graduate seminar in the German program at Rutgers are eligible for nomination. Essays will be judged for originality, soundness of research, and quality of writing. Each professor may nominate the best one or two essays per seminar. The Prize carries an award of $100, as well as a certificate.

Applicants to the German Department should have a solid background in German language and culture or related fields. Fellowships awarded by the German Department combine stipends and teaching appointments and cover tuition and health care. In addition, departmental funds are used to support students’ summer projects, conference travel, and research. Competitive university grants are available for research and writing.


Applications are due January 15th. We will continue to review applications on a rolling basis. 


For application forms and instructions please see the Graduate Admissions Web page.

Application Requirements

  • a statement of purpose, indicating current academic interests and long-term goals.
  • a writing sample (15 pages) in German or English, demonstrating the applicant's abilities as a literary scholar
  • three letters of recommendation from persons familiar with the applicant's work
  • all undergraduate and graduate academic transcripts
  • TOEFL scores required for international students
  • completed application and fee as per the School of Graduate Studies.

The GRE is no longer required. For questions and inquiries, please contact the Acting Graduate Director, Prof. Michael Levine at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Programs of Study

Doctor of Philosophy Degree in German Literature

Master of Arts Degree in German Literature

Master of Arts in Teaching German

German Grad Students

Internationally recognized for its cutting-edge research and teaching, the German Department at Rutgers has undergone a remarkable transformation in recent years: We emphasize interdisciplinary modes of inquiry and foster excellence in research and pedagogy at all levels of instruction. Our internationally recognized faculty offers a wide range of expertise in German intellectual history from the 18th to the 20th century; the Age of Goethe; Romanticism; Realism; German Jewish Studies; film and media studies; psychoanalysis; gender studies; 20th century avant-gardes; Frankfurt School; Holocaust studies and the poetics of witnessing; 21st century literature, pop literature, and contemporary German theater. Faculty research is complemented by regular distinguished visiting professors and scholars-in-residence. Our graduate students cover a wide range of topics in their classes, and this variety is reflected in the breadth of their dissertations, which combine ethnography, postcolonialism, hybridity, visual culture, and the fluidity of gender roles with the analysis of literary texts. Students regularly host conferences; their foci in recent years have included “Ecstasy – Ekstase - Rausch,” “Shock,” “Apocalyptic Narratives,” “Economic HiStories,” and “Intermediality”; they invite fellow graduate students from neighboring universities in order to foster exchange and collaborations; they participate at the Festival for New Literature, an event that brings together Swiss, German, and Austrian writers of contemporary fiction with American audiences; and they have made good use of Rutgers’ membership in the Inter-University Doctoral Consortium, building their network to faculty at Princeton, Columbia, NYU and the University of Pennsylvania. Furthermore, students strengthen their teaching portfolio by assisting in large content courses taught by faculty and in the FUBIS summer program in Berlin. Since 2018, the German Department and the Ruhr-Universität-Bochum offer a joint Summer Academy on “Media Philology” for graduate students and faculty from both Departments as well as selected guest speakers.

  pdf 2023 Call for PhD Applications (16.59 MB)

For further information , please contact Acting Graduate Director Prof. Michael Levine at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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