German Graduate Advisor
Dr. Patricia Simpson
1124 Oldfather Hall

Graduate Studies MA information

Graduate application

The UNL Department of Modern Languages and Literatures offers a stimulating environment for graduate work in German. The program emphasizes proficiency in major areas of German literature and pedagogy; it includes courses in 16th-century literature, Baroque, Enlightenment, and Age of Goethe, 19th- century literature with emphasis on Romanticism and Realism, and 20th-century literature including GDR-Literature. Courses and seminars offered represent a spectrum of broad topics and highly specialized themes. Emphasis is placed on discussions, reports, and close work with professors. Core courses are supplemented by department-wide courses in second language acquisition, literary theory, and cultural studies.

Distinctive Features

The graduate program in German offers the opportunity to take comparative courses in literature and philosophy as well as courses in literary theory, advanced pedagogy, and women’s studies. The Department organizes an annual series of colloquia in which faculty and graduate students present papers reporting on their current research. Students and faculty organize a film club and informal gatherings for discussion, dramatic readings or music. The Stammtisch offers students an opportunity to use their German in a casual setting. Both undergraduate and graduate students, as well as some faculty members, take part in the Wednesday afternoon sessions which are held in a downtown location within walking distance of campus. The Department offers a congenial atmosphere and encourages a close working relationship between students and faculty. Graduate students receive economic support from the Department to present their research at conferences.

Double Major Masters in German and in Foreign Language Pedagogy

The Departments of Modern Languages and Literatures (Arts and Sciences) and the Department of Teaching, Learning and Teaching Education (College of Education and Human Sciences) at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln offer a Double Major Masters in German and German Language Pedagogy. This program offers students the opportunity to pursue studies in content and pedagogy, while gaining hands-on teaching experience. Participants gain in-depth knowledge of German language, literature and culture while learning the theory and practice of teaching German, including optimal integration of technology in the classroom.

During the double major program students have the opportunity to complete all requirements for a Nebraska teaching certificate. If doing so, the program takes three years to complete. If not pursuing a Nebraska teaching certificate, students take two years to complete the double major program.

German MA Degree

The program of study leading to a M.A. degree in German takes two years and includes courses in German literature and language/linguistics, with possibilities for collateral work in other fields. All work required for a M.A. must be completed within six consecutive calendar years. The degree is excellent preparation for either a career in secondary education or for further graduate study at the doctoral level. Two courses are required of every person enrolled in a graduate program of study leading to the M.A. degree. These courses, Introduction to Literary Theory (MODL 870) and Applied Linguistics and Methodology (MODL 880), provide an essential foundation in the intellectual context and the practical application of knowledge in teaching a foreign language. A waiver may be obtained if similar coursework has been completed elsewhere.

MA Options

The German MA program offers a certain flexibility which allows students the options of either writing a thesis, pursuing a minor or taking more graduate-only courses. You will want to discuss these options with your advisor to determine which option best fulfills your professional objectives. Once you file your Memorandum of Courses, you may not change the option you have chosen.

All MA options require 36 hours of graduate coursework and successful completion of comprehensive examinations.

  • Option I requires writing a MA thesis.
  • Option II requires completing a graduate minor (usually between 9-12 credit hours). One member of your committee must be from the department offering the minor. The minor should be in an area offering a graduate degree at UNL, such as Women’s and Gender Studies, Teaching or English. Undergraduate programs cannot be selected as a minor. 
  • Option III requires more graduate courses in your major, German. MA TimelineWhen you enter the MA program, the first person to contact is the Graduate Advisor for German. The German Graduate Advisor will discuss your interests, previous experience, and the various options available to you, requirements, deadlines, and scholarship opportunities.

MA Timeline

Beginning in the second semester, as you proceed with your coursework, the faculty member you choose as Chair of your committee becomes your primary advisor with regard to the content and completion of your program, which includes coursework, comprehensive exams, and with Option I, your thesis. At the end of your second semester, you also file your Memorandum of Courses with the Office of Graduate Studies.

The MA degree culminates in a set of 3 comprehensive exams at the end of the second year. The exams consist of three essays, each of which you will write over the course of one week. Each exam will build on and synthesize your coursework and fields of study.