Focused learning in an opportunity-rich environment

Our graduate programs in French, German and Spanish immerse students in a stimulating environment that combines the advantages of a large, multilingual department in a comprehensive state university with the relative autonomy of three distinct language sections.

While pursuing their degree in their chosen target language, all of our graduate students work together to share their knowledge and coursework, participate in department-wide events and exchange common interests and interact with faculty in multiple languages. We strengthen their learning through foundation courses in literary criticism and methods of teaching foreign languages.

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Our core program of courses in literature covers the range of literary culture from contemporary fiction to medieval romances, from Africa to Canada, with, of course, a focus on France. Courses in second language acquisition and literary criticism round off this core.

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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; with your choice of specialization. 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.

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Our graduate program in Spanish offers you the opportunity of critically engaging Hispanic literature and culture. You will be able to work with a dynamic and professionally active faculty with a wide range of scholarly interests, ranging from early modern literature to contemporary culture in Spanish and Latin America. Come and be part of an interdisciplinary community directly relevant to the future of the humanities and social sciences.

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Application Requirements

Applicants for the MA should present the equivalent of an undergraduate major in their language including courses in literature. They also should show strong language skills and familiarity with the target culture, this often includes study or experience abroad. PhD applicants must have an MA or equivalent with strong preparation in the target literature, excellent language skills, and demonstrate potential to complete a doctoral dissertation by submitting a sample paper that shows critical thinking and writing ability.

ApplyUse the application checklist

For assistance, please contact the main office at 402-472-3745 or


Deadline for application: February 1. Our graduate teaching assistantship includes tuition remission during the academic year and six credits during the summer. In addition, teaching assistants receive a departmental stipend that covers the cost of living in Lincoln. Students are also eligible for departmental fellowships to supplement their assistantship; can be used to cover student fees. Summer teaching is available to students in Spanish.

Doctoral students are expected to present papers at scholarly conferences, and the department subsidizes their expenses with fellowship money. Support is also given to doctoral students interviewing for jobs at MLA.

At the graduate program's discretion, we accept applications at any time, but priority consideration is given to those who apply before the announced deadline each semester. The Edgren Tuition Fellowship is also available to U.S. citizens who are full-time students and non-residents of Nebraska. The Edgren Tuition Fellowship is available to U.S. citizens who are full-time students and non-residents of Nebraska for tuition purposes. Students who receive the fellowship pay tuition at 150% of the resident tuition rate until graduation if continuously enrolled at UNL.


All of our recent Ph.D. graduates teach at the college or university level, most with tenure-track appointments. In 2007, our doctoral graduates have found jobs at the University of Scranton, the University of Kansas, Huntington University (IN), Southeast Community College (Lincoln), Dixie College (Saint George UT). M.A. graduates generally go on to Ph.D. programs or to other professional training.

Consider When Applying

  1. Application Deadline for Teaching Assistantships is February 1st
  2. New applicants should use GAMES for online submission of materials.
  3. Graduate Studies now asks for electronic transcripts to be uploaded in MyRed as part of your application. Paper transcripts are only required once a student is admitted. For instructions, visit the Graduate Studies website.
  4. Please contact the Graduate advisor before applying to the French Ph.D. program.
  5. For assistance, please contact the main office at 402-472-3745 or