Ph.D. in Germanic Languages

Thank you for your interest in the UCLA Department of European Languages and Transcultural Studies graduate program in Germanic Languages. Applications are accepted for Fall quarter only and the deadline is December 15. Admitted students are not permitted to defer their offers of admission. 

We invite you to browse our website and learn more about the range of activities and wealth of accomplishments that characterize our extraordinary students and faculty in the graduate program.


Graduate Degrees Offered 

Although the Department of European Languages and Transcultural Studies graduate program in Germanic Languages offers both the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees, we admit only those students who plan to ultimately pursue a Ph.D. We do not offer a separate master’s program. The program requires full-time attendance, and classes are held during the day.  

All applicants should apply directly to the Ph.D. program. If admitted to the Ph.D. without a master’s degree, students are required to complete the M.A. degree while proceeding towards the Ph.D. In addition to a B.A. the following European degrees are also accepted for admission: German or Austrian Staatsexam, a German or Austrian Magister, or a Swiss Lizenziat. A German Zwischenprüfung is not acceptable. 

Application Components

  • A statement of purpose – Uploaded directly into the online application system, where you will find detailed prompts. There is no minimum or maximum length, although the suggested length is 500 words. Be sure to include the reasons why you wish to pursue graduate studies, your goals, your academic interests, your preparation in the field you propose to study and anything else you think will offer an accurate picture of yourself for the Committee. Family background and personal information may be included if you think it is relevant but should not take the place of the discussion of your academic and professional goals. Care should be taken with the statement of purpose and the writing sample (below), as the quality of thought and argument these exhibit, as well as their style, weigh significantly in admissions decisions. 
  • A personal statement – Uploaded directly into the online application system, where you will find detailed prompts. The Personal Statement is an opportunity for you to provide additional information that may aid the selection committee in evaluating your preparation and aptitude for graduate study at UCLA. It will also be used to consider candidates for the Cota-Robles fellowship. The suggested length is 500 words. 
  • A writing sample – Uploaded directly into the online application system. The sample should be no more than 10 pages, in English or German. Please do not submit your entire thesis. Please do not submit more than one paper. Extra papers are not considered during the faculty’s review. The writing sample must be an academic paper (or portion of an academic paper), preferably a paper written for a course, and should demonstrate the applicant’s interest, competence, and experience in the chosen field of specialization. A writing sample has become increasingly important in the evaluation process and you should choose something you are proud of and consider representative of what you can do. 
  • Applicants must submit three (3) letters of recommendation from scholars who can address the applicant’s intellectual qualifications. Recommenders will receive an email request with instructions for submitting their letters. All letters of recommendation must be submitted online by the December 15th application deadline. No more than three letters will be considered. 
  • Transcripts – Unofficial transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate work must be uploaded into the online application system. (To read more about the parameters that define an acceptable unofficial transcript for the purposes of application review, click here). Admitted students will be required to provide official, sealed transcripts directly to the department (see address below) at a later date.  
  • NOTE: Transcripts from community colleges and short-term study abroad programs are not necessary, as the coursework will be reflected on your undergraduate transcript. 
  • GRE general test scores – In order for your application to be complete, the Department must receive score reports for the GRE general test taken within the last five years. Applicants must request score reports using department code 2604 (German) and institution code 4837 (UCLA).  If you do not provide ETS with both a department code and institution code, your application may not be processed. There is no minimum acceptable score for the GRE. Applicants submitting their GRE score should plan to take the GRE no later than October or November. Applicants who live outside of the United States can  find test center and date information on the ETS website.  Scores are valid for five years following your test date. 

Applicants who do not hold a bachelor’s or higher degree from a university located in the United States or in another country in which English is both the primary spoken language of daily life and the medium of instruction are REQUIRED to submit valid Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores to verify their English language proficiency. 

You are encouraged to earn a minimum TOEFL score of 87 on the Internet-based test (iBT) or 560 on the paper and pencil test. Applicants who elect to take the IELTS must earn an overall band score of at least 7.0 to qualify for admission. 

The GRE institution code is 4837; the Department/Major Field code is 2604/TOEFL iBT code is 17. 

All admitted applicants are automatically considered for recruitment fellowships and teaching assistantships. These awards are usually made in mid-March. Questions about need-based aid should be directed to the Financial Aid Office at (310) 206-0400. 

Please visit the UCLA Graduate Division website at for information regarding funding, application procedures, and general graduate information. 

The mailing address for transcripts is: 
Graduate Admission 
UCLA Department of European Languages and Transcultural Studies/Germanic Languages 
212 Royce Hall 
Box 951539 
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1539 

If your institution supports electronic transmission of transcripts, these should be sent directly to   

If you should have further questions about the admissions process or the status of your application, please contact Kerry Allen, Student Affairs Officer, either by e-mail or telephone, (310) 825-1147. More academic issues may be addressed to the Vice Chair of Graduate Studies

For the most complete and up-to-date information on application procedures, as well as program requirements for the M.A. and Ph.D., please consult the   

Deadline for all applications: December 15.  

Program Requirements

The following general overview of the Ph.D. program is intended to introduce and summarize the program’s structures and degree requirements. Students consult regularly with the Vice Chair of Graduate Studies

During the first two years of graduate study, students must complete a minimum of nine upper division and graduate courses (38 units), of which at least six courses (24 units) must be graduate level (200- or 500-series). One seminar must be included and European Languages and Transcultural Studies 200 (2 units, S/U grading). 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 years three and four, 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. 

For more questions concerning the admissions process, please contact the departmental Student Affairs Officer, Kerry Allen.

Language Requirement

Interdisciplinary is integral to a contemporary conception of scholarship and criticism. Doctoral candidates are expected to acquire proficiency in two additional disciplines pertinent to their dissertation research. Fulfillment of the additional proficiency will be discussed beforehand with the Vice Chair of Graduate Studies

  1. The first discipline is a reading knowledge of a language other than German or English and 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 Dutch 120 and Dutch 131 or in one of these courses: Dutch 103C, Yiddish 101C, 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.
  2. 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 must complete the language/interdisciplinary requirements before nominating a doctoral committee and taking the oral qualifying examination.

Graduate Certificate 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 here.

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.


For official program requirements, visit the Graduate Division website. To access the departmental handbook, see attachment Academic Policies for Graduate Students.

Teaching Assistantships

Teaching Assistantships (T.A.) allow students to gain experience in teaching undergraduates under faculty supervision. TAship positions are available to graduate students for no more than 12 quarters. This limit may be extended to a maximum of 18 quarters when the TAship is combined with a research fellowship.Teaching assistants are appointed to a maximum of 50 percent time employment during an academic year. This means that they cannot take on additional employment at UCLA if they have a TAship.Teaching assistants are trained by our Language Coordinator and typically begin teaching German 1, then move onto 2, and so forth. They also can be hired to assist teaching our courses in German cultural studies. Current salary scales can be viewed online here.