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Graduate Program

Director of Graduate Studies

Prof. Anke Pinkert, Director of Graduate StudiesProfessor Anke Pinkert, DGS

Office: 3128 FLB
Phone: (217) 244-0605

Welcome to the Graduate Program of the Dept. of Germanic Languages and Literatures!

We offer both M.A. and Ph.D. degrees.

A special program is also available for current undergraduates at the University of Illinois who can pursue a combined BA/MA degree.

The program welcomes both students interested in an academic career and students who plan to pursue non-academic career paths after their degrees. We have examples of successful graduates in both areas.

The Graduate program stands out in a number of ways:


*All faculty members have won major awards, distinctions, and fellowships for their research, their teaching, and/or their mentoring.

*All faculty members pursue an active research agenda. Graduate students benefit by being exposed to cutting-edge research and often have a chance to participate in faculty projects as research assistants or collaborators on event organization.

*The Department regularly hosts a visiting faculty member from a German speaking country under the auspices of the Max Kade Distinguished Professorship Program. This expands the already wide expertise of the faculty and also helps students to connect directly to German-speaking academia.

*An outstanding roster of affiliated faculty members in other departments indicates the interdisciplinary strength of research in Germanic languages, literatures, and cultures on campus.

*Besides the profiles on their departmental page, many faculty members have their own personal websites, which often have additional information on their interests and current activities. I encourage you to check these out as well to get a fuller picture (see “visit website” links on the profiles).


*The University of Illinois has one of the largest, best-stocked university libraries in the world with outstanding collections in all fields of Germanic languages and literatures.

From rare books such as the Gutenberg bible and early modern Emblem books to a large collection of literature during National Socialism, and a rapidly growing collection of literature by contemporary minority writers, the state-of-the art library and its excellent staff has much to offer.

*There are numerous units, interdisciplinary programs, and research groups on campus that students can take advantage of in a variety of ways—from taking additional courses, attending lectures, workshops, and reading groups, to obtaining fellowships and conference or research travel support.

To name just a few:

European Union Center (EUC)

Education Justice Project (EJP)

German Colloquium (Research workshop of students and faculty in German history)

Gender and Women’s Studies

Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies Initiative (HGMS)

Illinois-Sweden Program for Educational and Research Exchange (INSPIRE)

Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities (IPRH)

Program in Jewish Culture and Society

Program in Medieval Studies

Second Language Acquisition and Teacher Education (SLATE)

Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory


*Our graduate students have a wide variety of interests, academic backgrounds, and international experiences.

*Recent graduates work in a variety of institutions, both inside and outside academia.

*The Department regularly recognizes students’ outstanding work by providing awards and fellowships during an annual awards ceremony.

*The Department encourages students to present their work both on campus and off-campus. Students can apply for funding for conference travel.

*The “Deutsches Seminar” is specifically designated for grad student work in progress. Here you can try out a talk before presenting at a conference or receive feedback before submitting an essay for publication.

*Graduate students have the opportunity to participate in one of the department’s exchange programs with German universities.

*Our graduate students have been very successful in obtaining dissertation completion fellowships from the School of Literatures, Cultures, and Linguistics (SLCL). This fellowship enables students to concentrate fully on their research for an entire academic year.

*Excellent pedagogical training ensures that many graduate students are regularly listed on the “list of excellent teachers” for their classroom performance.

Besides a firm training in language pedagogy, students also have the chance to build their teaching portfolio by assisting in general education courses such as “Fairy Tales,” “Viking Sagas,” “The Holocaust in Context,” or “German Popular Culture.”

*The department periodically offers professional development workshops covering such topics as the publication process or preparing a CV.

*Students contribute to the life of the department in other ways as well, be it in curating the ongoing departmental film series or offering the Kaffeestunde.

For information about applying to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, click here.