Ph.D. Degree Requirements

Coursework

1. Students entering with a B.A. degree:

Students must successfully complete at least 92 credits of graduate coursework. During the first two years in the program, successful completion of a minimum of twelve courses (48 credits) at the 500 or 600 level. At least ten of these (40 credits) must be in German (GER) or be taught under a different prefix (e.g. COLT) by a member of the German Department faculty. A student may take up to two (8 credits) of these ten graduate courses in other departments or programs, if the courses are related to their research projects and with the approval from the Graduate Advisor. The total graduate GPA must remain at 3.5 or higher. Nine of the GER courses must be graded, including six required Core Rotation courses:

  • GER 690 –Literary Studies
  • GER 621 –Narrative: Texts, Contexts, Theory
  • GER 622 –Drama: Texts, Contexts, Theory
  • GER 623 –Lyric: Texts, Contexts, Theory
  • GER 624 –Critical and Philosophical Prose
  • GER 625 –Translations/Transformations

NEW CORE COURSE PROGRAM (BEGINNING IN 2020):

I. "PARADIGMS OF INTERPRETATION" SEQUENCE:

GER 690 -- FORM AND STRUCTURE
GER 691 -- GENDER, RACE, CLASS, NATION
GER 692 -- SUBJECT, CONSCIOUSNESS, MIND

II. "MEDIATIONS" SEQUENCE:

GER 693 -- PHOTOGRAPHY, FILM, VIDEO, ELECTRONIC MEDIA
GER 694 -- ENVIRONMENT AND TEXT
GER 695 -- TRANSLATIONS/TRANSFORMATIONS

Students must be enrolled for a minimum of two regularly scheduled GER graduate courses, or graduate courses in other departments, according to these Ph.D. degree requirements, plus the pedagogy colloquium (GER 609), for each term of any GE appointment within the department prior to the term in which comprehensive exams are taken. The pedagogy colloquium requirement remains in force during and beyond that term until students have earned 12 credits of GER 609.

During the third year in the program, successful completion of a minimum of six graded courses (24 credits) at the 500 or 600 level, excluding 601, 603, 608, 609. At least five of these (20 credits) must be in German (GER) or be taught under a different prefix (e.g. COLT) by a member of the German Department faculty. The remaining course may be taken from another department if it is related to their research projects and with approval from the Graduate Advisor.*

Starting in the Fall of the fourth year, students enroll with P/N registration in a minimum of six further GER courses at the 500 or 600 level, excluding 601, 603, 609, before defending the dissertation. Up to two of these courses may be taken in other departments or programs, if the courses are related to their research projects, with approval from the Graduate Advisor, and approval from the course instructor for P/N registration.*

In addition, students must also complete the following 20 credits of coursework:

  • GER 610 (Wrk: Teaching Methods, graded, 4 credits) –to be taken in the fall of their first year.
  • GER 609 pedagogy (12 credits) –a 1-credit course taken in each of the first 12 quarters. Students enroll in 1 credit hour of GER 609 Pedagogy with the Language Coordinator for each term in which they are instructors of record for language courses on the 100, 200, or 300 level, or with the faculty member in the Department of German and Scandinavian who is teaching a course for which they are discussion leaders. GER 609 Pedagogy credit cannot be granted for courses taught in other departments for which graduate students in German are discussion leaders. Where appropriate, GER 609 Pedagogy credit may be granted for relevant teaching experience in other settings at the discretion of the Director of Graduate Studies.
  • GER 601 (4 credits) –a 1-credit advising tutorial in the second quarter of the first year (see below on “Mentoring”), and a 1-credit portfolio paper advising tutorial during each of three quarters between the second and eleventh quarter (see section on portfolio papers below).**

2. Students entering with an M.A. degree:

Students must successfully complete at least 36 credits of graduate coursework beyond those required for the M.A. degree. A minimum GPA of 3.5 is required throughout. During the first year in the program, successful completion of a minimum of six graded courses (24 credits) at the 500 or 600 level. At least five of these (20 credits) must be in German (GER) or be taught under a different prefix (e.g. COLT) by a member of the German Department faculty. The remaining course may be taken in another department of program if it is related to their research projects and with approval from the Graduate Advisor.*

Students must be enrolled for a minimum of two regularly scheduled GER graduate courses, or graduate courses in other departments or programs, according to these Ph.D. degree requirements, plus the pedagogy colloquium (GER 609), for each term of any GTF appointment within the department prior to the term in which Comprehensive Exams are taken. The pedagogy colloquium requirement remains in force during and beyond that term until students have earned 6 credits of GER 609.

Starting in the Fall of the second year, students enroll with P/N registration in a minimum of six further GER courses at the 500 or 600 level, excluding 601, 603, 609, before defending the dissertation. Up to two of these courses may be taken in other departments or programs, if the courses are related to their research projects, with approval from the Graduate Advisor, and approval from the course instructor for P/N registration.* 

In addition, students must also complete the following 12 credits of coursework:

  • GER 610 (Wrk: Teaching Methods, graded, 4 credits) -- to be taken in the Fall of their first year.
  • GER 609 pedagogy (at least 6 credits)
  • GER 601 (2 credits) – a 1-credit advising tutorial in the second quarter of the first year (see below on“Mentoring”), and a 1-credit portfolio paper advising tutorial during one quarter between the second and fifth quarter (see below on "Portfolio Papers").**

* Related departments and programs outside of the Department of German and Scandinavian regularly offering courses that may be relevant for Ph.D. students in German include Philosophy, History, Judaic Studies, Art History, Music, English, Comparative Literature, and Folklore. We encourage you to explore these links while maintaining your focus on German.

** Students must submit an approved Independent Study Agreement for GER 601, 603, 605 each time they enroll for one of these courses.

Mentoring

Incoming students will meet with the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) twice during the first term—once in the beginning, once towards the end—to discuss program requirements and general questions about graduate study in the department. As part of the second meeting the DGS assigns each student a faculty mentor for the subsequent term (winter), with whom the student will register for 1 credit of GER 601. This mentor will meet with the student 4 times during winter term, to develop a personal reading list, and engage him/her in intellectual exchange. The mentor will help the student assemble a committee which may, but need not, include the mentor him/herself. The initial two members of the student’s committee should be determined by the beginning of spring term. During the spring conversation, both of these faculty members will meet with the student to discuss the student’s submitted statement (see section below on spring conversations).

Professional training

Each year the Department offers a broad variety of lectures, conferences, and workshops. These extracurricular events are essential for the professional training of our graduate students, who are therefore expected to attend.

spring conversation

By the end of week 2 of Spring term, all first-year Ph.D. students will submit to their committee and the DGS a “Spring Conversation Starter” (SCS). This written piece of about 2-3 pages need not follow a fixed format but will describe the student’s intellectual activity over the past year and sketch a possible path for the coming year. Areas to touch on might include the student’s intellectual interests and ambitions (extant or newly discovered), important intellectual experiences of the past year, discovery of particular authors or works during that time, reports on conferences or other public events they attended and/or to which they contributed, their plans for remaining coursework, portfolio paper experiences, the status of their thesis or dissertation project and what they hope to achieve in the coming year. By week 5 students will meet with their assigned mentor and the suggested second committee member to discuss the SCS. The DGS may participate in these meetings as needed.

portfolio papers

For students entering with a B.A., three papers from amongst the substantial research papers written during the first three terms of study must be revised under tutorial supervision (GER 601) during subsequent terms and, once approved by the professor directing the tutorial, submitted as "Portfolio" papers prior to taking the Comprehensive Exam. Portfolio papers will be about 25-28 pages in length; the revision process aims to expand the depth of the original research paper and enhance the overall argumentation. The purpose of this requirement is twofold: to enhance scholarly research and writing skills, and to enable students to prepare accomplished writing samples for future use. The first revised paper must be submitted by the end of the Spring term of the first year. The second paper must be submitted by the end of the Fall term of the second year. The third paper must be submitted prior to the Fall term of the third year. Students entering with an M.A. must submit one Portfolio Paper to the Director of Graduate Studies (and to her/his Examination Committee, once it is formed) prior to taking the Comprehensive Exams in the Fall of the second year. These papers comprise substantial revisions or reworkings of research papers the student has written for courses in the program. To prepare a Portfolio Paper, the student must first arrange with a professor to revise a term paper written for her/his course, and then enroll for 1 credit of GER 601 Research with this professor. The student must further submit an outline of her/his argument and/or a summary of the proposed revisions for the professor’s approval before revising the given paper. Each Portfolio Paper must be approved by the professor directing the revisions of the paper at the conclusion of the revision-work.

One of the Portfolio Papers must be developed to the point of being capable of being submitted for publication as a scholarly article or paper to be published in a conference proceedings volume, and must ultimately be submitted to a scholarly journal or proposed essay collection or proceedings volume prior to the defense of the dissertation.

foreign language requirement

Students are required to demonstrate advanced knowledge of at least one language other than German (or English for native German speakers). This requirement may be met by passing the last term of the third year sequence of a foreign language, by taking a 400-level literature course (P/N) conducted in that language, or by taking a translation exam.

written & preliminary oral examinations

Students will take comprehensive exams by the end of Fall term of their fourth year (if entering with a B.A.) or Fall term of the second year (if entering with an M.A). The examination committee is composed of three tenure-related department faculty members. The student must have arranged this committee by the end of Spring term preceding their exams (see the mentoring section above).

The written exam will consist of (3) eight hour tests, each of which will focus on a critical literary-historical or literary-critical category. The student’s reading list for the exam will be based on texts discussed in his/her courses and other texts agreed to by the committee to form three distinct areas of focus. These areas are also intended to form the basis for designating areas of specialization in research and teaching in the context of professional development. If one section of the written examinations is unsatisfactory, the committee may recommend that the student retake that section (with a new set of questions). If more than one section of the exam is unsatisfactory, the student will not continue in the program. Within two weeks of the written exam, the student must pass a 60-90 minute oral exam, which will explore further the topics on the written exam and other aspects of the reading list. This oral examination will conclude with the student's brief presentation of a preliminary dissertation topic.

dissertation committee & prospectus

Within two weeks after passing the oral examination the student will name a dissertation director and three additional committee members and report this information to the graduate adviser and the graduate school. The student must submit to the DGS a completed doctoral-student activity form. Three committee members (including the director) must be from the Department of German and Scandinavian, and at least one committee member must be a senior faculty member. The fourth committee member must be from outside the Department of German and Scandinavian. All committee members must be members of the Graduate Faculty.

By the end of term following the passage of the exams (excluding summer), i.e., normally by the end of Winter term of the second year, the candidate must submit and defend a prospectus of the planned dissertation to this Dissertation Committee (which may include the same members as the Examination Committee). All committee members must approve the prospectus (and sign the doctoral-student activity form) before the candidate can proceed with the dissertation. The text of the prospectus should be approximately ten pages in length, and a bibliography must be appended to the text.

After the prospectus defense—including in the case of a successful and approved defense—the committee may suggest revisions. The dissertation director will supervise these revisions, which must be completed to the satisfaction of the entire committee by the end of the first month of the following term.

advancement to candidacy

Advancement to Candidacy requires the satisfactory completion of:

1. Written exam
2. Oral exam
3. Language requirement
4. Minimum of 1 year of college-level teaching in the Department of German and Scandinavian
5. Prospectus (and approved defense of prospectus)

Each candidate must file the graduate-school form for advancement to candidacy at:gradweb.uoregon.edu

Once students have advanced to candidacy, i.e., after they have passed their comprehensive exams, they must earn at least 18 credits in GER 603 (Dissertation) prior to defense of the dissertation. After the examinations, three credits of GER 603 are the minimum required each quarter to maintain enrollment in the program.

dissertation writing colloquium

All students who have passed their comprehensive exams, and who are present in the Eugene area, participate in a monthly Dissertation Writing Colloquium. At each meeting of this not-for-credit colloquium one student presents dissertation-relevant material, preferably recent writing. The dissertation director of the student presenting and/or other committee members and faculty will attend as available.

dissertation

The department recommends that the candidate defend the completed dissertation (ca. 200 pages) within two years after passing the written and oral examinations. Graduate School regulations require that the candidate defend the dissertation within 7 years from the first period of residency as a Ph.D. student. General requirements for the thesis and information on style are found in the “Thesis and Dissertation Style and Policy Manual” that may be downloaded from the Graduate School website. The references and works cited are to be listed according to the current MLA Style Manual. The dissertation is usually written in English, but students may petition the Graduate School for permission to write it in German.

oral defense

The candidate must pass the final oral examination, or defense of the dissertation, in order to be awarded the degree. The candidate must submit the penultimate draft of the dissertation to the Doctoral Committee, one copy for each member, no less than 4 weeks before the defense is scheduled.

length of study and support

The program is designed so that students can complete the required graded coursework, pass the exams, and submit the prospectus within 11 academic terms (if entering with a B.A.) or 5 academic terms (if entering with an M.A.), excluding Summer terms.

Note: Students are encouraged to gain teaching experience while studying for the degree. They are also encouraged to spend at least one year of study and/or research in a German-speaking country. Information and guidance on applying for major grants is available.