German Studies


The Department of German Studies at Brown offers a Ph.D. program which both provides a coherent perspective on major developments in German literature, culture, and critical thought in the modern period (1517 to the present) and provides students with the opportunity to develop their own specialized interests in German Studies.

The program requires a secondary field of study consisting of a coherent sequence of four courses outside the Department.  With guidance from the Director of Graduate Studies, each student plans this sequence in a specialized area of interest. Some examples of possible specialized programs of study are:

  • Media Studies
  • History
  • Jewish Studies
  • Visual Arts
  • Philosophy
  • Music
  • Theater

Drawing on the expertise of eminent scholars in these fields, who are teaching at Brown both in and beyond the German Studies Department, the program thus fosters a transdisciplinary approach in the field of German Studies.

The information on the pages of this section summarize the requirements and structure of the graduate program, along with details on admission.

Graduate Handbook

Guiding Principles

The guiding principles of our curriculum is a conscious exploration of those topics and moments in the history of German culture and critical thought which define its uniqueness, exemplify broader issues in the humanities, or have resonated most strongly in other cultures. Fields which unify these goals - aesthetics, and critical theory - are among our strengths.


The program is designed to prepare students for a diverse and ever-changing workplace, within academia and outside.  To become first-rate scholars and researchers, students are trained to develop their writing skills and to deliver publishable work in their graduate work.  To turn into mature and innovative teachers, they are exposed to a rigorous program of theoretical and practical approaches to teaching.  To enable them to become esteemed professionals, students will learn to perform research and to process information effectively and efficiently and to communicate highly complex subjects to a variety of audiences.

Additional Information

Information for Ph.D. and Masters programs including a 5th Year Masters Program.
Information about coursework, foreign language requirements, the qualifying exam, dissertation and teaching.
Information on places across Brown University and International to enhance your German Studies learning.