Graduate Program

M.A. and Ph.D. Programs

German Studies

The Department of German at NYU offers a sound basis in the literary canon and also seeks to transmit a set of critical skills applicable beyond the confines of conventional literary analysis. Organized around a crucial body of literary and philosophical texts, which includes canonical and non-traditional works, our department is both forward-looking and responsible to established scholarship. We offer students a challenging course of studies that opens up interdisciplinary initiatives and stresses theoretical sophistication. In offering students a curriculum that emphasizes the critical study of these discourses, we prepare our graduates for distinguished academic careers in an intellectually complex environment at a time when borderlines between disciplines are becoming increasingly permeable.

The departmental interest in critical thought formalizes this aspect of the program's orientation, for which it has become known. The activities of the department, courses, lectures, visiting professors, reflect the fact that the heritage of German theory, linguistic, aesthetic, philosophic and political, are the pivotal points out of which the widest range of twentieth and twenty-first century theory has grown, and without which they cannot be properly understood.

For students who choose to concentrate their work in the study of German literary texts we offer rigorous training in contemporary methods of interpretation. We also greatly welcome those whose interests include a more theoretical bent. Thus the program encourages taking German critical thought as a point of departure for a wide range of investigations. Because New York University is exceptionally strong in all areas of the humanities and because we have forged strong ties to other departments, we are pleased to see our students make full use of its exceptional resources. The graduate program has been conceived to encourage and guide each student in designing his or her individual course of study. At the same time we stress tailoring each program of study to make the student competitive in constantly evolving academic market.

The department consistently recruits highly distinguished faculty. Our faculty is widely published and internationally active in areas of scholarship that command the attention of colleagues and students across the disciplines. Internationally recognized scholars and thinkers play an active role in our department. The Department of German, along with the Departments of English and French, sponsored the fall semester visits of Jacques Derrida. Our current visiting professors are Elizabeth Bronfen and Slavoj Žižek. Past visitors include Susan Bernstein, Hartmut Boehme, Ruediger Campe, Alexander Duettmann, Werner Hamacher, Vivian Liska, Jean-Luc Nancy, Laurence Rickels, Marianne Schuller, and others.


Our doctoral students are guaranteed generous funding for five years of graduate work. We generally support students for up to two years beyond this. Students are asked to teach for two of their first five years and have opportunities for additional teaching experience within and outside the department.

NYU is a member of the New York Consortium that enables students from NYU, Columbia, Princeton, Rutgers, the New School and CUNY to take courses for credit at another institution. New York, for this and many other more obvious reasons, is a thriving, interacting, intellectual community.

Deutsches haus at nyu

Deutsches Haus at NYU offers a rich cultural program throughout the year. Deutsches Haus is a major asset for New York University and greatly contributes to the intellectual prominence of the University and its Department of German. It has been host organization for major international conferences, for lectures and readings by distinguished writers, authors, scholars, philosophers, and artists, as well as the site of significant art installations and exhibitions. Its program attracts a wide audience from the greater New York area, thus furthering NYU's commitment to being a global university in a unique metropolitan setting. The program committee consists of faculty members from the Department of German whose aim is to strengthen and expand the department's research and teaching interests by inviting internationally known speakers. Please consult the website for Deutsches Haus.