Work toward the M.A. degree consists of a traditional curriculum providing important foundational knowledge. The curriculum includes historical surveys of the major literary periods and genres, of the structure and function of German and Germanic languages, knowledge of disciplinary methodologies employed in the field, development of language capacity, and control of writing and research strategies.

Departmental Funding

The department does its best to provide funding in the form of Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) appointments to incoming graduate students. GTA appointments are awarded for the academic year and come with:

  • a competitive academic year (9 month) salary
  • a 100% tuition waiver for all courses at KU
  • payment of up to 3 hours of student fees
  • optional University-subsidized group health insurance 

Appointments are guaranteed based on performance for up to 3 years for M.A. students, and 6 years for students who receive both an M.A. and a Ph.D. at The University of Kansas.  GTAs in the department receive thorough training in language instruction, close mentoring, and the opportunity to teach German at a variety of levels, providing them with a strong base of teaching experience upon entering the job market. Additional information about teaching for the department is available on the Graduate Funding page of our departmental website.

Additional Funding

There are also university fellowships for truly outstanding students. Visit the Graduate Studies website for information about funding opportunities for KU graduate students.


For inquiries concerning the M.A. program, please contact:

Professor William D. Keel, Director of Graduate Studies, and/or Cari Ann Kreienhop, Graduate Academic Advisor & Graduate Admissions Administrator.

Admission to Graduate Studies

An applicant seeking to pursue graduate study in the College may be admitted as either a degree-seeking or non-degree seeking student. Policies and procedures of Graduate Studies govern the process of Graduate admission. These may be found in the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog.

Please consult the Departments & Programs section of the online catalog for information regarding program-specific admissions criteria and requirements. Special admissions requirements pertain to Interdisciplinary Studies degrees, which may be found in the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog.

German Studies Graduate Admission

The Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures has suspended matriculation for the M.A. program until further notice.  Please visit the graduate admission page of the department website, or contact the department Graduate Academic Advisor, Cari Ann Kreienhop, ckreienhop@ku.edu, for more information.

Master of Arts in German Studies


1. 30 credits that must include:

GERM 700Introduction to Graduate Studies in German3
GERM 712The Structure of Modern Standard German3
GERM 800Seminar: Teaching German as a Second Language3
AND select 1 of the following21
Non-Thesis Option - 7 elective Courses (21 hours)
Thesis Option - 5 elective courses and 2 thesis courses (21 hours)
Total Hours30

2. Comprehensive written and oral examinations

Elective Courses

GERM 626Idiomatic Usage in Modern Colloquial and Literary German3
GERM 751Topics in German Studies: _____ 13

First Year Plan of Study:

1st semester: Students choose a graduate advisor and begin compiling a course-based individual reading list. The reading list should consist of twenty primary and secondary works approved by the advisor.

2nd semester: Students declare their choice of thesis, non-thesis or project option and organize their reading list accordingly with the assistance of their advisor.

Thesis Option Exam

The Master’s Thesis (50 pages minimum) consists of a scholarly analysis of a chosen topic that is derived from a term paper and expanded to contribute new insights to the discourse surrounding the topic. Students enroll in German 899 Master’s Thesis during their third and fourth semesters (6 credits total) to develop and complete their thesis under the direction of a graduate faculty advisor. 

Variant within the non-thesis track: Master’s Project

The Master’s Project (30 pages minimum) provides the opportunity to combine scholarly and practical learning. The project, which may be developed from an internship or a broader topic, such as digital Humanities, must be approved in advance by a graduate faculty advisor with whom the student enrolls.