PhD in German Studies

GSLL graduate student hike, fall 2014


We are now accepting applications for our interdisciplinary PhD in German Studies. For more information, contact the Graduate Associate Chair, Professor Ann Schmiesing, or the Graduate Administrator, Karen Hawley, at

To apply, see Ph.D. Application Information

Current CU-Boulder German MA Student Application Information

Our innovative PhD in German Studies is designed so that students can complete their coursework and their dissertation in four years. The idea behind this shortening of time-to-degree is to invite applicants who may want to pursue careers in government, business, and the non-profit sector, in addition to applicants interested in an academic career. In Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and many other European countries, it is a strongly held conviction that a doctorate demonstrates to potential employers intellectual independence, superior research and writing skills, the perseverance and ingenuity to complete an original piece of scholarship, and deep familiarity with a different culture. We believe that these qualities are equally valuable in the 21st-century American economy, and indeed in the global marketplace.  We also believe that a German Studies PhD that includes experiences such as graduate-level internships can enhance the interdisciplinary preparation of students who wish to pursue a career in academia.

The shortened time-to-degree of our PhD program will not compromise on academic rigor. To this end, our program provides intensive and personalized mentoring, directed reading advice, and clinics devoted to dissertation- and conference-paper writing, digital and archival research, oral presentation, and interview preparation. Our PhD strongly emphasizes interdisciplinary work within a secondary concentration area of your choice, and includes one year spent abroad at our partner universities of Göttingen and Regensburg or at other leading institutions in the German-speaking world. A wide range of graduate-level course offerings is designed to ensure content coverage and to move research projects into publishable scholarship.  Our expanded graduate faculty includes scholars in disciplines such as political science, comparative literature, Jewish Studies, business, and library science. 

In addition to offering students graduate-level internships with local, national, and international businesses and cultural institutions, our program enables students to work with on-campus resources such as CU’s Colorado European Union Center of Excellence (CEUCE) and to participate in our international biannual “Conversations in the Mountains” symposium.  The University of Colorado Max Kade German Room, housed in our department, offers a variety of academic events and visiting lectures. Students in our PhD program are encouraged to become involved in these and other academic programs, and to apply for the many scholarships and grants our department and campus sponsor. 

Our PhD Handbook can be accessed here.

The new PhD program has been featured in the local and national press.  See the following articles:

Boulder Daily Camera:

Inside Higher Ed: