Doctor of Philosophy in Germanic Studies (PhD)
The Graduate Program in Germanic Studies at UBC integrates a large scope of thematic and theoretical research areas. Students are guided by faculty whose teaching and research cover a wide range of German literature, film, and culture. Course offerings feature approaches grounded in varied theories and disciplinary perspectives. Our courses engage with, for example, literature, film, culture, and media. The program's structure encourages students to develop their individual focus of study and research in consultation with faculty. Students have the opportunity to develop a comprehensive knowledge of German literary texts in their aesthetic, social, political, cultural, and historical dimensions. They will learn how to apply a variety of critical methods and theories to the study of cultural texts, while developing skills that are applicable to many career paths.
What makes the program unique?
Our graduate programs are situated in a thriving comparative department, which houses programs that concentrate on German, Scandinavian, and Slavic studies. Our departmental structure and the format of the degree encourage students to pursue their work in Germanic Studies with an interdisciplinary and transcultural approach.
Within our small department, our faculty, whose expertise lies in all areas of German, Scandinavian, and Slavic studies, including queer and gender/sexuality studies, film and media studies, literary studies, and second language acquisition, prepare students for their future endeavours and support them with a range of professional development opportunities. The small size of our program guarantees individualized attention from advisors and other graduate faculty members.
Contact the program
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Great Grad School ApplicationsDate: Wednesday, 22 July 2020
Time: 09:00 to 10:00
Join this online session and learn how to make your grad school application as strong as possible. Kelli Kadokawa and Shane Moore from the Graduate and Postdoctoral Office will be joined by admissions colleagues to talk about applying to research based and professional programs. There will be lots of advice and tips to help your application stand out.Register
Admission Information & Requirements
In order to apply to this program, the following components may be required.
All applicants must complete an online application form and pay the application fee to be considered for admission to UBC.
Minimum Academic Requirements
The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies establishes the minimum admission requirements common to all applicants, usually a minimum overall average in the B+ range (76% at UBC). The graduate program that you are applying to may have additional requirements. Please review the specific requirements for applicants with credentials from institutions in:
Each program may set higher academic minimum requirements. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission as it is a competitve process.
English Language Test
Applicants from a university outside Canada in which English is not the primary language of instruction must provide results of an English language proficiency examination as part of their application. Tests must have been taken within the last 24 months at the time of submission of your application.
Minimum requirements for the two most common English language proficiency tests to apply to this program are listed below:
Other Test Scores
Some programs require additional test scores such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Test (GMAT). The requirements for this program are:
Letters of Reference
A minimum of three references are required for application to graduate programs at UBC. References should be requested from individuals who are prepared to provide a report on your academic ability and qualifications.
Statement of Interest
Many programs require a statement of interest, sometimes called a "statement of intent", "description of research interests" or something similar.
Students in research-based programs usually require a faculty member to function as their supervisor. Please follow the instructions provided by each program whether applicants should contact faculty members.
Instructions regarding supervisor contact for Doctor of Philosophy in Germanic Studies (PhD)
Prior degree requirements
For admission to the doctoral program in Germanic Studies, applicants are expected to have a master’s degree (or equivalent) in German Studies or a related field.
Applicants are expected to have sufficient German language proficiency for graduate coursework in German Studies. For the doctoral level, this is normally C1 on the CEFR scale. If applicants’ proposed research requires additional language ability (e.g., in another language), they must demonstrate their proficiency.
Permanent Residents of Canada must provide a clear photocopy of both sides of the Permanent Resident card.
Diversity, Decolonialization, and the German Curriculum (DDGC), a scholarly collective co-founded by Dr. Ervin Malakaj.
“The Pasts and Futures of Queer German Studies,” funded by SSHRC and the German Academic Exchange Service. Faculty: Dr. Ervin Malakaj and Dr. Kyle Frackman.
“Migration as Core Narrative of Plural Societies: Towards an Aesthetics of Postmigrant Literature,” funded by SSHRC. Faculty: Dr. Markus Hallensleben.
Special issue of Seminar: A Journal of Germanic Studies on the Media Histories of Girls in Uniform, edited by Dr. Ilinca Iurascu.
“Coming Out of the Iron Closet: East Germany and Homosexuality,” funded by SSHRC. Faculty: Dr. Kyle Frackman.
“Epistolary Cultures circa 1800,” funded by SSHRC. Faculty: Dr. Gaby Pailer and Dr. Florian Gassner.
Book series “Recursions: Theories of Media, Materiality, and Cultural Techniques” from Amsterdam University Press, co-edited by Dr. Geoffrey Winthrop-Young.
The program in Germanic Studies has exceptional strengths in several subfields. These include literary studies (literatures of migration and mobility, 18th-century women writers, literary history and historiography), media studies (media theory, cultural techniques), queer studies (theories and analyses of gender and sexuality in cultural works), film studies (early cinema, East German film), and applied linguistics (pragmatics, sociolinguistics).
UBC Library’s resources are considerable, chief among them Koerner Library and the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre. Rare Books and Special Collections has extensive collections of materials related to Germanic Studies and book history, ranging from medieval manuscripts to 20th-century political texts.
Graduate students have access to a dedicated lounge/office space in the heart of our recently renovated department spaces in Buchanan Tower.
Tuition & Financial Support
|Fees||Canadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / Diplomat||International|
|Installments per year||3||3|
|Tuition per installment||$1,698.56||$2,984.09|
|Tuition per year|
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
|Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible)||$3,200.00 (-)|
|Other Fees and Costs|
|Student Fees (yearly)||$944.51 (approx.)|
|Costs of living (yearly)||starting at $16,954.00 (check cost calculator)|
All fees for the year are subject to adjustment and UBC reserves the right to change any fees without notice at any time, including tuition and student fees. Tuition fees are reviewed annually by the UBC Board of Governors. In recent years, tuition increases have been 2% for continuing domestic students and between 2% and 5% for continuing international students. New students may see higher increases in tuition. Admitted students who defer their admission are subject to the potentially higher tuition fees for incoming students effective at the later program start date. In case of a discrepancy between this webpage and the UBC Calendar, the UBC Calendar entry will be held to be correct.
Applicants to UBC have access to a variety of funding options, including merit-based (i.e. based on your academic performance) and need-based (i.e. based on your financial situation) opportunities.
Program Funding Packages
Typical support for doctoral students averages $29,000 per year for four years, contingent upon satisfactory academic progress. Funding packages may include scholarships, grants, teaching assistantships, and research assistantships, depending on the student’s area of specialty and the department’s funding resources in a given year.
Our graduate students receive extensive support and mentorship from faculty in the required annual applications for external awards (e.g., SSHRC). Successful applications in these competitions can substantially increase students’ annual financial packages.
Graduate students are guaranteed up to $1,000 in travel support from the department each year, in addition to the resources available from the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and the Faculty of Arts.
In accordance with UBC guidelines, all full-time students who begin a UBC-Vancouver Ph.D. program in September 2018 or later will be provided with a funding package of at least $18,200 for each of the first four years of their Ph.D.
Scholarships & awards (merit-based funding)
All applicants are encouraged to review the awards listing to identify potential opportunities to fund their graduate education. The database lists merit-based scholarships and awards and allows for filtering by various criteria, such as domestic vs. international or degree level.
Teaching Assistantships (GTA)
Graduate programs may have Teaching Assistantships available for registered full-time graduate students. Full teaching assistantships involve 12 hours work per week in preparation, lecturing, or laboratory instruction although many graduate programs offer partial TA appointments at less than 12 hours per week. Teaching assistantship rates are set by collective bargaining between the University and the Teaching Assistants' Union.
Research Assistantships (GRA)
Many professors are able to provide Research Assistantships (GRA) from their research grants to support full-time graduate students studying under their direction. The duties usually constitute part of the student's graduate degree requirements. A Graduate Research Assistantship is a form of financial support for a period of graduate study and is, therefore, not covered by a collective agreement. Unlike other forms of fellowship support for graduate students, the amount of a GRA is neither fixed nor subject to a university-wide formula. The stipend amounts vary widely, and are dependent on the field of study and the type of research grant from which the assistantship is being funded. Some research projects also require targeted research assistance and thus hire graduate students on an hourly basis.
Financial aid (need-based funding)
Canadian and US applicants may qualify for governmental loans to finance their studies. Please review eligibility and types of loans.
All students may be able to access private sector or bank loans.
Foreign government scholarships
Many foreign governments provide support to their citizens in pursuing education abroad. International applicants should check the various governmental resources in their home country, such as the Department of Education, for available scholarships.
Working while studying
The possibility to pursue work to supplement income may depend on the demands the program has on students. It should be carefully weighed if work leads to prolonged program durations or whether work placements can be meaningfully embedded into a program.
Tax credits and RRSP withdrawals
Canadian residents with RRSP accounts may be able to use the Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP) which allows students to withdraw amounts from their registered retirement savings plan (RRSPs) to finance full-time training or education for themselves or their partner.
Please review Filing taxes in Canada on the student services website for more information.
Applicants have access to the cost calculator to develop a financial plan that takes into account various income sources and expenses.
9 students graduated between 2005 and 2013. Of these, career information was obtained for 9 alumni (based on research conducted between Feb-May 2016):
RI (Research-Intensive) Faculty: typically tenure-track faculty positions (equivalent of the North American Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Professor positions) in PhD-granting institutions
TI (Teaching-Intensive) Faculty: typically full-time faculty positions in colleges or in institutions not granting PhDs, and teaching faculty at PhD-granting institutions
Term Faculty: faculty in term appointments (e.g. sessional lecturers, visiting assistant professors, etc.)
Sample Employers in Higher EducationUniversity of British Columbia (3)
Bates College (2)
University of Tokyo
King Abdulaziz University
Sample Employers Outside Higher EducationWooga GmbH
Sample Job Titles Outside Higher EducationHead of Operations
PhD Career Outcome SurveyYou may view the full report on career outcomes of UBC PhD graduates on outcomes.grad.ubc.ca.
DisclaimerThis program underwent a name or structural change in the study time frame, and all alumni from the previous program were included in these summaries. These data represent historical employment information and do not guarantee future employment prospects for graduates of this program. They are for informational purposes only. Data were collected through either alumni surveys or internet research.
This list shows faculty members with full supervisory privileges who are affiliated with this program. It is not a comprehensive list of all potential supervisors as faculty from other programs or faculty members without full supervisory privileges can request approvals to supervise graduate students in this program.
Bowers, Katherine (Arts, Literature and Subjectivity, Arts and Cultural Traditions, Arts and Technologies, Arts and Literary Policies, Russian literature, Russian culture, literary culture, genre, narrative, imagined geography, the novel, Dostoevsky, gothic fiction)
Frackman, Kyle (Arts, Literature and Subjectivity, Arts and Literary Policies, Arts and Cultural Traditions, Arts and Technologies, Artistic and Literary Theories, Literary or Artistic Work Analysis, Social Determinants of Arts and Letters, Cultural Industries, Sexuality, Media Types (Radio, Television, Written Press, etc.), Artistic and Literary Marginality, Artistic and Literary Movements, Schools and Styles, German studies, queer studies, Gender Studies, sexuality studies, literature, film, East Germany, Scandinavia, affect, Media, history of sexuality, history of science)
Hallensleben, Markus (Transcultural Studies, Artistic and Literary Theories, Literary or Artistic Works Analysis, Migrations, Populations, Cultural Exchanges, German Language Cultures and Literatures, Transnational Literatures, Visual Arts and Literature, European Studies, Literature and Sciences, Literature and Migration, Narratives of Belonging)
Iurascu, Ilinca (Arts and Technologies, Artistic and Literary Theories, Media and Society, Arts and Cultural Traditions, Theories and Philosophies, German literature, media theory, Cultural Studies, film studies, critical theory, visual studies, media archeology)
Karwowska, Bozena (Sexuality, Body and Gender in Nazi Concentration Camps)
Malakaj, Ervin (Artistic and Literary Analysis Models, Artistic and Literary Movements, Schools and Styles, Artistic and Literary Theories, Arts, Literature and Subjectivity, German studies, German Film Studies, German Media Studies, German Media History, Queer Theory and Queer Studies, Feminist and Queer Film Historiography, Critical Pedagogy)
Pailer, Gaby (German literature, gender and literature, drama and theatre, enlightment, classicism and romanticism )
Rieger, Caroline (Laughter in interaction, education for global citizenship, translation, language assessment, learning of a third language in a second language environment)
Winthrop-Young, Geoffrey (German theories of media and cultural techniques, Complexity, biological evolution and animal studies, Secret societies and conspiracy theories, Science Fiction (special focus on Alternate history))
|2018||The fairytale fantasy is a hybrid literary genre that combines fairy tale and fantasy characteristics. Through an examination of two sets of case-studies from different national literatures, Dr. Dreier provided means to the understanding of the narrative apparatus and the revisionist qualities of fairytale fantasy works.|
|2018||Dr. Nowak examined the space of the Jewish Ghetto in Warsaw during the German occupation of Poland as experienced by those forced to inhabit it. In her thesis, she introduced a concept of violence that allows a description of space itself as a form of violence. Her work contributes to Holocaust Studies as well as current research on space and violence.|
|2017||Dr. Kage analyzed horse-riding as a companion species practice and cultural technique in German literature around 1900. Her research shows the shifting relationship between humans, animals and their surroundings. It also adds to our knowledge of current developments in Ecocriticism, the study of literature and the environment.|
|2016||Dr. Hoellering showed how Turkish-German ethno-comedians occupy a social position similar to medieval jesters, and how their distinctive humor deflates stereotypes that have developed over centuries. His work helps to understand ethno-comedy as an effective platform for the cultural participation of marginalized groups.|
|2015||Dr. Baer focused on how wards of the state are portrayed in German literature from the 18th to the 20th centuries. Her research advances our understanding of the international history of foster care, and of how literature, their translations and literary studies contribute to society's understanding and perception of that history and of those in care.|
|2012||Dr. Redlich investigates how Yoko Tawada's German literary texts can be read as politically charged cultural criticisms. In particular this research reveals how the unstable production and perception of 'race' is a central literary theme in nearly all of Tawada's literature.|
|2011||In her dissertation, Dr. Roy analyzed autobiographies written by individuals who were spied upon by the Stasi, the former East German secret police. She studied how these authors used their own Stasi files to write about their lives under surveillance and how these file-based autobiographies constitute a new autobiographical sub-genre.|
Further Program Information
Course offerings include approaches from historical, cultural, media, performance, and gender/sexuality studies and move beyond a traditional epoch-based mode of disciplinary engagement.
Students have the opportunity to: develop comprehensive knowledge and critical judgment of German literary history; acquire an understanding of literary texts in their aesthetic, social, political, (inter)cultural, and historical dimensions; apply a variety of critical methods and theories to the study of literary texts; and refine literary sensibilities, analytical skills, and conceptual abilities.