Doctor of Philosophy in Germanic Studies (PhD)

Overview

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.

 

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Admission Information & Requirements

In order to apply to this program, the following components may be required.

Online Application

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.

Transcripts

All applicants have to submit transcripts from all past post-secondary study. Document submission requirements depend on whether your institution of study is within Canada or outside of Canada.

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:

90
22
21
22
21
6.5
6.0
6.0
6.0
6.0

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:

The GRE is not required.

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.

Supervision

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)
Applicants should browse faculty profiles and indicate in their application who they are interested in working with. However, it is not necessary for applicants to contact faculty members prior to their application.

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.

Other Requirements

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.

Citizenship Verification

Permanent Residents of Canada must provide a clear photocopy of both sides of the Permanent Resident card.

Research Information

Research Highlights

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.

Research Focus

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).

Research Facilities

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

Tuition

FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application Fee$106.00$168.25
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,698.56$2,984.09
Tuition per year
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
$5,095.68$8,952.27
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)
* Regular, full-time tuition. For on-leave, extension, continuing or part time (if applicable) fees see UBC Calendar.
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.

Financial Support

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.

International students enrolled as full-time students with a valid study permit can work on campus for unlimited hours and work off-campus for no more than 20 hours a week.

A good starting point to explore student jobs is the UBC Work Learn program or a Co-Op placement.

Tax credits and RRSP withdrawals

Students with taxable income in Canada may be able to claim federal or provincial tax credits.

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.

Cost Calculator

Applicants have access to the cost calculator to develop a financial plan that takes into account various income sources and expenses.

Career Outcomes

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 Education
University of British Columbia (3)
Bates College (2)
University of Tokyo
McGill University
King Abdulaziz University
Sample Employers Outside Higher Education
Wooga GmbH
Sample Job Titles Outside Higher Education
Head of Operations
PhD Career Outcome Survey
You may view the full report on career outcomes of UBC PhD graduates on outcomes.grad.ubc.ca.
Disclaimer
This 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.
Career Options

The Ph.D. program in Germanic Studies promotes skills that can lead in multiple professional directions. Most often, the Ph.D. is preparation for teaching, but the faculty aim to assist students with the development of transferable skills, beyond critical thinking, that can serve them well in the long term: for example, locating and analyzing information, presenting information to diverse audiences, and applying cultural knowledge to interpretations of complex texts and situations.

Our program’s alumni can be found in higher education, non-profits, and in the private sector. Doctoral alumni have gone on to a range of careers in, for example, education, translation, and public service.

Research Supervisors

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))

Doctoral Citations

A doctoral citation summarizes the nature of the independent research, provides a high-level overview of the study, states the significance of the work and says who will benefit from the findings in clear, non-specialized language, so that members of a lay audience will understand it.
Year Citation
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

Specialization

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.

Faculty Overview

Program Identifier

VGDPHD-K1B
 
 
 

Supervisor Search

 

Departments/Programs may update graduate degree program details through the Faculty & Staff portal. To update the application inquiries contact details please use this form.

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