Upon completing coursework for any of the three concentrations in German, a student must pass a comprehensive examination based on the coursework and on a core reading list.

German Literature Exam

  • Part I: Reading List (Students answer two questions from a choice of three or four)
  • Part II: History of the Language/Linguistics (Students answer one question from a choice of two or three) and Reading List (Students answer one question from a choice of two or three)
  • Part III: Special Topics in Literature (Students answer two questions from a choice of three or four)
  • Part IV: Oral Exam (Addresses Written Exams, Reading List, and Special Topics)

German Studies Exam

  • Part I: Reading List (Students answer two questions from a choice of three or four)
  • Part II: Linguistics (Students answer one question from a choice of two or three) and German Studies Special Topics (Students answer one question from a choice of two or three)
  • Part III: German Studies Special Topics (Students answer two questions from a choice of three or four)
  • Part IV: Oral Exam (Addresses Reading List, Special Topics, and Written Exams)

Exam Structure

The Germanic literature and Germanic studies exams are structured as follows:

  • An exam committee consists of at least three faculty members and is set up by the student with the graduate advisor. Students pass each part by majority vote. In case of a tie, the student passes. All written parts must be passed in order to proceed to the oral exam. If a student fails part of the written exam, only that part must be retaken.
  • Students must have passed the German language proficiency exam C1 before being admitted to the comprehensive exams.
  • Special topics are usually based on coursework and must be established in consultation with the graduate advisor.
  • Each written exam will last three hours (i.e., one hour and thirty minutes per question). The oral exam may last up to one hour.
  • Practice questions may be discussed with the graduate advisor.
  • Students may view their corrected exams but may not make copies or remove them from the department.

Germanic Philology Exam

  • Part I: Applied Linguistics (Students answer two items from a choice of three or four). Items are typically based on coursework.
  • Part II: General Linguistics (Students answer one item from a choice of two or three) and German Literature (Students answer one item from a choice of two). Items are typically based on coursework.
  • Part III: Germanic Linguistics: Synchronic and Diachronic (Students answer two items from a choice of three or four). Items are typically based on coursework and the Linguistics Reading List.
  • Part IV: Oral Exam (Primarily addresses Coursework and Written Exams, but also includes Linguistics Reading List).

Exam Structure

The Germanic philology exam is structured as follows:

  • An exam committee consists of at least three people and is set up by the student with the graduate advisor. Students pass each part by majority vote. In case of a tie, the student passes. All written parts must be passed in order to proceed to the oral exam. If a student fails part of the written exam, only that part must be retaken.
  • Students must have passed the German language proficiency exam C1 before being admitted to the comprehensive exams.
  • Each written exam will last three hours (i.e., one hour and thirty minutes per item). “Item” may refer to one in-depth question, several shorter questions, brief identifications, or a combination thereof. The oral exam may last up to one hour.
  • Practice questions may be discussed with the graduate advisor.
  • Students may view their corrected exams but may not make copies or remove them from the department.
  • Students are encouraged to have an external M.A. exam committee member if that best reflects their coursework.