Thank you for your interest in our German Ph.D. program! The Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures at Penn takes a forward-looking perspective on developments in the field. In contrast to many Ph.D. programs in German, we provide a solid grounding in the entire German literary tradition. At the same time, we vigorously pursue interdisciplinary study informed by the latest methodological and theoretical movements. Our Department has particular strengths in gender and sexuality, intermediality, history of the material text, German-Jewish studies, translation theory, cinema studies, the environmental humanities, and pedagogy. Our students are trained with an eye to their career objectives. All of our students receive a full five-year Benjamin Franklin Fellowship package, which includes guaranteed summer funding and significant mentored teaching experience.
As a prospective graduate student you will want to take many things into consideration as you decide on the best Ph.D. program for you. We invite you to browse our web pages to learn more about our department and our brand new curriculum. If you're interested, we urge you to contact us. Better still, come and visit. We'd be delighted to show you around Penn, introduce you to students and faculty, and answer your questions in person. Discover what it feels like to study German at an Ivy League institution that puts you and your future first.
Suspended Admissions Cycle
We regret to announce that the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures at the University of Pennsylvania will not be accepting applications for the PhD program for this year's admissions cycle. As we focus on supporting current students during the ongoing pandemic, the School of Arts and Sciences has made the difficult decision to prioritize supporting students who have already matriculated and to ensure that we are in a position fully to fund future cohorts of Penn graduate students. We will therefore pause bringing new students into the program for one year, with the eager expectation of welcoming a new cohort of graduate students in the fall of 2022. We encourage you to consider applying next year for a 2022 start. Please be in touch with Ian Fleishman (, Graduate Chair of the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures, with any inquiries.