Graduate Studies in German


2019 AYA Newsletter

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Graduate College Admissions

The BGSU M.A. in German is a two-year program in which you spend the first year of graduate study at the University of Salzburg in Austria and the second at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. The program offers you three different possibilities for pursuing your research interests.

Literary and Cultural Studies Track

You can pursue a wide variety of literary and cultural topics in German.

Comparative approaches and the development of specialized research interests are encouraged. This track can serve as an ideal preparation for further studies (Ph.D. programs) in the humanities, for a wide variety of professions and government positions that demand cultural expertise, or as preparation for teaching German at the college and high-school level.

Language and Teaching Track

You will focus on linguistic and pedagogical topics, acquire teaching experience, and assist professors with their work. This track is ideal for perfecting your language skills; it will prepare you for the teaching profession or for work with businesses that have strong ties to German-speaking countries.

Dual Degree Track

You can pursue a dual M.A. degree in German and Political Science, History, Music History, or another field (such as a second language, English, art, etc.). This track is an ideal preparation for further studies in both fields, for business and government positions that demand cultural, historical, and/or political expertise, and also for teaching more than one subject at the college or high-school level.

Studying in Salzburg

You will spend your first year of graduate study (from the end of September through the end of June) at the University of Salzburg, where BGSU has a wellestablished academic year abroad program. The program of study in Salzburg is intended to improve your language skills, to deepen your knowledge of the Germanspeaking countries, and to give you the first hand experience with the Austrian university system.

The on-site director of the program, a member of the BGSU graduate faculty in German, will advise you on what courses to take and guide the initial stages of your research project.


While in Salzburg, the program offers you internships with Austrian companies and various organizations, such as educational institutions, businesses, and charities. These internships present a unique opportunity to acquire work experience in a foreign country.

Studying in Bowling Green

You will spend the second year of graduate study on the Bowling Green campus in Bowling Green, Ohio.

Graduate study in German at Bowling Green takes place in a friendly atmosphere. The Department emphasizes personal guidance and advising. The curriculum is flexible enough to meet a variety of student needs and career orientations.

A special feature of the department is its writer-in-residence program, sponsored by the Max Kade Foundation, which brings an Austrian or German writer to campus for a semester each year.

You can take part in German plays that are often staged in conjunction with the Drama Workshop. You will be able to participate in activities, such as the German Club, the weekly Stammtisch, and the International Film Series. There are also many opportunities to become acquainted with German and Austrian exchange students who are on the Bowling Green campus each year

Career Options
The M.A. degree in German will allow you to pursue a wide variety of career options.

With the new emphasis on foreign language education in a globalized economy, teaching German as a foreign language in high school or college is one important career option. A number of our graduates continue into a Ph.D. program. Our graduates have placed into programs at Georgetown, Johns Hopkins University, University of Michigan, University of Illinois at Chicago, etc. Almost every year a number of graduates return to Germany or Austria on Fulbright fellowships to teach English as a foreign language in a secondary school.

An M.A. in German has many applications aside from teaching. More and more corporations are looking for graduates with a solid background in the liberal arts and foreign language skills. Our graduates have found jobs with large international corporations, with banks, and with local businesses. We have also placed graduates in government positions where knowledge of a foreign language is required. Some graduates have returned to Germany or Austria and found employment with foreign companies.

Training for Graduate Assistants

Graduate assistants in the department are ordinarily either teaching assistants or research assistants. Teaching assistants receive training in teaching methodology as part of their program of studies and work with a course supervisor during their first semester of teaching. Research assistants are ordinarily assigned to one or more professors to aid in the carrying out of research projects. The department also supports student participation at various national conferences.

Salzburg Graduate Assistantships include:

  • Tuition grant that covers instructional fees and out-of-state fees for nonresidents.
  •  Program costs (educational travel and special events such as a concert series, visits to the theater, and program gatherings.)

Bowling Green On-Campus Assistantships include:

  •  Tuition grant that covers instructional fees and out-of-state fees for nonresidents.
  •  Graduate assistant stipend.

Admission Requirements for the Graduate Program in German

  •  An undergraduate major or minor in German (usually no fewer than 20 semester hours beyond the intermediate level), or the equivalent.
  • General Aptitude Test of the Graduate Records Examination (GRE).

Additional Requirements for the Graduate Assistantship

  • Admission to graduate study in German at Bowling Green is based primarily on three letters of recommendation and undergraduate GPA.

How to Apply to the Graduate Program

APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS: Completing an application for the program will allow you to be considered for financial support. Note the Dual degree applicants must also follow all departmental-level application instructions for the other program. The policy of the Department of World Languages and Literature is to begin reviewing completed applications on March 1, and to continue reviewing later applications on a rolling basis until enrollment is full.

You must complete an online application for admission to the Graduate College that will include:

  • Application fee
  • Transcripts, as per instructions in the on-line form
  • GRE. For information about the GRE and how to register for the exam, see:
  • A personal statement: The statement should include your motivation for applying to graduate school, why you see yourself as qualified for admission to this program, what you hope to achieve in your area of interest, and your aspirations following the receipt of the graduate degree.
  • A writing sample in German or English: The writing sample should be an academic paper that you wrote in a German class and that you believe reflects your potential for graduate-level study.
  • Three [3] letters of recommendation. At least one of these recommendations should be from someone who will comment on your proficiency in German. At least one should comment on previous and potential academic performance. Note that indicating on the form that you waive your right to see the letters is seen by the evaluation committee in a positive light.
  • Optional additional materials. The on-line application allows you to submit additional documents if you would like, such as a resume.

Students who wish to work toward both a Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree German Studies may do so in our Accelerated BA to MA program if the student meets all application requirements. This accelerated plan provides the opportunity for students to complete both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in an efficient and effective format, normally in five year.  Undergraduate students who meet all the application requirements and are selected for enrollment into the MA program earn Pre-Master’s status as an undergraduate until they are officially graduated with their Bachelor’s degree and earn Graduate Student Status.  Once having earned Pre-Master’s status, an undergraduate student is able to enroll in the graduate courses and follow the program plan outlined in the attached Accelerated BA to MA in German Studies Program Plan.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the graduate degree, students in German are expected to be able to:

  • Attain “Advanced Mid” or higher (following ACTFL guidelines) proficiency in German.
  • Demonstrate understanding of the aesthetic qualities and socio-historical contexts of a set of representative texts from German culture. 
  • Utilize advanced intercultural and international competence—compare and assess cultural, political, historical, economic or other similarities and differences between North American and a German speaking country.
  • Be able to employ different interpretive approaches to cultural, historical, political, or economic texts.  
  • Demonstrate ability to interact in professional contexts with German native speakers.
  • Demonstrate ability to analyze and solve real life professional problems collaboratively in a professional setting in a German speaking country.

Accreditation and/or Program/Cluster Review

Bowling Green State University [BGSU] is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.  BGSU has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 01/01/1916. The most recent reaffirmation of accreditation was received in 2012 - 2013. Questions should be directed to the Office of Institutional Effectiveness.

The German program will go through its next Program/Cluster Review during the Academic Year 2022-23.

Professional Licensure (If applicable)

Bowling Green State University programs leading to licensure, certification and/or endorsement, whether delivered online, face-to-face or in a blended format, satisfy the academic requirements for those credentials set forth by the State of Ohio.

Requirements for licensure, certification and/or endorsement eligibility vary greatly from one profession to another and from state to state. The German program does not lead to professional licensure.

Gainful Employment (If applicable)

Under the Higher Education Act Title IV disclosure requirements, an institution must provide current and prospective students with information about each of its programs that prepares students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation.

The German program is not a recognized occupation that requires a Gainful Employment disclosure.

Updated: 03/04/2021 03:54PM