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German Studies, Cornell University

Cornell University Department of German Studies Cornell Univeristy

Graduate Admission

Graduate Studies

Admission and Financial Aid

Students encouraged to apply include undergraduates who have completed a German major as well as individuals who have majored in Humanities or Social Sciences and have a strong interest in German Studies. Fluency in the German language is required.

We recommend that all applicants submit scores on the Graduate Record Examination aptitude test (GRE). In addition, we require a writing sample (in either German or English, possibly no longer than 25 double-spaced pages); transcripts; at least two letters of recommendation. Students whose native language is not English must also submit TOEFL scores.

The application process must be done on-line through the Graduate School and must be completed by January 2. Cornell University expects all applicants to complete their application materials without the use of paid agents, credentials services, or other paid professional assistance. The use of such services violates University policy, and may lead to the rejection of application materials, the revocation of an admissions offer, cancellation of admission, or involuntary withdrawal from the University.  If you have any questions, please contact us at

Incoming graduate students are offered a standard package that includes two years of full fellowship support and three years of Teaching Assistantships in beginning language and literature courses and in the First-Year Seminar Writing Program sponsored by Cornell’s Knight Institute. The package also includes four years of summer funding. Apprentice teaching is considered an essential part of the graduate program in German.
In addition to the guaranteed financial support students can also apply for a number of fellowships that will give them the opportunity for study abroad. They include: one exchange fellowship with the Humboldt University in Berlin, Cornell-Heidelberg Exchange Fellowships, German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)Fellowships, and Fulbright Program fellowships administered through the Einaudi Center for International Studies
More information on graduate fellowships, travel grants, and financial aid is available from the Institute for European Studies and the Graduate School.