CfA: Graduate Study in Chicago: Fellowships and TA-ships in Germanic Studies at UIC

Heidi Schlipphacke's picture
Graduate Studies (M.A. and Ph.D.) and Teaching Assistantships in Chicago at the University of Illinois at Chicago



The Department of Germanic Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago seeks promising students to join our interdisciplinary department of scholars and teachers. Housed in the heart of Chicago, UIC is one of the five most ethnically and culturally diverse campuses in the United States and is amongst those ranked most highly on the Social Mobility Index. We actively foster dialogues with the diverse cultural and social groups represented in the university and in the greater Chicago area.


We offer a variety of generous financial support opportunities to international students, including year-long fellowships funded by the Max Kade Foundation for both incoming and advanced graduate students and multi-year fellowships for incoming students that are administered by the UIC Graduate College as well as teaching and research assistantships. The Jacobson "Bridges" Fund provides generous summer research and professionalization support for Germanic Studies students to visit archives and libraries, attend workshops, and conduct research in Germany and Austria.


Programs of Study

We offer a Master’s (2-year program) and a Ph.D. (5-6-year program) in Germanic Studies. Germanic Studies M.A. and Ph.D. students can also pursue interdepartmental concentrations in Central and Eastern European Studies, Gender and Women’s Studies, Jewish Studies, and Black Studies. Graduates of the M.A. and Ph.D. programs have been successful in careers within and beyond Academia. Recent course topics include: “Contemporary Transnational Writing in German”; “Empire’s Ends and Modernism’s Beginnings: The Case of Vienna 1900”; “Literature, Gender, Form”; “Animal Affinities”; “Computer Assisted Language Learning”; “Queer German Cinema.”


Intellectual Community: Our intellectual community is particularly vibrant, as faculty and students in Germanic Studies take advantage of lectures and presentations from the many scholars in the greater Chicago German Studies community and beyond. The School of Literatures, Cultural Studies and Linguistics provides a cutting-edge intellectual environment in which students and faculty share their work. Graduate students in the School work together with their peers in neighboring literature and cultural studies departments to organize reading groups and graduate student conferences that attract national and international participation. We also collaborate closely with the Institute for the Humanities.


Comprehensive Development of Teaching Abilities: Theory and Application

Graduate students have many opportunities to develop their teaching abilities. During the course of their MA and PhD studies graduate students learn to differentiate between a variety of approaches to the teaching of German language and culture. By recognizing the potential of each individual approach to classroom-based learning, graduate students develop their own identity as instructors. By the time students graduate from our program, they will have a deep understanding of the guiding principles of our ever evolving curriculum, and they will be able to apply their knowledge to other teaching contexts.  Annually, the Department recognizes excellence in teaching with the Robert Kauf Award.  

The teaching assistant (TA) development program is comprised of the following components:

· Graduate students have opportunities to teach at all levels of the undergraduate curriculum, including fully online courses. Language courses range from A1 to B2 language levels and are taught in German. General education and online courses are taught in English. Graduate students teach three courses each academic year. Each course meets for three hours each week in a 15-week semester. 

· Pre-semester orientation: During a week-long orientation TAs learn how to use the teaching materials of our program. Special focus is placed on the effective integration of online learning materials in the face-to-face classroom context, since all of our basic language courses are taught in a blended format.

· Graduate level courses: Students take a graduate course on different teaching approaches and materials design during their first semester. This course provides them with resources from which they can draw to develop their teaching abilities independently beyond the program. The course focuses heavily on reading theoretical texts and empirical research. Additional workshops focus on teaching materials design.

· TA meetings: Weekly meetings focus on core teaching issues, such as classroom management, corrective feedback, test design, and learning strategies.

· Teaching observations: TAs are regularly observed as a way to encourage them to reflect on effective teaching strategies and advance their teaching abilities.

· Curriculum revisions: TAs are invited to participate in curricular projects to build their teaching portfolios.

· PhD students have the unique opportunity to serve as the assistant to the Language Program Director. In this position they participate in making curricular decisions, designing syllabi for the basic language program, and leading TA development workshops.

· Mentored teaching development: TAs have the option to work as the assistant of a faculty member who teaches a General Education course. During this mentorship experience the TA learns about syllabus creation (beyond a commercial textbook), course goal design, various assessment strategies, and the development of blended learning materials. Students who have worked with a faculty member can then teach an online course on the same topic.

Visit us at:

Chicago – a Global Metropolis

The Department collaborates closely with Chicago's many cultural institutions, such as the Goethe Institut of Chicago and the Gene Siskel Film Center. Faculty and students take advantage of lectures and presentations from scholars in the greater Chicago German Studies community. Graduate students frequently collaborate with their peers in neighboring literature and cultural studies departments to organize reading groups and graduate student conferences that attract national and international participation.

Our Faculty

Our faculty members have expertise in areas including 18th to 21st century literature and culture, Film and Media Studies, Intellectual History, Gender and Queer Studies, Austrian Studies, Jewish Studies, Transnational Literature and Culture, and Second Language Acquisition. They hold leadership positions in the profession as presidents or executive board members of organizations such as the German Studies Association, the Austrian Studies Association, and the Goethe Society of North America. They also serve as editors or editorial board members of major book series and journals. Each year, we host a Max Kade Visiting Professor from a German-speaking country who teaches a graduate course and helps organize a conference that highlights the research of graduate students, faculty, and invited scholars. Our most recent Max Kade conference focused on “Posthumanism and the Limits of Ability.”


Our academic year starts August 16 and ends May 15 with a three-week break between the fall and the spring semester.


Application due date for study beginning Fall 2023: February 15, 2023. Priority deadline for all fellowships is January 10.

TOEFL test or an approved equivalent exam required for non-UIC nationals living in countries where English is not an official language.

For more information about our M.A. and Ph.D. programs, please contact Dr. Heidi Schlipphacke, Director of Graduate Studies ( Please see our website for more information about graduate study in our department (