How to Apply

We welcome applications to our Germanic studies program from students with a minimum of a BA (or equivalent four-year degree) in German, Scandinavian, or a related field. Admission to our program is based on:

  • the applicant's demonstrated potential for research and teaching excellence
  • evidence of a commitment to the advanced study of literature, culture, and media
  • demonstrated advanced proficiency in German or one or more Scandinavian languages (ACTFL Advanced or CEF B2 or higher)
  • distinguished academic record, especially in courses related to Germanic studies

                     Graduate Admissions for 2024-25

Our application window for Fall 2024 will open September 5, 2023. The deadline for admission for Fall 2024 is January 5th, 2024.

Applications must include the following materials, all of which are submitted via the Graduate School's online application system. If you have any questions or problems with the application procedure, please email

Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores are not required. 

Application Fee Assistance

Students with financial need may ask for assistance paying the application fee. Please contact our Graduate Programs Coordinator ( for further information.

Application Materials

Materials Notes
Graduate School application and fee  
Personal Statement (Required) A description of your professional goals of approximately 1–2 pages (750 words) as related to your academic interests in the proposed field of study. Please include information about the level of your training at the time of application; the particular areas of scholarly interest that you would like to pursue during your graduate work; and your professional plans upon completion of your training. You should also address your reasons for undertaking graduate study in the field, and for studying at the University of Minnesota in particular. The statement should be written in English.
Diversity statement (Recommended)

Supporting the development of a diverse student body is central to the University of Minnesota's mission. This mission is enacted by the inclusion of academically excellent students with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and/or a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. Please write a statement that identifies the distinctive characteristics and/or life experiences, such as successfully overcoming obstacles or hardships, that  you would bring to your graduate program and how that could contribute to the education and enhanced perspective of fellow students at the University of Minnesota.

Three letters of recommendation
The letters should be from persons who can comment meaningfully about your intellectual capabilities. At least two of these letters must be from professors with whom you have studied.

Your recommenders must be listed in your online application. It is best if they upload their letters,  but if they encounter problems with that or would prefer not to, they may send email their letters to
Please include an updated resume/CV.
Please make sure your institution's name is on the copy you upload. More information on uploading transcripts.

International transcripts/credentials: The Graduate School requires non-English transcripts/credentials to be accompanied by English translations of those documents.
Writing sample
The paper should be no more than 25 pages and should reflect your scholarly/academic interests as well as the current level of your analytic knowledge in German or Scandinavian studies. A term or seminar paper is best. If you have a thesis, please send an excerpt (e.g., title page, contents, and one chapter). The paper may be in English, German, or a Scandinavian language, but keep in mind that the admissions committee is made up of faculty members from both German and Scandinavian, and it is not a given that they are fluent in all these languages. Some students send two shorter papers, one in English and one in German. If you do this and want to use the upload feature in ApplyYourself, only one paper can be uploaded into the “Writing Sample” section. The other one can be uploaded in the ”Other Information” section. If submitting more than one paper, the total number of pages should not exceed 25 pages.
English language proficiency (TOEFL, etc.)
Minimum TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language for non-native speakers of English) score requirements: 79 on the internet-based test, with a minimum of 21 in writing and 19 in reading. (A speaking score of at least 27 is required for a teaching assistantship. Additional coursework in English is required for teaching assistants with a score below 27.)

The Graduate School also accepts English-language test scores from the International English Language Testing System (IELTS; minimum score: 6.5), amongst others. For more information on the requirements, and what other English language proficiency exams are accepted, please see the Graduate School's "English Language Proficiency" page.