Skip Navigation
UMass Amherst Back to LLC Site

German & Scandinavian Studies, Deparment of Languages and Literatures


Undergraduate Program

German and Scandinavian Studies teaches languages as well as familiarizes students with the cultural achievements of Germany and Scandinavia and hones their critical thinking through historical, sociological, cultural, and, above all, interdisciplinary methods. We regularly offer Swedish, and Norwegian is available through the Five-College Center for the Study of World Languages. We offer many courses in German film, history, twentieth-century literature, and cultural, Jewish, and gender studies. Our courses are among the most popular at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Undergraduates can work on practical projects with faculty ranging from research assistantships to development of web-based language instruction and course website creation. A number of our undergraduates have participated in prestigious international internships. The program is structured to set the study of the Germanic languages and their literatures within the contexts of their respective cultures, including their historical, economic, political, philosophical, and cultural aspects. Strong interdisciplinary ties with other departments (music, drama, the visual arts, history, philosophy, political science, business) are encouraged. Members of different American and European faculties appear as speakers before the department or teach as visiting professors. Close cooperation with the Goethe Institute in Boston enriches the extracurricular program and acquaints students with many aspects of contemporary Germany, far beyond the strictly literary realm. German drama is occasionally performed and German film series are regularly offered, often in conjunction with the surrounding colleges. Lectures and performances which are sponsored by the German departments of Amherst, Mount Holyoke, and Smith colleges are open to all students and greatly diversify the cultural offerings in this field.

Graduate Program

The German and Scandinavian Studies Program offers graduate work leading to the degrees of Master of Arts (M.A.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in German Studies. Interested in applying as a student? Students apply online online through the Graduate School at UMass. The application requirements are: a transcript, a statement of purpose, three recommendations, an academic writing sample of not less than ten pages (in either German or English), and a phone interview. Applicants are not required to submit GRE scores. The deadline for applications is January 15. However, our program accepts late applications at our discretion. Accepted applicants will be invited to visit campus. Please contact the Graduate Program Director, Professor Jonathan Skolnik at, for more information. Note for non-native speakers of English: The Program in German and Scandinavian Studies can offer provisional admission of non-native speakers of English without TOEFL scores; however, final admission into the Graduate School requires submission of TOEFL scores. Non-native speakers of English who hold a degree from an English-language college or university or have attended one for at least two years do not need to submit TOEFL scores.