German MA Program

General Description of the Program

The German Track of the Master of Arts degree in Languages and Cultures, part of the Department of Classical & Modern Languages & Literatures, provides advanced training for current and prospective teachers of German in secondary school, and prepares students planning to continue in Ph.D. studies in German elsewhere. All areas of German history are covered, including the history of the language, film, literature, and cultural studies from the medieval and early modern periods to the contemporary age. The program features a diverse faculty who are at home in both traditional German scholarship and contemporary theoretical approaches. Most MA students are funded through a teaching assistantship, which allows for a substantial tuition reduction and a monthly stipend. Students who have completed the MA program have been admitted to top Ph.D. programs across the United States. Others have gone on to teach in high school, work in government administration and Foreign Service, or succeed in international business.

The Graduate Advisor

Dr. Anita McChesney
Office: FL 204

The current graduate advisor, Dr. Anita McChesney, coordinates the Graduate Program, keeps graduate student records, advises students regarding degree plans, and assists students in confirming that requirements and deadlines are met. The Graduate Advisor is not the only mentor; students are encouraged to familiarize themselves with all graduate faculty members and to choose whom they find appropriate for mentoring.

The German Faculty

Dr. Stefanie Borst
Associate Professor of German
Associate Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin, 2004
Director, German Outreach
Office: FL 218

Dr. Borst’s dissertation was on “Context and Comprehension: A Cross-Cultural Comparison of German and American Readers.” Her current research includes the areas of Business German, Second Language Acquisition, Pedagogy, and applied linguistics. She teaches graduate courses in the areas of applied linguistics and second language pedagogy.

Dr. Charles A. Grair
Associate Professor of German
Ph.D., Washington University in St. Louis, 1994
Undergraduate Advisor in German
Office: FL 260

Dr. Grair’s research is the German literature of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, especially the reception and interpretation of the classical legacy by writers of that period. He is currently working on a book describing the poetic representation of social and political conflict in the age of Napoleon. He has also published on pedagogical topics in the areas of business German and second language acquisition. He teaches graduate courses from the early modern period to the nineteenth century.

Dr. Belinda Kleinhans
Assistant Professor of German
Ph.D., University of Waterloo, 2013
Office: FL 250

Dr. Kleinhans recently completed her dissertation on “Speaking with Textual Animals beyond the Limits of Silence: Crisis of Language, Power Discourses, and a Poetology of the Open in German Postwar Literature.” Her current research focuses on biopolitics, and on cultural and literary animal studies in German and Austrian literature of the twentieth century.

Dr. Anita McChesney
Assistant Professor of German
Ph.D. Johns Hopkins University, 2005
Graduate Advisor in German
Faculty Advisor, Texas Tech German Club
Office: FL 204

Dr. McChesney’s main areas of research are contemporary German and Austrian literature and culture, with particular focus on the connections between narrative forms and visual media. She is currently working on a book that examines the impact of textual and visual media on the development of the detective genre from German Romanticism to contemporary Austrian literature, and has published articles on the detective novel, on media, and on Austrian history. She teaches graduate courses on post-war contemporary German and Austrian literature.

Dr. Marlene Selker
Ph.D., Texas Tech University, 1996
Coordinator of Language Instruction
Office: FL 2238

Dr. Selker coordinates basic language instruction in German at Texas Tech University. She works intensively with the graduate instructors in German and assists in the training of all German Teaching Assistants.

Other Texas Tech Professors whose research and courses may be of interest to students studying German:

Dr. Lynne Fallwell
Holocaust Studies, German History

Dr. James Brink
Early Modern Europe

Dr. Jacob Baum
Early Modern History in Germany

Resources and Links

Research Resources

  • Texas Tech Library: Your first place to look with several thousand titles in French. Check the catalog.
  • Interlibrary Loan at the Texas Tech Library: Excellent service. Will order books from any library that has them. Fast, courteous and efficient.


  • JSTOR: Excellent source of academic articles. Also on the TTU Library homepage. Search on campus without a login.
  • FirstSearch/WorldCat: Excellent resource for finding books in libraries worldwide. Also on the TTU Library homepage. Search on campus without a login. From the TTU Library website, you can order books on FirstSearch/WorldCat via Interlibrary Loan.
  • ProQuest Dissertations and Theses: On the library homepage. Excellent resource for finding dissertations and theses.
  • Google Books: A great source to research and preview book (and sometimes read whole books).

Other Research Resources

Career Development & Recent Graduates

Graduates of our MA Program leave with solid training in German Literature, Culture, Film and Linguistics, skills useful to any career field. In addition, our graduate students are provided a valuable opportunity to gain experience in communicative language teaching and are provided with careful training and supervision to assure their success in the classroom. Our graduates’ training and experiences make them highly competitive candidates for jobs in government, business and education or for graduate study beyond the MA level. In recent years, many of the graduates of our MA Program have received prestigious fellowships for study abroad or have continued their education in Ph.D. programs at highly-ranked universities, including:

  • University of Washington in Seattle
  • University of Texas at Austin
  • University of California – Davis

Von hier ist alles möglich.
From here, it’s (all) possible.


For more information on the MA program, please contact the graduate advisor:

Dr. Anita McChesney
Office: FL 204

To gain admission into the German MA program in Languages and Cultures, requires a certain proficiency in German language and culture, usually acquired through taking courses toward the major in German. Students who have completed a major in other areas may be considered if they have the requisite competency in the language and have demonstrated motivation to work on the MA degree in German. If necessary, students will be required to take leveling courses before continuing with graduate coursework. Decisions on admitting students are made after taking into account a broad range of personal and academic experiences that the student brings to the program.

Admission to the program involves a two part application, first to the Graduate School of Texas Tech University, then to the German program. When completing the program application, domestic applicants should send the completed CMLL Graduate & GPTI/TA Application to Liz Hildebrand ( The German program requires 3 letters of recommendation and a writing sample in German before review can begin. Texas Tech majors in LACU-German can provide the names of three professors willing to provide references in lieu of letters of recommendation.

Foreign Applications generally take longer to process. Foreign students are thus encouraged to apply as early as possible. Applicants must have a minimum TOEFL score of 550 (paper-based version) or 79 (internet-based) to gain admission to the Graduate School. The CMLL Graduate & GPTI/TA Application from foreign nationals should be submitted to Carla Burrus. Students applying from abroad will also have to secure a student visa from the nearest American embassy or consulate.

Tuition and Fees

Current tuition and fee costs can be found on the Graduate School website.

Financial Support

Information on CMLL Graduate Student Financial Support can be found here.

The Program

The Languages and Cultures MA Program in German at Texas Tech maintains a focus on literary studies and pedagogy while integrating a large scope of cultural material and a variety of theoretical frameworks. Courses are offered both through the Languages and Cultures program (CMLL) and through the German track program (GERM). Courses are listed on the TTU Website and in the Texas Tech University Course Catalog; areas taught include History of the German Language and Medieval Literature; Early Modern and Enlightenment Literature, Weimar Classicism, German Romanticism, Realism and Naturalism, Modernism, Weimar literature and Film, Exile Literature, Postwar Literature and Culture, and Contemporary Literature, Culture, and Cinema. Students may also take courses in Literary Theory, Research Methodology, and in Teaching Methods and Pedagogy of Second Language Acquisition. We have a vibrant program that benefits from an experienced team of cross-disciplinary professors. Small seminars provide intimate contact with faculty members and the opportunity to pursue individual research. Faculty members encourage intellectual inquiry and critical thinking through several collaborative endeavors. Opportunities exist for scholarships for study abroad or for professional development at workshops and institutes in the US and abroad.

The German Program at Texas Tech offers an intensive, hand-on, practical teaching workshops for our Graduate Part-Time Instructors and Teaching Assistants, thus ensuring solid, communicative-based instruction in our undergraduate courses. We are dedicated to training all new instructors in our department with the theoretical and practical aspects of effective teaching, and we provide continual, guided supervision in their own teaching of lower-level German courses, thus ensuring a high quality of instruction and practice. All applicants to the MA are encouraged to apply for a teaching assistantship and funding, which is allocated on a competitive basis.

We encourage students to pursue their own academic interests. The graduate advisor formulates a degree plan with respect to the interests of the student and availability of the Graduate Faculty. MA students have the option of writing an MA Thesis in all historical literary periods and in applied linguistics, second language acquisition, literary theory, and cinema. We consider professional development to be an important aspect of our program, and we prepare and encourage all of our students to present papers at regional and national conferences.

Program Requirements and Options

1. Basic Framework

The program extends over two years. There are two options: 36 hours of regular coursework (9 hours per semester), or 30 hours of regular coursework plus 6 hours minimum of thesis coursework (CMLL 6000). Official details of all program requirements and options can be found in the Graduate Catalogue of Texas Tech University.

Early in a student's first semester, a Degree Plan will be compiled with the Graduate Advisor and submitted to the Graduate School, listing the courses to be taken as part of the student's program of study. This Degree Plan is subject to revision as necessary.

The ordinary pattern of graduate coursework in a Degree Plan is as follows:

Fall A LING 5312 Second Language Pedagogy
CMLL Common Course Seminar
GERM Seminar
Spring A CMLL Common Course Seminar
CMLL Common Course Seminar
GERM Seminar
Fall B CMLL 5302 Theoretical Foundations
CMLL Common Course Seminar
GERM Seminar
Spring B CMLL Common Course Seminar
GERM Seminar
GERM Seminar


  • Specific topics in graduate seminars, ordinarily specifying literary periods, genres, or theories, will be chosen with a view to the needs of current graduate students and the specialties of the faculty.
  • New students enroll in LING 5312 on the pedagogical methods required for teaching German at the college level. In the second Fall semester, a course on Literary Theory is offered; these courses are offered on a continual rotation.
  • Teaching Assistants' and Part Time Instructors' first priority will be to enroll in these courses. After these courses have achieved their minimum enrollment, flexibility will allow for students to take courses in other areas or to pursue an individual study course (CMLL 7000 Individual research).
  • Any member of the graduate faculty may direct an MA thesis. The thesis committee consists of the Director and two other members, chosen by the student in consultation with the Graduate Advisor. A student writing a thesis will enroll in a minimum of two consecutive courses of CMLL 6000 in place of the CMLL Common Course offerings.

2. The Second Language Requirement

The Graduate School requires sophomore proficiency in a second language for completion of the Languages and Cultures MA degree. German graduate students can fulfill this requirement by passing a fourth semester language course (2302) at TTU with a grade of B or better, by passing a Graduate Reading Course at TTU, or by passing a translation exam administered by a faculty member in CMLL. The student should contact the Graduate Advisor for more information about fulfilling this requirement.

3. Comprehensive Examinations

Written and oral examinations for the MA degree will take place in the final semester of a student’s program of study, according to deadlines set by the Graduate School. The examination committee will be composed of three members of the graduate faculty chosen by the student in consultation with the Graduate Advisor. In the written exam, the student will be responsible for all material covered in program graduate courses for which the student received a grade, for the German MA Reading List, and for any other material agreed upon by the candidate and the committee chairperson. Upon successful completion of the written examination, an oral examination will be scheduled, which is not limited to questions posed in the written examination. For students writing an MA thesis, the oral examination will consist of a thesis defense.