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New UBC PhD scholarship for top international students

If you are considering applying to the University of British Columbia for the PhD program in Germanic Studies, please note that UBC has launched a new scholarship for top international PhD students. The fellowship provides funding for a total of five years: a $30,000 stipend plus tuition for four years, and a minimum $18,000 funding package for the fifth year. To be eligible, you must complete your application to the German Studies program at UBC by January 1, 2017 using UBC’s regular on-line application form. Note: this is earlier than our departmental application deadline of Jan. 15 for international students. Our department can then nominate you as a candidate for the award in the UBC-wide competition. Read more about the scholarship here.

Graduate Germanic Studies at the internationally renowned University of British Columbia

The Department of Central, Eastern and Northern European Studies at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada seeks excellent students to join its interdisciplinary research team. Our faculty’s expertise lies in the areas of German, Baltic, Scandinavian, and Slavic studies and includes approaches in Gender Studies, Holocaust Studies, Film and Media Studies, Visual and Performing Arts, as well as in Second Language Acquisition. Our course offerings include courses in literary, media and cultural theories, and literary studies from comparative, ecocritical, philosophical and sociological perspectives. (Please see below for a complete list.)

Funding your studies

All successful applicants will receive competitive financial support in the form of research scholarships and/or teaching assistantships for the duration of their studies, including full coverage of tuition fees (up to five years at the PhD level). Travel support and exchange scholarships are available as well.  Read more

Our Graduate Faculty

Our faculty are multi-disciplinary with research interests ranging from Kittler to conversation analysis, science fiction literature to queer theory. Every year, our professors win awards as some of the top instructors on campus. With one of the largest German graduate faculties in Canada, whatever your research interests, we’re sure you can find a great match. Read more

Our Research Community and Exchange Opportunities

As an important hub for Germanic Studies in Western Canada, the CENES department hosts lectures, colloquia, discussions, and authors throughout the year. Highlights include a graduate research colloquium, an annual graduate student conference, and the prestigious Ziegler Visiting Speaker Series. This year’s invitees include Thomas Kühne from the Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Clark University, Massachusetts, who will be lecturing on “Nation Building Through Genocide: The Germans and the Holocaust,” Brigid Doherty from Princeton University, who will present on avant-garde artist Hanne Darboven, and Jutta Eming from Free University Berlin, who will be discussing magic and science in the medieval era.

Beyond the department, students benefit from exchange opportunities with excellent partner institutions in Europe, including the Free University in Berlin, the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich, and the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw. Read more

Our students and our training

Our faculty provide on-going support and training to our diverse group of graduate students to ensure that they are included in the academic world and supported throughout their time with us and beyond. A recent alumni survey showed that 100% of our former PhD students were able to find work in their desired field, with most in academic careers in institutes such as Bates College, McGill University, University of Victoria, University of Tokyo, and UBC.

Former MA and PhD students have pursued their studies at places such as Stanford University, Cornell University, and Free University Berlin. Read more

Doctoral Program in Germanic Studies

Our PhD Program normally comprises four years of study and includes two years of course work (6 graduate courses), a Doctoral Candidacy Examination, two years for the Doctoral Dissertation, and a Public Defence. Admission requirements are a Master’s degree in German, an excellent record of university study, and fluency in German and English. Students with a four-year B.A. degree can be admitted in exceptional circumstances. Read more

Apply today!  We are currently accepting applications and inquiries. Application deadlines for September 2017 admission:

January 1, 2017 for International Students who want to be considered for the new 5-year scholarship

January 15, 2017 for International Students

January 31, 2017 for students in Canada and the US


Please contact the Graduate Program Assistant, Kate Wilczak, for more information:

For more information, please visit our website at today!

Graduate Faculty Research Interests

Katherine Bowers, Assistant Professor. 18th and 19th century Russian literature and culture; gothic fiction; communication and its mechanisms in early modern Russia.

Kyle Frackman, Assistant Professor. 18th to 20th century German literature; film studies; music history; philosophy and intellectual history; gender studies and cultural theory; Scandinavian studies.  

Markus Hallensleben, Associate Professor and Graduate Advisor. 19th to 21st century Austrian and German culture and literature; European avant-garde movements and aesthetics; performance theories and visual arts.

Ilinca Iurascu, Assistant Professor. 19th century German and comparative literature; the Realist novel; media and cultural theory; pre-cinema and early film; Material Culture Studies.

Bożena Karwowska, Associate Professor. Holocaust Studies; literary representation of women in Slavic literatures (especially Russian and Polish); communication between groups with different “common memories”; intercultural mediation.

Gaby Pailer, Professor. German literature from early modern to contemporary; gender and literature; drama and theatre; Enlightenment, Classicism, and Romanticism.

Caroline Rieger, Assistant Professor of Applied Linguistics. Second/Foreign language acquisition and teaching; interlanguage pragmatics; conversation analysis; intercultural communication.

Thomas Salumets, Associate Professor. 18th century German literature; Estonian cultural studies; ecocriticism (Arne Naess); figurational sociology (Norbert Elias); psychoanalytical criticism (D.W. Winnicott, Takeo Doi).

Steven Taubeneck, Associate Professor. Intersections between culture as literature and film, philosophy and history; phenomenology, hermeneutics and pragmatism in philosophy; comparative cultural history.

Geoffrey Winthrop-Young, Professor and Department Head. Media theory; cultural techniques; biology and cultural evolution; Science Fiction; German and American posthumanism.


For more info on our department, please read our newest Alumni Newsletter here, including a graduate student spotlight and Thomas Salumets being awarded an Honorary PhD from Tartu University.

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