Requirements for the Combined Doctorate in German and Film and Media Studies

Program of courses

Sixteen term-courses will be the norm, taken over a two-year period. In some cases a candidate may be allowed to take up to two courses in the third year.

A.  Requirements in Film and Media Studies: Six courses

  1. Films and Their Study (offered every other Fall term)
  2. Four additional seminars in Film Studies, including crosslists

B.  Requirements in German: Eight courses, two of which may be audits

C.  Two additional approved courses which may be taken outside both units

D.  Transfer courses: Students may waive one of the required courses for prior work in German with the approval of the DGS and the Graduate School.


A.  Fluency in English and German: Those who are not native German speakers take a written and oral exam in their 2nd term so that remedial work can be factored into their program if necessary.

B.  Reading knowledge of one additional European language (usually French) by the time of the 3rd semester in residence. This is certified by:

  1. Passing the Reading-for-Research exam offered in the language
  2. Passing a course at Yale given in the pertinent language


The student is examined in two separate sessions in the 3rd year.

A.  Fall term: three 30 minute orals that deal with German Literature 1750-1880; 1880 to the present; German film history 1920-2000  

B.  Spring term: three 25 minute orals on themes or topics chosen by the student in conjunction with advisors and the DGSs. Generally two would emphasize film and media and one would emphasize German philosophy or culture.

The Dissertation

A.  A prospectus, written with the advice of one or two advisors, and consisting of no more than a dozen pages (excluding bibliography) should be presented at a meeting before the end of the 6th semester. At the meeting at least one member of each unit, plus one DGS will discuss possible improvements to the prospectus. Once the prospectus is ready, it will be submitted by the DGSs to the entire faculty of both units for approval.

B.  During the fourth year of residency, a first chapter is presented for review and discussion by the advisor, the DGS and at least one other faculty member.

C.  A 60-90 minute “Defense of Method” takes place in the semester preceding final deposit. Two weeks before this event, the candidate sends 80% of the work to the three prospective readers and the DGS of one or both units. A presentation and discussion of goals and methods is followed by questions and advice to help the candidate bring the work to successful conclusion in the next few months.