The Graduate School (TGS) at Northwestern  requires all prospective students to apply for admission.  Please see the TGS Admissions page where you will find the online application. In addition to the Application for Admission and Financial Aid, the German department also requires the following documents for application to the Ph.D. program.

  • Copy of transcripts;
  • Three letters of recommendation;
  • A statement of purpose in which the student indicates the reason why he or she would like to pursue graduate studies in the German department and outlines some of the major lines of inquiry that he or she would like to develop;
  • A paper or writing sample representative of their work.
  • We do NOT require the GRE from our applicants.
  • TOEFL requirements:
    • Internet-Based Test Score minimum requirement of 90; Minimum for the Computer-Based Test is 213 and the Paper-Based Test is 550. The minimum score for the IELTS is 7.
    • International students need NOT take the TOEFL or IELTS if
      • they can provide official transcripts verifying an undergraduate degree from an accredited four-year institution or equivalent, where the language of instruction was English or
      • they can provide official transcripts verifying a graduate degree from an accredited institution where the language of instruction was English.
    • International students who have received a degree from an accredited, English-speaking institution will not be required to take the new language test (Versant) or attend language course work.

If you have questions, feel free to contact us at

Prospective students are welcome to visit campus informally and to stop by the department for general information. Admitted students are encouraged to attend a Visiting Weekend in early March, during which time they meet with faculty and current graduate students, tour the library and other campus facilities, and if possible, attend a graduate seminar.

The Application Deadline for admission to the German Ph.D. program at Northwestern University is January 15, 2018.