Ph.D. in American Studies at the University of Heidelberg
The University of Heidelberg offers a Ph.D. in American Studies at the Heidelberg Center for American Studies (HCA). This structured, three-year English-language program is open to German and international applicants who wish to earn a research-oriented academic degree. The program aids students in acquiring the skills to independently conduct major scholarly research in the fields of American history, politics, geography, literature, and cultural studies. It not only offers a modern multidisciplinary curriculum but is particularly committed to building a true community of scholars by fostering academic debate and continual exchange among its participants. Graduates are awarded either a Doktor der Philosophie (Dr. phil.) or a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) according to their choice.
Unlike Ph.D. programs in the United States, this program does not include a preliminary phase ending with a preliminary or comprehensive exam. This means that no automatic master’s degree will be awarded and that students will not have time to develop their dissertation topics while enrolled in the program. Instead, acceptance to the Heidelberg Ph.D. program in American Studies requires a well-developed advanced concept of a research project.
To apply successfully, a candidate needs to fulfill not only the general entrance requirements but she or he also needs to write a meaningful proposal. The proposal should outline the guiding questions of the dissertation project while embedding them in current academic debates and show that the dissertation will make an original and important contribution to a particular field of research. The proposal should also list the source materials that will be used and provide a realistic timetable for the completion of the project.
Applicants also need a letter of intent from a professor at the University of Heidelberg that she or he is willing to be their advisor for the envisaged project. Candidates need two letters of recommendation that not only assess the applicant’s academic qualifications but also evaluate the proposed dissertation project.
Enrollment in the Ph.D. program in American Studies takes place annually. The next deadline for submitting applications is April 30, 2013.
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