The University of Heidelberg seeks applications for its Ph.D. program 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.
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.
Once accepted, students are expected to take one class on method and theory, one class on academic writing as well as a presentation and media skills class. For the entire duration of their enrollment, students are expected to attend the Ph.D. colloquium. Regular progress reports and orientation talks with advisors are also an integral part of our Ph.D. program. There are no tuition fees.
Upon completing the program, the graduates are awarded either a Doktor der Philosophie (Dr. phil.) or a ?Doctor of Philosophy(Ph.D.) according to their choice.
The deadline for submitting applications for the next term (winter semester 2012, October) is February 15, 2012.