UC Santa Barbara > History Department > Prof. Marcuse > Graduate Study Page
comic graduate school is hell
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Graduate Study in German History
Resources for Current and Prospective Students

by Harold Marcuse
professor of German history at UCSB
(Homepage, Courses, Research, Publications, Presentations, CV)

(UCSB History dept. home; History course offerings; Dept. grads page)

page created March 2005, last updated 4/2/19

Letters of Reference

Marcuse as mentor
(prelim reading lists, exam ques & answ.)
My Grad Courses
(200e, 201e, 204,
217bc, 233ab;
also 209ab)
German History
Research Resources

Libraries, Newspapers, Internet, Institutions

Public History Links

Oral History Resources

Profs &
in German History
After Grad School

News & New Links (back to top)

Letters of Reference (back to top)

If I agree to write you a letter of recommendation, I will want to have the following:

  1. A copy of your statement of purpose or letter of application. It is fine if it is only a draft--I can give you feedback. But I need to know what you are applying for, and your statement of your reasons why.
  2. A copy of your most recent UCSB transcript, *unofficial is fine* (print it out from GOLD). I need to be able to comment on your academic credentials all around. This will also remind me which courses of mine you took, and what your grade was.
  3. Originals or copies of any work you submitted for the course(s) you took with me. (I will return them.) Going back over these will refresh my memory and enable me to be much more specific in the letter I write, thereby making it carry more weight. Scans with any comments I wrote on them are most valuable.
  4. For applications to graduate schools that require a writing sample: show me the sample when you drop off your materials. I may be able to give you advice, and it will help me to tailor my letter to your unique profile.

If you want multiple letters (e.g. students applying to multiple graduate programs, for multiple fellowships, or for multiple jobs), it would be helpful to have a table or spreadsheet laying out the following:

  1. date letter due (sorted by this, or perhaps in priority groups--tier 1, 2, 3)
  2. priority (the ones you really want vs. shot in the dark, if we want to tweak generic letter)
  3. institution or fellowship name
  4. unique requirements of the grantor (library, research-only no writing, travel only, etc.) or job
  5. how to submit (upload link, hard copy)
  6. who else is writing letters (I often ttry to point out things I may know and others don't & may not write about, e.g. teaching/TAing, editing projects, etc.)
  7. any changes/tweaks to your proposal I should be aware of

My colleague Prof. Hasagawa offered the following advice to (graduate) students asking for letters of recommendation (from an Oct. 2006 e-mail, with permission):

  1. Send your advisers/mentors a list of places (jobs/funding organizations) you are applying to with descriptions of the job/grant, and most importantly, deadlines. (Is the job in modern Europe or Russian history? Do they expect you to teach Western civ or world history? Do not just give us the websites of the job you are applying, since it is extremely time-consuming for us to check each website to find out when the deadline is).
  2. Send your application letters to your mentors/advisers for comment. (Often, these letters should be revised and improved before you send them. For instance, one letter this year has gone through five or six revisions. And I have spotted some glaring grammatical and spelling errors in an application that was already sent.)
  3. Be sure to send your updated CV to the letter writers. (Even your mentors may not know what papers you have presented and what articles and reviews you have published or submitted for publication. Or how many years have we known you?--the year you entered our program is helpful. Remember you are dealing with academics who sometimes don't remember which year they got married.)
  4. Gently remind your advisers/mentors when the deadline approaches (at least one week before). (Remember we are writing 60 to 70 letters and it is difficult to keep track of each deadline. Sometimes, we may be out of town, unable to send in the letters.)

Links for Applying to Graduate School at UCSB (& elsewhere) (back to top)

Just for fun...

Employment after College for Various Majors

Marcuse as Mentor (back to top)
Spiezer Chronic: Prof & Students, 1470
Professor & Students
Swiss Spiezer Chronik, 1470
  Sorry, I haven't written a narrative for this section. For now, the information about my research interests on my homepage will have to do.

My students at UCSB who are preparing for their dissertation qualifying exams have asked for examples of examination reading lists, questions, and prospectuses. For their use and at risk of embarrassing myself, I provide the following samples of my own from the University of Michigan in 1988. I think we had a 3-hour written exam in our main field, and a 2-hour oral exam covering all four fields.

Links to Modern Germany Reading Lists for Grad Students

Recent Dissertations in German Studies

My Graduate Courses (back to top)

  • 233AB, Research Seminar in German History
    • "A two-quarter (20 week) research seminar for graduate students interested in aspects of nineteenth and twentieth century German history. Students will learn and apply researching techniques, as well as writing, editing and presentation skills."
    • Completion of four such seminars is required of all UCSB history graduate students before they can enter candidacy
    • Spring-Fall 2003 233AB syllabus
    • note: I may someday teach Hist 233H on Habermas, which was developed by Prof. Fogel
  • Hist 209AB: "The Academic Profession of History"
    • (I don't teach this, but highly recommend it)
    • UCSB offers two courses to prepare advanced graduate students for the job market and future teaching: Hist 209A-B, "The Academic Profession of History."
      Catalog description:
      "This course provides students with the practical knowledge needed for obtaining an academic position, develops skills for effective teaching, and prepares students to deal with funding agencies, publishers, employers, and professional organizations."
    • Here are some relevant links:

German History Research Resources (back to top)

German library databases (back to top) [links checked 2/3/13]

  • Konstanz list of links to supraregional catalogs, including the
  • Karlsruhe virtual catalog (you can search them ALL at once with this)
  • Bibliotheksverbund Bayern (click "Recherche," then select a database)
    includes the BSB Munich, which specializes in German and general history (1982-pres. available online); also the DBI joint catalog, and SUBITO article delivery service.
  • Bielefeld (complete holdings!) excellent search engine, [Aug. 2001: no longer available--includes JASON for ordering articles on line (register, or purchase TAN units on-line)]
  • Carl-UNCOVER, merged with ingenta, a commercial document-delivery service for journal articles, in 2001.
  • Goettingen (pre 1946 and 1977-present are cataloged on-line)(click on OPAC)
  • Hannover Univ. page with links to library and on-line article searchers
  • Tuebingen (1973-present)
  • SUB Frankfurt (acquisitions since 1986; specializes in Jewish history)
    (Select the "Stadt- und" link at top to connect)
  • SUBITO German journal articles search and delivery service
  • Stuttgart, Bibliothek f. Zeitgeschichte (acquisitions since 1989; specializes in Zeitgeschichte, esp. non-conventional publications, including articles and dissertations--VERY good)
  • WEBIS list of links to individual German libraries with historical specialties
  • UC melvyl system (profile page login), UCSB ILL orders;
  • Santa Barbara Public Library system database

German Newspapers (also Weekly Papers) (back to top)

Web Browsing in Germany (back to top) (links checked 9/8/04, 2/3/2013)

German Institutions and Organizations, some with fellowships and funding
(back to top)
[some updates Feb. 2013]

Public History Links (back to top)
[links updated Feb. 2013]

Oral History Resources--Very Useful Articles

History departments with good programs in modern German history (back to top)
[links updated Nov. 8, 2008; Feb. 2013 to Indiana]

Life In & After Graduate School (back to top)

Matt Groening 1987 comic: School is Hell

xx (back to top)

page created March 25, 2005 by H. Marcuse, last update: see page header
back to top, to H. Marcuse homepage