You should apply to the University of Pennsylvania by January 15. All applications submitted by January 15 wil receive consideration for full funding through the Ben Franklin Fellowship Program. The December 15 deadline mentioned on the Graduate School webpage is in effect for many programs, but not for German.
The Department requires GRE scores, letters of recommendation, transcripts, and a writing sample. Typically, candidates for a degree in German will have majored in German or otherwise established their credentials in the field (e.g., extensive study abroad; minor in German with other experience; major in another field with strong German component.) Because the majority of courses offered in the Program are conducted in German and the faculty believe that near-native fluency is essential for those who leave Penn with graduate degrees in German, applicants are expected to be proficient in the language.
Please go to the Graduate Division of Arts and Sciences homepage http://www.sas.upenn.edu/graduate-division to apply online and to obtain more general information on the Graduate Programs at Penn. Click here to go directly to the online application. We no longer use paper applications. If you have any questions, you may also contact the Department administrator.