In the master’s degree in North American Studies, historical developments, structures and institutions in North America are analyzed and interpreted and classified in their respective social, historical, literary, cultural, political and economic contexts. The course offers the opportunity to delve deeper into politics, sociology, literature, economics, culture or history of the USA and Canada. The students have the opportunity to choose two specialization disciplines. The course is very interdisciplinary; regional scientific questions and tasks are dealt with across disciplines.


The master’s degree comprises three areas of study: the first major, the second major and the interdisciplinary study. The following six subjects are available as possible main disciplines: literature, cultural studies, history, sociology, political science and economics. In addition, students take part in a colloquium, ideally to accompany their master’s thesis.

The structure and process of the course are regulated by the course regulations. It contains detailed descriptions of the content and qualification goals of each individual module. The examination regulations define the type and requirements of the examination performances of the modules and the master’s examination. In the regulations, the credit points (CP) for each module or event as well as the workload in hours for the entire course are specified.

The courses are taught exclusively in English.

One of the two chosen majors (subjects) is the core discipline. The master's thesis is written in this discipline. The other major is considered an extension discipline.

Students are recommended to spend part of their studies abroad; However, studying abroad is not a compulsory part of the course.

The master's thesis should show that the students are able to independently work on and present a research task using scientific methods. After successfully completing the study program, the university degree Master of Arts (MA) is awarded.

Modules of the course

Specialized study (2 of 6)

Focus on history
Module A North America in the world
Module B North American History to 1865
Module C North American history since 1865
Focus on culture
Module A American history of ideas and theories of American culture
Module B Culture of nationality and diversity
Module C Cultural history of individual media and aesthetic forms of representation
Focus on literature
Module A Literary history
Module B Literary theory
Module C Literary text analysis
Focus on politics
Module A Theories and Methods of Political Science
Module B Institutions, actors and processes
Module C Policy areas / policy research
Focus on sociology
Module A Sociological Theories of North America
Module B Social systems, institutions and orders - meaning and function
Module C Exploring the social process - problem, conflict, crisis
Focus on economy
Module A North American economic policy in a historical dimension
Module B US domestic economic policy
Module C US foreign trade policy

Interdisciplinary study

Current topics and research fields in North American Studies 1

Current topics and research fields in North American studies 2

Current topics and research fields in North American studies 3




To be admitted to the master’s degree, applicants must demonstrate the following requirements:

  • Bachelor's degree or equivalent other university degree in one of the following subjects: North American studies, history, cultural studies, literary studies, political science, sociology, economics or in an interdisciplinary course with a study share of at least 90 CP in the aforementioned subjects,
  • Proof of language proficiency in English (level C1 GER), provided that English is not your mother tongue and the university degree was not obtained at an educational institution where English is the language of instruction



Graduates have in-depth scientific knowledge and advanced professional skills.

The degree qualifies you for work as a North America expert, in particular in politics and policy advice, business and economic advice, in the foreign service and in international organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), media and cultural institutions, state and municipal planning and Administration, adult education and further training, in publishing and libraries as well as in university and non-university academic institutions.


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