The B.A. degree program in Nordamerikastudien / North American Studies offers fundamental insights into the social, cultural, literary, economic and political history and present of the USA and Canada. Graduates of this program analyze social, political and cultural circumstances and developments with regard to current social conditions as well as their historical background.
Students learn to consider the North American situation not in isolation but in relation to European and global circumstances. They gain proficiency in areas of historiography and textual, social and cultural analysis that can be applied to all issues related to North America and can be implemented in diverse fields of work: scholarship, education, media, economics, politics or cultural exchange.
Faculty teaching in this program have particularly strong research credentials in the fields of history, literature, media and visual culture, popular culture, gender, race and ethnicity, technology, and cultural theory.
Types of courses
The program offers three basic types of courses: seminars, lectures, and foundation courses. They are grouped into modules.
Seminars address topical questions of scholarship and require a longer paper or a number of short essays.
Lectures offer thematic introductions and overviews and may require a portfolio.
Foundation courses serve as an introduction to writing academic papers, thematic introductions or to practical and professional skills.
One module (WP 14) allows you to earn credit for an internship conducted at an external organization.
Another module allows you to pursue an Independent Student Project (P 7). This is a research- or skills-oriented project supervised by a faculty member and designed according to your academic interests.
The final module is dedicated to writing a Bachelor’s thesis on a topic of your choice.
Types of modules
In the first year, compulsory modules serve as an introduction to basic concepts and historical periods as well as language skills and academic writing. In the second and third year, students have a choice among the fields of “Literature and Media” or “History and Culture,” or they can combine both in “Transdisciplinary Studies.”
Here is an overview of how to choose modules.
The more elaborate overview of the program gives you more information on how many, and which types, of courses are included in the modules.
All courses belonging to one module have to be passed successfully in order to complete the module. More information on the specifics of the modules is available in the rules and regulations of this program (only available in German).
Please note: These overviews represents the general template of modules to be completed in the program. The classes offered in this study program have individual titles. You can find them in the course catalogue of the current semester on our website or through the online portal LSF.
Grading, exams, and more
All modules are graded except for the compulsory modules P 3, P 6 and the elective modules WP 4-7, WP 11-14, WP 18-21, WP 24-25, which are assessed on a pass/fail basis.
Most exams can be taken again except for the Bachelor’s thesis, which can only be repeated once after a failing grade. All legal regulations can be found in the rules and regulations (Studien- und Prüfungsordnung).
A note about elective modules: If you register for an exam in an elective module, this module has to be completed successfully throughout the course of your studies. If you receive a fail grade, you will have to take another course or course combination (depending on the type of module) from the same elective module.
The Bachelor’s thesis makes up 25% of your grade in the major subject “North American Studies / Nordamerikastudien.” The final grade of your Bachelor’s studies at LMU, i.e. the 180 credit points of your major and minor subject is calculated by combining the two grades on a basis of 2 to 1.
Before you can sign up for the Bachelor’s thesis (P 8), all modules from the first to the third semester must be successfully completed. Important: If you do not sign up for the BA thesis until the 7th semester, it will automatically be counted as a failing grade and you will have one more chance to write the thesis.
Students can get credit points for conducting an internship (Praktikum) at an external organisation or company of your choice. It should relate to North American topics in the widest sense and acquaint you with professional skills. The minimum time required to get credit is two weeks full-time, or 80 hours. After the internship students have to write a nine-page report for a faculty member of their choice, include proof of the time-frame of the internship (Praktikumsbestätigung), and sign up for the exam in module WP 14.
The Independent Study Project aims to develop and strengthen the students’ ability to design and realize an independent project. It gives students the opportunity to work on self-chosen topics and interests related to their academic interests or professional skills. Students should contact potential supervisors, providing them with a short sketch of the project. The study project is usually completed with a study project report.
The final semester is dedicated to writing the Bachelor′s thesis. Students should get in contact with potential supervisors by sending a short sketch in advance by e-mail and then visit the person′s office hours. A list of potential supervisors together with the dates of registering for the thesis is published each semester on the institute’s homepage. You can also find the registration dates on the exam board’s website. Keep in mind to contact potential supervisors as early as possible in order to decide on an interesting and manageable topic. The thesis should have a length of approximately 30 to 35 pages (following our formatting guidelines), or 55.000 to 65.000 characters. Students have 10 weeks to complete their thesis.
Please note: You can only register for the Bachelor′s thesis if you have completed successfully all compulsory and elective modules from the first three semesters of the study program and the results have been entered on LSF before the start of the registration period.
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