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North American Studies (M.A.)

Research-oriented with interdisciplinary options: The Master's degree programme in North American Studies at Göttingen provides a deeper knowledge of North American culture. Particular focus lies on literary and media theory. In the interdisciplinary optional modules, students can specialise in history, sociology, comparative literature or other subjects. The Master's degree qualifies the student for occupations in research and training as well as in journalism, publishing, librarianship and in international economic, political and academic collaboration.

Degree Programme title: North American Studies
Final degree: Master of Arts (M.A.)
Standard period of study: 4 semesters
Start: summer and winter semester
Part-time studies possible
Degree programme options: Joint Honours MA in North American Studies (42 C); Module package: North American Studies as MA minor subjects (36 C)
Admission requirements for Joint Honours MA: Overview
Language requirements: Demonstration of sufficient English language skills by earning the minimum required grade on an internationally recognised test.
Entrance requirements for module package: Overview
Note for international applicants: German language skills do not have to be demonstrated for the enrolment.
Application procedure: application procedure (application to the faculty of humanities)
Language of the programme: English

Program Description
Within the MA in North American Studies, students do advanced academic work and may choose individual areas of specialization in literary, cultural, and media studies. The degree program prepares students for positions in journalism, in public service, or in other cultural institutions. Graduates are specifically qualified for careers in transatlantic contexts. Additionally, students planning to pursue further academic work on the PhD level benefit from the strong focus on scholarly methodologies and the writing of extensive research papers.

Program Structure
Students need to complete 42 credits in North American Studies. 26 credits derive from the core curriculum, while 16 credits are obtained through interdisciplinary electives. As part of the core curriculum, students first complete two modules on American literature and culture, as well as media studies. Additionally, they select two interdisciplinary modules from other cooperating programs of study. At the end of their studies, students will research and write a final thesis. Work on this scholarly project is done during or after a concluding module.

Main Areas of Research and Teaching in Göttingen
The general research interest of the North American Studies program is to describe and understand the cultural formation “North America” in its historical development, regional diversity, cultural complexity and transnational interconnectedness. The program thus fosters a critical understanding of North American literature and culture in a very broad sense.
The Göttingen Master in North American Studies focuses on the study of cultural artifacts (literature, autobiographies, visual arts, media, etc.) in their respective historical, political, social, and cultural contexts. Students expand their knowledge of literary, cultural and media theory to refine their analytical skills. North American Studies is an interdisciplinary subject that combines thorough instruction in literary, cultural, and media studies with additional methodologies from related disciplines.
Within the MA program, students are encouraged to independently select a specific focus of intellectual inquiry.
Main research areas in Göttingen include American literary and cultural history (especially colonial culture and the American Enlightenment; as well as 20th/21st century), popular culture, (American) media history and theory, material culture, visual culture.
The MA program is closely linked to various research projects, which gives students the opportunity to participate in guest lectures and colloquia and to organize student conferences and workshops. Studying on the MA level therefore entails first-hand experience with the approaches and conventions of a distinct scholarly discipline. The American Studies division of the English Department is furthermore involved in several interdisciplinary collaborations and projects with external funding. The various scholarly activities resulting from these networks are often integrated into the advanced courses on the Master’s level.

Language skills during the academic programme:
German language skills (if not already present) be acquired in the electives during the academic programme.

Career Options
North American Studies graduates often choose one of the following career paths: academic careers in universities and other institutions of higher education, careers in business (e.g. transatlantic trade), editors at publishing houses, journalism, public service, government, non-governmental organizations (NGOs).