Centre for Modern Indian Studies (CeMIS)

Prospective students

M.A. in Modern Indian Studies

Application deadline: May 15. Applications are open from April 1 to May 15 each year. The course starts in October.

Looking for an English-language interdisciplinary M.A. programme that offers research-based, innovative and critical perspectives on contemporary India?

Want to analyse and understand the social, economic, political and cultural transformations that characterize India today?

Like to become part of a vibrant, stimulating centre in an international academic environment?

If your answer to these questions is yes, then apply now for the M.A. programme in Modern Indian Studies at the CeMIS.

What is CeMIS?

CeMIS offers cutting-edge research-based teaching by faculty and lecturers from a wide range of academic backgrounds including development economics, anthropology, history, Indology, political science, religious studies and sociology. Established in 2009, CeMIS has established an excellent reputation as one of the few centres in Europe and South Asia taking an interdisciplinary approach to the study of modern India. It is part of the University of Göttingen, one of the academically outstanding universities in Germany. Boasting over 40 Nobel Prize winners, the university has a rich tradition and is renowned for its outstanding research institutions and its welcoming campus environment.

Areas of focus

The teaching programme and research at CeMIS is organized into five broad, interdisciplinary categories:

To find out more, click the links or download the flyer.
A list of previously offered courses.

The master's programme is designed to offer students a great deal of flexibility, allowing them to develop and pursue their own interests within these five categories. Aside from the two-semester introductory course, Interdisciplinary Studies of Modern India (18 ECTS), students are free to elect which courses they take, as well as the theoretical and analytical focus of their thesis. Students also learn a modern Indian language.

    Obviously, I really enjoyed the MA programme at CeMIS, because I started on my PhD—on manual scavengers in colonial Calcutta—as soon as I finished. As an MA and PhD student, CeMIS has provided me with an extremely stimulating and supportive intellectual environment, and most importantly for me, has allowed me to pursue my interests in modern India - Maria-Daniela Pomohaci, CeMIS PhD student      Maria - Alumni

Career opportunities and perspectives

Those who have successfully completed a M.A. in Modern Indian Studies are qualified to work in Indian or transnational enterprises, in development cooperation, in associations, in administration and in government agencies, in NGOs, the tourism sector, as well as in media and communications. They may also choose to pursue an academic career in research and teaching. The Masters Programme serves as a qualification to enter a doctoral programme.

The university offers a Careers Service, and information and events about internships and job applications. See links in the adjacent panel. Find out more about career opportunities.

Structure of the Masters programme

The Master in Modern Indian Studies is a single major, four-semester programme. As this is an international study programme attracting students from around the world, all courses are conducted in English. To obtain a masters degree, students must complete 120 credits, including a masters thesis (30 credits).

ma programme structure 2017-18

For more detailed information about the modules and structure of the M.A. programme, click here.

    I was looking for a diverse study program that allowed me to develop a profound understanding from different disciplinary perspectives. CeMIS offered me the perfect mix: political science, economics and language studies, and all with a focus on South Asia. After my BA in Interdisciplinary Indian Studies, during which I completed two semesters abroad at the National University of Singapore and an internship in India, my first corporate stint was at the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce in Mumbai where I worked on establishing a German Energy Efficiency Training for Companies in India. After that, I started my own company: a marketing agency in Mumbai that employs only women. My understanding of the Indian market, culture and language, as well as my German background, create a unique combination of expertise that many Indian and German companies are looking for when introducing their product into the foreign market. - Gwenda Schobert, CEO of Enspireco Services Pvt Ltd      Gwenda

Semester abroad

Students have the option of studying one semester at one of our partner universities in India or at another university of their own choice. Our partner universities are:

  • School of Social Sciences at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi
  • Centre for Studies in Social Sciences Calcutta (CSSSC), Kolkata
  • University of Delhi
  • Savitribai Phule Pune University

CeMIS works together closely with the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and other funding institutions in order to assist students in securing financial support for a semester abroad.

What's a semester abroad like? See photos and short reports from M.A. students Maja about her semester in Pune and Marcel about his semester in Delhi.

CeMIS also runs occassional study trips.

Entry requirements

Proof of proficiency in English is required. Applicants who are not native English speakers will need to prove sufficient knowledge of English by submitting a certificate stating that they have passed an internationally recognised test (e.g. TOEFL, Cambridge Certificate, IELTS, UNIcert level »III«, CEF level C1), unless they can claim an exemption. Knowledge of a modern Indian language is preferred but not strictly necessary.

Courses in a modern Indian language are a compulsory part of the degree program, except for native speakers of a modern Indian language (application for exemption necessary).

German language skills are not required for this study programme. However, international students interested in learning or improving their German can attend courses provided by the university. Credits from these courses can go towards the Master within the professionalisation part of the study programme.

Sufficient credits (at least 50 ECTS) in a related field are also required. Related fields are Development Studies, Geography, History, Gender- or Diversity Studies, Indian Studies, Indology, Islam Studies, Ethnology or Cultural Anthropology, Media Studies, Political Science, Religious Studies, Social and Economic History, Sociology or Economics.

Read a brief explanation of the ECTS credit system.

    I founded my own Indo-German Consulting company at the beginning of 2017. Prior to that, I worked for different Indian companies, mostly in Tamil-Nadu. Before I started my studies at CeMIS, I was an ordinary law student at the University of Göttingen. But thanks to CeMIS, I developed a much deeper insight into Indian culture. This was essential for me and my life in India — on both a professional and academic level, not to mention in everyday life. - Christian Garrelt Saathoff, Managing Partner, CG-S GmbH - Indo-German Business Network      Christian

Semester fees

There are no tuition fees at German universities, only an administrative fee/student body contribution per semester (around 300euro/semester). The contribution has a number of benefits including subsidised meals at the university canteens, free bus travel in Göttingen, free train travel in the state of Lower Saxony and beyond, as well as free entry to a broad range of cultural events in Göttingen.

Scholarships and part-time work

M.A. students from Germany and abroad may be eligible for third-party scholarships.

Find out about part-time work opportunities and download the PDF guide booklet.

Student visas

Find out more about visa requirements to study in Germany.

CeMIS and the international office offer assistance with the visa application process, including issuing the required letters.

Life in Göttingen

The average cost of living in Göttingen is modest compared to other major university cities in Germany. Currently, expenses for accommodation, food, health insurance, and books reach approx. 750-800 EUR per month. Please note that fees for health insurance may vary according to age.

To find out more about moving to, studying in, finding accommodation and living in Göttingen, see Student Life in Göttingen, Studying in Göttingen, or download the extensive PDF guide booklet for new international students.

Have a look around Göttingen, with the Panorama from Gerhardts Fotografie.

    I completed a double major B.A. in politics, and in Modern Indian Studies at CeMIS, where I also wrote my bachelor thesis. The courses at CeMIS gave me a very good fundamental understanding of India’s history and society. In addition to the excellent quality of the courses, I especially enjoyed the atmosphere and support from the lecturers at the centre. At the moment, I am doing my Master in Peace and Conflict Studies in Marburg, and I am very happy to have gained such a good foundation during my bachelor studies. The BA at CeMIS definitely gave me the necessary qualifications for the Master (keyword: program requirements), and I’m grateful that I had such a good time there! - Nils Nerreter, MA student in Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Marburg      Nils

What's it like at CeMIS?

With 4.5 out of 5 stars, the M.A. in Modern Indian Studies at CeMIS is the top-ranked Asian Studies programme on popular German study rating website studycheck.de. Find out what students say at studycheck.de. The programme was rated especially high for its teachers, organisation, and the courses offered.

Students talk about their studies

Chatting with Anna

In this series of short videos, MA student Anna catches up with MA and BA classmates to chat about studying - and life - at CeMIS.


Have more questions? Speak to a current CeMIS M.A. student. Contact Ashwin ask.me@cemis.uni-goettingen.de

If you would like to know more about the study programme, please contact Dr Michael Dickhardt: Email

Answers to your questions about the application and admissions process.