Master of Arts in North American Studies


Studieninformation MA North American Studies Okt. 2019
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International Applicants Please Note:

Aside from a certificate of English language proficiency (as specified in the admission requirements, see link on the right), international applicants do not have to demonstrate German language skills for the enrolment in the MA North American Studies program.

What We Do

AMERICAN STUDIES is a division of the English Department ("Seminar für Englische Philologie") at Georg-August-Universität Göttingen. Since the winter term 2009/10 we have been offering the master degree program in American Studies.
Our discipline is called AMERICAN STUDIES ("Nordamerikastudien") - instead of, say, "American Literature" - because it integrates the study of American literature within the study of American culture at large. This is to say, we investigate a specific historical formation that spans from the first colonial encounters between European and Native (North) American populations in the 16th century to the distinct societies of the United States and (to a lesser degree in our teaching program) Canada in the 21st century. Within these geo-historical limits, our major focus is still on literature - not because American literature happens to be one of the English literatures, but because literature is among the most important forms of cultural reproduction and transformation in colonial British America and in the United States. However, other kinds of symbolic expression and their histories are part of our discipline as well, such as American religion, American politics, American sports, American popular culture, American film, American legal culture, etc.

For in-depth information on the "Göttingen Model" of American Studies, see the overview in our BA information section.

Curriculum of the MA Program

The MA (Master of Arts) in American Studies is a research-oriented program. It is specifically designed to prepare students for further academic work, such as PhD-projects. Furthermore, the MA provides advanced training for careers in various public and private institutions, which

  • demand experience with academic methods of research and a broad spectrum of expertise in the humanities

  • develop and oversee projects and programs situated in intercultural, especially transatlantic contexts

  • need professionals with intimate knowledge of the cultural formation "North America"

  • produce journalistic or academic texts (such as news agencies, the press, or publishers) and thus look for graduates with exceptional writing skills in both German and English.

The modules of the American Studies MA aim to build on prior training students have received on the bachelor level. MA-students gradually advance to a level of professionalism at which they can engage in critical dialogue with other scholars of the field. With its strong focus on research methodology, the program enables students to judge the current state of scholarly debate in specific fields of inquiry. In individual research projects, students use their interpretation and research skills to formulate and argue original theses. Such work will usually be pursued in the form of longer research papers. Members of the American studies faculty work closely with each individual student to ensure good supervision and counseling during the composition of such papers. With this format, we prepare our graduates for larger research projects en route to a doctorate degree or to the specialized fields of a professional career as described above.

Our core modules are

  • Advanced Cultural and Media Studies

  • American Literature

  • Colloquium-Module in Preparation for MA-Thesis

Additionally, students are offered a large variety of elective modules ("Wahlmodule"), in which they can pursue their specific interdisciplinary interests.