American Studies (B.A.)

The most important facts at a glance:


Bachelor of Arts (Two-subject Bachelor)

Standard period of studies:

6 semesters


Winter and summer semester
Language of Instruction: English

Admission restrictions:

Open admission


You find information on the application procedure for international students here.

Applicants with foreign certificates:

Required course for the Assessment Test (Feststellungsprüfung): S/G- or S-Course

To find out if you are required to take the Assessment Test, check your Certificate of Recognition.

Proof of German language proficiency is not required, if the subject is combined with 'English Literature and Culture'.


Please keep in mind that you need a certification of recognition for all foreign certificates. The recognition process takes up to six weeks and the certificate must be included in your application.

Winter semester: June 1 - September 1

Summer semester: December 1 - March 1

If you combine a Two-subject Bachelor whose admission is open with one whose is restricted, the deadlines are:

Winter semester: June 1 - July 15

Summer semester: December 1 - January 15


American Studies (M.A.)

American Studies / Anglais (M.A.)

under certain conditions (depending on courses taken):
English Literature and Culture (M.A.)


Department of English and Linguistics

Obama Institute for Transnational American Studies

Faculty: 05: Faculty of Philosophy and Philology


The accreditation of study programmes for Bachelor and Master Degrees constitutes as a precondition for the granting of state approval.

Subject Matter

This program intended for students with a wide-ranging interest in the languages, the literature, the cultures, and the history of North America. The Bachelor of Arts with American studies as a major (or a minor) is an opportunity to complete a qualifying degree in 6 semesters. Students in this fully English-speaking program learn the theoretical fundamentals of the subject as well as practical language skills and intercultural competence. American Studies and JGU’s International Office offer students the chance to strengthen their English skills and their understanding of American society and culture through a range of exchange programs in the USA and Canada. Teachers from the USA and Canada also travel to Mainz frequently to offer classes.

In addition to its transatlantic focus, the Obama Institute of Transnational American Studies is developing stronger transpacific perspectives. American Studies is interdisciplinary and includes literature, culture, history, social policy, and politics. The following competencies will be acquired or improved during the program: critical text analysis, written and oral communication of complex topics in English, critical thinking and informed argument, an understanding of cultural values and traditions and the way Americans view themselves, knowledge of the importance of religion and religious communities in American society, knowledge of the US political system, an examination of the opportunities and challenges in a pluralistic society, sensitivity to questions of identity and a classical immigrant nation, and an understanding of the role of the United States in the globalized world.

American Studies can be done as a major or a minor as part of a two-subject bachelor’s degree. Additional skills can be gained through one or more internships as well as by studying abroad in an English-speaking country. Due to its interdisciplinary approach, American Studies combines easily with a variety of other subjects. In media-centric Mainz, popular combinations include journalism, film studies, theater studies, and book studies. It is also possible to combine American Studies with humanities, social sciences, economics, or law.

The research skills gained through the bachelor’s program can be strengthened and developed in the master’s program for American Studies. The Obama Institute for Transnational American Studies has an excellent international reputation due to the quality of its professors.

Course Structure

American Studies as a Major

Module structure:
• Language and Communication
• American Studies
• Cultural Studies
• Cultural Studies and Professional Orientation
• Culture, Media and Literature
• Advanced Language and Communication
• Regional and Transnational American Studies
• Early American Literature and Culture (1500-1900)
• American Literature and Culture (1900 to the Present)

American Studies as a Minor

a) Internal (with the major English Literature and Culture)

Modul structure:
• Cultural Studies
• Literature
• Cultural Studies II
• Early American Literature and Culture (1500-1900)
• American Literature and Culture (1900 to the Present)

b) External (with a non-English major)

Module structure:
• Language and Communication
• American Studies
• Cultural Studies
• Cultural Studies
• Literature and Culture

Studying Abroad

American Studies in Mainz maintains exchange programs with many North American colleges and universities. Participants in the direct exchange programs have the opportunity to complete part of their studies in the USA and have these credits recognized at JGU. In addition, the International Office provides information about other study opportunities in North America and about scholarships from the DAAD and other organizations.

The department strongly recommends spending at least three months abroad in an English-speaking country. Internships abroad can also count for credit at JGU (Independent Studies).

Required Internships

As part of the major, students are to do a six-week (or longer) internship at a company or organization.
For more information on internships in Germany and abroad, please refer to our Career Service portal.

Foreign Language Skills

Excellent knowledge of English is required. Students must be able to complete written and oral exams in English. Additionally, students are required to have some knowledge of a second foreign language.

Practical Language Entrance Exam

Before being accepted to the program, applicants must complete the “Practical Language Entrance Exam” (C1, according to the Common European Framework). The exam is given two weeks before classes begin, and the dates will be listed on the homepage of the Department of English and Linguistics in advance. Students may also provide proof of English ability by submitting equivalent certificates. More information is available on the Homepage of the Department of English and Linguistics.


The International Office offers counselling for international students about the application process and general information.

The Academic Advisory Office offers specific information on the subject (List available in German only).

The Student representatives give information from a student perspective (List available in German only).

Fields of Work

The English Literature and Culture program offers graduates career perspectives in the following fields: media, publishing, libraries, museums, press and public relations, advertising, information and communications management, private schools in Germany and abroad, colleges and universities, adult education, and job training. These opportunities can be significantly improved through relevant subject combinations, the acquisition of additional qualifications, and by pursuing internships both in Germany and abroad