American Studies (M.A.)

The most important facts at a glance:


Master of Arts (M.A.)

Standard period of studies:

4 semesters


Winter and summer semester

Admission restrictions:

Open admission


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

Applicants with foreign certificates: Language of instruction: English

Winter semester: April 1 - September 1

Summer semester: October 1 - March 1

Required Bachelor's degree:

Amercian Studies (B.A.)

American Studies / Anglais (B.A.)

English (B.Ed.)

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


Department of English and Linguistics

Obama Institute for Transnational American Studies


Faculty 05 - 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

The American Studies Master’s Program is designed to emphasize research-oriented perspectives on American language, literature, culture and their theories. It builds upon the B.A. program in American Studies at Mainz University, but also welcomes applications of students from American Studies programs in Germany, Europe, and other parts of the world.

American Studies has seen a number of major changes in theory and practice in the last decade. Its traditional emphasis on the language, literature and culture of the United States has been expanded both conceptually and methodologically. Reaching beyond the continental geographical focus of the United States, the more recent concept of Transnational American Studies includes new regions of language and literature, branching out into Atlantic, Caribbean, and Pacific Studies.

The Mainz M.A. program responds to these new developments and encourages students to explore the transnational dimensions of American Studies. The program offers a broad spectrum of courses and conducts research on American literature and culture from the 16th to the 21st century with areas of specialization in comparative Indigenous studies, early American studies, and transnational life writing. It maintains old-established exchange programs and international cooperation with North American, European, and Chinese universities. The program also includes a special module on interdisciplinary studies allowing students to expand their research into cognate fields for a broad-based perspective on the Americas. The M.A. program especially emphasizes the need for students to experience the United States at first hand and is committed to offering students the possibility of studying at one of our partner universities in the United States, Canada, or China.

Master entrance requirements

  1. The subject-specific entrance requirements for the Master's program American Studies include the completion of a bachelor’s degree in American studies or in a related field (B.Ed.  English, B.A.  British Studies, B.A. British and American Studies etc.) or an equivalent degree from a higher education institution in Germany or abroad. At least 10 credit points must have been earned in the field of American studies. The relevant proof must be provided with your application in the form of a notarized copy of your degree certificate, including a convincing and notarized overview of courses attended in the field of American studies (Diploma Supplements, Transcript).
  2. We expect the applicant to have a very good active and passive knowledge of English (level C1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) to read the specialist literature and participate in courses taught in English (no proof required).  This especially includes the writing of papers and taking written and oral exams in English.
  3. If the applicant has earned less than 10 credit points in the field of American studies at the time of application, he or she may, by way of derogation from the standard rule in section 2 subsection 4 sentence 4 MAPO (examination regulations), be admitted to the program on the condition that he or she takes part in an obligatory individual advising session according to section 1 subsection 1. The 15-minutes individual advising appointment deals with the special requirements of the Master's program as well as the subject-specific knowledge and abilities of the applicant in the field of American studies. After the appointment, the applicant may be required to attend additional courses from the Bachelor's program American Studies in order to be admitted to the Master's program. The additional courses should be defined in a way that allows the credits to be earned in one semester.
  4. The obligatory individual advising according to section 1 subsection 3 normally takes place 14 days before the start of winter or summer semester. The applicant will be invited to the appointment by mail and/or by e-mail at least 14 calendar days before the appointment date. If the applicants fails to appear for no good reason, the condition according to section 1 subsection 3 is not met. If the applicant submits an acceptable excuse, the appointment will be rescheduled. In such cases, admission is subject to certain conditions or takes place next semester. The advising session is led by two persons appointed as examiners according to section 8 subsection 2 or one person appointed as an examiner in the presence of a qualified observer. Minutes are to be taken during the advising session. The minutes include:a) the names of the persons appointed as examiners,
    b) the name of the applicant,
    c) the date and time of the advising session,
    d) subject and results of the advising session,
    e) decision on further conditions for admission.The minutes are to be signed by the persons appointed as examiners and submitted to the examination committee.
  5. Exemption from the DSH (Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang): Applicants who have completed their bachelor’s degree at a non-German speaking institution do not have to provide proof of German language proficiency according to the “Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang”. Proof of German proficiency seems unnecessary as the Master's program “M.A. American Studies” is offered in English.
  6. Coursework and examinations can only be recognized once per program of study.  Multiple recognition of coursework and examinations is not possible.


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).