Archaeology (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: German
Required language certificate: DSH-2

Winter semester: April 1 - September 1

Summer semester: October 1 - March 1

Required Bachelor's degree:

Archaeology (B.A.)


Studying Archaeology


Faculty 07: History and Cultural Studies


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

Subject Matter

Archaeology researches the early epochs of human culture. Its main object is material evidence of ancient societies and civilizations, which is predominantly acquired by means of excavation. The periods under consideration stretch from the very long period of the Stone Age to the so-called metal ages (Copper, Bronze and Iron Ages) and from Classical Antiquity, to Late Antiquity, and into the Byzantine period and the Early Middle Ages.

The integrative M.A. program in Archaeology is a consecutive program which follows on from the current B.A. program in Archaeology at Mainz University or comparable programs at other universities. The subjects Prehistory and Early History, Classical Archaeology and Christian Archaeology as well as Byzantine History of Art are part of this program. Students are offered solid training in the archaeology of Europe and the Mediterranean region. Special skills are acquired by attending several modules of a selected discipline. When enrolling in the M.A. program in Archaeology, one of the three disciplines must be chosen. Specific requirements (e.g. foreign languages) are stipulated in the exam regulations.

The degree awarded is Master of Arts (M.A.) in Archaeology. The field of specialization will be mentioned in the M.A. certificate. The spectrum of issues covered in the different modules is highly diverse. Beginning with the ascertainment of the functions of objects and findings, it extends to their analysis as evidence of different aspects of prehistoric, ancient, and early medieval life. The complex human impact on the natural environment is examined at the same time.

Today, the application of numerous scientific research methods supports archaeological research to a significant extent. Furthermore, by using models and theories, archaeology attempts to provide explanations of the development of the cultural and intellectual history of mankind. A highly interdisciplinary course is offered by the theory module, which discusses methodical approaches and more recent research results of broad interest on the basis of specific examples, taking into account all archaeological disciplines. In this way, students obtain a solid foundation which enables them to critically address scientific literature.

Another special feature of this program is that, on the basis of cooperation with the Institute for Special Information and Surveying Technology at the University of Applied Sciences at Mainz, students can acquire specific knowledge in the digital acquisition, processing and utilization of geographical data, as part of three course modules. Today, acquisition of such knowledge is of particular importance in practical as well as research-oriented archaeology.

Furthermore, it is possible to attend modules in non-archaeological fields and to acquire knowledge of both modern and classical languages (especially Greek for Classical Archaeology, Christian Archaeology, and Byzantine Art History). A module on practical work offers students the opportunity to participate in excursions at home and abroad as well as in field work (excavations, surveys, etc.) or to pursue internships (e.g. in archaeobotany or in museums).

Master entrance requirements

A Bachelor's degree awarded by an institute of higher education in Germany or abroad following completion of a course with a standard period of study of at least six semesters; in the case of this degree, at least 60 credit points (CPs) must have been awarded in Archaeology while at least 40 of these must have been awarded in the selected major (Archaeology of Prehistory and Early History, Classical Archaeology, Christian Archaeology and History of Byzantine Art). Applicants must otherwise hold an equivalent qualification representing the same course load and examination requirement. In special cases, the board of examiners shall decide on whether the admission requirements have been met.

If the bachelor's degree has not yet been completed by the time of application, the applicant must provide proof of two third of the required subject-specific credit points by the end of the application deadline.

Adequate knowledge of at least two foreign languages (this can of course include ancient languages, such as Latin and Ancient Greek). This generally means that the applicant must be able to demonstrate that they have achieved a final grade of 'adequate' or better at a level that equates to at least five years of school courses for the first language and at least three years of school courses for the other.
Applicants who select 'Archaeology of Prehistory and Early History' as a major will be required to demonstrate that they have achieved a final grade of 'adequate' or better in Latin at a level that equates to a least three years of school courses or that they hold an equivalent qualification.
Applicants who select 'Classical Archaeology', 'Christian Archaeology' or 'History of Byzantine Art' as a major must demonstrate that they have achieved a final grade of 'adequate' or better at a level equivalent to the German 'Latinum' (i.e. at a level that equates to at least five years of school courses) or that they hold an equivalent qualification.

It is assumed that students have sufficient active and passive knowledge of the English language to read specialist literature in English and participate in courses taught in English; this does not include submitting written course work and writing examinations in the English language. Proof is not required.

Please submit the additional sheet with the application and supporting documents. You can find the additional sheet in the checklist at the end of the online application.

Proof of proficiency in the German language to the level of the German Language Proficiency Examination for Admission to Higher Education for Foreign Applicants (DSH) is required for applicants, who either did not obtain their university entrance qualification at a German institution or whose degree was not from a degree program taught in German.


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).