Comparative Literature / Lettres modernes (M.A.)

The most important facts at a glance:


Master of Arts (M.A.) / Master Recherche

Standard period of studies:

4 semesters


Winter and summer semester

It is recommended that students begin their studies in the winter semester.

Admission restrictions:

Open admission


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

Additional application via the Dijonbüro


Winter semester: until March 31 at the Dijonbüro and April 1 - September 1 at the Student Office
(International applicants: Please contact the International Admission Office first)

Summer semester: until September 30 at the Dijonbüro and October 1 - March 1 at the Student Office
(International applicants: please contact the International Admission Office first)

Required Bachelor's degree:

Comparative Literature / European Literature / Lettres modernes (B.A.)

Comparative Literature / European Literature (B.A.)




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 integrated master’s program Comparative Literature / Lettres modernes of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz and the Université de Bourgogne, France, focuses on the similarities of literary texts across and independent from national boundaries. These may include historical contacts between different literatures but also common typological features which connect different literatures, regardless of concrete points of contact. In the age of globalization, not only economies and politics are subject to change processes; the complex field of culture is marked by more and more connections and relations so that the discipline of comparative literature takes on a new relevance.

With its focus on current research questions such as intertextuality, interculturality, intermediality and literary theory the integrated master’s program Comparative Literature / Lettres Modernes has a unique profile within the European higher education landscape. The program covers the spectrum from internal literary relations and intercultural dimensions of literature to the relation between literature, media and art. Literature in different languages and from different cultures is analyzed from a cultural-comparative point of view and considered in relation to aesthetic phenomena of art and media.

The Institute of General and Comparative Linguistics was founded after World War II by the French occupying power with the aim to strengthen the Franco-German friendship. In this context, the Franco-German literary exchange still is of great importance.

The intensive contact between both literatures is the basis for a special dynamic across different European Literatures. The analysis of literature in other languages extends the research topic compared to studying a single philology and even touches the topic of world literature, which is the actual field of research of comparative literature.

Master entrance requirements

In order to be admitted to any of the binational programs, students must demonstrate proficiency in French through a certificate showing 5 points or a passing grade (at least ‘sufficient’) in at least five years of school classes, or a certificate showing advanced proficiency at at least the B2 level according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. This certificate may be from a language test or the Diplôme d'Etudes en Langue Française (DELF B2). Graduation from a French-speaking secondary school is also acceptable, as is an Abi-Bac (simultaneous graduation and completion of the French Baccalaureate and the German Abitur). Other forms of proof may be accepted by the examination committee in individual cases.

The subject-specific admission requirement for the master’s degree in Comparative Literature / Lettres Modernes is a bachelor’s degree either in the JGU program Comparative Literature / European Literature (major or minor) in combination with French Philology or in an equivalent program elsewhere. This can be a bachelor’s degree in general and comparative literature studies (at least 60 credits in comparative literature), a bachelor’s degree with a foreign language major, or a bachelor’s degree in two different foreign language literatures. Applicants are expected to have completed at least 52 credits in French philology. If you are applying before completing your bachelor’s degree, you must demonstrate that you have completed at least two-thirds of the credits by the application deadline.

In addition to speaking German and French, students must be able to read literature in English. If your English skills are not demonstrated by your bachelor’s degree, your ability to read English will be tested by a translation test at the end of your first semester. If the test cannot be completed for any reason, it must be rescheduled within six weeks. Otherwise, you will not be admitted to classes in the second academic semester.

Students who have neither completed secondary school at a German institution nor have a degree from a German-language program must demonstrate German language proficiency at level DSH 1 (Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang ausländischer Studienbewerber).


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).