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American Studies

Degree: Bachelor of Arts
Application required: Yes
Course start: winter semester
Course duration: 6
Language requirements: English and German
Language of instruction: English and German

Heidelberg Center for American Studies


Programme overview

The six-semester Bachelor of Arts in American Studies (BAS) at Heidelberg University consists of North American Literature and Culture, History, Politics, Theology, Geography and Law. American Studies at Heidelberg University are designed as a multi- and interdisciplinary teaching program, thereby enabling students to get a better grip on the complexity of the USA as a subject of research.

Course structure

The course is structured into the core subject itself and the examination module, the core subject being, in turn, divided into a specialist part and a practical part.
The specialist part of the Bachelor course consists of an introductory module, four basic modules, two specialist modules, one interdisciplinary module and the option of law as an additional module:

  • Introductory module: The module conveys a structured foundation in the academic fields of History, Literature and Culture, Politics, Geography, Law and Religion. This introduces the students to subject-specific perspectives and their basic terms, theories and methods; likewise, they are initiated into the methods and theories of the integrative-systematic discipline “American Studies”. The introductory module is completed in the first year of the course.
  • Basic module: The basic module enables students to acquire and develop discipline-specific knowledge and skills in selected areas of the Bachelor course. Through disciplinary specialization they are to develop an assured approach to the methods and issues in the selected fields. At least four of the five basic modules must be selected.
  • Specialization module: Specialization modules can either provide deeper knowledge of the discipline through intensive, exemplary grappling with content and topics from selected fields, or they can lead to interdisciplinary connections through concentrating on a certain topic area, requiring attendance of classes in at least two different disciplines. The specialization modules enable students to select one or two focal disciplines from the previously selected basic modules; they will finally choose one of these as the topic of their Bachelor thesis.
  • Interdisciplinarity module: Interdisciplinarity modules consistently promote interdisciplinary work and allow a graphic visualization of the resultant synergy effects. The interdisciplinarity module may consist either of an interdisciplinary seminar and an interdisciplinary colloquium or two classes from at least two different disciplines on a common theme.
  • Additional module, Law: This module offers an additional qualification in the area of Anglo-American law and the relevant legal language. It gives an overview of constitutional law and fundamental rights in the USA. The additional module extends over three semesters and is recommended for students from the 3rd semester. A separate certificate is awarded for successful participation.

The practice-related part of the Bachelor course is made up as follows:

  • Language in Use module: the Language in Use module is divided into a foundation and an advanced module. The foundation module comprises a language exercise, a course in Academic Writing and Book Club event. The advanced module includes a higher-level course in Academic Writing and another Book Club event.
  • Key competence module: this module is divided into a foundation and an advanced module. The foundation module in key competences is compulsory in the first semester. Presentation Skills Course I and a Debating Club event must be taken by the 3rd semester. The advanced module includes the mandatory Presentation Skills Course II and another Debating Club event.
  • Practice module: The practice module covers the preparations, experience and evaluation of an internship in an area relevant to American Studies. The internship comprises at least 8 weeks, which may be made up of various shorter periods or spent in different placements.


Application and admission

The application for admission in the winter semester must be made to Heidelberg University by 15 July of a given year (final date). The application must be made on the form provided. Students are then placed on a ranking list. Further details on the selection procedure may be found in the admission rules Zulassungssatzung.

International applicants

There are special regulations for international applicants. For more information, apply to the International Relations Office of Heidelberg University (Seminarstraße 2).

Subject combinations

None; 100%

Course and examination regulations

American Studies (last amended 22 April 2013)

Module Handbook

Please click here to find the latest Module Handbook.


To study at Heidelberg University, fees must be paid at the beginning of each semester.

Master of Arts

Heidelberg University offers an M.A. in American Studies.

Academic advisor

Iris Hahn-Santoro
Hauptstraße 120, Room 207
Mondays, 2:30-3:30 P.M.
Thursdays, 11:00-12:00 A.M.
Phone: +49 (0)6221-54-3874


Heidelberg Center for American Studies
Curt und Heidemarie Engelhorn Palais
Hauptstraße 120
69118 Heidelberg


Phone: +49 (0)6221-54-3710
Fax.: +49 (0)6221-54-3719




Editor: e-mail
Latest Revision: 2018-07-10
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