American Studies - Heidelberg Center for American Studies (HCA)

Degree Master of Arts
Application mandatory
Course commences Winter term (October)
Course duration 4 semesters
Study options full-time
Language requirements English (on application)
Language of instruction English

Heidelberg Center for American Studies

Philosophische Fakultät

Program Overview

Inside Knowledge with an Outside Perspective

The Master of Arts in American Studies (MAS) is a distinguished and highly acclaimed interdisciplinary program that attracts talented and ambitious graduate students from Germany and around the world. The program offers exemplary and interdisciplinary teaching that provides students with in-depth knowledge about the United States of America.

The curriculum includes courses from economics, geography, history, literary and cultural studies, political science, and religious history. The unique design of the MAS gives students ample opportunity to choose an individual configuration for their course of study, including multiple combinations of disciplines. Individual study plans may concentrate on disciplines from the humanities or the social sciences, or combine both. MAS Students will benefit from both excellent academic teaching by internationally renowned scholars and from an interdisciplinary approach that meets the needs of future leaders.

For further information, please check our website at:

Program Structure

The MAS is a four-semester program starting each winter semester. The HCA concentrates the required course work during the first three semesters, with the fourth semester reserved primarily for the preparation of the M.A. thesis. During the third semester, students may also study abroad, do an internship or gain professional experience as part of their individual study plan. Students earn 120 European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) points during the course of the program.

The MAS offers a unique range of disciplines, including economics, geography, history, literary and cultural studies, political science, and religious history. Students can tailor their study plan to their individual research interests and may choose to either focus on only the social sciences or the humanities, or they may combine the two during their course of studies. They will choose two disciplines as their core modules, with the possibility to deepen their knowledge even further in the research module. The flexibility module offers students the opportunity to choose classes from other disciplines within the field of American Studies or further specialize in the discipline of their core modules. The interdisciplinary module adds a unique joint methodological approach. In addition, students gain academic soft skills in the methodology module and in the multidisciplinary module by taking classes outside of the field of American Studies.

The "Module Handbook" (Modulhandbuch) for the newly designed four-semester M.A. program is currently available in German only.

The Setting

Studying at the HCA

  • Study at a world-class research university: Become part of a premier institute for interdisciplinary research at Germany‘s oldest university, an ideal combination of innovation and tradition. Heidelberg University reliably ranks among the German top three in the Times Higher Education Ranking and is the country’s highest-ranked university in the 2018 Shanghai Ranking.
  • Enjoy our beautiful campus: The university is spread across the 800-year-old historic town with social and natural sciences campuses in the adjacent Bergheim and Neuenheimer Feld neighborhoods respectively. The HCA is located in a 300-year-old baroque townhouse just steps away from the university library and the main lecture halls. This setting offers perfect working conditions as well as a welcoming atmosphere for students, scholars, and the public.
  • Join an international learning community: Heidelberg is home to over 30,000 full-time students, including more than 6,000 foreign students. Heidelberg University also attracts around 250 international visiting professors each academic year. Students from almost 50 countries have participated in the MAS program over the past four years.
  • Benefit from faculty expertise: Accomplished scholars from numerous disciplines teach in the MAS program. Our students have access to the resources of the participating departments, such as economics, geography, history, political science, and theology as well as the English department.
  • Enjoy a first-rate library: Along with 3.2 million volumes, the university library system boasts almost 95,000 electronic journals, more than 3,000 databases, and almost one million dissertations in full text. For the sixth consecutive year, Heidelberg University Library has been ranked at the top of the renowned BIX Library Index.
  • Enjoy superior access to the University‘s outstanding research facilities: Our students conduct research at globally renowned institutions such as the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law, a United Nations depository library, and the Schurman Library for American History, among others.
  • Experience Heidelberg: Set in the picturesque Neckar Valley Heidelberg’s beautiful historic center offers a romantic small town atmosphere with a cosmopolitan appeal. Enjoy easy access to the nearby cultural and recreational offerings such as the Black Forest and spectacular castles. With the new express train, Paris is only three hours away. A trip to Strasbourg and the Alsace takes less than an hour. Switzerland and the Alps are a mere two hours to the south.

For further information, please check our website at:



The Heidelberg Center for American Studies (HCA) admits up to 20 students to the MAS every year. Admission is competitive and dependent on the academic merits of the candidates and the quality of their application. Most candidates will hold previous degrees in American Studies and/or from academic fields represented in the program. Participants are expected to bring to the program an outstanding academic record as well as very good English skills. Applicants who hold degrees from recognized academic institutions outside of the EU should have successfully completed degree programs of a minimum of three years of study.

For further information, please check our website at:


To apply for the MAS, you should have earned a university degree of 180 ECTS and a minimum of three years of studies. If you do not hold either a high school diploma or a degree from an institution of higher education in an English-speaking country, you must prove your English language proficiency through a TOEFL, IELTS or Cambridge Certificate.

For more information, please check the admission regulations.

Application Deadline

Applications will be accepted from February 1 to March 15 each year via Heidelberg University’s online application system.

Examination Regulations / Study Regulations

Studien- und Prüfungsordnung (examination regulations)

Further Information

For further information please check our website at:

Tuition Fees

Under state law, there are no tuition fees for citizens of the European Union enrolled in any consecutive M.A. program at Heidelberg University. For non-EU citizens, tuition is 1,500 EUR per semester, due prior to the beginning of each semester (July 15 / February 15). A limited number of scholarships are available.

Irrespective of any tuition, Heidelberg University charges administration fees.

Academic Counseling

Dr. Anne Sommer
Heidelberg Center for American Studies
Curt und Heidemarie Engelhorn Palais
Hauptstr. 120
69117 Heidelberg
Tel.: +49 (0)6221-54-3713

Contact Information

Dr. Anne Sommer
Heidelberg Center for American Studies
Curt und Heidemarie Engelhorn Palais
Hauptstr. 120
69117 Heidelberg
Tel.: +49 (0)6221-54-3713


For more information about the HCA and our MAS program, please go to

E-Mail: Seitenbearbeiter
Letzte Änderung: 24.09.2018