American Studies - Heidelberg Center for American Studies (HCA)

Bitte beachten Sie: Der Masterstudiengang American Studies wird zum Wintersemester 2018/19 auf einen konsekutiven Masterstudiengang umgestellt (vorbehaltlich der entsprechenden Gremienbeschlüsse). Auf den Seiten des Heidelberg Center for American Studies (HCA) finden Sie genauere Informationen zu dem neuen konsekutiven MA American Studies. Bewerbungen für den neuen Masterstudiengang sind für das Wintersemester vom 16. Mai bis zum 30. Juni 2018 möglich.


Please note: the M.A. Program in American Studies (MAS) will be a consecutive program beginning in the winter semester 2018/19. Acceptance is subject to the final approval of the Examination and Study Regulations by the governing bodies of Heidelberg University.
For further information about the new consecutive program please refer to the website of the Heidelberg Center for American Studies (HCA).
Applications are accepted May 16, 2018 - June 30, 2018 for the winter semester 2018.


Degree Master of Arts
Application mandatory
Course commences Winter term (September)
Course duration 3 semesters
Study options full-time
Language requirements English (on application)
Language of instruction English
Tuition fees EUR 2,500 per semester
Other features postgraduate studies;

Heidelberg Center for American Studies

Philosophische Fakultät

Program Overview

Inside Knowledge with an Outside Perspective

The Master of Arts in American Studies (MAS) is an exclusive, interdisciplinary program taught in English and aimed at qualified graduate students from around the world. The MAS is a three semester program, however, a performance-related fast track option (two semesters) is available. American Studies in the MAS is defined by exemplary and interdisciplinary teaching of cultural knowledge about the United States of America. The program provides training in academic and practical skills tailored to meet the needs of future leaders in a transatlantic and global environment. Curricula include a selection of courses from economics, geography, history, law, literature, musicology, philosophy, political science, religious studies, and sociology.

For further information please check our website at:

Program Structure

American Studies at the Heidelberg Center for American Studies is defined as exemplary and interdisciplinary teaching of cultural knowledge about the United States of America in subjects such as American literature, economics, geography, history, art history, law, musicology, political science, philosophy, sociology, and theology/religious studies.
The MAS is a three semester program starting each winter semester. Students earn 90 European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) points during the course of the program:

First winter semester (late September to end of January):
Starts with a one week orientation period followed by a weekly curriculum of 4 subject courses, 2 tutorials, 1 colloquium, and 2 additional courses. Students have to take 4 oral exams during the first week of February.
Winter break (February and March): During the lecture-free period students are expected to write and hand in 2 to 3 research papers.

Summer semester (early April to mid-July):
Weekly – 2 subject courses, 1 tutorial, 1 interdisciplinary seminar, 1 colloquium, and 2 additional courses. Students have to take 2 oral exams at the end of the semester.
Summer break (mid-July to September): During the lecture-free period students are expected to write and hand in 2 to 3 research papers and develop the topic of their M.A. thesis. Students will be required to hand in an outline of their M.A. thesis by the end of September.

Second winter semester (October to end of February):
This time period is reserved for writing and finishing the M.A. thesis. In mid-November there will be a three-day thesis workshop with the presentation of thesis outlines.
M.A. thesis deadline: February 28.
Graduation: Beginning of April.

For further information please check our website at:

The Setting

Studying at the HCA

  • Study at a premier institute for interdisciplinary research at Germany‘s oldest university: An ideal combination of innovation and tradition.
  • Study at a world-class research university: Heidelberg was recently declared one of Germany‘s elite institutions of higher learning. The University is spread across the 800-year-old historic town and the Neuenheimer Feld. The HCA is located just a step away from the University Library and the main lecture halls. This 300-year-old baroque townhouse offers perfect working conditions as well as a welcoming atmosphere for students, scholars, and the public.
  • Study in an international learning community: Heidelberg is home to over 27,000 full-time students, including more than 6,000 foreign students. Heidelberg University also attracts more than 500 international scholars as Visiting Professors each academic year. Students from more than 20 countries have participated in the MAS program over the past four years.
  • Enjoy faculty expertise: First class academics from various disciplines teach in the MAS. Students have access to the departments of American Literature, Art History, Economics, Geography, History, Law, Musicology, Philosophy, Political Science, Religious Studies, and Sociology, including their departmental libraries.
  • Enjoy a first-rate library: Along with 3.1 million volumes, the university library system boasts over 10,500 current periodical subscriptions, over 46,200 electronic journals, and more than 1,800 databases.
  • Enjoy superior access to the University‘s outstanding research facilities: Our students conduct research at, among others, the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law, a United Nations depository library, and the Schurman Library for American History.
  • The Heidelberg Experience: There is no better place to spend your year abroad! 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 cultural and recreational offerings of South Western Germany. With the new ICE (Intercity Express) connection from Mannheim, 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 depends on the quality and academic merits of the candidates. Most candidates will have studied law, humanities, or social sciences at the undergraduate or graduate level. Participants are expected to bring to the program an outstanding academic record as well as very good English skills. Applicants from outside of the EU should have successfully completed degree programs involving a minimum of four years of study at recognized academic institutions.


To apply for the MAS, you should have earned a university degree of a minimum of four years of studies and – if English is not your native language – be able to present an international, standardized test of English as a foreign language (e.g. IELTS, TOEFL).

The application for the MAS consists of two parts: the completion of an online questionnaire and the submission of a printed application form, complete with supporting documents.

Admission regulations

Application Deadline

The closing date for applications is March 31. Applications should be directed to the Heidelberg Center for American Studies.
We will notify you as soon as possible, if your application was successful. However, it might take up to mid-May until we can comment on the status of your application.

Examination Regulations / Study Regulations

Examination regulations (from 16.12.2003)

Further Information

For further information please check our website at:

Tuition Fees

The tuition fees for the MAS program are 2,500 EUR per semester. In addition, the University of Heidelberg charges an administration fee and a Studentenwerksbeitrag per semester. The HCA offers a limited number of full and tuition scholarships.

Academic Counseling

Julia Lichtenstein, M.A.
Heidelberg Center for American Studies
Curt und Heidemarie Engelhorn Palais
Hauptstr. 120
69117 Heidelberg
Tel.: +49 (0)6221-54-3713

Contact Information

For our online application, downloadable application forms, and a course outline, go to

MAS office
Curt und Heidemarie Engelhorn Palais
Hauptstrasse 120
69117 Heidelberg

E-Mail: Seitenbearbeiter
Letzte Änderung: 23.04.2018