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Program Structure: Master

The Master's program is comprised of three areas of study—the core concentration built around two disciplines and an interdisciplinary studies section.

The structure and development of the program is governed by university regulations for study programs, extracts of which are available at the following page. The module types and the requirements for them and the Master's final examination is determined by examination regulations and the Department of Examinations and Auditing (Prüfungsbüro). The Department of Examinations and Auditing (Prüfungsbüro) determines the level of achievement for the modules and the final requirements for the Master's. Earned credits points (ECP) for the modules, for example for each academic seminar as well as the workload in credit hours for each seminar throughout the entire study, are also established within the guidelines set up by the Department of Examinations and Auditing. Testing and examinations requirements for modules belonging to specific disciplines can be found (in German) in the Related Links section on the bottom.


Degree Structure

FIRST/CORE DISCIPLINE (30 CP)

The first discipline is the student's major and their core disciplinary concentration. In this major, students additionally write their Master thesis and attend the accompanying thesis colloquium. It consists of:

  • Module A (10 CP)
  • Module B (10 CP)
  • Module C (10 CP)

    Each disciplinary module consists of two seminars or a lecture and a seminar. One seminar/ lecture in a module must be completed with a grade by writing a term paper or exam. The other seminar/lecture will be completed with active participation credit. The requirements to receive either graded or active participation credit are determined by the instructor and will be stated on the course syllabus. Please refer to the departmental websites linked in the table below for further information.

SECOND DISCIPLINE (30 CP)

The second concentration serves to provide further background knowledge. It consists of:

  • Module A (10 CP)
  • Module B (10 CP)
  • Module C (10 CP)
Each disciplinary module consists of two seminars or a lecture and a seminar. One seminar/ lecture in a module must be completed with a grade by writing a term paper or exam. The other seminar/lecture will be completed with active participation credit. The requirements to receive either graded or active participation credit are determined by the instructor and will be stated on the course syllabus. Please refer to the departmental websites linked in the table below for further information.

INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIES (25 CP)
  • Current topics and research fields in North American Studies 1 (10 CP)

    This module consists of a seminar/graduate course. It must be completed with a term paper or exam for which students receive a grade. The accompanying "Reading Course" does not have a course time but must be booked on Campus Management simultaneously to complete the module.

  • Current topics and research fields in North American Studies 2 (10 CP)

    This module consists of a seminar/graduate course that is completed with active participation. Students do not receive a grade. The accompanying "Reading Course" does not have a course time but must be booked on Campus Management simultaneously to complete the module.

  • Current topics and research fields in North American Studies 3 -- Ring Lecture (5 CP)

    This ring lecture consists of a series of lectures by researchers from the John-F.-Kennedy Institute as well as guest speakers. It is organized each winter semester by two disciplines collaboratively. Students do not receive a grade.

COLLOQUIUM (5 CP)

The colloquium prepares students for the writing of their Master's thesis.

MASTER'S THESIS (30 CP)

The Master's thesis should display the student's ability to independently handle and execute a research project within accepted scholarly methods and standards. A Master's of Arts (M.A.) degree will be duly conferred following successful completion of the program. More information can be found here.


Disciplinary Concentrations

Students choose their first and second disciplinary concentrations from the six disciplines offered at the JFKI. Disciplinary concentrations do not have to be selected prior to the beginning of one's studies but will be determined by the courses that are selected during the first semester(s).

Attention: Not every module is offered every term. Please refer to the departmental websites for further information.

Emphases – History
Module A North American History in the World
Module B North American History to 1865
Module C North American History since 1865
Emphases - Cultural Studies
Module A American Intellectual History and Theories of American Cultural Studies
Module B Nationhood and Diversity
Module C Cultural History of Media and Aesthetic Forms
Emphases - Literature
Module A Literary History
Module B Literary Theory
Module C Literary Textual Analysis
Emphases - Political Science
Module A Theories and Methods of Political Science (Import) or American Political Theory
Module B Institutions, Key Figures, and Processes
Module C Policies and Policy Research
Emphases - Sociology
Module A Sociological Theory of North America
Module B Social Systems, Institutions and Organizations – Meaning und Function
Module C Investigation of Social Processes – Problems, Conflicts, Crises
Emphases - Economics
Module A North American Economic Policies in Historical Dimension
Module B U.S.Domestic Economic Policies
Module C U.S.Foreign Economic Policies

 

 

Sample Study Plan

Below you can find an exemplary study plan according to the 2015 Study and Examination Regulations. The program structure can be adapted by the student:

  1. Modules can be completed in any order. Example: Module B can be taken in the third semester instead of the second semester.
  2. A module does not have to be completed in one semester. Example: One seminar from Module A is completed in the student's first semester, the second seminar from Module A is completed in the student's third semester. (Please refer to departmental websites for exceptions).
  3. Not all three areas of study (first discipline, second discpline, interdisciplinary field) must be covered in every semester. Example: In their second semester, a student takes four seminars in their first discipline and one seminar in the Interdisciplinary Study Field, but none in their second discipline.
  4. It is recommended to attend 5 courses per semester.
  5. At the end of their studies, students must have earned 120 CP by completing all modules as described in "Degree Structure" (see above).


Semester

Core Discipline

Secondary Discipline

Interdisciplinary Study

Earned Credit Points (ECP) per Semester

1

(Winter semester)

Module A

10 ECP

Module A

10 ECP

Module 1

10 ECP

30 ECP

2

(Summer semester)

Module B

10 ECP

Module B

10 ECP

Module 2

10 ECP

30 ECP

3

(Winter semester)

Module C

 

10 ECP

Module C

 

10 ECP

Module 3

(Ring Lecture)

5 ECP

30 ECP

Colloquium

5 ECP

4

(Summer semester)


Master's Thesis

30 ECP

30 ECP

120 Earned Credit Points (Total)

 














If you have questions regarding your schedule or the program structure, please contact the academic advisor.

 

 

 

 

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