Application for the MA Program

Due Date for participation in the Entrance Exam:

International and domestic applicants: May 2, 2023.


All applicants will enter the steps of the entrance exam according to the timetable indicated below.

MA American Studies - Entrance Exam

The entrance exam for the MA in American Studies consists of a straightforward three-step process.

  • As the first step, you hand in an exam packet. Details are listed below. The ASL MA Portal will help you assemble the package. PLEASE NOTE: THE ASL MA PORTAL WILL BE ACCESSIBLE AS OF JANUARY 2023 AT THE LATEST.
  • Candidates who clear the first screening are then requested to write an essay on an assigned topic. The essay will be due by late May.
  • Candidates clearing this stage will be invited to an interview to be scheduled for late June - applicants receive their individual due dates and appointments by e-mail. 

Please note: The exam packets for admission to the entering class 2023/24 are due May 2, 2023. To participate in the MA entrance exam, please submit the following materials:

  • A statement of purpose of approx. 750 words: Please write an essay in which you discuss your reasons for applying to this program, your main areas of interest in the program, and how you hope to benefit from and contribute to the program.
  • Resume (Curriculum Vitae/tabellarischer Lebenslauf): The resume should be in English, max. two pages. Do not include your date of birth or a photograph.
  • Copy of bachelor’s degree or equivalent in the form of an initial university degree - including a Transcript of Records. Also permissible is evidence that you will have completed your BA degree by the start of the MA program. Your BA has to be in American Studies or in a field that overlaps with American Studies. The sufficiency of your knowledge of U.S. society, history, literature, and culture will be evaluated in the course of the entrance exam.
  • Copy of your High School Diploma (Abiturzeugnis) - including a transcript - or equivalent.
  • Documentation of any professional experience, vocational training, internships, or other forms of training.
  • Evidence of the English skills corresponding to level C1[1] of the Common European Reference Frame (documentation of at least ten years of English instruction, and/or any of the standard language certificates). For orientation concerning the test scores commonly expected for C1, please see this link). Applicants’ language skills will be finally evaluated in the course of the entrance exam.

Please submit your documents electronically using the ASL MA Portal at The portal will guide you through the process. You can sign up for a user account and start building your application now, and you may keep modifying it until May 2, 23:59 CEST.

Please note: Registration for the ASL MA Entrance Exam does not replace the regular application to the university; the latter constitutes a process separate from the exam at the Institute for American Studies! However, for the official application for your MA program, you need to prove that you have passed the ASL entrance exam.

For domestic students (who hold a BA from a German university), the official application for enrollment is administered by the Studierendensekretariat. International applications (for applicants holding a BA from a university outside of Germany) are handled by the International Center.

If you have any questions about the MA application process, please consult our page on frequently asked questions.

[1] In general, C1 is considered to be 6-8 years of learning English at primary and secondary school (generally known as level B2) plus an additional 2 years of English instruction on the post-secondary level. The formal definition is as follows: Can understand a wide range of demanding, longer texts, and recognize implicit meaning. Can express him/herself fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions., Can use language flexibly and effectively for social, academic, and professional purposes. Can produce clear, well-structured, detailed text on complex subjects, showing controlled use of organizational patterns, connectors, and cohesive devices.