The John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies is one of the most important centers in Europe for research on North America. It was founded in 1963 by the political scientist Ernst Fraenkel with the aim of providing academic expertise on North America.
The six different departments of the institute are simultaneously integrated into the departments of their respective disciplines. The library of the John F. Kennedy Institute, with roughly 790,000 media units, is the largest library in Europe that is specialized in North American studies.
The John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies offers students an excellent academic education with a specialization on the United States and Canada. As part of the German Excellence Initiative in 2006, the John F. Kennedy Institute set up the Graduate School for North American Studies. Its doctoral program focuses on the comprehensive and interdisciplinary study of the social, economic, and cultural change in North American societies at the beginning of the 21th century.