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 John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies offers students an excellent academic education with a specialization on the United States and Canada. Courses and programs are offered in six disciplines: culture, literature, history, politics, sociology, and economics.
The six different departments of the institute are simultaneously integrated into the departments of their respective disciplines. In addition to subject-specific seminars, the institute also offers courses devoted to regional issues that are addressed from transdisciplinary perspectives.
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 seminars are held in German or English. With the support of various foundations and organizations such as the Fulbright Commission, the Canadian Embassy, the Thyssen Foundation, the Air Lift Graditude Foundation, the Einstein Foundation, or the Terra Foundation, the institute regularly invites American and Canadian visiting professors to Berlin-Dahlem to enrich the curriculum.
As part of the German Excellence Initiative in 2006, the John F. Kennedy Institute set up the Graduate School for North American Studies. In 2012 the graduate school was approved for continued funding within the German Excellence Initiative.
The numerous scholarships and exchange programs offered at the institute afford students and graduates excellent conditions for a professional career in academia, business, politics, or culture.