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Applied North American Studies

For this study program, the language level B2.2 CEFR in English is required. It is recommended to inform yourself about the language test for applicants at the Language Center of Freie Universität.

- Major subject in a combi bachelor

John-F.-Kennedy Institute for North American Studies
Dr. David Bosold (Studiendekan)
Lansstr. 7-9
14195 Berlin
+49-30-838-52865, -52703

The Applied North American Studies program provides specialized knowledge of the United States and Canada in three disciplines - history, cultural studies, literary studies (humanities profile) or political science, sociology, and economics (social science profile). Students select two of the above disciplines for subject specialization (e.g., sociology and economics). The subject-specific perspectives are supplemented by a profile-oriented foundation module and an interdisciplinary lecture series, in which lecturers from all six disciplines give presentations. Additional modules can be taken in the area of language acquisition or project studies.

The John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies (JFKI) is an interdisciplinary research and teaching institute of Freie Universität Berlin, founded in 1963. It provides students with a scholarly specialization in the United States and Canada and a program of study taught entirely in English. Applicants to the combined BA Applied North American Studies and the 60-LP North American Studies module must demonstrate proficiency in German. There is no other North American Studies program in Germany with a comparable diversity of subjects. Social sciences as well as humanities are equally represented at the institute.

As an internationally oriented regional institute, the JFKI is excellently networked throughout Germany and globally. Within the framework of the Erasmus program, the Institute maintains contacts with numerous American and Canadian Studies Institutes in Europe. Renowned scholars from North America regularly teach at the JFKI as part of the Graduate School's Visiting Professor Program. The institute also cooperates closely with the American and Canadian embassies and institutions such as the American Academy. The Terra Foundation for American Art also funds a visiting professor program for art historians.

Freie Universität Berlin offers students of North American Studies an institute that is distinguished by its diverse research activities. In addition to the projects of individual institute members, major research projects address, among other things, popular culture and seriality, American art history (funded by the Terra Foundation), the Alt-Right movement, Critical Whiteness and Race, and trust and transparency in the surveillance age. Professors are also involved in two clusters of excellence, Contestations of the Liberal Script (EXC SCRIPTS) and Temporal Communities.

With the Graduate School of North American Studies (GSNAS), the JFKI has also offered the opportunity to pursue a doctorate in one of the six disciplines since 2006. This makes the JFKI one of the few academic institutions in Germany to combine bachelor's, master's, and PhD (doctoral) programs under one roof.

The John F. Kennedy Institute's research library offers scholars from around the world an excellent selection of literature and materials on American and Canadian topics. As of today, the library has approximately 900,000 media units (books, comics, newspapers, periodicals, microfilm and microfiche collections, records, DVDs, and digital media). The user-friendly open access collection and the scholarship program make it a unique research library in continental Europe for U.S. and Canadian studies.

JFKI also has a very active student body that maintains a cafeté in the Institute building and hosts programs such as movie nights and election nights.

1st Semester Admissions
Restricted admission
Admission for Higher Semesters
Unrestricted admission (application open for 3rd and 5th semester in winter semester, for 2nd, 4th and 6th semester in summer semester)
Program Start
Winter semester
Additional language requirements
English test (Level B2.2 CEFR)
Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in major subject in combi bachelor
Options in a combination bachelor's degree program
90 CP Major subject
6 Semester

Bachelor's graduates possess scientific and practical knowledge and skills that qualify them for professional work or further study. 
The bachelor's degree program in North American Studies provides the practical and scientific foundations for later professional work in the private sector and public administration with an Anglo-American connection, especially in the following areas:
Social science profile: politics and policy consulting, economics and business consulting, foreign service and international organizations, state and local planning and administration, nongovernmental organizations
Humanities profile: non-governmental organizations, media and cultural institutions, adult and continuing education, publishing and librarianship.
A master's degree and, if applicable, a doctorate are required for managerial positions or employment in research and teaching.

Starting your study program