General information on admission requirements and procedures 

Admission to the Master of Arts programme "National and Transnational Studies: Literature, Culture, Language" is offered for each fall semester.

This is a very selective programme which admits only those applicants who can prove that their interests and previous qualifications make them especially suitable for this degree course. Applicants are selected by a departmental admissions committee.

Detailed information on the application requirements and the selection of applicants can be found in the latest amendment (Änderungsordnung) to the general programme regulations for this M.A. course (Prüfungsordnung):

Amendment of regulations (Änderungsordnung), version from 08 May 2017 (German)

An English version is currently being prepared and will be published as soon as possible. In the meantime, the most important aspects of the application requirements can also be accessed below on this website.

Application requirements:

Prospective students must have completed a first academic degree (Bachelor or equivalent) with a standard period of study of at least 6 semesters.
This first degree must be in a field which is thematically relevant to this M.A. programme. These fields are:

  • Literature
  • Linguistics
  • Cultural Studies
  • Book Studies
  • Media Studies
  • Communication Studies
  • History
  • Political science
  • Sociology
  • Social Anthropology
  • Ethnology
  • Philosophy
  • Theology
  • Education
  • Art History
  • Psychology

Applicants must prove a special qualification and suitability for this programme, which is assessed through the grades attained in MA-relevant focal subjects during their BA studies (or equivalent) as certified by their BA diploma (or equivalent) and transcript of student records, through the application essay, the CV and (where applicable) evidence of previous international and professional experience (see below).

All prospective students should have a strong interest in literary and cultural studies, linguistics and/or book studies, as well as in the study of national and transnational identities.
Applicants who have already dealt with national and transnational identities in their undergraduate studies are especially welcome.
Students previously unfamiliar with the methodologies of literary and cultural studies, linguistics and/or book studies should be prepared to familiarise themselves with these fields during their first semester on the M.A. programme.

Language skills

As English is the official medium of instruction on this M.A. programme, excellent English language skills are a precondition for enrolment. Students' English language skills must correspond to the "C2" level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. Applicants who are not native speakers of English must demonstrate their language skills through the Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE, grade A, B or C) or another equivalent language certificate (e.g. CAE grade A or B; TOEFL iBT 109+; or IELTS Academic 7.5+). Please note that we consider you a native speaker if English is an official language in your country.
If you have a type of language certificate which is not listed here, and are not sure whether this will be acceptable, you may contact the English Department's student advisory service  (e-mail AdvisoryService AT, for advice. It is best to do this well before the application deadline, because if your present language certificate is not acceptable and you need to acquire a different one (e.g. CPE, CAE, TOEFL, IELTS Academic), this usually takes some time.

German language skills are desirable (e.g. to facilitate everyday life), but not mandatory. Hence, it is not necessary to submit a German language certificate like DaF or DSH. However, those students who wish to learn German while they are here can attend German language courses at the University's Language Centre at different levels.

Further qualifications

It is desirable but not obligatory that prospective students have spent several months abroad or have done internships relevant to the programme.

Application materials and deadline

All applicants must complete the online application form on the university's application platform ("Bewerberportal") and then upload all their other application documents (see the list below) as pdf files.
In addition, applicants from outside the EU also need to submit a copy of their application on paper (via regular mail). This paper application must include a signed printout of their online application, along with printouts or photocopies of their other application documents. The copies of educational and language certificates must be certified copies. A certified copy carries a confirmation by an official body that the copy is a true copy of the original; it also carries the seal of this official body. Uncertified copies are not accepted in these cases; failure to submit certified copies can lead to the rejection of the applicant.

Application documents must include:

    • proof of qualification for admission to higher education, e.g. a school leaving certificate like Abitur, A-levels or international equivalent (certified copy)
    • undergraduate diploma(s) (certified copy)
    • transcript(s) of records: enlists titles of and performance in courses taken in previous degree programme(s) (certified copy)
    • proof of language skills (certified copy; for non-native speakers only)
    • short essay (c. 2,000 words / 5 pages, in English)
    • curriculum vitae (in tabular form)
    • proof of stay abroad (where applicable)
    • proof of internships (where applicable)

Please note:

Documents in any language other than English or German have to be translated into one of these two languages by an officially certified translator. The translation must also be accompanied by a (likewise certified) copy of the document in its original language.
International applicants should also consult the admissions website of the university's International Office.

Applications should be addressed to:

Studierendensekretariat der
Universitaet Muenster
Schlossplatz 2
48149 Muenster

Please note that you can only apply within a specific application period. The application periods for 2020 are:

  • for non-EU applicants: 1 May 31 May 2020
  • for EU applicants: 1 May 15 July 2020

Application periods for subsequent years are likely to be similar; any potential changes will be announced on this website on time.
For some of the most frequently asked questions concerning the application procedure, please visit our FAQ page.

For more information, contact:

University Registry, Student Services Office (Studierendensekretariat) (e.g. for inquiries concerning formal aspects of the admissions procedure)

the University's  International Office

the University's central Student Advisory and Counselling Centre (ZSB)

the English Department's Student Advisory Service for inquiries about the contents of the degree programme