Sozial- und Kulturanthropologie
(Master of Arts)
(Social and Cultural Anthropology / Ethnology)
German-French Perspectives in Ethnology (Master of Arts)

Ethnologie 500x210

Conditions of admission 


Course content and focus areas

The research focus at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology of the University of Frankfurt is the comparative empirical study of non-European societies by documenting and analysing cultural commonalities and differences between different societies. Research and the teaching curriculum thus concentrate on the study and analysis of socio-cultural phenomena at the local level as well as in a comparative global context.

The M.A. programme trains students in the reflexive application of key theories and concepts in cultural analysis that are central to the critical interpretation of the diversity of socio-cultural institutions and practices.

The M.A. in social and cultural anthropology is a 4-semester-long degree programme that is designed to follow a B.A. in anthropology or a related discipline. The focus to teach students to critically engage with the discipline’s state of the art as well as the scholarly debates that have been formative to it and to develop further research questions from such engagements. Further, students are taught to conceptualise and execute their own research projects in which they investigate independently developed research questions. Finally students learn to reflect on their research results in the context of scholarly debates and draw relevant conclusions.

A central component of programme is the independent research project through which students learn to apply key concepts of empirical social research and hone practical methodological skills in research design and data generation and analysis. The degree qualifies students to conduct independent academic research and to undertake professional work as practicing anthropologists.

In Zusammenarbeit des Instituts für Ethnologie der Goethe Universität Frankfurt mit der École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) in Paris besteht die Möglichkeit, einen durch die DFH anerkannten deutsch-französischen M.A. Abschluss in Ethnologie (im Folgenden: Deutsch-Französischer M.A.) mit der genauen Bezeichnung „Ethnologie und ihre deutsch-französischen Perspektiven“ zu erwerben. Die Studierenden verbringen das zweite und dritte Semester an der Partneruniversität (EHESS Dep. d’Ethnologie et Anthropologie Sociale) in Paris. Wie im Kooperationsvertrag vereinbart, sind die französischen Studierenden aus dem Partnerstudiengang der EHESS berechtigt, das zweite und dritte Semester am Institut für Ethnologie in Frankfurt zu belegen.

Detailed information

Information from the department (Master of Ethnology)
Information from the department (Master of German-French Perspectives in Ethnology)
Study regulations
First Amendment of regulations

Degree Master of Arts in Ethnology
Duration The standard length of study for the Master of Arts is 4 semesters.
Languages of instruction German (Master of Ethnology)
German and French (Master of German-French Perspectives in Ethnology)
Start of the programme The study program starts at the beginning of the winter semester.
Student advisory service

Institut für Ethnologie
Nobert-Wollheim-Platz 1
60323 Frankfurt/Main
Tel.: 069/798-33064
Fax: 069/798-33065

Student advisory service:
Dr. Susanne Jauernig (
Dr. Gabriel Klaeger (
Ronja Metzger-Ajah, M.A. (

Student advisory service for the Master German-French Perspectives in Ethnology:
Prof. Dr. Hans Peter Hahn (

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Conditions of admission

Admission requirements
  • BA with a major in ethnology (at least 120 CP) or minor in ethnology (at least 60 CP) or a recognised equivalent academic degree in related field of study with a standard study period of at least 6 semesters / 3 years (for example: History, Cultural studies, Regional sciences, religious studies, law, social sciences).
  • Declaration on previous Master examinations
  • Good English language skills and another (modern) foreign language (niveau B1) are to be proven by:
    1. high school diploma (A-levels diploma), or
    2. corresponding high school certificates and transcripts rated no lower than "adequate" (4.0), or
    3. certification of classes in english 5 years, or
    4. certification of successfully completed language courses (with at least 120 proven hours of instruction time) from a German and/or or foreign university, or
    5. lecturers (or other experts) report on language proficiency acquired through international residency, university language courses, or self-study; or
    6. TOEFL-test (computerbased score min. 213 points, paper based score min. 550 points)
    7. other certificate recognized as equivalent by the selection committee.
  • letter of motivation (500 up to max. 700 words) explaining the reason for wanting to take the course, relevant pratical experience and the envisaged career perspectives
  • The decision on the recommendation for approval is done on the basis of the marks of the first professional degree (60 %) and letter of motivation (20 %) and entrance colloquium (20%).
  • Applicants who do not have a German university entrance qualification, nor do they have a degree from a German higher education institution, are obliged to submit proof of adequate German language skills.
  • Studienbewerberinnen und -bewerber für den Master Ethnologie ihre deutsch-französischen Perspektiven müssen über sehr gute Französischkenntnisse verfügen. Der Nachweis der Französischkenntnisse erfolgt im Rahmen einer mündlichen Sprachprüfung von ca. 15 min Dauer vor Semesterbeginn unter Beteiligung eines Vertreters des IFHA an der Goethe-Universität.

Provisional admission
  • Applicants without  a Bachelor's degree in ethnology as a major or minor subject have to demonstrate on attended courses and module tests for a total of at least 60 CP that affect ethnological themes. Otherwise, they may be provisionally admitted on the condition that no later than the end of the first year of study , the lack of CP to be provided by coursework and module examinations of the bachelor's program in Ethnology (usually between 20 and 40 CP , but max. 60 CP).
    The student receives a continuous support during the period of fulfillment of conditions. Depending on the scale this might lead to an exceeding of the standard length of the study period.
  • Applicants who do not have completed their bachelor's degree at the time of application yet, in fact have registred their Bachelor's thesis, but not yet received a Bachelor's degree may also be admitted to the Master's degree program to the proviso that the Bachelor's degree will be detected to the Examination Boardwithin the first semester of the Master's program. Additionally the applicants have to provide a proof of enrollment in Bachelor's program and a recommendation letter by the supervisor of the Bachelor's thesis.
  • The Examination Board would decide on admission, exclusions and doubtful cases.
  • Provisional admission is valid until the end of the first semester of the master’s program. The bachelor’s degree must thus be handed in by March 31 (winter intake) the latest.
Mode of admission Admission is not restricted. Students will be directly admitted if the admission requirements are met in full.

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Documents to be submitted
  • if you are not already enrolled at Goethe-University Frankfurt:
    university entrance qualification (e.g. A-Levels)
  • Bachelor’s degree certificate
  • if the Bachelor's degree has not yet been completed:
    - a transcript of records or equivalent document listing the content of the study programme and average grade
    - letter of recommendation from your supervisor (Download)
    - proof of current enrollment in the bachelor programme
  • proof of English language skills and another (modern) foreign language (min. Niveau B1)
  • letter of motivation
  • Declaration of examination claim (Download)
  • Applicants without a Bachelor's degree in ethnology in the main subject or minor: 
    transcript of records or an equivalent document listing the attended courses and study contents in the related field of study
  • if the first degree was obtained at an international higher education institution:
    certificate of German language skills. See here for more information about the required German language skills.
  • you may need to submit other documents depending on your country of origin and your previous education; please see the general information about applying for a Master’s degree
  • Applicants for the Master German-French Perspectives in Ethnology:
    excellent French language skills
  • APS certificate for applicants from India, Vietnam and China (original)
Application period expected 01.05. - 15.06.
Address for applications Online application portal for Master's study programs

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