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Master’s Program in General and Comparative Literature (“Masterstudiengang Allgemeine und Vergleichende Literaturwissenschaft”)

General Information

The research-oriented master’s program in General and Comparative Literature deepens and expands the knowledge acquired by students in previous philological courses of study (e.g., B.A. in Comparative Literature, English/American Studies, German Studies, Classical Philology, Romance Studies, Slavic Studies).

Students enrolled in the program will examine the history and poetics of European literatures from the early modern period onwards (including their origins in antiquity). Non-European literary texts written in languages of European origin are another important field of study.

Seminars and lectures cover the poetological and aesthetic dimension of literary texts (structure, poetic/rhetorical techniques, literary communication as an aesthetic experience, etc.), and the history and evolution of literature over time (literary and cultural periods, history of genres and literary styles, etc.).

Students are encouraged to engage with literature in a manner that takes into account its historical context and its relationship to other arts and media. Literature’s embeddedness in the history of knowledge and the disciplinary history of literary studies constitute further key areas of inquiry.

By these means, students will acquire a solid foundation in a variety of methodological and terminological approaches to literary studies, their historical development, and the theoretical differences between them, which will in turn equip them with the ability to critically evaluate the current state of research in specialized fields of study.

For further details on the contents, structure, and admission requirements of the master’s program in General and Comparative Literature, please refer to the study and examination regulations (direct download, PDF file in German) and the overview provided here.


Admission and Language Requirements

For admission to the master’s program in General and Comparative Literature, applicants must fulfill the following requirements:

  • B.A. with a minimum of 60 credits acquired in the field of literary studies or an equivalent university degree,
  • Certified proficiency in English (level B2 CEFR),
  • Certified proficiency in German (DSH or equivalent),
  • Certified proficiency in a third modern language, preferably French, Spanish, Italian, or Russian (level B2 CEFR), in Latin (“Latinum” or equivalent), or Greek (“Graecum” or equivalent).

In cases where applicants claim equivalent qualifications or language proficiency, the final decision as to whether the required standards have been met rests with the institute’s admission commission.

The number of students admitted to the M.A. program is limited (“Zulassungsbeschränkung”). For more information, please refer to the institute’s admission regulations (direct download, PDF file in German).


To find out which grades were required for admission to the master’s program in General and Comparative Literature in the previous semester, please contact the Student Services Center (SSC).



Application Process

General information on studying at the Freie Universität Berlin can be found on the FU website.

Applicants whose native language is not German, and/or who have earned their degree from a university (or equivalent institution) where the language of instruction is not German, must submit proof of German language proficiency that is commensurate with the standards of the German Language Exam for University Entrance (“Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang,” DSH).

Information regarding the application process and any required documents is available via the FU website.

Please note that the online application form will be made available at the beginning of the application period at the latest. Here you will find all the information you need to complete your application (postal address, documents to be submitted, etc.). A letter of motivation is not required.

Any inquiries may be directed to Dr. David Wachter (beratungavl@zedat.fu-berlin.de).