International Programmes 2023/2024

Master of Arts (MA) in Interdisciplinary Latin American Studies Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Latin American Studies

Freie Universität Berlin • Berlin

Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Latin American Studies
Teaching language
  • German
  • Spanish
  • Other teaching language
  • English

Courses are held in German, Spanish, Portuguese and English. Participants can choose to write their term papers and their Master's theses in any of these languages.

Programme duration
4 semesters
Winter semester
Application deadline

The application period for the MA in Interdisciplinary Latin American Studies for the winter semester starts on 15 April and ends on 15 August each year.

The dates indicated on the main pages of the Freie Universität Berlin website regarding the application period are binding.

Applicants are recommended to check out the homepage of the study programme for further current information.

Tuition fees per semester in EUR
Combined Master's degree / PhD programme
Joint degree / double degree programme

The Master's programme is modularised, with each module comprising two courses. It consists of a core area of studies, an area of specialisation (study tracks) and an elective area (SPO 2013).

The core area of study caters to the development and tackling of current interdisciplinary questions and the consolidation of knowledge about Latin America. Furthermore, students are expected to gain specific theoretical and methodological knowledge and abilities necessary to conduct academic research on the topics covered by the Master's topics. The students’ choice of one of the offered tracks fosters a deepening of their understanding of one of the four disciplinary areas.

Students can choose one of the following study tracks:

Study track A: Representation and Entanglement

Questions of representation and entanglement are of central importance for the processes of societal transformation and cultural dynamics in Latin America. They are based on societal heterogeneity and structures of power. In this track, students will examine actor, image and discourse-led actions in the past and present. At the same time, the culturally diverse Latin American academic traditions and epistemic productions are dealt with alongside the specialist traditions of historiography, and literary and cultural studies. Representations and entanglement with their transregional and constantly changing dimensions will be analysed on the basis of theoretical and methodological approaches. The research in this track is informed by the close connection between the approaches of history, social and cultural anthropology, and Latin American literature and cultural studies.

Study track B: Transformation and Development

In this track, students examine the complex processes of societal change and cultural dynamics that characterise the development of Latin American societies. Their complex inclusion in transregional and national processes as well as in global structures in the past and present is a key topic. Hereby, a particular focus is laid on the perception of Latin America as a “continent in crisis” and at the same time a “laboratory of modernity”.

Study track C: Brazil in a Global Context: Literature, Culture and Society

Brazil plays a special role in Latin America due to its geographical size and cultural diversity, its own language and specific historical formation. This track aims at improving the students’ understanding of Brazil and the Caribbean based on the study of social and economic processes, cultural dynamics and the country’s evolution in a regional and global context.

Study track D: Gender Relations, Ways of Life, Transformations

This track offers the foundation for the understanding of historical and contemporary gender relations in Latin America while taking into consideration the theoretical and methodological approaches of interdisciplinary gender studies. Against the backdrop of gender-specific problems that account for the socio-economic and cultural heterogeneity of Latin America, this track focuses on questions of democratisation and violence (i.e. developmental policy, law and public spheres, social movements, ways of life and praxes), interculturality (ethnicity, hybridity and transnationalism), and representations (body and discourse).

Course organisation

The core study area is composed of two modules: the principal study area and the area of specialisation in the first two semesters of the Master's programme. The modules are designed to enable students to acquire basic knowledge of the Latin American region through an interdisciplinary approach and also to promote the development of methodological and theoretical knowledge and skills that are essential for scientific work.

Each module consists of a lecture and a seminar. The programme also includes an elective area in which students can set their personal focus according to their interests. The elective area consists of two courses in either indigenous languages, Brazilian Portuguese, or a module that can be freely chosen by each student.

The third semester is focused on research labs and an online course destined to assist students to prepare an exposé for the Master's thesis. Students also have the opportunity to do an internship or a semester abroad.

In the fourth semester, students are expected to write their Master's theses.

Get to know the programme in an interactive environment:

A Diploma supplement will be issued
International elements
  • International guest lecturers
  • Integrated study abroad unit(s)
  • Specialist literature in other languages
  • Language training provided
  • Training in intercultural skills
  • Study trips
  • Courses are led with foreign partners
  • Projects with partners in Germany and abroad
  • International comparisons and thematic reference to the international context
  • Content-related regional focus
Integrated study abroad unit(s)

As the largest institute for Latin American Studies in all German-speaking countries, the Institute for Latin American Studies (LAI) offers students an outstanding international study environment. In recent years, structured internationalisation in research, teaching and also in training of young academics has been expanded.

The Institute for Latin American Studies cooperates with more than 50 European, Latin American and North American universities in teaching and research. In order to promote international mobility of students beyond the opportunity to study abroad, the institute also organises and supports regular student trips to Latin America.

Going abroad has a major and ever-growing significance during the course of academic studies, facilitating the improvement of language competence and giving students insight into other universities, their discussions, and other specific subject matter. These exchanges allow students to engage in a transcultural dialogue and to get to know and discuss diverse means of knowledge production.

Direct exchange

LAI students are offered the opportunity to spend a semester abroad via a direct exchange programme ("Direktaustausch") as well as via internal "LAI Convenios" (Cooperation Agreements) in the third semester. These include the exchange of students from our partner universities abroad and our university based on reciprocity. Our partners waive the tuition fees for LAI students and some even offer a scholarship for living expenses. The recognition of courses is guaranteed. Some of the partner institutions in Latin America are, for example, the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (PUC), Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (PUCP), Universidade de São Paulo (USP), Colegio de México (COLMEX) and Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM).

Erasmus+ Europe

Within the framework of the ERASMUS+, the LAI holds agreements with universities in Spain (Barcelona, Madrid, Tarragona), Portugal (Coimbra), France (Paris III, Paris IV, Toulouse), Poland (Warsaw), and the Netherlands (Leiden). Essential advantages of studying abroad with the Erasmus+ programme and studying at a partner university include the exemption from university fees and academic recognition, the accreditation of courses and more.

Integrated internships

The research practice area offers students the opportunity to implement their individual research interests in the shaping of their studies via the selection of a research practice module and a corresponding project module. The aim of this area is for students to gather professional or research experience or to be able to directly develop the specialist knowledge and methodological competences pertaining to the subject of their Master’s theses and in accordance with the selection of individual focal points.

Academic Practice Module I is taken by students who complete an internship or a research project domestically or abroad. The aim of the module is to obtain knowledge and specific skills for the Master’s thesis in a practical activity or in an on-site research project. The internship or the on-site research project must encompass a minimum of 360 hours.

The internship or on-site research project is accompanied by an obligatory e-learning course. The aim is to develop ideas for the Master's thesis and an exposé for the thesis. This means that students will be in contact and constant exchange with their professors and the other students during their internships or field researches.

Special promotion / funding of the programme
Course-specific, integrated German language courses
Course-specific, integrated English language courses
Tuition fees per semester in EUR
Semester contribution

In total, the semester contribution amounts to 312.89 EUR. It includes a fee of 198.80 EUR for the transportation ticket contribution. This allows you to use public transportation in Berlin for free. Other costs covered by the semester contribution include a 50 EUR enrolment fee, a 54.09 EUR semester contribution to the student support service ("studierendenWERK Berlin"), and a 10 EUR contribution to the student union.

Costs of living

Compared to other European countries, the cost of living in Germany is quite reasonable. However, the cost of living has also risen somewhat in Germany in recent years. The prices for food, accommodation, clothing, cultural events, etc. are slightly above the EU average. You will need around 950 to 1,200 EUR each month to cover your living expenses. The biggest expense is monthly rent, which is between 400 and 700 EUR in Berlin.

Funding opportunities within the university
Academic admission requirements

The entry requirements for the MA Interdisciplinary Latin American Studies are as follows:

A degree (Bachelor's) in a relevant discipline from a German university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard, with at least 60 credit units (LP/ ECTS) completed in one of the following subjects:

  • Pre-Colombian Studies
  • Brazilian Studies
  • History
  • Caribbean Studies
  • Latin American Studies
  • Political Science
  • Social and Cultural Anthropology
  • Sociology
  • Political Economy / Economy / Economics
  • Literary Studies or
  • Cultural Studies.

For further information about the entry requirements, please visit our website.

Language requirements

Applicants must provide proof of Spanish or Portuguese language skills (level B2 CEFR).

Applicants who have earned their initial degree from a university (or equivalent institution) where the language of instruction is not German have to present a B2 (CEFR) German certificate.

Application deadline

The application period for the MA in Interdisciplinary Latin American Studies for the winter semester starts on 15 April and ends on 15 August each year.

The dates indicated on the main pages of the Freie Universität Berlin website regarding the application period are binding.

Applicants are recommended to check out the homepage of the study programme for further current information.

Submit application to

Application with non-German degree:

Possibility of finding part-time employment

There are many ways of earning money while you study, for example as waiting staff, academic assistants, or private tutors. Knowledge of German will improve your chances of finding a part-time job, but it isn’t necessarily required. However, it is important to be aware of the legal regulations.

The student support service at the university, called studierendenWERK Berlin, and the local representative of the "Bundesagentur für Arbeit" (Federal Employment Agency) can provide information about jobs for students. When searching for a job, look at online job boards, ads in local newspapers, and notice boards on campus.


You have the option to stay in a public/private student dormitory or in a private (shared) apartment. Student dormitories are not administrated by the university itself, so Freie Universität Berlin does not have any on-campus housing. However, it works together with "studierendenWERK Berlin" regarding student accommodation.

If you do not wish to stay in a student dormitory, you can try to find a room or an apartment on the private housing market. Many students in Berlin live in shared apartments ("WGs"). You can find these offers online (e.g. WG-gesucht or Craigslist) or on notice boards on campus.

Available rooms/apartments near the university are rare. Therefore, students mostly commute from other parts of the city. The commute via public transportation usually takes between 30 minutes and an hour, which is considered a normal travel time in Berlin due to the city's size.

Freie Universität Berlin

Freie Universität Berlin is a leading research institution. It is one of the 13 German universities being funded through the German government’s Excellence Strategy and is part of the only University Consortium of Excellence, the Berlin University Alliance, which consists of four partners in Berlin: Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Technische Universität Berlin, and Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin.

You can choose from more than 180 subject areas. No matter which area you are interested in, be it archaeology, physics, Jewish studies, law, or psychology, you will find your subject at Freie Universität Berlin.

As an international university, Freie Universität Berlin has partnerships with numerous universities across the world and maintains offices in Beijing, Cairo, Eastern Europe (Tbilisi, Georgia), New Delhi, Moscow, and São Paulo. About 17 percent of the students come from abroad, as do 38 percent of the doctoral students. At Freie Universität Berlin, you will meet people from all over the world.

Various support services are available for students. In particular, students who are new to a German university and to Berlin will profit from these services, for example, the introduction week, the mentorship programme, or the Student Services Centre. UniSport offers programmes ranging from Aikido to Zumba, which are very popular among students. The many cafeterias and canteens on campus offer food and drinks; this also usually includes fair trade, organic, vegetarian, and vegan options. Environmental protection and sustainability are generally important topics at Freie Universität Berlin, and there are many opportunities to get involved in related activities offered by students and the university.

33 Percentage of international students

University location

Freie Universität Berlin is one of the major universities in the capital of Germany. It is located in the green district of Dahlem, in the south-western part of the city. There is no other campus in Berlin that is as green as the campus of Freie Universität Berlin. You can simply step out of the university buildings to enjoy outdoor activities: lunch on one of the many terraces and rooftops, swimming in the nearby lakes, or reading between cherry and apple trees. Dahlem is also home to one of the biggest botanical gardens in Europe. By using public transport, you can easily access the heart of Berlin and enjoy its cultural life and diversity. The U3 subway line connects Dahlem with the popular and central districts of Schöneberg, Kreuzberg, and Friedrichshain; however, all of the other districts can also be easily reached.

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