International Programmes 2023/2024

East European Studies (MA) East European Studies (MA)

Freie Universität Berlin • Berlin

Master of Arts in East European Studies
Teaching language
  • German
  • English

Courses are held in German and English. Participants can choose to write assignments and the Master's thesis in either language.

Programme duration
4 semesters
Winter semester
Application deadline

Applications can be submitted from 15 April through 15 August for the following winter semester. We welcome early applications!

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

The programme introduces students to interdisciplinary aspects of East European studies. Graduates of the Master's programme will be able to independently analyse and interpret developments and situations in Eastern, East-Central and South-Eastern Europe (hereinafter collectively referred to as Eastern Europe) and contextualise them within their respective political, social, economic, historical, and cultural frameworks. They will also be capable of evaluating these developments from a multidisciplinary perspective. In spatial terms, the concept of Eastern Europe used here includes post-Soviet Eurasia as well as East-Central and South-Eastern Europe. Furthermore, graduates of the Master's programme will be able to deal with regionally-related questions and tasks across disciplines and to draw practice-related conclusions. They have also acquired comprehensive knowledge of the respective disciplines and analytical methods and are able to analyse national, transregional and global processes. Graduates know the foundations and general principles of scientific work as well as good scientific practice and can take these into account in scientific activities.

The Master's programme builds on a first university degree (BA or equivalent qualification) and is designed primarily but not exclusively for students with a first degree in political science, sociology, cultural studies, history, or economics or related fields.

The Master's programme in East European Studies consists of the basic area, the interdisciplinary profile area, the area of applied East European studies and the area of language acquisition. Students choose between two profiles: "Institutions and Power" or "Spaces and Constructions".

Graduates possess knowledge of at least one East European language as well as professionally relevant social, in particular intercultural as well as diversity and gender-specific competences, which provide them with an understanding of national, transregional and global processes. Graduates have higher-level skills and competences, including moderation and presentation skills, critical and conflict skills as well as problem-solving skills.

The Master's programme provides the academic foundations and practical experience for later work as an expert on Eastern Europe in the following areas, among others: politics and political consultancy, social policy and social work, business and economic consultancy, foreign service and international organisations, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), culture, tourism, state and municipal planning and administration, media, adult education, publishing and librarianship and academic institutions.

Course organisation

The programme consists of the following elements:

  • Interdisciplinary introduction to East European studies
  • Three modules in the chosen profile area
  • Applied East European studies with exercises and optional internship
  • Interdisciplinary project module (including group work)
  • Language courses
  • Master's thesis with colloquium
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A Diploma supplement will be issued
International elements
  • International guest lecturers
  • International comparisons and thematic reference to the international context
  • Projects with partners in Germany and abroad
  • Content-related regional focus
Integrated internships

An internship of eight weeks can be completed during the programme, for example, during the summer break between the second and third semesters. The internship can be done abroad. Students are assisted in finding an appropriate internship. However, the internship is not mandatory.

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

Bachelor's degree (or equivalent) in history, culture, economics, politics, sociology, or related fields; English (B2) and German (C1) language skills

For more information on the application procedure, see:

Language requirements

Applicants must demonstrate proficiency in German and English.
German: C1 CEFR – TestDaF 4, or DSH 2, or equivalent
English: B2 CEFR – TOEFL 500 (PBT), 170 (CBT), 80 (iBT); IELTS 5.0; or equivalent

Application deadline

Applications can be submitted from 15 April through 15 August for the following winter semester. We welcome early applications!

Submit application to

Candidates holding a German degree apply through the online application form.

Candidates with a non-German degree apply via uni-assist e.V. 
Address for application documents:
Freie Universität Berlin
c/o uni-assist e.V.
11507 Berlin

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

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© David Ausserhofer

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.

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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