Department of History and Cultural Studies
East Asia and the Middle East
Seminar for Semitic and Arabic Studies
Junior Professor Dr. Regula Forster: no office hours in the summer semester 2018; Deputy: Victoria Mummelthei
+49 30 838 536 62; +49 30 838 710 36
For admittance to the master’s program applicants need to fulfill the following admission requirements:
The DSH - or German Language University Entrance Exam for Foreign Students - is obligatory for all applicants whose first language is not German and who have earned their initial degree from a university (or equivalent institution) where the language of instruction is not German.
Students do not pay any tuition fees, the university only charges semester fees and contributions each semester.
The master’s programme provides an in-depth insight into current research as well as into the contemporary and classic research discussions and enables students to participate in discussions on a wide range of topics in the field of Arabic Studies. The students take an exemplary look at selected texts of classical and modern Arabic literature, as well as essential texts of Arabic-Islamic culture such as Qur’an, Hadith and Tafsir. Subjects of study are e.g. questions of genre and literary form as well as questions of symbolism, intertextuality and intermediality. Various research methods and working techniques from the area of literary and cultural studies are applied and practiced. The interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary area offers students the opportunity to approach neighbouring disciplines.
Arab Studies at Freie Universität Berlin is involved in numerous ongoing research projects, including the Corpus Coranicum project at Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften as well as the collaborative research center Episteme in Motion.
The Seminar for Semitic and Arabic Studies cooperates with other disciplines of Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and Universität Potsdam in the field of the modern Near East, with Zentrum Moderner Orient as well as the interdisciplinary centre “Bausteine zu einer Geselslchaftsgeschichte des Vorderen Orients” at Freie Universität Berlin. Furher co-operation exists with various liaison offices of Freie Universität Berlin, in particular in Cairo.
Freie Universität Berlin furthermore offers a unique network of scientific and cultural institutions with reference to the Arabic-speaking world, e.g. the Museum of Islamic Art, the Oriental Department of Staatsbibliothek Preußischer Kulturbesitz (it offers the largest collection of Arabic manuscripts in Germany), Haus der Kulturen der Welt as well as Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin.
Moreover, the Seminar for Semitic and Arabic Studies is involved in the Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies, Friedrich Schlegel Graduiertenschule für literaturwissenschaftliche Studien, Dahlem Humanities Center as well as Dahlem Research School.
Admission for the 1st semester
No limited admissions
Admission for higher semesters
No limited admissions
Application and registration period
Only for 1st semester: April 15 – May 31 (for winter semester), only for higher semesters: July 1 - August 15 (for winter semester), and January 1 - February 15 (for summer semester)
see notice of admission
Master of Arts (M.A.)
The Master's programme is divided into four areas: basic area, specialisation area, interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary area and the master thesis.
Basic area (50 credits)
1st semester: Arabic literature and its social dimensions (10 credits)
1st semester: Cultural and intellectual history of the Arabic-speaking world (10 credits)
2nd semester: Arabic literature and its aesthetic dimensions (10 credits)
2nd semester: Qur’an, Tafsir, Hadith (10 credits)
2nd semester: Advanced Arabic (10 credits)
Specialisation area (20 credits)
3rd semester: Qur’an, Tafsir, Hadith Specialisation OR Arabic Literature Specialisation (10 credits)
3rd semester: Research Perspectives of Arabic Studies OR Arabic Linguistics and Dialectology (10 credits)
4th semester: master thesis (30 credits)
Interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary area (20 credits)
The students choose modules of neighbouring subjects and disciplines that expand the spectrum of Arabic Studies and the students with an expanded qualification profile. Particularly recommended are courses from the following master’s programmes: Iranian Studies, Islamic Studies, Islam in Europe, Semitic Studies, Turkish Studies. The following courses are also recommended: General and Comparative Literary Studies, German Studies, English Studies, History, Jewish Studies, Social and Cultural Anthropology, Religious Studies, Romanic Literary Sciences as well as Theatre Studies.
Master thesis (30 credits)
The master thesis (15000 to 18000 words) is intended to show that the students are able to work independently on a problematic topic in the field of Arabic Studies at an advanced scientific level and that they have the ability to present the results appropriately in writing, to classify them scientifically and to document them.
The master’s degree in Arabic Studies qualifies to take up doctoral studies in the same respectively neighbouring fields such as Semitic Studies, Oriental Philology, Oriental Studies, Middle East Studies, Islamic Studies. The acquired knowledge and skills qualify for activities in state institutions and non-governmental organisations dealing with the Arabic-speaking world and with Arabic-speaking population groups. Amongst others, the following professional fields can be considered: international organisations, non-governmental organisations, German branches of companies in the Near and Middle East, public authorities, policy counselling, media, publishing, museums, adult education and training, institutions and organisations caring for migrants and refugees, tourism.