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Admissions

Admission deadlines are published on the program's website of the student services center.

Here you can find information regarding:

Prerequisites

To be eligible for admission to the master’s program, you need to fulfil the following requirements:

1. You must hold a first university degree (e.g. a bachelor’s degree) comprising of at least 180 credit points (ECTS) and you

  • EITHER have earned 60 ECTS or more of this first degree in courses that are relevant to interdisciplinary studies of the Middle East in fields such as Arabic Studies, Iranian Studies, Islamic Studies, Jewish Studies, Semitic Studies, or Turkic Studies,
  • OR have acquired equivalent qualifications in addition to the first university degree (e.g. education other than a university program, professional experience, knowledge of relevant languages),
  • OR pass a qualifying examination (please note that qualifying examinations are offered only in exceptional cases and at the discretion of the admission committee);

2. you must provide proof of proficiency (at least level B1 CEFR or equivalent) in one of the following languages: Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, Syrian-Aramaic, or Turkish*;

3. you must provide proof of excellent English language skills (at least level C1 CEFR) if you have not obtained your first university degree in a program where English is the language of instruction.

For an explanation of the admission process please visit the program website or refer to the detailed admission regulations in English and in German (the latter is the legally binding version).

Admission is limited.

Relevant first university degrees and courses

You can apply with any first university degree (e.g. a bachelor's degree) in which you have earned 60 ECTS or more in courses that are relevant to interdisciplinary studies of the Middle East. Ideally, this first university degree is from disciplines such as Arabic Studies, Iranian Studies, Islamic Studies, Jewish Studies, Semitic Studies, or Turkic Studies. These include but are not limited to programs with denominations such as:

  • Arabic Language and Literature
  • Christian Orient
  • Cultures of the Islamicate World
  • Cultures of the Near/Middle East
  • Hebrew Language and Literature
  • History of the Near/Middle East
  • Islamic Civilization and Societies
  • Islamic Orient
  • Islamic Theology
  • Islamic World Studies
  • Israel Studies
  • Judaic Studies
  • Languages of the Islamicate World
  • Languages of the Near/Middle East
  • Linguistics with Arabic
  • Middle Eastern Studies
  • Middle East Pluralities
  • Modern Arab Cultures
  • The Modern Islamicate World
  • Modern Jewish Studies
  • Near Eastern Studies
  • North African Studies
  • Oriental Studies
  • Ottoman Studies
  • Persian Languages and Literature
  • Persian Studies
  • Turkic Languages and Literature

Documenting your English language proficiency

The language of instruction in our program is English. We must stress that a high level of English proficiency is required in order to study our master's program successfully. Even if you formally fulfil the language requirements, we recommend that you reflect on your personal language proficiency. Students are expected to read and understand academic texts, to discuss and present advanced scholarly questions when attending classes and to articulate their thoughts in an academic style when submitting assignments or writing research papers and their master's thesis. 

Applicants must submit proof of English language proficiency on a C1 (CEFRL) level together with their application. 

To document your English language proficiency, you can submit one of the following certificates:

  • IELTS (Academic): overall score at least 7.5
  • TOEFL Internet-based iB: overall score 100 or higher, at least 25 in writing
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): grades A-C
  • Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE): grades A-C
  • Cambridge First Certificate of English (FCE): grades A-B
  • Cambridge English Scale CPE, CAE and FCE (from January 2015): overall score at least 180 and in writing at least 180
  • UNIcert® (level III or higher)

These certificates must not be older than three years at the time of application. 

*** Exemption for 2021 ***

Due to the current situation affecting the options to obtain language certificates, we have expanded the list of accepted certifications to document English language proficiency on a C1 (CEFRL) level. In addition to the above-mentioned certificates, we accept the following:

  • language certificates by DAAD (C1 level),
  • Erasmus Language Tests (C1 level),
  • language certificates by university language departments (C1 level),
  • confirmation of completed C1 level language courses (taken at a university or a public/ private language school)
  • a letter written by a (former) university teacher who confirms the applicant’s ability to successfully study a master's program where English is the language of instruction, at best by explicitly stating the applicant’s English skills on C1 level. The letter can only be accepted if presented with an official university letterhead and/or a stamp from the relevant institution, and a signature by the relevant professor.  You may use this sample text: 'I hereby confirm that <applicant’s name>  was a participant in a seminar taught by me during the course of their studies. In the course of this seminar, he/she demonstrated that they are able to read, write and speak English at, or above, the C1 level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages'.

Such documentation should not be older than three years.

Further options

A document showing that applicants spent at least one year at an English-language university in an Anglophone country and successfully participated in several regular, linguistically demanding courses would also be sufficient (if you are unsure if your university qualifies, please enquire via email), as would a bachelor's degree (which has to be recognized in Germany) from a program which sets C1 as a prerequisite for admission, or a result of at least 12 points in the written 'Abitur' examination in English ('Leistungskurs'/advanced level).

Documenting your proficiency in a program-related language

You can establish your proficiency in Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, Syriac-Aramaic, or Turkish by submitting one of the following documents:

  • a transcript of records indicating the level of proficiency as B1 CEFR; if the level of proficiency is not documented in the transcript of records, please provide module descriptions indicating the level of proficiency;
  • a document issued by a university language center certifying the level of proficiency as B1 CEFR. The document can only be accepted if presented with an official university letterhead and/or a stamp from the relevant institution, and a signature by the relevant language instructor;
  • certificates from languages centers and language institutions indicating the level of proficiency as B1 CEFR.

If the level of proficiency as B1 CEFR is not indicated in your documents, please document the duration and intensity of the courses you have taken in the relevant languages. 

You may also fulfil these requirements if you have 

a) obtained your bachelor's degree (which has to be recognized in Germany) from a university where the language of instruction is Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, Syriac-Aramaic, or Turkish, or

b) obtained your general university entry qualification from a high school (which has to be recognized in Germany) where the language of instruction is Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, Syriac-Aramaic, or Turkish.

Please provide relevant proof with your application, for example, an official diploma supplement stating the language of instruction. 

When and where to submit proof of language proficiency

Applicants must prove all necessary language skills upon application – a preliminary admission is not possible. If you are unsure regarding a specific way to certify your language proficiency, please contact our program's academic advisors. 

Proof of German language proficiency is not necessary for the application.

Do not send your certificates to our program's academic advisors, but upload them directly to the relevant application portal.

Applying with a degree from Germany

If you hold a first university degree from Germany, you must apply via the online form of Freie Universität Berlin.

Applying with a degree from a country other than Germany

If you hold a first university degree from a country other than German, you must apply via uni-assist, a Germany-wide association that provides processing and evaluation for international student applications. Freie Universität Berlin will accept such applications only when submitted through the uni-assist online portal. Uni-assist evaluates whether the application – i.e. your degree and transcript – meets the formal prerequisites established by Freie Universität Berlin. Uni-assist does not check subject-specific entry requirements, which is done by the ISME selection commission of the Department of History and Cultural Studies.

Please note that our program's academic advisors cannot answer inquiries concerning the formal application process via Freie Universität and/or uni-assist (e.g. necessary documents, certification). In these matters, please contact Freie Universität Berlin's admission office (info-service@fu-berlin.de).

Fees and funding

The master's program Interdisciplinary Studies of the Middle East is tuition-free. Fees for registering as a student of Freie Universität Berlin currently run at around €300 per semester (including free use of the Berlin public transportation system).

General information about funding your studies can be found here.

There are no specific scholarships for the master's program Interdisciplinary Studies of the Middle East, but students can apply for funding independently. A variety of German organizations and foundations offer scholarships for international students in Germany. Each year, several international students of Freie Universität apply successfully for funding from such programs. The following sites can help you find a program that fits your personal profile:

DAAD

Study In Germany 

Studentenwerk Berlin

Frequently asked questions

The program requires that you participate in classes on the campus of Freie Universität Berlin.  

Students holding a degree from a university outside of Germany must submit their application through uni-assist. For more information click here.

Yes, at present admission is limited to 15 students per application cycle.

The master's program Interdisciplinary Studies of the Middle East is tuition-free. Fees for registering as a student of Freie Universität Berlin currently run at around €300 per semester (including free use of the Berlin public transportation system). For more information about the exact fees, see the website of the student administration.

There are no specific scholarships for the master's program Interdisciplinary Studies of the Middle East, but students can apply for funding independently. A variety of German organizations and foundations offer scholarships for international students in Germany. Each year, several international students of Freie Universität apply successfully for funding from such programs. The following sites can help you find a program that fits your personal profile:

DAAD

Study In

Studentenwerk Berlin

Yes, you can submit two applications of equal value for the first semester, but only one application for the higher subject-specific semester.

We recommend checking the anabin database – a portal informing about recognizing foreign degrees in Germany. 

Since this is a consecutive master's program, your chances are higher when you hold a degree related to Interdisciplinary Studies of the Middle East. If you do not hold such a degree, submit with your application a transcript of records documenting that you earned at least 60 ECTS (equivalent to about one-third of your undergraduate degree) in courses relevant to Interdisciplinary Studies of the Middle East.

Please note that in the case of applying with a first university degree unrelated to Interdisciplinary Studies of the Middle East, we cannot take into account language courses to fulfil two different admission requirements, the minimum of 60 ECTS in courses that are relevant to interdisciplinary studies of the Middle East AND the proficiency (at least level B1 CEFR or equivalent) in a programme-related language. 

Since this is a consecutive master's program, your chances are higher when you hold a degree related to Interdisciplinary Studies of the Middle East. If you do not hold such a degree, submit with your application a transcript of records documenting that you earned at least 60 ECTS (equivalent to about one-third of your undergraduate degree) in courses relevant to Interdisciplinary Studies of the Middle East.

Please note that in the case of applying with a first university degree unrelated to Interdisciplinary Studies of the Middle East, we cannot take into account language courses to fulfil two different admission requirements, the minimum of 60 ECTS in courses that are relevant to interdisciplinary studies of the Middle East AND the proficiency (at least level B1 CEFR or equivalent) in a programme-related language. 

Yes, if you provide official, provisional documentation from the examination office of your university or faculty that includes a preliminary final grade and certifies that you have already earned at least two-thirds of the necessary credit points. It is not sufficient to calculate the preliminary final grade yourself. The certification must be handed in by the application deadline or your application will not be considered.

Yes. Please note, however, that this is a consecutive master's program; therefore, you will be required to apply on the basis of your bachelor's degree. Qualifications acquired in addition to the bachelor's degree (e.g. education other than a university program, professional experience, knowledge of relevant languages), can be considered within the application process to document skills and knowledge equivalent to 60 ECTS in courses that are relevant to interdisciplinary studies of the Middle East in fields such as Arabic Studies, Iranian Studies, Islamic Studies, Jewish Studies, Semitic Studies, or Turkic Studies. See the admissions regulations to learn about the ranking process.

Please note that in the case of applying with a first university degree unrelated to Interdisciplinary Studies of the Middle East, we cannot take into account language courses to fulfil two different admission requirements, the minimum of 60 ECTS in courses that are relevant to interdisciplinary studies of the Middle East AND the proficiency (at least level B1 CEFR or equivalent) in a programme-related language. 

Yes. Please note, however, that this is a consecutive master's program; therefore, you will be required to apply on the basis of your bachelor's degree. Qualifications acquired in addition to the bachelor's degree (e.g. education other than a university program, professional experience, knowledge of relevant languages), can be considered within the application process to document skills and knowledge equivalent to 60 ECTS in courses that are relevant to interdisciplinary studies of the Middle East in fields such as Arabic Studies, Iranian Studies, Islamic Studies, Jewish Studies, Semitic Studies, or Turkic Studies.

Please note that in the case of applying with a first university degree unrelated to Interdisciplinary Studies of the Middle East, we cannot take into account language courses to fulfil two different admission requirements, the minimum of 60 ECTS in courses that are relevant to interdisciplinary studies of the Middle East AND the proficiency (at least level B1 CEFR or equivalent) in a programme-related language. 

To establish qualifications equivalent to 60 ECTS or more that are relevant to interdisciplinary studies of the Middle East in fields such as Arabic Studies, Iranian Studies, Islamic Studies, Jewish Studies, Semitic Studies, or Turkic Studies, submit together with your application a CV as well as relevant documents. 

Qualifications for the master’s degree program earned outside of a university setting can be documented through diplomas, certificates, or other official documents. Such qualifications include certificates of continuing education programs, degrees from training programs for recognized occupations, diplomas from institutions that are state-approved or recognized by a Chamber of Commerce and Industry, or an equivalent international professional qualification, and they must have been earned subsequent to the degree mentioned in sentence 1.

The qualification must be substantially related to the subject matter of the degree mentioned in sentence 1 or to the degree pursued in the master’s program. Moreover, the qualification must have been awarded by an institution that is recognized by public law and must have been earned in the form of quantifiable and consecutive individual curricular modules. The qualification must be equivalent to at least level 6 of the German Qualifications Framework (Deutscher Qualifikationsrahmen, DQR). Professional experience that is pertinent to the master’s degree program must have been gained after the completion of the degree mentioned in sentence 1 and must be fundamentally related to the subject matter of the degree mentioned in sentence 1 or to the degree pursued in the master’s program. Relevant professional experience can include, for example, work at a research center, either at a university or elsewhere, that deals with topics on the Near or Middle East, working for international organizations or (non-) governmental organizations, for cultural or educational institutions that support intercultural, international, or interfaith understanding, or working in the field of translation.

Please note that in the case of applying with a degree unrelated to Interdisciplinary Studies of the Middle East, we cannot take into account language courses to fulfil two different admission requirements, the minimum of 60 ECTS in courses that are relevant to interdisciplinary studies of the Middle East AND the proficiency (at least level B1 CEFR or equivalent) in a programme-related language. 

The language of instruction in our program is English. We must stress that a high level of English proficiency is required in order to study our master's program successfully. Even if you formally fulfil the language requirements, we recommend that you reflect on your personal language proficiency. Students are expected to read and understand academic texts, to discuss and present advanced scholarly questions when attending classes and to articulate their thoughts in an academic style when submitting assignments or writing research papers and their master's thesis. 

Applicants must submit proof of English language proficiency on a C1 (CEFRL) level together with their application. 

To document your English language proficiency, you can submit one of the following certificates:

  • IELTS (Academic): overall score at least 7.5
  • TOEFL Internet-based iB: overall score 100 or higher, at least 25 in writing
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): grades A-C
  • Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE): grades A-C
  • Cambridge First Certificate of English (FCE): grades A-B
  • Cambridge English Scale CPE, CAE and FCE (from January 2015): overall score at least 180 and in writing at least 180
  • UNIcert® (level III or higher)

These certificates must not be older than three years at the time of application. 

*** Exemption for 2021 ***

Due to the current situation affecting the options to obtain language certificates, we have expanded the list of accepted certifications to document English language proficiency on a C1 (CEFRL) level. In addition to the above-mentioned certificates, we accept the following:

  • language certificates by DAAD (C1 level),
  • Erasmus Language Tests (C1 level),
  • language certificates by university language departments (C1 level),
  • confirmation of completed C1 level language courses (taken at a university or a public/ private language school)
  • a letter written by a (former) university teacher who confirms the applicant’s ability to successfully study a master's program where English is the language of instruction, at best by explicitly stating the applicant’s English skills on C1 level. The letter can only be accepted if presented with an official university letterhead and/or a stamp from the relevant institution, and a signature by the relevant professor.  You may use this sample text: 'I hereby confirm that <applicant’s name>  was a participant in a seminar taught by me during the course of their studies. In the course of this seminar, he/she demonstrated that they are able to read, write and speak English at, or above, the C1 level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages'.

Such documentation should not be older than three years.

Further options

A document showing that applicants spent at least one year at an English-language university in an Anglophone country and successfully participated in several regular, linguistically demanding courses would also be sufficient (if you are unsure if your university qualifies, please enquire via email), as would a bachelor's degree (which has to be recognized in Germany) from a program which sets C1 as a prerequisite for admission, or a result of at least 12 points in the written 'Abitur' examination in English ('Leistungskurs'/advanced level).

You can establish your proficiency in Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, Syriac-Aramaic, or Turkish by submitting one of the following documents:

  • a transcript of records indicating the level of proficiency as B1 CEFR; if the level of proficiency is not documented in the transcript of records, please provide module descriptions indicating the level of proficiency;
  • a document issued by a university language center certifying the level of proficiency as B1 CEFR. The document can only be accepted if presented with an official university letterhead and/or a stamp from the relevant institution, and a signature by the relevant language instructor;
  • certificates from languages centers and language institutions indicating the level of proficiency as B1 CEFR.

If the level of proficiency as B1 CEFR is not indicated in your documents, please document the duration and intensity of the courses you have taken in the relevant languages. 

You may also fulfil these requirements if you have 

a) obtained your bachelor's degree (which has to be recognized in Germany) from a university where the language of instruction is Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, Syriac-Aramaic, or Turkish, or

b) obtained your general university entry qualification from a high school (which has to be recognized in Germany) where the language of instruction is Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, Syriac-Aramaic, or Turkish.

Please provide relevant proof with your application, for example, an official diploma supplement stating the language of instruction. 

Yes, you have to document your language proficiency in Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, Syriac-Aramaic, or Turkish by submitting relevant certificates or documents. 

You can establish your proficiency in Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, Syriac-Aramaic, or Turkish by submitting one of the following documents:

  • a transcript of records indicating the level of proficiency as B1 CEFR; if the level of proficiency is not documented in the transcript of records, please provide module descriptions indicating the level of proficiency;
  • a document issued by a university language center certifying the level of proficiency as B1 CEFR. The document can only be accepted if presented with an official university letterhead and/or a stamp from the relevant institution, and a signature by the relevant language instructor;
  • certificates from languages centers and language institutions indicating the level of proficiency as B1 CEFR.

If the level of proficiency as B1 CEFR is not indicated in your documents, please document the duration and intensity of the courses you have taken in the relevant languages. 

You may also fulfil these requirements if you have 

a) obtained your bachelor's degree (which has to be recognized in Germany) from a university where the language of instruction is Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, Syriac-Aramaic, or Turkish, or

b) obtained your general university entry qualification from a high school (which has to be recognized in Germany) where the language of instruction is Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, Syriac-Aramaic, or Turkish.

Please provide relevant proof with your application, for example, an official diploma supplement stating the language of instruction. 

You have to prove your proficiency in English on level C1 CERF as well as your proficiency in Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, Syriac-Aramaic, or Turkish on level B1 CERF upon application. Failure to submit complete documents upon application will result in rejection.

No, you have to document your proficiency in English on level C1 CERF as well as your proficiency in Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, Syriac-Aramaic, or Turkish on level B1 CERF upon application. Failure to submit complete documents together with your application will result in rejection.

No, your application will be considered solely on the basis of your qualifications. 

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