Master of Arts in Social and Cultural Anthropology / Ethnology

Goethe University Frankfurt

Program Description

Master of Arts in Social and Cultural Anthropology / Ethnology

Goethe University Frankfurt

The research focus at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology of the University of Frankfurt is the comparative empirical study of non-European societies by documenting and analysing cultural commonalities and differences between different societies. Research and the teaching curriculum thus concentrate on the study and analysis of socio-cultural phenomena at the local level as well as in a comparative global context.

The M.A. programme trains students in the reflexive application of key theories and concepts in the cultural analysis that are central to the critical interpretation of the diversity of socio-cultural institutions and practices.

The M.A. in social and cultural anthropology is a 4-semester-long degree programme that is designed to follow a B.A. in anthropology or a related discipline. The focus to teach students to critically engage with the discipline’s state of the art as well as the scholarly debates that have been formative to it and to develop further research questions from such engagements. Further, students are taught to conceptualise and execute their own research projects in which they investigate independently developed research questions. Finally, students learn to reflect on their research results in the context of scholarly debates and draw relevant conclusions.

A central component of the programme is the independent research project through which students learn to apply key concepts of empirical social research and hone practical methodological skills in research design and data generation and analysis. The degree qualifies students to conduct independent academic research and to undertake professional work as practising anthropologists.

Admission requirements

  • BA with a major in ethnology (at least 120 CP) or minor in ethnology (at least 60 CP) or a recognised equivalent academic degree in related field of study with a standard study period of at least 6 semesters / 3 years (for example: History, Cultural studies, Regional sciences, religious studies, law, social sciences).
  • Declaration on previous Master examinations
  • Good English language skills and another (modern) foreign language (niveau B1) are to be proven by:
    1. high school diploma (A-levels diploma), or
    2. corresponding high school certificates and transcripts rated no lower than "adequate" (4.0), or
    3. certification of classes in English 5 years, or
    4. certification of successfully completed language courses (with at least 120 proven hours of instruction time) from a German and/or foreign university, or
    5. lecturers (or other experts) report on language proficiency acquired through international residency, university language courses, or self-study; or
    6. TOEFL-test (computer-based score min. 213 points, paper-based core min. 550 points)
    7. other certificate recognized as equivalent by the selection committee.
  • letter of motivation (500 up to max. 700 words) explaining the reason for wanting to take the course, relevant practical experience and the envisaged career perspectives
  • The decision on the recommendation for approval is done on the basis of the marks of the first professional degree (60 %) and letter of motivation (20 %) and entrance colloquium (20%).
  • Applicants who do not have a German university entrance qualification, nor do they have a degree from a German higher education institution, are obliged to submit proof of adequate German language skills.

Provisional admission

  • Applicants without a Bachelor's degree in ethnology as a major or minor subject have to demonstrate on attended courses and module tests for a total of at least 60 CP that affect ethnological themes. Otherwise, they may be provisionally admitted on the condition that no later than the end of the first year of study, the lack of CP to be provided by coursework and module examinations of the bachelor's programme in Ethnology (usually between 20 and 40 CP, but max. 60 CP).
    The student receives a continuous support during the period of fulfilment of conditions. Depending on the scale this might lead to an exceeding of the standard length of the study period.
  • Applicants who do not have completed their bachelor's degree at the time of application yet, in fact, have registered their Bachelor's thesis, but not yet received a Bachelor's degree may also be admitted to the Master's degree programme to the proviso that the Bachelor's degree will be detected to the Examination Board within the first semester of the Master's programme. Additionally, the applicants have to provide a proof of enrollment in Bachelor's programme and a recommendation letter by the supervisor of the Bachelor's thesis.
  • The Examination Board would decide on admission, exclusions and doubtful cases.

Mode of admission

Admission is not restricted. Students will be directly admitted if the admission requirements are met in full.


Goethe Goes Global Goethe University offers scholarships for this Master programme. Eligible for application are candidates from all over the world who have obtained a degree from a university outside Germany.
This school offers programs in:
  • German
  • French
Goethe University Frankfurt

Last updated February 19, 2018
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Oct. 2019
4 semesters
Full time
370 EUR
Approx. 370 € administrative fee per semester (incl. free public transport)
Germany - Frankfurt, Hesse
Start date : Oct. 2019
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Oct. 2019
Germany - Frankfurt, Hesse
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info