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Information for prospective students

East European Studies

- consecutive master program -

On the following pages you will find in-depth information about the master program East European Studies at Freie Universität Berlin's Institute for East European Studies.

You have the possibility to use the FU's Orientation Selection Assistant (OSA). In this interactive tool you can learn more about the basic structure of the program and find out to what extent the program fits your personal wishes and strengths. Furthermore, you will learn everything you need to know about the admission procedures for the M.A. East European Studies and M.Sc. Economic Systems.

Should any questions remain unanswered, please contact our master coordinator Sabine Pag.


The program introduces students to interdisciplinary aspects of East European Studies. Graduates of the Master program are able to independently analyze and interpret developments and situations in Eastern, East-Central and South-Eastern Europe (hereinafter collectively referred to as Eastern Europe) and place them in their respective political, social, economic, historical and cultural context as well as evaluate them across disciplines. In spatial terms, the concept of Eastern Europe used here includes post-Soviet Eurasia as well as East-Central and Southeast Europe. Furthermore, graduates of the master program are 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 analyze 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.

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.

Location advantages

For the master program East European Studies, Berlin's research landscape is of great advantage. The Institute for East European Studies maintains many cooperations with other Berlin universities and numerous academic networks in Berlin-Brandenburg. Students benefit not only from the Institute's geographical proximity to East Central and Eastern Europe, but also from its academic relevance and reach in regional studies research. The Institute for Eastern European Studies is home to numerous externally funded projects, in whose work students are actively involved.

Program structure

The master program East European Studies consists of a basic area, an interdisciplinary profile area, the area of applied East European studies and the area of language acquisition.

The structure and procedure of the program are regulated by the study and examination regulation. They contain descriptions of the contents and an exemplary study plan as well as the type and requirements of the module examinations and the credit points (LP) for each module. It also specifies the workload for the entire degree program.

Students choose between two profiles:

1. Institutions and Power: Thematic content includes functioning, stability and destability of authoritarian orders in historical and global contexts, legacies of authoritarian orders in young democracies, sub-national political regimes, post-socialist transformation trajectories, political-economic models of development in historical and international comparison, social policy, socio-cultural change and inequality, culture and economic growth, bureaucracy and public goods, natural resources, comparative and international economic policy. Theoretical content includes theories of social change, comparative economic systems, comparative autocracy research, rational choice, constructivist and interpretative approaches in the social sciences. The program also deals with methodological content such as quantitative and qualitative methods, causal inference, formal models, archival research, observation, interviews and focus groups.


2. Spaces and Constructions: The thematic content includes nation-building and nationalism, memory culture, popular and everyday culture as well as folklore in a cultural anthropological perspective, globalization processes, history of knowledge and science (including environmental and economic history), transfer and reception history, geopoetics and geopolitics. The theoretical contents are semiotics, rhetoric, gender and queer studies, postcolonial studies and imperial history, genre and media theory, ecocriticism, discourse analysis and history. In addition, methodological content such as comparison (comparative empire studies, modernization and industrialization in historical comparative perspective), history of ideas and concepts, global history and world literature will be covered.

The master thesis should show that students are able to independently work on and present a research task using scientific methods. After successful completion of the study program, the university degree Master of Arts (M.A.) is awarded.

Modules of the study program

Fundamental Module

Fundamentals of East European Studies

Theories and methods
Scientific work

Interdisciplinary elective area


Profile A

System upheavals and mobilization

Dynamics of social transformations

Conflicts and Crises in East Europe

Profile B

Actors and practises

Resources and infrastructures

Interconnections and global perspectives 

Applied East European Studies Module

Interdisciplinary Project Work


Applied East European Studies A

Applied East European Studies B (with internship)

Area of Language Acquisition: 3 language modules


The Master program 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 organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), culture, tourism, state and municipal planning and administration, media, adult education, publishing and librarianship and academic institutions.