MA CEAS - Applicants and Prospective Students
IN-EAST Consultation – Talk to a student
In this virtual consultation hour you can ask all your questions regarding our BA and MA programs directly to a student, every Tuesday from 2 to 3 pm on Skype.
The Master’s in Contemporary East Asian Studies is an English-taught social science-based program with a contemporary and interdisciplinary profile. The program offers research-focused training for highly qualified graduates with a BA or similar degree in political science, international relations, sociology or economic science.
Depending on an applicant’s prior education and training, if the admission committee identifies gaps or weak areas, conditional admission may be granted, requiring up to 30 ECTS credits in additional courses.
The principal focus of the MA CEAS program is the theoretical and problem-centered analysis of societies, politics and economies in East Asia (China, Taiwan, Japan and Korea) and includes intensive training in an East Asian language.
Its aim is to deepen and enrich the student's skills in assessing contemporary change, the challenges facing the East Asian region and the implications of such developments for Europe.
Students completing the MA degree are qualified for further studies at the doctoral level, for high-level positions in multinational corporations, in politics (including political consulting), in governmental and non-governmental think tanks and institutions, and in international organizations where intensive knowledge of East Asia and language proficiency is in high demand.
Some of our alumni have gone on to further their academic training by pursuing a PhD degree. Local destinations for research-oriented graduates of our MA programs for example include the Alliance for Research on East Asia (AREA) Ruhr (in cooperation with the Faculty of East Asian Studies at Ruhr-University Bochum), supported by the Mercator Research Center Ruhr (MERCUR).
The two-year Master’s Program (MA CEAS) (equivalent to four semesters) offers Chinese, Japanese or Korean language and the choice of a discipline corresponding to the student’s previous degree (sociology, political science or economics). It combines intensive language training with interdisciplinary and discipline-specific modules focusing on Chinese, Japanese and Korean studies. Methodological training is integrated into the Advanced East Asian Studies modules.
Semester 1: Three compulsory introductory modules help students to familiarize themselves with East Asian studies from different disciplinary perspectives. In addition, students start their training in the language of their choice (Chinese, Japanese or Korean native speakers are not allowed to choose their mother tongue).
Semester 2: There are up to 18 different modules on Advanced East Asian Studies (AEAS) available throughout the academic year, with some offered in the winter and others in the summer term. These modules provide problem-oriented and discipline-based perspectives on the politics, society, or economy of China, Japan and Korea, as well as the entire East Asian region. Students are required to select two AEAS modules and one elective module (which can be chosen from the AEAS and E-modules offered) in consultation with their study coordinator or supervisor.
Semester 3: Students complete their language training and select two additional AEAS and one elective module.
Semester 4: Students focus on writing their Master’s thesis. The thesis is an independent piece of research about a cutting-edge topic on contemporary East Asia. It is intended to demonstrate the student’s newly acquired knowledge, theoretical and methodological skills in East Asian regional studies, and language proficiency. Depending on individual progress and planning, the 4th semester may serve as window of opportunity for study stays abroad (subject to approval by coordinator/supervisor, place availability at partner universities etc.) or internships.
Further details about the program and all modules and classes can be found in the Examination Regulations and Module Handbook in the Download section.
- July 15 for non-EU citizens
- September 15 for EU citizens
You are advised to apply as soon as possible and long before the deadlines expire. This is to ensure that you have enough time to obtain a visa (if you are from a non-EU country), take care of all necessary preparations and arrive in time for the start of the program in early October. Please see below for details according to your nationality/education.
EU applicants and EU-educated non-EU applicants (BildungsinländerInnen): Early submission of your application is strongly recommended. If you are close to finishing your BA degree, please also see our FAQ “Can I apply now, even if I have not yet finished my BA?”)
Non-EU applicants: Starting from May 1st, you can apply for starting our study program in October of the same year via the online application platform where you need to upload your application. Please use the instructions on our homepage to inform yourself about the profile of MA CEAS and about the required documents beforehand. We strongly recommend to apply as early as possible – ideally, you prepare the documents before May 1st and apply as soon as the online platform opens.
EU citizens and EU-educated non-EU citizens (BildungsinländerInnen): Please send all your application documents except the recommendation letter in one single pdf file by E-mail:
Non-EU citizens: Please follow the steps outlined under “Application deadlines” and upload your application via the online application platform of our International Office.
We are looking for highly qualified students with excellent skills and motivation to take on the challenges of our demanding study program.
As a second step in the application process following the written application, the Admissions Committee may choose to interview applicants to confirm their qualifications and motivation. The interview can be conducted as a video call.
After the evaluation process, successful candidates are offered a place in our Master’s program.
Depending on an applicant’s prior education and training, if the admission committee identifies gaps or weak areas, conditional admission may be granted, requiring up to 30 ECTS credits in additional courses. In this case, the student can also be admitted for the summer term. Additional classes will be determined individually by the IN-EAST examination board. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you apply as early as possible if you are unsure about the adequacy of your previous education.
The Letter of Recommendation needs to be issued by a university professor. He or she should send the completed form directly to us via E-mail.
In addition to the application for admission form and the letter of recommendation, the documents listed below are to be submitted, either in English or German. Diplomas, degree certificates, transcript of grades, evidence of language proficiency, etc. need to be scans of the originals or certified copies. If any documents are not available in German or English, you need to submit scans of certified translations into either English or German.
- Proof of English language proficiency, e.g. TOEFL, IELTS, CET, etc.
- Complete and up-to-date CV showing your professional experience and education
- Copy of BA degree certificate, including a transcript of grades showing an average grade of 2.5 or better, based on the German grading system, and also including a transcript of any semesters spent abroad (Please use the so-called Bavarian Formular to calculate your CGPA in the German grading system. The best possible grade in Germany is 1.0, the minimum passing grade is 4.0).
- Statement of purpose: Please explain a) the disciplinary training and skills you have acquired so far at university and how do they fit into our MA program in terms of your intended focus (political science, sociology, or economics); b) your motivation to study our specific MA program; c) your interest in and possible experience with East Asia (500 words each for a, b, and c).
- APS Certificate (= Certificate of the ‘Akademische Prüfstelle’): relevant only for graduates from universities in China, Vietnamand India.
EU citizens and EU-educated non-EU citizens (BildungsinländerInnen: Please send all application documents in one single pdf file by E-mail, except for the letter of recommendation, which should be submitted by the writer directly to us by E-mail. In order to merge several documents into one single pdf file, please use free software and programs, which you can easily find online. Please note that we do not accept any other file type but pdf for security reasons!
Non-EU-citizens: Please use the online application platform of the International Office to hand in the application documents, except for the letter of recommendation, which should be submitted by the writer directly to us by E-mail.
- Frequently asked questions
- Module Handbook (English version, updated 2021. For an impression of the modules currently taught, check the LSF – switch to English, choose the term you want to look at, choose “Courses”, Click “Course Overview”, select “Ostasienwissenschaften/East Asian Studies” and then choose the specific study program)
- Module Handbook (German version, updated 2021)
If you need further information or have open questions, please contact the Coordination Unit at
Ms. Melanie KOGLER, M.A., Coordinator
Office LE 602 in LE building
Please contact me by E-mail to set up an individual appointment.
Your details are covered by the full set of data protection laws that are valid at the time of writing.