North American Studies is a single-major Master's program at the University of Cologne taught entirely in English. It focuses on the history, culture, art, literature, language, film, philosophy, media theory, politics, society, economy and law of North America, i.e. Canada, the US, the Caribbean and Latin America. It aims at providing insight into the cultural and literary history of North America and offering an overview of relevant theories and methods in the fields of literary studies, culture studies and media studies.
Information for Applicants
Applicants must have completed an undergraduate's degree totaling or being equal to 180 ECTS in one of the following areas:
- North American Studies
- English Studies
- American Studies
- Political Science
- Intercultural Communication
Moreover, applicants must have excellent English skills on C1 level of the CEFR and skills in a modern European language other than German on B2 level of the CEFR. The latter requirement must be met by the time the master thesis is started, i.e. B2 level in a modern European language can be reached while completing the North American Studies program.
The checking of the students’ fulfilment of the language requirements is the responsibility of the examination office [Prüfungsamt] of the Faculty of Humanities [Philosophische Fakultät]. The English Seminar I does not provide legally binding information on what language certificates are accepted by the examination office.
Information for Students
Study Program [Studienaufbau]
Students can be begin their major during the winter semester or the summer semester. It is a single-major program. The standard period of study is four semesters over the course of which students acquire 120 credit points [Leistungspunkte; LP]. These credit points are awarded upon completing entire modules, not upon completing individual courses.
The major consists of four advanced modules [Aufbaumodule], one specialization module [Schwerpunktmodul], and one module pertaining to the master thesis. With the exception of the master thesis module [Masterarbeitsmodul], these modules consist of different courses, and an exam. In AMs 1 and 2, students write a term paper as their module exam; in AM 3, students undergo an oral exam; in AM 4, students undergo a combination exam [Kombinatorische Prüfung] for which they prepare a written handout and present it during an oral exam; and in SM 1, students write a report on their internship. The exams of AMs 1, 2, 3 and 4 factor into students’ overall grade; the exam of SM 1 does not.
Course Requirements [Studienleistungen]
In order to successfully complete a course, students have to provide a type of course requirement determined by the lecturer (for instance, essays, oral presentations, portfolios etc.). The deadline for the course requirement is set at the discretion of the lecturer.
Exams in North American Studies
Advanced module 1 Literary and Cultural Studies: Written exam in form of a term paper consisting of 20 to 25 pages (30,000 to 37,500 characters). The module exam factors 25% into the overall grade. The term paper has to written in conjunction with one of the module’s courses. Students can register (and de-register on their own) for the exam from October 1 to March 14 or April 1 to September 14. The term paper has to be handed by March 15 or September 15. Please make sure to use the cover sheet of the English Seminar. Further information on the module exam in AM 1 can be found below under 'Exams in Advanced Module 1' or here (German version).
Advanced module 2 History and Society: Written exam in form of a term paper consisting of 20 to 25 pages (30,000 to 37,500 characters). The module exam factors 25% into the overall grade. The term paper has to written in conjunction with one of the module’s courses. Students can register (and de-register on their own) for the exam on KLIPS from October 1 to March 14 or April 1 to September 14. The term paper has to be handed by March 15 or September 15.
Advanced module 3 Postcolonial Studies: Oral exam lasting 45 minutes. Students prepare two topics in conjunction with one of the module’s courses. The module exam factors 25% into the overall grade. Students can register (and de-register on their own) for the exam on KLIPS. If students take the exam with Prof. Berressem or JProf. Rauscher, topics must be arranged with them. The exact exam date must be arranged with Bärbel Eltschig.
Advanced module 4 Research: Combination exam in form of a ten-minute presentation, followed by a 20-minute discussion on it; the basis of the presentation is a 2-page handout [Thesenpapier]. The module exam factors 25% into the overall grade. The 2-page handout and presentation have to be prepared in conjunction with the final one of the module’s colloquia. Students can register (and de-register on their own) for the exam on KLIPS. Exam dates must be arranged with Bärbel Eltschig.
Specialization module 1 Internship: Written exam in form of an internship report consisting of ten to 15 pages (15,000 to 22,500 characters). The internship itself has to be at least six weeks long. The module exam does not factor into students’ overall grade. Students can register (and de-register on their own) for the exam from October 1 to March 14 or April 1 to September 14. The report has to be handed by March 15 or September 15.
Exams in Advanced Module 1
Exam: Term Paper in North American Literature and Culture [4569N.MFA01]
Type and length of exam:
Written exam in the form of a term paper in English.
Relevance for final grade:
25% of the final grade.
Teachers of the lecture or seminars.
Related to the topic of the lecture or seminar. The exam should take place in the same semester as the class it is related to. Exams related to the topic of a class are possible for three semesters, the semester in which the class was taken counts as the first semester. After the three semesters, the students cannot be examined about the course’s topic anymore. In special cases, the period can be extended if the examiner agrees. The subject of the exam is arranged upon consultation with the examiners in the course / in the office hours.
Dates and deadlines:
Exam date/Due date: 15.03. (winter semester) / 15.09. (summer semester), unless the examiners set an earlier deadline for handing in the term paper.
De-registration and withdrawal:
De-registration is possible up to 14 days prior to the exam date that is set on KLIPS. Withdrawal from the exam after the de-registration period ends is only possible with good reason, verified for example through a doctor’s note. Please use the form "Außerordentliche Abmeldung von Modulprüfungen" if you need to withdraw from the exam. If you de-register in time and if you withdraw from the exam with good reason, you can do the exam another time without having to arrange a new exam topic with your examiner.
The examiners enter the grade of the exam on KLIPS around 8 weeks after the exam date. The grade is only visible for students once the examination office has activated the grade. In special cases, the exam element can be closed on KLIPS before the correction deadline, so that the grade can be activated earlier. This, however, can only happen after the exam date set on KLIPS.
In case the exam is failed, the insufficient grade is entered on KLIPS and will show on the transcript of records. The candidates must register for the following exam date and must arrange a new exam subject with the examiner. An exam is failed when it is graded with a 5.0 (‚mangelhaft‘), or when the candidate failed to hand in the term paper in time (or failed to show up in case of an oral exam). There is no need to agree on a new topic if you have de-registered or withdrawn from the exam with good reason (e.g. a doctor’s note).
Students may arrange with their examiner to inspect the exam documents. After that, the exam documents are forwarded to the examination office and are filed there.
Exam candidates must register for the exam element of Prof. Berressem or JProf. Rauscher, also if another teacher supervises and grades the term paper.
Without registration on KLIPS, the term paper cannot be corrected and graded. Please use the latest title page by the English Seminar I (Deckblatt des Englischen Seminars I).
Examiners must forward the grade and further exam documents (the corrected term paper) to the Department of American Literary and Cultural Studies (chair Berressem). The staff from the department will enter the grade on KLIPS and forward the documents to the examination office.
Sheets and Forms:
Title page for term papers: Deckblatt für schriftliche Arbeiten
Form: Withdrawal from module exams: Formular: Außerordentliche Abmeldung von Modulprüfungen
https://anglistik1.phil-fak.uni-koeln.de/abteilungen-lehrende/literaturwissenschaft/lehrstuhl-fuer-anglo-amerikanische-philologie-prof-berressem/ma-north-american-studies/am-1-module-exam-4569nmfa01The overall grade is composed of the cumulative grade of the module exams (2/3), and the grade of the master thesis (1/3). The exams of AMs 1, 2, 3 and 4 are of equal weight.
Students have to register for module exams in KLIPS. Students have to be registered for exams in KLIPS in order to receive grades; for legal reasons, belated registrations for exams are not possible. In addition to that, students need to contact their lecturers in a timely manner in order to arrange exam topics and dates. In case of students failing a module exam, they can repeat it as often as needed. Grades are registered in KLIPS by the examiners and activated at the earliest by the date of the exam registered in KLIPS. This means, for instance, that grades for term papers, whose exam date is March 15 during the winter semester and September 15 during the summer semester, will not appear on students’ transcripts prior to March 15 or, alternatively, prior to September 15. Individual proofs of exam grades cannot be issued. Students are advised to consider this in the planning of their studies.
Further information on the module exam in AM 1 can be found here.
Further information on exams with Prof. Berressem can be found here.
Exam registration on KLIPS: All information regarding exam registration on KLIPS can be found here. Exam registration starts 12 weeks prior to the exam date mentioned in KLIPS and ends 6 weeks prior to this exam date in KLIPS.
Exam de-registration: All information regarding exam de-registration on KLIPS can be found here. Exam de-registration ends 2 weeks prior to the exam date mentioned in KLIPS. If students de-register from their exam, they must inform their examiner.
If students are unable to take an exam and need to cancel the exam during the 2 week period before the exam after the de-registration period has ended, they have to inform their examiner, at the latest, by the day of the exam. Furthermore, students have to hand in this form and, in case of illness, a doctor’s certificate no later than one week after the scheduled exam date.
The master thesis is worth 30 credit points. It is proof that students are able to academically treat and reflect a topic relevant to the study program within a fixed timeframe. The thesis’ topic cannot be identical with any exam topic. The thesis has to be completed within 26 weeks and has to be 60 pages long.
The examination office of the Faculty of Humanities is responsible for the administrative handling of master theses. Students need to register their thesis there after consultation with the lecturer supervising their thesis.