B.A. Nordamerikastudien / North American Studies
The B.A. degree program in Nordamerikastudien / North American Studies offers fundamental insights into the social, cultural, literary, economic and political history and present of the USA and Canada. Graduates of this program analyze social, political and cultural circumstances and developments with regard to current social conditions as well as their historical background.
Students learn to consider the North American situation not in isolation but in relation to European and global circumstances. They gain proficiency in areas of historiography and textual, social and cultural analysis that can be applied to all issues related to North America and can be implemented in diverse fields of work: scholarship, education, media, economics, politics or cultural exchange.
Faculty teaching in this program have particularly strong research credentials in the fields of history, literature, media and visual culture, popular culture, gender, race and ethnicity, technology, and cultural theory.
THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION RELATES TO THE NEW PROGRAM STARTING IN THE WINTER SEMESTER OF 2019.
- This is a three-year program (six semesters). The type of degree is a Bachelor of Arts.
- The program consists of topics and types of classes that are organized into modules. They allow students to focus on the realms of literature and media or history and culture, or to combine the two. See below for more information.
- Students can only enroll in the winter semester.
- The B.A. program is taught in English and German. Students should have language skills at the C-1 level in both languages. In order to enroll at LMU in a Bachelor’s program, students need to document their German language skills (see this weblink). Prior to their studies, students can take an English language test which, if completed successfully, can be recognized in the first semester.
- The program offers modules geared to skills that can also be used in non-academic, professional environments. The faculty operates an office dedicated to job perspectives of our students, called the “Praxisbüro.” Furthermore, if you are planning a student research project, the “Studienbüro” can help.
- The B.A. major subject “Nordamerikastudien / North American Studies” (120 credit points) must be complemented by a minor subject (60 credit points). Please note that some minor subjects have a separate application procedure. Also, there may be some scheduling conflicts between compulsory courses at the beginning of your studies that need to be sorted out individually. Minor subjects offered jointly by different disciplines such as “Sprache, Literatur, Kultur” usually avoid this problem.
- Possible minor subjects are: Antike und Orient; Evangelische Theologie; Geographie; Geschichte; Informatik; Katholische Theologie; Kommunikationswissenschaft; Kunst, Musik, Theater; Orthodoxe Theologie; Pädagogik, Bildungswissenschaft; Philosophie; Rechtswissenschaften; Sprache, Literatur, Kultur; Vergleichende Kultur- und Religionswissenschaft; Volkswirtschaftslehre. Most minor subjects are taught in German.
- In the rules and regulations (“Studien- und Prüfungsordnung”) of the BA program 2019 you can find all important information like the exam numbers of the modules. The content and learning outcomes are described in general terms for each module in the Module Catalogue (“Modulhandbuch”). More specific information on the lectures, seminars, and foundation courses is provided in the course catalogue.
- All courses and exams must be chosen through the LMU’s online system LSF, which also includes the current course catalogue.
Types of courses
The program offers three basic types of courses: seminars, lectures, and foundation courses. They are grouped into modules.
- Seminars address topical questions of scholarship and require a longer paper or a number of short essays.
- Lectures offer thematic introductions and overviews and may require a portfolio.
- Foundation courses serve as an introduction to writing academic papers, thematic introductions or to practical and professional skills.
- One module (WP 14) allows you to earn credit for an internship conducted at an external organization.
- Another module allows you to pursue an Independent Student Project (P 7). This is a research- or skills-oriented project supervised by a faculty member and designed according to your academic interests.
- The final module is dedicated to writing a Bachelor’s thesis on a topic of your choice.
Types of modules
In the first year, compulsory modules serve as an introduction to basic concepts and historical periods as well as language skills and academic writing. In the second and third year, students have a choice among the fields of “Literature and Media” or “History and Culture,” or they can combine both in “Transdisciplinary Studies.”
- Here is an overview of how to choose modules.
- The more elaborate overview of the program gives you more information on how many, and which types, of courses are included in the modules. Here is an overview in English, and here is one in German.
- All courses belonging to one module have to be passed successfully in order to complete the module. More information on the specifics of the modules is available in the rules and regulations of this program (only available in German).
- Please note: These overviews represents the general template of modules to be completed in the program. The classes offered in this study program have individual titles. You can find them in the course catalogue of the current semester on our website or through the online portal LSF. Older course catalogues can be found here.
Grading, exams, and more
- All modules are graded except for the compulsory modules P 3, P 6 and the elective modules WP 4-7, WP 11-14, WP 18-21, WP 24-25, which are assessed on a pass/fail basis. Most exams can be taken again except for the Bachelor’s thesis, which can only be repeated once after a failing grade. All legal regulations can be found in the rules and regulations (Studien- und Prüfungsordnung).
- The Bachelor’s thesis makes up 25% of your grade in the major subject “North American Studies / Nordamerikastudien.” The final grade of your Bachelor’s studies at LMU, i.e. the 180 credit points of your major and minor subject is calculated by combining the two grades on a basis of 2 to 1.
- Before you can sign up for the Bachelor’s thesis (P 8), all modules from the first to the third semester must be successfully completed. Important: If you do not sign up for the BA thesis until the 7th semester, it will automatically be counted as a failing grade and you will have one more chance to write the thesis.
- Students can get credit points for conducting an internship (Praktikum) at an external organisation or company of your choice. It should relate to North American topics in the widest sense and acquaint you with professional skills. The minimum time required to get credit is two weeks full-time, or 80 hours. After the internship students have to write a nine-page report for a faculty member of their choice, include proof of the time-frame of the internship (Praktikumsbestätigung), and sign up for the exam in module WP 14.
- The Independent Study Project aims to develop and strengthen the students’ ability to design and realize an independent project. It gives students the opportunity to work on self-chosen topics and interests related to their academic interests or professional skills. Students should contact potential supervisors, providing them with a short sketch of the project. The study project is usually completed with a study project report.
- The final semester is dedicated to writing the Bachelor′s thesis. Students should get in contact with potential supervisors by sending a short sketch in advance by e-mail and then visit the person′s office hours. A list of potential supervisors together with the dates of registering for the thesis is published each semester on the institute’s homepage. You can also find the registration dates on the exam board’s website. Keep in mind to contact potential supervisors as early as possible in order to decide on an interesting and manageable topic. The thesis should have a length of approximately 30 to 35 pages (following our formatting guidelines), or 55.000 to 65.000 characters. Students have 10 weeks to complete their thesis.