University of Erfurt

Studying at the University of Erfurt

Middle Eastern Sociology/Anthropology and History (MESH): Master Program

Degree Profile

  • Degree: Master of Arts (M. A.) and master recherche (double degree)
  • Begin of studies: winter semester (in exceptional cases summer semester)
  • Duration: 4 semesters (120 ECTS credits)
  • Faculty: Faculty of Philosophy in collaboration with Université Saint-Joseph (Beirut/Libanon), Faculté des lettres et des sciences humaines, Département de sociologie et d’anthropologie and Université Saint-Esprit de Kaslik (USEK) (Libanon)
  • Accreditation: ACQUIN
  • Structure: consecutive and research-oriented
  • Tuition fees: none (only administrative charges)
  • Scholarship: limited number of scholarship (DAAD)

Course Details

Historical change, cultural diversity and political change in the Middle East are among the central subjects of the binational Master program Middle Eastern Sociology/Anthropology and History. The joint studies with Lebanese students in Erfurt as well as a mandatory semester abroad in Lebanon are at the heart of the program to expand the students’ perspective and enable them to get a complete understanding of the region. The semester abroad is supported with scholarships by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).

The interdisciplinary and intercultural study program is open to students from various fields, contributing to an exchange of different perspectives in the courses. Furthermore guest lecturers from Lebanon teach at Erfurt University regularly.

A key concept of the program is the Middle East in global historical context. Contents include historical and societal shifts in East and West, focusing on post colonialism, urban history and the history of space, minorities and gender as well as mutual transfers of knowledge and culture. The program is currently carried out by the University of Erfurt, Germany and Université Saint-Joseph (Beirut, Lebanon).

Students are provided with a unique and diverse set of qualifications, encompassing specialised scientific knowledge, as well as theoretical-methodical competences and language skills. Graduates receive an academic double degree (Master of Arts M. A./master recherche).

Content and Benefits


  • Cultures of the Middle East in global historical context
  • Historical and societal shifts in East and West as well as mutual transfers of knowledge and culture
  • Transregional movements and dynamics of globalization
  • Collective identities
  • Violence, war, conflict, and conflict resolution
  • Culture of everyday life (Alltagsgeschichte), especially youth, politics, and music

Theories and Methods:

  • Contemporary theories of social and cultural sciences, especially 'culture turns', postcolonialism, multiple modernities
  • Major research methods of the three disciplines
  • Historical source analysis
  • Anthropological field research methods

Benefits of the Program:

  • The interdisciplinary approach provides graduates with a unique double degree.
  • The state-of-the-art academic double degree enhances career opportunities.
  • The international dimesion of the program helps to understand other cultures as well as one's own.
  • The intercultural skills imparted in the program provide an important asset in a globalized world.
  • The program enables students to learn and improve foreign languages which are an essential part of the program: Languages of instruction are English as well as German at the University at Erfurt and French as well as English at the Université Saint-Joseph. Arabic classes at both universities are required for non-Arab speakers.

Job Perspectives

The study program is research-oriented and thus prepares the students to secure a doctorate and do research independently in one of the disciplines of the program or neighbouring fields. Moreover graduates will be qualified to enter international careers in diverse fields of expertise, such as integration and development work, journalism, cultural administration, political or business consulting, archive or library systems and international youth and further education.


Structure of the Study Program

Structure of the Program Middle Eastern Sociology/Anthropology and History

1st semester: Courses at home university

  • Methods & Theories of History
  • Improving language skills
  • Deepening special expertise on the
  • Middle East and the Levant

2nd semester: Courses in history at the University of Erfurt

  • Deepening special and interdisciplinary knowledge
  • Improving cross-cultural competences and language skills
  • Comparing East and West as well as other world regions
  • Preparing for the semester abroad

3rd semester: Courses in sociology and anthropology at the universities in Lebanon

  • Sociology and Anthropology of the Middle East
  • Practising and improving language skills, as well as cross-cultural
  • competence

4th semester: Interdisciplinary master thesis at home university


  • Total number of credits: 120
  • 90 credits in courses and language classes in the first three semesters
  • 30 credits for the master thesis

Scholarships for the term abroad

Support in the form of a limited number of monthly grants for the semester abroad, covering the expenses of living and health insurance in Lebanon as well as travel costs, is offered through the German Academic Exchange Service (subject to granting of funds by the DAAD).

Language requirements

For non-native speakers of German:

  • proficiency in German corresponding to DSH-2 and proficiency in English on level B2 or
  • proficiency in German on level B2 and very good
  • command of English

In General:

  • proficiency in English on level B2
  • proficiency in French at least on level B1 (reading comprehension) to be demonstrated until the term abroad in the 3rd semester
  • basic knowledge of Arabic is an asset

The necessary proficiency of French can be demonstrated through a language related course assessment, e. g. the interpretation of a source or the translation of a scientific text.

Admission Requirements

  • good B. A. degree (average of 2,3 or better) in History, Sociology, Anthropology or another related subject such as Middle Eastern Studies oder Cultural Studies
  • proficiency in English on level B2
  • interest in the Middle East
  • previous knowledge of the region or
  • first experiences on the ground are an asset


Information on application deadlines, procedures, admission and enrolment can be found at:

Appplication Deadline: Applications are accepted from 1 April to 15 July.

More information for international students



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