Islamic library hall with readers

Arabic Studies

Become an Arab World Expert
Islamic library hall with readers
Key facts
Master of Arts
4 Semesters
Teaching language
Tuition fee
Semester contribution
€ 272,65
Start of studies
Winter semester
Part-time possible
Faculty of Arts
Institute of Near Eastern Studies, Indo-European Studies and the Archaeology of Prehistory to the Early Middle Ages
Application & Deadlines

Programme Content

Are you interested in the Arab-Islamic world and want to broaden your perspective? Would you like to deepen your knowledge of Arabic and immerse yourself in current or historical topics via sources in the original language? Then our MA Arabic Studies is the right choice for you. We offer a diverse range of topics which allows you to conduct research and specialise in a field of your choice. Small groups allow for optimal supervision of all students.

In addition to the compulsory Arabic course, you can choose from several thematic and language modules. We focus on current developments in the Arab world as well as on the classical Arab heritage. Topics such as Arabic media, Islamism and modern Arabic literature are on the programme as well as the historical context of the Koran and classical Adab literature. In all areas, it is important for us to provide the necessary methodological basis and encourage critical reflection.

Unique to our MA Arabic Studies is that you can also focus on Arabic linguistics. We offer a systematic introduction to all forms of Arabic (Modern Standard Arabic, Classical Arabic, Colloquial Arabic, dialects) and the opportunity to learn other Semitic languages (Hebrew, Aramaic, Old South Arabian, Classical Ethiopic). We attach great importance to a methodology that includes both modern linguistics and comparative Semitic studies. One of our main areas of research is the grammar of Classical Arabic. Of course, students also gain insight into the traditional Arabic grammar method, which is still alive in the Arab world today.

The Arabic Studies department is integrated into a broad research landscape in Jena, from which you will also benefit during your master's studies. We cooperate with the Intercultural Studies and Business Communications team, the Institute of Philosophy de and the Faculty of Theology de, among others. The Department of Oriental Studies has an important coin collection de and maintains close contact with the Gotha Research LibraryExternal link, which houses one of the largest collections of Arabic manuscripts.

Programme Structure

The MA Arabic Studies lasts two years and includes 120 credits.

This is how your studies could look like:

1st Semester 2nd Semester 3rd Semester 4th Semester
 Arabic laguage course (20 credits)  





Master's Thesis
(30 credits)

                                                          Thematic Modules
                      (Select modules of 40–50 credits):

  • Methods and Theories
  • History / Society / Politics
  • Literature / Culture
  • Religion /Philosophy / Intellectual History
  • and others

                                                           Language Moduls
                       (Select modules of 20–30 credits):

  • Classical Arabic
  • Arabic Dialect
  • Hebrew
  • Further semitic languages (Aramaic, Old South Arabian, Classical Ethiopic)
  • Further Islamic Languages

The study plan and module descriptions for the MA Arabic Studies are currently being revised. The study plan that is valid from the 2024/25 winter semester is shown here. Students who start in the 2023/24 winter semester will initially still be subject to the old study regulations, but can change to the new study regulations after one year. All modules are designed in such a way that they are also recognised under the new study regulations.

Admission requirements

  • Undergraduate degree or equivalent

    For this master's programme you need a subject-specific bachelor degree in Arabistic Studies or Islamic Studies, or an equivalent degree.
    The overall grade (CGPA) of the bachelor's degree must be GOOD or better (German and US systems).

  • Language requirements

    This master's programme requires the following language proficiencies:

    • proficiency in Modern Standard Arabic (level: BA "Arabistik/Arabic studies" minor subject (60 CP))
    • Knowledge of Classical Arabic and an Arabic dialect is desirable, but can be taken as part of the M.A. studies to be made up for.
      Before enrolling, please contact the course advisor to clarify your language requirements.
    • Academic reading ability in English (level B2, proof is not required).
    • international applicants: German language proficiency at minimum level DSH-2 (or a recognised equivalent)

Application documents

  • CV

    Your CV should have a tabular form, containing key information on your school record and academic career.

  • Motivation letter

    A motivation letter should not exceed the size of two DIN A4-pages and normally, it should contain information on your motivation for taking up this course of studies. You should  elaborate on the following essential questions:

    • Why do you desire taking up this specific course of studies?
    • What are - in your opinion - the main features that this course of studies excels in?
    • Which features of this course have inspired your application? 
    • Why Jena?


  • University entrance qualification certificate

    Please upload at the online application system your university entrance certificate/school leaving certificate. Usually, this means the school graduation diploma (German "Abitur"), i.e. the diploma that makes you eligible for studies at an University or other institution for higher education. Be mindful of the fact that here, we do not need any University diploma but a High School diploma! 

  • Previous university degrees earned

    All previous University degrees (Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, etc.) if available before the application deadline - if not, please make a note of the anticipated date of issue of your degree certificate. Please upload your University degree or the most actual, detailed transcript of records/ mark sheet of all semesters available to you, should you not hold your degree certificate at the time of application. The main document is the degree/ transcript based on which you apply for the master programme.

  • Detailed transcript of records

    Detailed transcript of records/ mark sheet of your first, subject-specific University degree, with which you apply for the master's programme. This transcript MUST contain an overall cumulative grade point average or average mark.

  • Proof of relevant work experience

    Should you have obtained subject-specific work experience, you can upload corresponding certificates in order to support your application. 

  • Proof of subject-specific practical experience

    Should you have obtained subject-specific practical experience (e.g. by internships etc.), you can upload corresponding certificates in order to support your application. 

  • Proof of language proficiency

    You have to submit the following proofs of language proficiencies:

    • Proof of proficiency in Modern Standard Arabic at the level of the BA supplementary subject (60 CP) "Arabic Studies".
    • International applicants: proof of German proficiency at the minimum level DSH-2 (or equivalent)

Additional application documents for international students

  • Proof of German language proficiency

    For German taught master's programmes, i.e. programmes with (predominantly) German as language of instruction, a sufficient German language proficiency proof is mandatory. Please see the information on the language requirements for the master's programme of your interest on the corresponding website.

    The Friedrich Schiller University Jena accepts the following certificates as German language proficiency proof exclusively:

    • the Goethe-Zertifikat C2 (GDS),
    • the Deutsche Sprachdiplom der Kultusministerkonferenz (DSD II),
    • the TestDaF, minimum TDN 4 in all four parts of the examination,
    • Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang (DSH), min. level 2 (= DSH-2),
    • Certificate telc Deutsch C1 Hochschule (min. level "befriedigend"),
    • a German language examination in the framework of an assessment test at a preparatory college.

    Please note: If you do not have the required mandatory German language proficiency proof at the time of applying, you may only apply if you can provide a certificate attesting your German language skills at least at level B2 (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) as well as a confirmation that you have either registered for the DSH examination, the TestDaF or an equivalent examination or that you have sat it and are going to receive the results before the end of the current semester.

    There is also the possibility to apply for the (chargeable) "German Language Course Preparing for the German Language Examination (DSH)" at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena. Please note: Prerequisites for the application for the preparatory course are language skills at least at the certificate level B1 / GER (e.g. Goethe-Zertifikat B1, TestDaF at least 4x3 and/or 800 teaching units from a recognized language school). For detailed information on the application and further information, please visit the website of the International Office or contact the International Office directly via Mail.

    Shortly before taking the DSH-2-Examination or after successfully passing it, you are welcome to apply for a German taught master's programme!

    The following applicants are exempted from providing proof of their German language skills:

    • Applicants, who have obtained a German taught bachelor's degree within one of the following countries: Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein. This applies only to degrees that were awarded by a university in the relevant country (no satellite campuses or international branch campuses in other countries, no correspondence course degrees, no joint- or double-degrees with institutions in other countries);
    • Holders of a German, Austrian or Swiss (from school where the language of instruction is German) university entrance qualification.
  • Translation of foreign/external application documents

    Every mandatory application document from foreign/external countries must also be available in either English OR German translation. Such a translation has to be conducted by officially acknowledged/ sworn translators or translation offices.

  • Proof of grading system

    External/foreign degree certificates/ transcripts of records must contain information on the grading system (= description of the maximum grade possible and the minimum passing grade) used at the respective University. 

  • Certificate APS

    Applicants with degrees from India, Vietnam or China must submit the original APS-certificate issued by the German Embassy.

  • University entrance exam

    Applicants from the following countries must submit a certificate of their university entrance examination/college entrance examination:

    • Iran (College entrance examination certificate or certificate of pre-university course/year)
    • Republic of Korea/South Korea: SAT (Scholastic Ability Test)
    • People's Republic of China: College entrance examination certificate ("Gaokao")
Subject Advisor - Prof. Dr. Frank Weigelt

Opening hours:
by arrangement

Academic Office for Student Affairs and Examinations

Office hours:
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Telephone enquiries:
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Master Service Centre

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We offer consultations and the handling of your concerns in person as well as by Service Desk (ticket system), Zoom, live chat, post and telephone.

Telephone consultation:
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Live chat:
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Ticket enquiries via Service Desk at:

Postal address:
Friedrich Schiller University Jena
Master Service Centre
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