About the Programme


Welcome to the MEAS home page! Here you'll find everything you need to know about Modern East Asian Studies at Frankfurt's Goethe University.

During the course of this two-year MA programme, you will become an expert on modern East Asia, its historical roots, and the economic, legal, political and social issues encountered in this dynamic region.

You'll also improve your language skills: the programme itself is taught in English and you'll take beginners' or advanced language classes in either Chinese, Indonesian, Japanese or Korean. This will allow you to work with original sources and texts in your term papers and MA thesis.

Along the way you'll develop your methodological and theoretical skills as you attend lectures and take electives on a range of core disciplines, including history, law, management and political sciences.

MEAS is affiliated with Goethe University's Interdisciplinary Centre for East Asian Studies (IZO). It is a collaborative programme created by four different university faculties: Economics and Business; Law; Linguistics, Cultures and Arts; and Social Sciences.

The result? An exciting, international programme that offers you the chance to choose from a truly unique range of languages and disciplines and learn from distinguished professors in the field.

Looking to the future, this interdisciplinary, research-orientated MA programme will prepare you for doing your PhD and pursuing an academic career relating to East Asia – or for a professional career in this field, working in an international enterprise or organisation.

So, what's in store for you if you decide to enrol in Modern East Asian Studies at Goethe University?


There will be four main components to your first year: language classes, core lectures, a research skills module and electives.

Language Classes

Depending on your academic background and language level, you'll take beginners' or advanced language classes in either Chinese, Indonesian, Japanese or Korean.

Core Lectures

We offer one core module consisting of four sub-modules - known as 'core lectures' - within the programme, of which you'll choose and take two. These lectures will help you develop your methodological knowledge of two core disciplines and learn to apply the concepts, theories and methods from these social-scientific fields to East Asian countries.

Each core lecture relates to one of our four main social science disciplines:

History: China's Great Transformations (Prof. Dr. Iwo Amelung)

Law: Theoretical Approaches to Law in East Asia (Prof. Dr. Moritz Bälz, LL.M.)

Management: Institutions and Innovation (Prof. Dr. Cornelia Storz)

Political Sciences: State–Society Relations in Greater China (Prof. Dr. Heike Holbig)

Research Skills

In preparation for writing your MA thesis in your second year, you will also take a research skills module, made up of the following two elements:

Young Scholars Forum (YSF): Alongside fellow MEAS students, you will discuss papers on a fascinating range of topics, such as gender, sustainability and mobility in East Asia, from different disciplinary perspectives.

Skills & Competences (S&C): In these seminars, you will deepen your knowledge of the different methods used in social sciences and East Asia-related humanities.


There are also optional modules, known as 'electives'. You'll take two electives if you're a beginner in the language you're studying or four if you're an advanced language learner.

In these electives, you'll consider empirical phenomena relating to one East Asian country from a social-scientific perspective. Per semester, there is at least one elective for each of the four countries/regions covered by the programme. Take a look at  'Who We Are' to find out more about the broad range of research and teaching interests of our professors and lecturers.


In your third semester, you will follow one of three possible pathways, known as 'study tracks' (see below). In your fourth semester, you will work on your MA thesis, culminating in an MA colloquium.

Download the MEAS Study Regulations (2021 version, in German), a legally non-binding translation of the study regulations, and the list of module convenors.

Link to the MEAS Course Catalogue (you can switch to past semesters and to the English on the top right):

Vorlesungsverzeichnis / Course Overview

Weitere Studienangebote /Other Courses

Interdisziplinäres Zentrum für Ostasienstudien

Master Modern East Asian Studies

Developing your language skills is a core aspect of the MEAS programme because we want you to be able to read source texts and conduct interviews in the language you're studying.

With one exception, all of our language classes are taught in English:

  • beginners'/advanced Chinese (English)
  • beginners'/advanced Indonesian (English)
  • beginners'/advanced Japanese (English)
  • beginners'/advanced Korean (in some semesters taught in German)

To take an advanced language course, you will need to have achieved the following (or equivalent):

  • Chinese: HSK4, 260 points or above
  • Indonesian: BA in Southeast Asian Studies (at least 200 hours of Bahasa Indonesia)
  • Japanese: JLPT N3
  • Korean: TOPIK3
Please note that if you speak Chinese, Indonesian, Japanese or Korean as your native language, you cannot enrol in an advanced language course in that language. If you have already reached a higher level in a language than we offer, you will have the chance to take beginners' classes in a new East Asian language.
During your third semester, you'll follow one of three possible pathways, known as 'study tracks'. Each of these tracks offers you an exciting and enriching experience that will help further your career.

The Research Track is taught entirely in Frankfurt, whilst for the Language Track and the Professional Track you will spend time in one of the East Asian countries covered by the programme. To give you maximum flexibility and allow you to tailor your time abroad to your specific academic interests, you will organise and fund it yourself.

Research Track (PDF download)

Are you contemplating an academic career? Would you be excited to engage with the newest research topics in East Asia-related fields and hone your skills in both research and academic thinking and writing? If so, the Research Track is for you.

You will spend your third semester in Frankfurt, where you will analyse and conduct empirical research, take additional electives and research skills modules, attend events at IZO and undertake a small-scale research project in preparation for your MA thesis and any future academic work.

Language Track (PDF download)

Can you imagine going to an East Asian country and studying at a university there? Would you like to be fully immersed in the language you're studying? If so, then you might want to consider the Language Track.

You will spend your third semester taking at least 200 hours of classes at an East Asian university. These classes should be taught in the language you're studying in Frankfurt. The MEAS coordinator will provide you with basic information and advice, and after that you'll have the freedom to organise and finance an overseas study experience that is right for you.

Professional Track
(PDF download)

Are you keen to get some work experience under your belt? Can you imagine working in East Asia? If you can, then the Professional Track could be the right choice.

You will spend your third semester doing an internship of at least 720 hours (or 20 weeks full time) – preferably in East Asia. The MEAS coordinator will provide you with basic information and advice, and then you'll organise and finance the trip and internship yourself, so that it fits your specific interests and disciplinary background.

Career paths of MEAS alumni are manifold. Many MEAS graduates work in the areas of marketing, human Resources, research and sales as well as in banks and in some cases in the areas of IT or law. Moreover, a substantial number of graduates hold academic positions in Germany and abroad or work in political institutions, non-governmental organizations and science management.

Quick Access

Student assistant positions are open on an irregular basis. MEAS and IZO accept unsolicited applications for these positions. If you are interested, please send your application to the MEAS and IZO coordinators.


MEAS Coordinator:
Mirjam Tröster

SKW, 5th floor, room 05.B137
Rostocker Straße 2, 60323 Frankfurt/Main
Mailing address:

Goethe University Frankfurt
Sinology/MEAS, FB09 - Linguistics, Cultures, and Arts
Mirjam Tröster/SKW
60629 Frankfurt

Tel. +49 (0) 69-798-28795
Email: m.troester[at]em.uni-frankfurt.de

MEAS Administration:

Elssy Kiradjieva
W.-Adorno-Platz 4
RuW, Room 4.242
60323 Frankfurt/Main
Tel. +49 (0) 69-798-34809
Email: kiradjieva[at]em.uni-frankfurt.de

IZO Coordinator:
Bertram Lang
Email: izo[at]uni-frankfurt.de

Student Assistant:


Image credits (left to right, top to bottom): Iwo Amelung (Museum); Moritz Bälz (Law); Clemens Büttner (Innovation); Fabio Niepel (Streetview Tokyo); Clemens Büttner (Political Slogan); Uwe Dettmar, Goethe University Frankfurt (Study Tracks)