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M.A. in English Language and Linguistics

KG IV Eingangstor

Based on the state of the art in contemporary linguistic theory, the Master of Arts in English Language and Linguistics – MELLing – focuses on the structure, use and variability of the English language. The program emphasizes present-day English but includes the essential stages in the historical development of the language. The use of digitized language corpora for linguistic description plays a major role, reflecting Freiburg's position as a leading international centre in corpus-linguistic research.

Program Structure and Content

Modules and Courses

This M.A. program is made up of modules, each focusing on a specific topic. The modules can consist of a variety of course types, including seminars, lectures and tutorials. Some courses are required and others are elective. The courses in this program fall under the following modules:

  • The Structure of Modern English
  • Present-Day English: Regional, Social and Stylistic Variability
  • Language Change and the History of English
  • Discourse and Communication
  • Psycholinguistics: Language Acquisition and Bilingualism
  • Corpus Linguistics and Language Technology
  • Theories and Schools of Thought in English Linguistics
  • Language Practice
  • Research Methods and Practical Experience


Program Requirements and Sequence


Apply Online

  • We are implementing an all-online application system as of summer 2020. This will make applying easier and will cut down on the time documents take being mailed. Applications can be submitted as of April 1, 2020 via the university’s Campus Management System HISinOne.

  • A key benefit of the online application system is that all required documents can be submitted in digital form. It is no longer necessary to make extra certified copies for your application (but careful: certified translations into English or German of documents written in any language other than German, English, or French are still needed). The selection committee will assess all submissions based on the material uploaded to the application platform. Successful applicants will be asked to produce the originals (or certified copies) of relevant documents upon enrollment.

  • Unfortunately, we can no longer accept hard-copy application documents received by mail.

Deadlines and Procedures

  • The program starts in the winter semester (presumably October), and the annual application deadline is June 30 for non-EU/EEA applicants and July 15 for applicants from within the EU/EEA.

  • Applicants are advised to finalize their application two weeks prior to the respective deadline in order to leave enough time to address any issues that may arise. After the deadline has elapsed, it is legally impossible to make any corrections to an application.

  • Early applications are possible, and we encourage applicants requiring a visa to make use of this option.

Language and Acceptance Requirements

  • We welcome applications from candidates with an undergraduate degree (BA or equivalent) with a good GPA in English and/or linguistics.

  • The program requires an excellent command of the English language: you must have a level equivalent to CEFR C1, certified by TOEFL (PBT 600, CBT 250, iBT 100), IELTS (7.0–7.5), or Cambridge (CAE/CPE). A working knowledge of German is recommended but not an application requirement.

Required Documents

Excerpt from the acceptance guidelines (authoritative text in German):
§ 3 Application

(1) In order for your application to be accepted, the following documents must be submitted:

  • A certified copy of your undergraduate diploma along with a certified translation into English or German if the original is in any other language than German, English, or French (if your diploma has not been issued at the time of application, a statement about your anticipated date of graduation from your department will be acceptable; see (2) below)
  • A certified copy of your transcript of records outlining the contents of your undergraduate degree, with the same requirements for a certified translation as for the diploma (if you have not yet completed your studies, the most recent version of your transcript of records will be acceptable at the time of application. The full document will need to be provided upon enrollment)
  • Proof of English proficiency (see "Language and Acceptance Requirements” above)(exceptions: native speakers, applicants with a degree in English Studies from a German university. Please get in touch with us if you are unsure about whether you need to provide official proof of English proficiency)

  • Two letters of recommendation from academic teaching staff (in German or English) (Since our application system is now fully online, we ask applicants to simply indicate two references on their CV)

  • A statement of intent (two to three pages, in English), in which the applicant states his or her reasons for seeking acceptance to the MA program

  • A 2,500 word essay written in English on the subject of the applicant’s choice, which relates to one of the English Language and Linguistics modules (The Structure of Modern English; Present-Day English: Regional, Social and Stylistic Variability; Language Change and the History of English; Discourse and Communication; Psycholinguistics: Language Acquisition and Bilingualism; Corpus Linguistics and Language Technology; Theories and Schools of Thought in English Linguistics)

  • A chronological CV (résumé) (two to three pages in length, written in English, including contact details for two academic references)

(2) If the applicant is not able to produce certified copies of his or her completed diploma by the application deadline, but has at that time finished his or her current course of study, the applicant may hand in a statement from the university, which, in addition to the final grade(s), states that the course of study has been completed. In this case, the officially certified copies must be submitted to the University of Freiburg as soon as they are available, and no later than at the time of enrollment.


General information concerning enrollment can be found on the Student Service Center's website.


  • Semester and student activity fees: €145 per semester

  • Cost of living: estimated around €1,000 per month (unfortunately, the cost of rent in Freiburg is rather high; consider student accommodation, more information at:

  • There are no stipends available from the university for MA students as of yet

  • Tuition fees are €1,500 per semester for students from outside the EU/EEA. If a previous bachelor's and master's degree were obtained in Germany, this fee is reduced to €650. Further details can be found here.


The coordinator of the MELLing program will be happy to advise you concerning the details of the application and admissions process as well as concerning the program in general.

Program Director
Prof. Dr. Christian Mair

☎ +49 761 203-3336


MELLing Coordinator

Dr. Axel Bohmann

☎ +49 761 203-3329
R 4105 | KG IV


Mailing Address

M.A. in English Language and Linguistics
University of Freiburg
English Department | Chair of Prof. Mair
Rempartstr. 15
79098 Freiburg