The Master of Arts in German and European Studies (MAGES) program is a two-year, full-time, interdisciplinary course of study. The MAGES program provides a firm rooting in each of the program’s five disciplines – comparative politics, cultural studies, economics, history, and international relations – while offering the flexibility for students to deepen their knowledge in a chosen concentration.

The program begins with a set of required core courses, each of which frames European studies from a particular disciplinary vantage point. Students then pursue elective courses, which may be taken not only within German and European Studies, but also in other School of Foreign Service departments and at the McDonough School of Business; the McCourt School of Public Policy; the Law Center; and the departments of government, history, and economics.

Degree Requirements

  • 48 semester hours, including the 18-credit hour required core curriculum, 6 credits of interdisciplinary electives and 24 credits of free electives
  • Minimum grade point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale)
  • Two foreign language examinations: by completion of the program, students must demonstrate proficiency in two European languages other than English, one with oral and one with reading proficiency
  • Oral examination
  • Capstone project and participation in the MAGES Colloquium

Core Courses

Students complete five core courses in their first year of study and a sixth, the MAGES seminar, in their final semester.

  • GEST 510: Theorizing Culture
  • GEST 541: Modern German and European History
  • GEST 545: International Relations in Europe
  • GEST 547: The European Economy
  • GEST 590: Politics in Europe and the European Union
  • GEST 980: MAGES Seminar (Capstone)

For further information, visit the Core Courses page.


MAGES students have the option of completing one (or, with special permission, two) of nine graduate certificates offered by the Walsh School of Foreign Service. Certificate coursework generally counts toward MAGES students’ interdisciplinary elective and free elective requirements; thus, students may complete both the MAGES degree and a graduate certificate within the required 48 credit hours for the program. Completed graduate certificates appear on students’ final transcripts

Walsh School of Foreign Service Graduate Certificates:

Language Requirements

By spring break of their final semester, students must demonstrate proficiency in two European language other than English. Students pass an oral proficiency exam in one language and reading proficiency exam in another.

Students whose secondary education (high school, Gymnasium, colegio, etc.) was in a European language other than English may use secondary school transcripts or exit exam credentials as a substitute for the oral proficiency exam.

German is not a required language for the program. While many MAGES students do choose to demonstrate proficiency in German, others complete their two language exams in, e.g., French and Spanish, or Turkish and Azerbaijani. Read more about the language requirements here.