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Language and Cultural Studies

Study Indo-European Studies in Germany

Explore 12 programmes.

Indo-European studies is an interdisciplinary study field that deals with the Indo-European language family and the writings, ancient cultures, history, and philosophy associated with it. Geographically, you will study a wide area ranging from Northern Europe to the Mediterranean, the ancient Orient, and today's Central Asia. You will acquire language and cultural skills and learn to analyse and compare the origins and the development of languages and cultures.


6 Higher Education Institutions

Bachelor, Master


4-6 Semesters

What content can I expect?

Indo-European studies focus on a language group consisting of various dialects stemming from a single language: Proto-Indo-European. Most of the languages spoken in Europe today as well as a number of present-day Asian languages descended from Proto-Indo-European. In other words, about half of the world’s population today speaks a language that originated from Proto-Indo-European.

You will study these historical languages and the processes by which they changed, in order to identify and explain similarities and differences between them. In doing so, you will try to reconstruct the original Indo-European language, which does not exist in written form. You will also gain a more comprehensive understanding of the languages that descended from this original language.

Indo-European studies are only offered at a few universities in Germany. It is best to compare the individual degree programmes thoroughly, as their contents differ in some cases. Depending on the university, you can study the subject as a major or minor subject with Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. A Bachelor’s programme usually lasts six semesters and a Master’s programme four.

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Are you interested in an in Language and Cultural Studies? Run a non-binding eligibility check now.

What requirements do I have to fulfil in order to study Indo-European studies?

To study Indo-European studies, you usually need a higher education entrance qualification, i.e., the German Abitur or an international equivalent. Most degree programmes are not subject to admission restrictions. However, you may have to prove that you have certain foreign language skills before you can begin your studies. Please contact the university for more information. You will develop these language skills during your studies and should be prepared to gain reading skills in various old and new languages, such as Latin, Sanskrit or English.

The best thing is to find out early on from the different universities which languages you have to prove at which level before you start your studies and which skills you can acquire during your studies. If something is not quite clear to you, you can contact the university directly here via My GUIDE.

Even if you don’t have to formally prove it in your application, an interest and enthusiasm for language as well as a feeling for grammar will help you to find your way around more quickly and be satisfied with your choice of study. At the same time, you will benefit from good self-organisation, as you will often have to prepare and follow up lessons intensively on your own, and sometimes you will have to learn grammar rules, vocabulary and syntax by rote.

Even though very few universities in this field of study require an integrated internship as a prerequisite for successful graduation, it is worth using the semester breaks to gain practical experience. You will benefit from this experience because you will find out for yourself what you like and what you might not like. In addition, you can show your first references when applying for a job later on.

How much does it cost to study Indo-European studies in Germany?

Courses of study in Indo-European studies are currently only offered by state universities in Germany – and practically none of them charge tuition fees! However, it is best to research potential exceptions before deciding on any particular programme.

However, you will have to pay the so-called semester contribution. This amounts to between 100 and 400 euros per semester. Sometimes your semester contribution covers a ticket for local public transport or you can purchase a discounted ticket. Depending on where you study, this may be valid for the city, the region or even for all of Germany. Ask your higher education institution whether such an offer is currently available. In an international comparison, studying in Germany is really cheap.

But what can be really expensive is your rent. It varies greatly from city to city in Germany, so it’s difficult to estimate exactly how much it will cost in advance. Generally, you can assume that big cities and cities popular with students are more expensive. Sometimes it can take a while to find a place to live there. As soon as you know where you will be studying, you should check the website of your local student union for offers of student halls of residence, as places there can fill up quickly. Here, you can find information on local halls of residence and the respective application process for most cities. The student unions offer cheap accommodation, but it can happen, especially in popular cities, that you end up on a waiting list first.

The amount of your other personal expenses depends entirely on where you shop, whether you cook for yourself or like to go out to eat. So you might be able to save a few small expenses.

To finance your studies in Germany, you should also find out about scholarships. There are many different scholarship programmes and excellent grades are not the only deciding factor. You can learn more about scholarships here and find suitable programmes directly on My GUIDE.

What career options do I have as a graduate in Indo-European studies?

Many students of Indo-European studies pursue a university career after completing their Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. However, you will also acquire general skills during your studies that will enable you to enter fields like cultural studies, publishing, cultural tourism, journalism, and public relations.

If you decide that you want to teach at a school, you should find out at an early stage what additional qualifications you may need to obtain or whether you can combine the teacher training programme with the Indo-European studies programme.

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Check your eligibility to study at German higher education institutions (non-binding)

Run a quick and non-binding check to determine whether your certificates make you eligible to study at German higher education institutions. Depending on which educational certificates you provide, you may qualify for all degree programmes or only for certain subjects or types of higher education institutions. It is possible that you do not currently meet the requirements to be eligible to apply to a German higher education institution. In such a case, you may be able to attend a Studienkolleg. Please note that the eligibility check results apply exclusively to undergraduate programmes and are not legally binding.

Once you have completed the non-binding check, degree programmes that match your eligibility will be marked with a corresponding icon.