Freie Universität Berlin Berlin, Germany

exterior of the German parliament building with German flags atop it

Founded in West Berlin in the early days of the Cold War, the Freie Universität Berlin (FU) is one of Germany's top universities and a leading research institution in continental Europe. FU's Master of Arts program in International Relations (MAIR), offered in partnership with Humboldt University of Berlin and the University of Potsdam, was awarded for its innovation and high-quality teaching by the German Academic Exchange Service. The political and cultural capital of Germany and home to four universities, Berlin attracts students from all over the world and is celebrated for its festivals and nightlife, public transportation networks, and high standard of living.

Academic Calendar

Fall Semester
October - February (final exams/coursework through March)
Spring Semester
April - July (final exams/coursework through September)

Due to the differences between the AU and FU academic calendars, students are encouraged to participate in the spring semester.


Students will enroll full-time for one semester alongside FU graduate students and earn up to 9 credits toward their graduate degree from AU. Students can choose to enroll in courses offered at FU, Humboldt, or Potsdam in the fields of international relations, political science, and social science. Subject areas include:

Programs of study include:

  • Acting Green? Environmental Policy-Making in the European Union Business and Government
  • Comparative Regionalism
  • Europeanization and Domestic Change in Western Europe
  • The Evolution of European Security Institutions
  • Global Governance
  • International Organizations in World Politics
  • International Security
  • Locating the "I" in IR Theory: Non-Western Contributions to International Relations Scholarship
  • Theories of International Cooperation
  • The Sociology of International Relations - State Society and Transnational Cooperation in the 21st Century

Language Requirement

Students may take classes in English or German. However, more options will be available for students who are able to take courses in both English and German.

There is no language requirement for students who wish to take courses in English.

Students who wish to take courses in German are required to demonstrate proficiency in German by submitting their TOR exam results or a letter of advanced proficiency certification from a licensed German language instructor.

Application Deadlines

Spring: October 15
Fall: March 15

Applicants are required to submit a non-refundable $50 application fee.

You will be notified by email with a decision regarding your nomination for study abroad.

Please note: This program is competitive and submitting an application does not guarantee admission.

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Stepping out of your comfort zone

The friendships I created made my experience worthwhile.

Living in Germany and studying at Freie Universität Berlin was one of the most rewarding, enlightening, and difficult experiences I have ever had. The transition to life in Berlin was overwhelming. Fortunately, Berlin is an extremely welcoming and friendly city, and I was able to get around quite easily without being fluent in German.