The Master’s degree program in International Relations at the KU is interdisciplinary, international, flexible, successful and intercultural. The purpose of this program is to scientifically and thoroughly examine international politics as well as advanced topics in the fields of international law, political science, history and sociology. It teaches three core competencies: the ability to work independently, an in-depth knowledge of international relations, and the ability to perform in international contexts. The interdisciplinary program attracts students from all over the world, who can tailor their studies to their needs and their career goals thanks to the program’s flexible structure. Seminars can optionally be taken in English. The Master's program comprises 120 ECTS credits with the standard period of study being four semesters.
The program in detail
The program in International Relations is made up of a required, a required elective, and an elective component. The total of 120 ECTS credits to be acquired are distributed as follows:
40 ECTS credits required area
50 ECTS credits required elective area
10 ECTS credits elective area
20 ECTS credits Master’s thesis
One component of the required area is an internship of at least eight weeks - students from Germany are advised to complete this internship abroad.
All modules of the individual areas can be found here:
From the required area, students must obtain 40 ECTS credits. We offer the following modules:
Theories, Structures and Orders in International Politics (10 ECTS credits)
Policies, Strategies and Areas in International Relations (10 ECTS credits)
One module from the KU’s Studium.Pro Master’s program (5 ECTS credits)
Internship (eight weeks or more) (15 ECTS credits)
Required elective area
In the required elective area, students must obtain 50 ECTS credits. MIB students can choose from 12 different modules (10 ECTS credits each):
Model United Nations
Comparative Political Science
History of Political Thought
Contemporary Political Theory and Philosophy
Peace and Conflict Studies
Contemporary History (can be chosen multiple times)
International Law - Sources, Principles, Current Developments
Advanced Sociological Theory
Advanced Process-Oriented Sociology
Advanced Methods of Qualitative Analysis
Advanced Methods of Data Collection
Each student must obtain 10 ECTS credits from the elective area. In the elective area, students can freely choose modules from the KU’s entire range of Master’s degree programs, with the exception of the programs with admission restrictions or they can choose modules from other German or international universities. In the interest of improving students’ foreign language skills, the KU would particularly like to recommend choosing classes of our Language Center for the elective area.
The Master’s thesis is worth 20 ECTS credits. Its topic can be chosen from the subjects of political science, history and sociology.
Ideal study plan
Admission requirements are:
A professional university degree of at least six semesters in a program in the fields of politics, society, history, economics or languages with a minimum overall grade of 2.5 (“good”) or law with a minimum overall grade of “satisfactory”.
Proof of English language skills at least on level B2 and German language skills at least on level A2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. German language skills are proven either by secondary school graduation certificate, the first degree, a Goethe certificate or by other qualifying proof. Proof of English language skills can be given by a secondary school graduation certificate, a relevant first degree or by successful participation in the TOEFL examination (with a minimum overall score of 78 credits) or any other qualifying proof.
KU students and alumni have voted for their University to be Germany's most popular university in the 2021 ranking of the online portal StudyCheck. The ranking was based on over 40,000 evaluations for more than 500 higher education institutions and universities. 98 percent of students questioned for the ranking would recommend studying at the KU to others.
"There is no better praise for a university than almost 100 percent of students and alumni agreeing: I can only recommend studying at the KU! That is why we are very pleased with the ranking’s outcome, because it expresses the high level of satisfaction of our students," says KU President Prof. Dr. Gabriele Gien.
The MIB program structure enabled students to take a semester abroad, preferably during the third semester. German students are strongly encouraged to take a semester abroad. Students can choose from the wide range of partner universities of the KU. Generally, all universities worldwide are open to our students for a semester abroad in the context of the free-mover-program. Credits obtained abroad may be transferred upon request with the agreement of the MIB Board of Examiners. In recent years, popular destinations for a stay abroad included the Catholic University of America, Washington DC, USA; Malmö University, Sweden, Universiteit Leiden, Netherlands and Sogang University, South Korea.
The MIB also offers a structured international program in cooperation with Université de Fribourg in Switzerland. Students have the opportunity to supplement their studies in International Relations by acquiring profound knowledge of European integration. An emphasis is placed on the history of the integration process, its legal, economic and cultural aspects, as well as on improving French language skills. In this context, the Université Fribourg/Universität Freiburg, the only completely bilingual university in Switzerland (French/German), offers a particularly attractive opportunity for a semester abroad as part of the MIB.
A semester in Fribourg: Specialization “European Studies”
By Tim Beyer (year group 2016/2017)
"In the fall semester of 2017/2018, I was allowed to spend a semester abroad in the beautiful city of Fribourg in Switzerland. I was supposed to spend a semester there in the bilingual Master's degree program in "European Studies" in order to learn the scientific approach of our neighboring universities in Switzerland on the one hand, and to improve my French through the bilingual nature of the degree program on the other hand. Of course, the stay in Switzerland also involved some preparation work. Here, finding accommodation was one of the most urgent tasks. Although the University of Fribourg generally offers student accommodation, I was unfortunately not considered in the application process. However, through friends I managed to find accommodation in the Salvatorhaus, a monastery of Catholic monks, who rent part of the monastery to students. Here I not only had a spacious room, but was also offered a price that was more than reasonable by Swiss standards.
So, I was able to start my semester abroad at the beginning of September, which started off on the first day with an orientation event organized by the International Office in Fribourg. The event answered all questions regarding the semester abroad and other personal concerns could also be addressed. They also explained, how we could get the money that we were entitled to in the context of the SEMP. Although the money (420 Swiss francs per month) was not even enough for my rent (460 Swiss francs), it was better than nothing. After this preparation time, the actual academic part of the semester abroad finally began.
Already on the first day, I was welcomed in a very friendly and professional manner by the staff of the European Studies Department, who immediately helped me with further detailed questions. The seminars and lectures, mostly led by Prof. Casasus, were not only interesting in terms of content, but also relaxed and interesting in the way he structured his lessons. Prof. Casasus always alternated between German and French in his lectures, so that both languages were integrated into the teaching practice to an equal share. My fellow students were also very friendly and open towards me as an exchange student, a fact that was not always a matter of course with very patriotic Swiss people. The examinations at the end of the semester were fair and I was able to complete them with adequate grades. Back in Eichstätt, I received my finished "Transcript of Records" after a few months, which I could hand in to the KU Examinations Office without any problems to conclude the special time of my semester abroad."
When studying in the Master’s degree program International Relations, you have to complete a eight-week internship during the lecture-free period. The aim of the internship is for students to gain practical work experience and additional qualifications in the professional field and thus boost their employability.
Students from Germany are explicitly encouraged to complete their internship abroad. Participants in the specialization in “European Studies” are encouraged to complete their internship at an organization that has a connection to Europe (e.g. a European organization such as the European Union or Council of Europe, related institutions or other economic or social institutions with European orientation).
Career possibilities and professional fields
The aim of the MIB is to qualify graduates for holding responsible positions in international organizations, ministries, administrative authorities, research institutions, the media and non-governmental organizations. The degree program achieves this objective in particular through seminars focusing on international fields of politics and the corresponding competencies for action; through special career counseling or information events on working in international organizations; and through its own professional network reaching beyond the course of study. Alumni of the MIB program now for example work for the Federal Foreign Office, the Federal Statistical Office, embassies, political foundations, and research centers, in academia, and in the private sector – all over the world.
The KU Career Counseling Service and the International Internship Service at the KU support students on their way to a career with workshops, advice and individual counseling sessions. The student network MIBPlus (available in german) puts active students in touch with alumni of the program, thereby offering a variety of opportunities to exchange views. MIBPlus also offers a tutoring program and its own Career Talk event format on career opportunities for MIB students.
Katharina Pachmayr (year group 2016)
“The MIB was exactly what I had been looking for: As I had previously studied linguistics, the degree program offered me an entry opportunity into the exciting world of international relations at a very high level. The flexible design of the degree program also allowed me to work as a working student at the Munich Security Conference. Two years after starting my studies in Eichstätt, I am now working there as a permanent employee in a job that is incredibly fun and at the same time presents me with new challenges every day.”
What students say about the program
Yannik Meffert, year group 2017
"I am studying MIB because the degree program prepares me for an exciting professional environment. I see myself working in an international context in a few years and the small courses and good contacts of the KU also at universities abroad, as well as the exciting people with whom I study, make Eichstätt a lucky choice for me".
Alexander Augustin, year group 2018
"The Master's degree program in International Relations offers me the opportunity to study several disciplines such as politics, economics or law at the same time while also setting individual priorities. In addition, numerous courses are offered especially for students who have no previous knowledge in certain fields; this allows them to get to know previously unknown disciplines and deepen their knowledge in them".
Alla Petrova (year group 2020)
"About the MIB I especially like the diverse and fascinating classes and the lecturers, who present the subject in an interesting way. They are always ready to help us students with any question that arises. The combination of theoretical and practical classes provides us with knowledge that is at the same time profound and extensive, while equipping us with the necessary competencies for working in the field of international relations. Despite the COVID pandemic, I feel at home in Eichstätt and am very happy about having chosen this degree program."
Franziska Prinz (year group 2020)
”What I like about the MIB is the range of modules and seminars from the field of political sciences like international law and constitutional politics that refer to legal systems. I also appreciate the focus of some classes on individual countries and continents. One of the great advantages of the MIB is its flexible structure, which makes it easy for students to do a semester abroad at one of the many partner universities of the KU.”
Kathrin Liebhäuser (year group 2020)
”I especially appreciate the small classes and the very personal and close cooperation with the teaching staff that we students of the MIB enjoy. Whether it is just that your e-mails are being answered right away, or that you are given personal feedback or support in all kinds of general matters. Despite the challenges of the current situation, the curriculum is just captivating and quality teaching is now carried out digitally. To me, the range of classes in the Studium.Pro program is especially appealing, because students have the chance to gain an insight from the various viewpoints of different disciplines and to examine current social issues. If given the chance, I would totally go for the MIB at the KU again.”
Claire Haering (year group 2019)
”I like about the MIB, that it comprises such a wide variety of fascinating fields. With my Bachelor’s degree in law, I can now really dive into topics that concern political sciences and learn a lot about the current and compelling field of international affairs. Our lecturers have close relationships to the students. And we can take some classes entirely in English, which is an added bonus. When it came to my semester abroad, I was very well advised and supported by the International Office.”
Lukas Schneider (year group 2019)
”The best thing about being a MIB student in Eichstätt is that we students enjoy such a close contact with our lecturers. With any questions about the program or the career steps that lie ahead, you will always find friendly support as well as coaching services that will help you smooth the ground for your future career. In order to enable students to establish and maintain international ties, the MIB program leaves room for a semester abroad."
Short distances on campus at the KU save time and avoid stress. The KU is a campus University with modern facilities. The buildings on campus are located close to the Eichstätt old town. Although the University and its campus has grown, it is still characterized by short distances: In Eichstätt, everything can be reached within ten minutes’ walking distance. On campus, green spaces such as the Hofgarten are the perfect places to relax. The garden of the Kapuzinerkloster is also used by different student initiatives for their projects. The canteen is located at the heart of the Eichstätt campus and has a sun deck and cafeteria that leave nothing to be desired.
What sets the KU apart
Studying at the KU is more than just acquiring specialist knowledge. We broaden our horizons together and take on responsibility in and beyond the individual degree programs. The KU has a particular focus on topics such as personal development, sustainability, social skills and social commitment.
It offers its students the possibility to study and work in a welcoming atmosphere and benefit from outstanding support and comprehensive service offers, a well-stocked library, a broad range of sports and leisure activities and a large global network of approx. 300 partner universities. Our team at the International Office helps you to plan your semester abroad and the KU Career Service provides comprehensive advice and support for embarking on your professional career.
Do I have to be Catholic in order to study at the KU? Do I have to deal with Catholic contents during my studies?
No, the KU is open to students of all faiths and beliefs.
At the KU, just as at all state universities, there is freedom of research and teaching. This means that our degree programs focus on the subjects for which you have enrolled – free from external influences.
As a student at our University, you will notice what our understanding of being a Catholic University means for us in one thing in particular: The University’s focus is on the individual person. The talents and potential of all those who teach, study, work and carry out research at the KU form our most important foundation – regardless of their religion or beliefs, nationality, ethical, cultural or social background, disabilities, gender, sexual orientation or age.
This is why we promote your best possible academic education through personal support and an ideal staff-to-student ratio. At the same time, the KU is more than just a place for earning your degree: We attach particular importance to imparting social skills and advancing our students’ sense and value orientation in addition to providing them with a high level of academic and methodical qualification.
Our aspiration for our University is to build bridges between science and society and to make knowledge available for society as well as to integrate impulses from outside the University into our research and teaching practice. We aim to make a valuable contribution to social coexistence, to the free democratic basic order and to preserving creation.
Isn’t Eichstätt quite small for a university town?
With a population of around 15,000, it is probably the smallest university town in Europe. For our students, this means living and learning in a friendly and informal atmosphere. Whether it is on the way to a lecture in the morning, at the canteen for lunch or in the pub in the evening, you will often come across people you know. It is easy to meet people in Eichstätt! By the way, the KU’s “living room” is the Theke, a bar run by students for students. Here, people meet for parties, jam sessions, karaoke evenings or a cozy round of table football.
A small town also means short distances: The library, the swimming pool, the cinema or the supermarket – everything can be reached in a few minutes on foot or by bike. The town is located right in the heart of the Altmühltal natural park – a real paradise for climbers, canoeists, hikers and cyclists just around the corner.
Should you still reach a point when you feel too cooped in, you can breathe big city air easily near Eichstätt. Ingolstadt with its 135,000 inhabitants is only a few kilometers away and offers a variety of shopping and nightlife options.
Can I also study at the KU if I have completed the Fachabitur?
Eichstätt and the surrounding Altmühltal natural park are not only a popular destination for culture enthusiasts and nature lovers, but also for cyclists, climbers, canoeists and fossil collectors. Located between Munich and Nuremberg, the city impresses with its Baroque setting and southern flair combined with modern and prizewinning architecture as well as a broad variety of cultural offerings and leisure activities.
The Baroque park at the heart of the campus and the nearby banks of the Altmühltal river are the KU’s “green living room”. Another big advantage: all University facilities are just a short walk away from each other.
Some offers and study conditions are different for international students – our International Office is happy to provide help and support. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our team. We are happy to accompany you on your way to the KU and hope that we can welcome you in person soon!
Coordinator Welcome Services and International Campus
The application process for international applicants is now completely digital. You can register online in our application portal and carry out and submit your application. After you have carried out the application and uploaded your documents, you do not need to send your documents to us again by post. You do have to submit certified true copies only if you are admitted at the time of enrollment.
Depending on the course of study, you may be asked for information on internships, professional experience, etc. Please upload the relevant documents in the upload area for all the information you provide, even if these are not mandatory fields!
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