|€4,000 per year
There are 5 tuition waivers available for top-ranked applicants in 2024, including 1 tuition waiver for EU/EEA/Swiss applicants, 4 tuition waivers for other applicants (regardless of citizenship).
More information on tuition fees is available at www.ut.ee/tuition.
NB! Applicants who are not citizens of EU/EEA/Switzerland must pre-pay half of the first semester’s tuition-fee after receiving an admission offer.
Application fee is non-refundable.
Undergraduate diploma (or higher)
Bachelor’s degree or equivalent – for country-specific document requirements please see www.ut.ee/country-specific.
Please be sure to check further information and our step-by-step application guide at www.ut.ee/semiotics.
The entry qualification documents are accepted in the following languages: English / Estonian.
All applicants must comply with our English language requirements. The only acceptable English tests and exempt categories are specified at www.ut.ee/requirements.
A motivation letter must be added to your application.
Please upload the final version of the motivation letter before submitting the application. It can not be edited after the application is submitted.
Please write a brief motivation letter (in English, maximum of 4600 characters with spaces) based on the following points:
• describe what skills and knowledge you have acquired through previous education and working experience;
• motivation and general aptitude for studies in Semiotics
Applicants with a positive result, 51% of the maximum score for the motivation letter are invited to the second stage, the interview.
The interview is designed to determine the applicant’s readiness for continuous learning, professional development, and aptitude to study in the master’s programme.
The interviewee will be evaluated based on the following conversation topics:
The duration of the interview is 20 min and it is conducted in English via the Internet. The interviews take places on April 8-12, 2024. In April, once the motivation letters have been evaluated each qualifying applicant will be contacted personally via e-mail by the programme’s admissions committee to schedule the exact time for the interview.
General information regarding the online admission interview
The University of Tartu uses different video communication programmes to conduct an online interview (Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Skype). The admissions committee will notify you, which software programme will be used and when does the interview take place.
The applicant needs the following for the online interview:
At the online interview:
The 2-year master’s programme in Semiotics provides interdisciplinary background and gives a theoretical base for application of semiotic ideas to a wide variety of disciplines and scientific study. The programme binds together the theory of semiotics and three core modules – cultural semiotics, biosemiotics and sociosemiotics. The programme also combines the major semiotic traditions of Ferdinand de Saussure and Charles S. Peirce with the leading contemporary and innovative thought.
Semiotics is the general study of sign processes, or semiosis. Semiosis makes the world meaningful. Today’s world, where processes have a disbalance of global and local dimension, challenges us to understand the need of individuals and societies for defining their identity. Semiotics is centrally relevant to achieve this understanding.
The Department of Semiotics at the University of Tartu is one of the most important centres of semiotics in Europe, with deep roots for cultural semiotics and biosemiotics. Names and work of Jakob von Uexküll and Juri Lotman, founder of world-renowned Tartu-Moscow Semiotics School, form the cornerstone of the Department of Semiotics at the University of Tartu. The Department of Semiotics also holds the memorial library of Thomas A. Sebeok, which was received as a donation.
Why study Semiotics?
• The tradition of excellence in semiotic theory in Tartu was established by Juri Lotman, the founder of the semiotics of culture and the Tartu-Moscow Semiotic School, as well as the oldest journal of semiotics, Sign Systems Studies.
• The Department of Semiotics is one of the most important centres of semiotics in Europe, with deep roots for cultural semiotics and biosemiotics. UT is one of the few institutions in the world teaching full master’s and doctoral degree programmes in semiotics.
• UT collaborates and is regularly visited by professors from all over the world.
• The finest collections of semiotic materials in Tartu include the memorial library of Thomas Sebeok and the Centre of Jakob von Uexküll.
• After graduation, you can work in semiotic consulting companies, marketing, media, translation, design and architecture, international organisations or continue studies on a doctoral level.
Please see the programme structure in our Study Information System
Excellent international career prospects:
- Graduates can apply their expertise in the professions that require a complex knowledge of cultural analysis, i.e. semiotic consulting companies, marketing or media.
- Practical applications of semiotics include translation and science writing, design and architecture, advertising, and communication strategies.
- Employees of international organizations, e.g. embassies, where tolerance and conflict management skills are vital, can improve their professional education.
- Programme graduates can continue on to doctoral studies and research. Semiotics is particularly relevant to advanced study in the life sciences, where biosemiotic understanding and semiotical interpretation is proving to be of remarkable value.