How to get started

Welcome to the University of Tübingen!

To help you find your way around, this page will provide information about the Orientation Week for new students and valuable hints for getting a good start into your studies.

In order to help prevent spreading the corona virus, the start of the summer semester 2020 has been postponed to 20 April. Lectures and classses will have to take place online this semester.

(This also means: You will not have to be present in Tübingen at the start of the semester. In the current situation, it is advisable to stay where you are for the time being.)

Instead of the usual orientation week for new students, the university has developed several digital replacement offers for you, so that you can find your way around in spite of the difficult circumstances.

In such an exceptional situation, it is especially important to know what to look for when you begin your studies. Please read the information on this page with extra care.

Details about digital replacement offers for the orientation week will be announced here step by step as soon as the relevant information is available. Many things are already up to date. However, it is always possible that new information might be published, so we recommend you to have another look at this page in the next few days.

The essential information in one place

When you start studying at the university, nearly everything will seem unfamiliar and possibly confusing. But don’t panic: Many things sound more complicated than they are, and most apparent “problems” can be solved easily if you know what to do! In the following list you will find an overview of the Orientation Week events, as well as all the information you need in order to avoid the most common difficulties.

(Note: Please assume that introductory events will usually be held in German.)

General introductory events

Orientation for international students (in English)

As an international student, you are invited to attend the event “General orientation for international students”, which is held in English and specifically aimed at degree-seeking students whose native language is not German. Here you will receive important information about how to study at a German university in general, and at the University of Tübingen in particular, including a demonstration of how to register for classes and exams.

Due to the corona virus, this event has been cancelled. The most important content is available here as a PowerPoint presentation with audio commentary (in English):

Other welcome events for international students

As an international student, you will also benefit a lot from participating in the advisory program "How to study at the University of Tübingen", a preparatory course especially designed for you. In addition, there is a Help Desk for international students where you can ask questions, a selection of language classes where you can improve your German-speaking skills, and a welcome program organized by the student group “StudIT” where you can meet other students from all over the world.

Due to the corona virus, these events have been cancelled. Please have a look at the linked pages to see whether there are any replacement offers.

New at the university - what now?

You are also invited to attend the event "Neu an der Uni – wie geht‘s nun weiter?" ("New at the university - what now?", in German), which is organized by the Student Counseling Service. Here you will receive important hints for orienting yourself at the university, as well as information on the structure of your study program, how to organize your studies, how to compile your weekly schedule, and where to go if you need advice.

Due to the corona virus, this event has been cancelled. However, we offer you the content of this introduction on the linked page, both as a PowerPoint presentation with audio commentary and as a video (in German).

Introduction to the Alma Portal

Almost all lectures, seminars and tutorials are managed via the online portal “Alma”. This is also where you register for classes and exams. The introductory lecture to the Alma Portal (in German) will show you how to work with this portal.

Due to the corona virus, this event has been cancelled. However, you can find most of the relevant information in the User's guide to the Alma Portal for students (in German).

General instructions on how to create your personal timetable can be found in the introduction "Neu an der Uni - wie geht's nun weiter?" ("New at the university - what now?") by the student counseling service.

Orientation in teachers' training degree programs

Are you enrolled in a teachers' training degree program? There are also special introductory sessions for all new students aiming to become a teacher, where details about the structure of the Bachelor of Education and Master of Education programs will be discussed.

Due to the corona virus, these events have been cancelled. However, you can find the contents here as a PDF for download (in German):

Studying with a disability or chronic illness

Students with a disability or chronic illness often have very specific questions about their personal situation, about support services, or about the individual adaptation of study conditions. These issues can be addressed in the orientation event "Studieren mit besonderen Bedürfnissen" (in German).

Due to the corona virus, this event has been cancelled. Due to the corona virus, this event has been cancelled. However, you can find most of the relevant information in the presentation (PDF). If you have questions, individual counseling is available.

Orientation in your subjects

Subject-specific introductory meetings

One of the most important parts of the Orientation Week for all new students is the introductory meeting of your individual subject. Here, you will find out about the structure and content of your study program as well as subject-specific regulations. You will also get to know the most important contact persons, and you will receive help in finding the right classes for your course plan and in fitting them into your schedule. If you are enrolled in multiple subjects, please try to attend all relevant introductory meetings.

Because the introductory meeting probably won’t be specifically tailored to the questions you might have as an international student, it is always a good idea to make an individual appointment with your subject’s faculty course advisor. This is especially important if you are studying in one of those few smaller programs that do not offer a introductory meeting at all.

Due to the corona virus, the introductory meetings cannot take place in the usual form this time.

However, many study programs have created digital replacement offers in order to provide you with the relevant information. These should be announced in the Alma portal starting Tuesday 14 April. Some programs are also going to inform you via e-mail. You can find more details on the linked page.

Welcome events by student groups

In many subjects, the elected student representatives (“Fachschaften”) offer additional welcome events with a different point of view. These events provide you with valuable hints for your studies, and of course with a great opportunity to meet other students and have a lot of fun.

Due to the corona virus, these welcome events have been cancelled.

Preparatory courses and foreign language classes

German language courses

If you think it would be wise to focus on improving your German-speaking skills, you may want to attend one of the German language for international students. Note that some of these courses start even before the regular beginning of the semester.

Due to the corona virus, these courses have been cancelled. Please have a look at the linked page to see whether any replacement offers will be available.

Preparatory courses

Some study programs also offer preparatory courses in mathematics or, rarely, in some other field in order to get your skills up to par (“Vorkurse” or “Propädeutika”). These classes also usually start before the regular beginning of the semester. Please check ahead of time whether there are any preparatory courses for your study program, and whether they might even be mandatory for you.

Due to the corona virus, all preparatory courses have been cancelled. You can find some information (possibly including some replacement offers) on the linked page (in German).

Language requirements

In case you need to complete any other  language requirements for your study program (e.g. Latin, Ancient Greek, or an additional modern language), please have a look at the relevant course program before the semester starts.

Important documents

Examination regulations and module handbooks

In order to plan your studies in detail, you will need to know a few fundamental documents: the examination regulations (“Prüfungsordnung”) and the module handbook (“Modulhandbuch”) of your subject(s). Many programs also have model course plans (“Modellstudienplan” or “Studienverlaufsplan”) that summarize the structure of the program for you in the form of an example.

There are some important constraints on which courses to take, especially in the first few semesters, so you should read these documents closely at an early point, ideally even before the introductory events, or ask someone to explain them to you. They are especially relevant if you are planning to do your whole studies in Germany. You can find these documents on the websites of the individual faculties or study programs:

Creating your timetable

You are expected to put together your weekly timetable yourself, based on the examination regulations and module handbooks. This is best done before the start of lectures. You can find more information about this in the introduction "Neu an der Uni - wie geht's nun weiter?" ("New at the university - what now?") by the student counseling service.

Usually, the subject-specific introductory events include details about what to look for when creating your personal timetable. However, in this summer semester 2020 many of these introductions will take place in a different form due to the corona virus. So please read the documents about your study program with extra care. If you have questions, you can ask your faculty course advisor via e-mail.

Interdisciplinary key qualifications

In addition to studying the main subject itself, students in all Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science programs are required to attend classes in the field of interdisciplinary key qualifications (“Schlüsselqualifikationen”; for details see the examination regulation and/or module handbook of your program). There is a special course program for this, coordinated by the Career Service.

Additional events during the semester

Semester planning

The student counseling service has released some online resources intended to help you plan your studies, structure your daily schedule, and successfully achieve your goals. Details can be found here: https://uni-tuebingen.de/de/100121 (in German)

University Library

The University Library offers courses about various topics (also in English), e.g. how to use the library, how to search in the catalog, and how to organize your academic literature.

Further information: www.ub.uni-tuebingen.de/kurse

Languages, intercultural communication, studying abroad

The International Office offers courses for learning languages (both German and other languages) and workshops about intercultural communication. You can also inform yourself about opportunities for going abroad during the course of your studies.

Study with a plan

The series "Study with a plan" by the Student Counseling Service contains presentations and workshops on various topics that may come up during your studies, e.g. semester planning, exam preparation, changing to a different program...

Academic writing

An important skill at the university is academic writing. This is of course part of your regular study program, but some central facilities also offer courses and events on this topic:

Further activities

Life at the university is more than just studying your subject. The University of Tübingen offers a wide range of additional events and workshops in the fields of society, culture, arts, and sports. Further information on the website "Campus Life".

Where can I get advice?

Faculty course advisors

If you have subject-specific questions about how to organize your studies, please contact the respective faculty course advisor.

Advice for international students

Questions specifically regarding your role as an international student in Tübingen can be directed at the Welcome and Help Desk for International Students during the orientation week, and at the Office for Advising and Admission of International Students during the whole semester.

Advice in teacher training degree programs

If you have questions about teacher training degree programs (B.Ed./M.Ed.), please contact the advisory service of the Tübingen School of Education.

Student Counseling Service

If you have questions regarding the organization of your studies or if you are experiencing difficulties, you can also contact the Student Counseling Service throughout the whole course of your studies.

Further services

You can find an overview list of all contact persons for different topics that may arise during the course of your studies at the website “Advice and Information” and in the brochure "Beratungs- und Serviceangebote an der Universität Tübingen" (in German).

Brochures for download

Brochure "Welcome to the University of Tübingen"

  • Information for organizing and planning your studies
  • Activities, institutions, and services

The brochure "Orientation Week" is available only as a digital PDF version (2.4 MB).
Please note that almost all events listed in the brochure have been cancelled due to the corona virus. Some of the other information might still be helpful though.

There is also the brochure "StuWe Kompass - Ein Wegweiser für Studierende" by the Studierendenwerk Tübingen-Hohenheim (in German).