Outgoing/Returning Students

ERASMUS/SOKRATES students please check the page of the Department of Economics (SOKRATES program).

All other outgoing/returning students should observe the following principles before embarking on their student exchange programs:


Our study programs feature international student exchange. Studying at a foreign university will be a rich and valuable experience in many different ways. If planned appropriately, it will also be conducive to a successful completion of your home program here at Tübingen. A crucial question always coming up in this regard is whether, or to what extent, the courses attended abroad will yield credits towards the Tübingen curriculum.

We ask for your understanding that our chair cannot offer individual counseling on your exchange year. The following guidelines (and see also the official leaflet of the faculty) should enable to structure your studies abroad in a meaningful way. Please abstain from any ex ante applications. Applications will be accepted only after your return.

1. Planning the exchange so as to maximize the general benefit obtained, and in particular to achieve the desired transfer of credits, is the student's own responsibility.

2. You should choose a foreign university of high academic standing that offers a study program which has a meaningful relationship to your home progam here at Tübingen.

3.When choosing the courses to attend you should strive for a combination between
a) courses that you would not be able to get here in Tübingen, so as to enrich your own personal curriculum (complementary part), and
b) courses that come close to the ones you would have attended at your home university, had you not gone abroad (substitutive part, directly aimed for transfer of credits).

4. Maximizing the benefit of your semester (or year) abroad does not necessarily mean that you aim for a maximum number of credits to be transfered. In many cases, maximizing the overall benefit of your exchange may imply that you do lots of things where notransfer of credit is possible. Credits earned may have high job-market value, quite independently on a formal credit transfer to the Tübingen program. Indeed, it is precisely through these activities that your foreign experience truly adds to your Tübingen program, albeit at the expense of delaying your graduation, potentially at least.

5. In view of the previous point, you might also consider to do your exchange after graduation from the Tübingen program. This is particularly relevant for our B.Sc. programs which are a full year shorter than the previous Diploma programs.

6. Important for the B.Sc. programs:
a) Our curriculum strongly suggests that your exchange semester/year should be placed after the compulsory modules of our Bachelor's curriculum ("Pflichtmodule"). This basically implies that you go abroad in the third year or 5th semester. Transfer of credits towards the interim exam, (e.g., Macroeconomics) is not possible.
b) There are two types of credit transfers. A foreign course may be accepted as a substitute for a certain course offered here at Tübingen under the module "International Trade and Finance". The implication then is that no further ECTS may be earned by attending the local course. Alternatively, a foreign course may be accepted as a complement for local courses under the Module "International Trade and Finance". This then does not entail any restrictions regarding the credits that you may earn on local courses.

7. If you aim for transfer of credits, you should check the following:
a) Is it a Master's or a Bachelor's course? You should aim for courses offered for the third year of a Bachelor's program or higher (4th year or Master's course). Master's students must aim for Master's courses.
b) Check all information relevant for the TransferFactor (see 6.c above).
c) What is the content of the course, and what is the reading list? Check the Syllabus.
d) What is the method of evaluation and grading?

8. Numerics of credit transfer: Your transcript will list a certain number of credits (or points) for each course you have completed. If these are ECTS-credits, they are transferred 1:1 into ECTS-credits (!!) applied to our own Tübingen program. Non-ECTS credits, as for instance from US universities, are transferred according to a simple rule: AppliedCredits = ForeignCredits * TransferFactor. The TranferFactor is calculated as the total number of ECTS-credits that your Tübingen program require per semester (which is 30 ECTS), relative to the total number of credits (points) that the foreign program requires per semester for regular students (= "workload"). In many US programs, for instance, the workload per semester is 15, in which case the TransferFactor is 2. Please make sure you provide evidence for the required workload! You should find it on the homepage of the foreign university. Please send this as a pdf document, and indicate the source of this information (the hyperlink). You are prompted for this information in the applicaction form (see below). For details see the guidelines issued by the examinations office.

9. IMPORTANT for the application: When applying for credit transfer after returning back to Tübingen, please use our electronic form, which asks you to do the following:
a) Specify the program you are enrolled in herre at Tübingen; for EcoBa please specify whether it is the Economics or the Business variant.
b) Specify the relevant foreign course and the target course for the credit transfer, also specifying the type of program you are enrolled in here in Tübignen.
c) Clarify all points 7.a)-d) above.
d) Give the information relevant for the transfer factor according to 8 above.
e) Provide relevant documents of your host university (syllabi, transscripts) and your seminar paper, exercise sheets etc. (if relevant). In case the original material is not in English, provide appropriate summary characterizations in English or German (!) (not required for term papers exercise sheets etc.).(NO jpg-documents, pl.)
f) Send your application electronically to christina.karsch[at]uni-tuebingen.de. In most cases, you need not see me during my office hours in order to sort out what type of transfer is possible. We can clarify this via e-mail. Subsequently (once we get back to you on your submitted form), asking you to hand in the "yellow form", and possibly some additional material that I might ask you in my response to your application and make sure to provide copies that we may keep.

10. A final decision about credit transfer cannot be made before your return to Tübingen, but you may seek my advice as to what to do prior to going abroad. However, in many cases the information available at that time is incomplete. You should abstain from filing an application with our Chair unless your foreign courses are International Economics courses. In other cases you should seek credit transfer with professors that teach the relevant field here in Tübingen.

11. For Diploma students: Once credits have been awarded for a local course which is not taught by our chair, you may still "import" those credits into the field of International economics, subject to the relevant restrictions (see our description of the "Schwerpunktfach").