Courses for Exchange Students

As an exchange student, you can take courses across disciplines and faculties at Tübingen University: in other words, you are not limited to courses of your study field, but can combine classes from different subjects with language courses or other transdisciplinary offers. Requirement is that your desired courses have open slots and that you meet criteria such as language proficiency, academic level, and any necessary prerequisites. However, some courses and study fields are subject to general restrictions:

Course Restrictions

Access Restrictions for

  • Courses at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences (including Psychology) and the Faculty of Medicine: Courses must be approved in advance in the application process for your studies; proof of eligibility for a course is, for example, your transcript.
  • Courses/studies in Human Medicine: can only be taken if your university's Faculty of Medicine has an agreement with our Faculty of Medicine for human medicine
  • Courses/studies in Biology (M.Sc.): only available for students from overseas whose major at their home university is biology or a closely related study field. This rule does not apply for Erasmus or CIVIS students.
  • Courses/studies in Pharmacy (all levels): only available for students whose major at their home university is pharmacy.

Language Restrictions for

  • Law (all study levels), Ethnology (B.A.), Biochemistry / Chemistry (B.Sc.): Students from all partner universities must provide proof of German language proficiency of completed B1 or on a B2 level.
  • Biology / Molecular Medicine / Pharmacy (B.Sc.): Students from overseas partner universities must provide proof of German language proficiency of completed B1 or on a B2 level. No language certificate is required by Erasmus or CIVIS students.

Course Advisory

Our academic advisors will help you with the course selection and planning of your studies. They also confirm a Learning Agreement or (official) study plan form, if needed. Contact your academic advisor well in advance to select appropriate courses and arrange your schedule. If you have very specific questions about the content of one course, the best person to ask for advice is the lecturer of that class.

Course Options

The courses offered by the Tübingen University are very diverse. Below you find a list of the course options and responsible departments:

Official Course Catalogue

The official course catalogue (Vorlesungsverzeichnis) of Tübingen University - with all courses in German and English -  can be found in the ALMA database up to date for each semester.
You cannot register for courses before your successful enrollment. However, you can have a look at all the courses beforehand in the course catalogue:

  • The course catalogue for the coming semester is published about two weeks before the end of the lecture period of the current semester
  • The course catalogue for the summer semester 2024 is online since begin of February 2024 and receives updates with further classes leading up to the start of the semester
  • The course catalogue for the winter semester 2024/25 will be published ca. mid/end of July 2024
    Course Catalogue in ALMA

Please see also the information in ALMA and on our webite course offer of previous semesters, if the course catalogue for the next semester is not yet online: Classes are often repeated on an annual basis in the summer or winter semester.

English Taught Classes

The University of Tübingen offers a wide range of courses in English every semester, you can find them below sorted by faculties and institutions. Some courses, such as those of the Transdisciplinary Course Program, are added in the weeks leading up to the start of the semester:

English taught classes in the summer semester 24 (status as of March 14th, 2024)

English-taught classes at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Science

English-taught classes at the Faculty of Medicine

English-taught classes at the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences

English-taught classes at the Faculty of Humanities

English-taught classes at the Faculty of Catholic Theology

English-taught classes at the Centre for Islamic Theology

English-taught classes at Central and Other Institutions

English-taught classes at the Faculty of Protestant Theology and the Faculty of Law: not available

Our Guide: How to filter specific courses in English at Alma will help to find English taught courses of a specific study field in Alma. You can also ask the academic advisor of the relevant department for information on English taught courses.

English taught classes from previous semesters can be found under course offer of previous semesters.

Regular Classes in German at the Faculties

If your German language skills are sufficient (recommended: completed B2 level or higher; minimun requirement: completed B1 level), you are welcome to take regular university courses in German. You can find the current course catalog in our ALMA database.

German Language Courses

Tübingen University has one of the largest departments for German as a Foreign Language in Germany and the course range is comprehensive:

  • Approximately 50 language courses / semester are aimed specifically at exchange students
  • The offer ranges from pure language courses to courses in history and politics related to the country
  • Exchange students do not pay course fees, but only for copies, books or field trips
  • There are only a few courses for absolute beginners with no prior knowledge of German during the semester - therefore no places can be guaranteed
  • Most courses start at A2 or higher

In addition to the preparatory language and orientation courses before the start of the semester, you are allowed to attend up to 3 courses during the semester (average 4 ECTS per course). In general, you need to take a placement test before you can register for courses.

Further information and the course program can be found on the Website of German as a Foreign Language and Intercultural Programs.

Further Language Courses

The Foreign Language Center at the University of Tübingen offers language courses for other languages than German and the variety is huge:

  • courses for 12 languages such as English, Spanish, Swedish, French, Arabic, Japanese, Italian etc.
  • the courses are taught from beginner level up to internationally recognized language certificates
  • intensive language classes in the lecture free period available

In order to register for the courses, you must take a placement test first (you will need your matriculation number). For more information, please visit the Website of the Foreign Language Center.

If you are majoring in a foreign language, you may want to take the courses at the Faculty of Humanities.

Transdisciplinary Course Program and Civic Engagement

In our Transdisciplinary Course Program you can

  • learn and apply theories from various disciplinary perspectives
  • discuss societal topics from different angles
  • enhance your soft skills and gain job-oriented qualifications

You find more information on the Website of the Transdisciplinary Course Program.

Exchange students can also get actively involved in social or ecological projects and receive ECTS for this: Students' groups and local initiatives welcome your engagement! In accompanying workshops you reflect on your experiences: Check out the civic engangement for international students of the Transdisciplinary Course Program.

Please clarify in good time whether your home university accepts ECTS earned in the context of a social commitment.

Important Aspects for Your Course Choice

You find different types of classes at Tübingen University and they come with a different workload. Many classes are graded, others are per se ungraded and you only pass or fail them. Please consider the following course aspects when choosing your classes and what you need to do, if your home univesity accepts only graded results:

Type of Classes and ECTS

There are different types of courses with different ECTS. These are their characteristics:

  • Lecture (Vorlesung) - no limited number of participants. Prerequisites: Regular attendance. Oral or written examination. On average 3-4 ECTS.
  • Seminar (Proseminar/Hauptseminar/Oberseminar) - limited number of participants. Prerequisites: Regular attendance, active participation in class, regular assignments and/or presentation, examination and/or term paper. On average 6 ECTS for a proseminar and 6-8 ECTS for an (advanced!) Hauptseminar/Oberseminar.
  • Block seminar/event - a seminar/event which takes place within a few days completely (en bloc) and not once per week during the regular lecture period.
  • Exercise (Übung) - limited number of participants. Prerequisites: Regular attendance, regular assignments and/or practical exercises, exam. Average 3-4 ECTS.

ECTS, LP (Leistungspunkte) or CP (Creditpoints) are the same. These points refer to the workload: In general, 1 ECTS corresponds to a workload of 30 hours for participation and preparation.

If there is no information about the content of the course or the ECTS in the ALMA portal or on departemental websites, please contact the applicable academic advisor or lecturer per e-mail.

Recommended Workload and ECTS

We recommend a (maximum) workload of 30 ECTS / semester for exchange students. This corresponds to what German students usually take per semester as well.
For example, two or three seminars (4-6 hours per week) or two to three excercises (4-6 hours) and two lectures (4 hours) should usually be sufficient. You should take things slowly and be realistic in your schedule. Don't forget that some time and energy is needed to adjust to the new environment in Tübingen.

Please note: 30 ECTS / semester are only a guideline - you need to check with your home university in time how many ECTS you definitely have to complete, see the next point.

Requirements of the Home University and ECTS

  1. Check in good time whether your home university requires a minimum number of completed ECTS and take this into account when planning your studies.
  2. Not every course at Tübingen University is graded, some classes are ungraded and you can per se only pass or fail them:
    • Normally graded: Seminars / Advanced Seminars
    • Often ungraded: Excercises ("Übungen"), Field trips ("Exkursion")
    • Lectures are sometimes graded, sometimes not, depending on the exam form
    • Graded courses typically feature a higher ECTS amount compared to ungraded courses.
  3. If your home university accepts only graded results but you are taking a normally ungraded class, please note:
    • You need to inform your lecturer in Tübingen soon after the class has started that you need a graded result
    • In many cases you can receive a grade, if you submit additional course work; your lecturer decides this

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