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 in your field of study, but can combine classes from different subjects with language courses or other transdisciplinary offers. The condition is that the classes your are interested in have free spots. However, some courses and study fields are subject to general restrictions:

Course Restrictions

  • For the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences 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 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
  • For courses/studies at the Faculty of Law, a proven knowledge of German of at least B1 is a prerequisite, because there are hardly any English-taught courses available.
  • For courses/studies in Ethnology at B.A. level, proven German language skills of at least B1 are a prerequisite, because there are hardly any English-taught courses available.
  • For courses in Biology on B. Sc. level: If your are a student from overseas, proven German language skills of B1-B2 are a prerequisite (no language proof needed for Erasmus or CIVS students)
  • Courses in Biology on M.Sc. level are only available for students from overseas whose major at their home university is biology or a closely related study field (not relevant for 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 catalog 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 "Vorlesungsverzeichnis" (course catalogue) in ALMA:

  • The course catalog 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 winter semester 2023/2024 is online since 11/7/2023 and will be updated with further classes leading up to the start of the semester
  • The course catalogue for the summer semester 2024 will be published begin of February 2024

Please see also our course offer of previous semesters website, 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.

Click here for the ALMA database

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 winter semester 23/24 (status as of September 19th 2023)

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 you find English 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 courses 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: finished B2 level or higher; minimun requirement: finished 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 credits for this: Students' groups and local initiatives welcome your engagement! In accompanying workshops of the TCP you reflect on your experiences: Check out the civic engangement information 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. Take into account the following aspects when choosing your classes and find out what to do, if your home univesity accepts only graded classes:

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.
  • Block seminar:  A seminar 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 - please clarify 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 per se ungraded: Excercises ("Übungen"), Field trips ("Exkursion")
    • Lectures are sometimes graded, sometimes not, depending on the exam form
  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 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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