General Linguistics - Bachelor (major subject)

Key data on study program

Faculty of Humanities

Academic Degree
Bachelor (major subject)

Restricted admission

Regular duration of studies
6 semester

Is a combination subject required?

Application deadline 1st semester
Overview of application deadlines

Program start
Winter semester

Language of instruction
German, English

Tuition and other fees

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Requirements and application

This degree program has no special requirements for admission provided you meet general university entrance requirements, i.e. you do not need to make a special application. German and other EU/EEA citizens can enroll directly for this program. The window for enrollment opens at the start of August and closes 30 September for studies in the following winter semester. Non-EU/EEA students must apply – by 15 July for the following winter semester (starting October). Please note that you can only start this degree program in the winter semester.


All programs at the University of Tübingen require applicants to have a high school leaving certificate, usually the German Abitur, or other equivalent higher education entrance qualification, e.g. the Deltaprüfung for applicants with vocational school certificates or a higher education entrance qualification for professionals. Applicants with qualifications from outside Germany must apply via the Office for the Advising and Admission of International Students. International students who don’t have the German Abitur, may have to complete a German language course.

The knowledge of English and German at the B2 level of the Common European Framework of Reference is recommended for the B.A. in General Linguistics as a major or minor subject. The study and examination languages ​​in the bachelor's program are German and English. All compulsory courses are usually held in English. English language skills at the B2 level of the Common European Framework of Reference must be demonstrated till the orientation exam, i.e. usually by the end of the first year of study. Proficiency in other languages is not required.

A bachelor’s degree major in General Linguistics must be combined with a Bachelor’s degree minor subject. All minor subjects of the philosophical, the economic and social science faculty, which can be properly studied in the amount of 60 credit points, can be chosen as minor subjects.

Program details

The General Linguistics program addresses the systematic investigation of linguistic structures. Linguists investigate which regularities a language exhibits, which properties all languages ​​have in common and how languages ​​differ systematically.

There are interesting points of contact with neighboring areas in the humanities and natural sciences, such as philosophy, cognitive science and computer science, but also with biology, psychology and mathematics.

The course consists of modules in the core linguistic areas of phonetics/phonology (production and analysis of linguistic sounds), syntax (structure of phrases and sentences), semantics (meaning of linguistic utterances), pragmatics (use of language) and psycholinguistics (interaction of language and cognition) as well as method modules on logic, introduction to programming and statistics. The focus is primarily on the interfaces between the core areas. In addition to the core areas, the program also focuses on the diversity and the development of the languages ​​of the world and the use of current computer-aided methods for modeling and simulating natural language phenomena.

During the course of study, a wide range of qualifications are acquired, such as the ability to work independently and solve problems creatively.

The Seminar für Sprachwissenschaft offers the ideal environment for an intensive study and supervision. The courses usually take place in small groups, which guarantees personal contact to the lecturers. The students benefit from excellent resources such as the vastly stocked library. Linguistics in Tübingen is highly esteemed in international research und enjoys excellent connections to other disciplines.

The department of Modern Languages (Neuphilologie) at the Faculty of Humanities unites different seminars under one roof, which deal with German, English, Romance and Slavic languages and literatures. The department does not only have a long-standing tradition and international recognition of the individual departments, but also emphasizes the commonalities of the modern philology, through the wide-ranging library covering multiple subjects, as well as through interdisciplinary projects in research and teaching. The department is known as a high-ranking place of education with a great reputation for a new generation of researchers, which reflects in the results in national and international rankings.

1st – 2nd semester:

The program consists of the basics of linguistics (syntax, semantics, phonetics/phonology and pragmatics) as well as statistics, logic and programming.

2nd - 4th  

The following course of study expands the basics and introduces the field of psycholinguistics.

 4th – 5th

Starting with the fourth semester, the acquired technical and methodological knowledge is deepened in the modules Language & Cognition, Language Use and Variation, Evolution & Change. In addition, current research questions are explained and communicated.

6th semester:

In the sixth semester, a scientific question is dealt with as part of the bachelor thesis. 99 ECTS points must be acquired as part of these courses and the bachelor's examination. A further 21 ETCS points are accounted for by so-called interdisciplinary, job-related skills.

Further information on the course of studies.

In addition, there is an introductory event at the beginning of each semester, which can be helpful for creating the timetable. Dates will be posted on Alma.


The Erasmus Program provides possibilities for exchanges at several European universities. The current partner universities of the Seminar für Sprachwissenschaft can be found here.

For further information, contact Fidan Can.

Optional time abroad
You may choose to spend some time abroad as part of any study program. You should start planning it 12 to 18 months before your departure. 
Here you will find general information and advice on studying abroad. In addition, some departments have their own subject-specific services providing information on studying abroad.

The module handbook describes the goals and structure of a degree program. In the module handbook you will find details of the type of modules offered and their respective workloads as well as the classes, requirements and assessment. An ideal course plan is set out in the module handbook to help you plan your studies. The module handbook and the exam regulations help you to understand the framework and conditions of your program and enable you to choose the right modules/classes.

You can find the current version of all module handbooks and exam regulations of the Faculty of Humanities on this website.


The exam regulations contain the legally binding regulations for a degree program. They set out, for instance, which modules must be taken, and which assessment must be completed in order to successfully complete the degree program. The exam regulations also regulate how often exams may be repeated, which deadlines apply to assessment, and how the final grade is calculated. The exam regulations and the module handbook help you to understand the framework and conditions of your program and enable you to choose the right modules/ classes.

You can find the current version of all module handbooks and exam regulations of the Faculty of Humanities on this website.


After your studies

A degree in General Linguistics does not prepare for one specific career. Nonetheless, during the course of study, a lot of central qualifications that play an important role for a lot of jobs are acquired. Some of these are the analytical skills of understanding complex issues, conducting independent research, clear and structured presentation of complex topics, and working in a team. Skills specific to linguistics are the acquired knowledge about sound systems, sentence structure and logic of German and other languages, depending on the courses taken and topics covered in those classes. These skills lead to a large variety of career opportunities, which can also be explored through corresponding internships and which can be furthered through an according minor subject and through transdisciplinary skills. These further skills can for example be acquired in the area or computational linguistics, language teaching, clinical linguistics or speech therapy, however these do are not a part of the area of General Linguistics.

Typical areas are jobs in the publishing industry, in adult education, media, PR, or the software industry. Apart from these career options, the bachelor's degree is also the first basis for a career at the university.

After a successful BA degree, it is advisable to study a related master's degree. A master's degree is also the basis for a PhD program. Information about the General Linguistics degrees offered at the Seminar für Sprachwissenschaft.

Advice and internships
The University’s Career Service assists with careers orientation and getting started in your profession. Jobs and internships can be found in the Praxisportal.

A PhD is possible after a completed master’s degree. Interested students should contact a professor working in the field that they are interested in for more information. General information about a PhD can be found here.

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