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.

Lectures and classes in the winter semester 2023/24 will start on Monday, 16 October.

In the two weeks around the semester start, there will be a comprehensive welcome and orientation program for new students. These Orientation Weeks will take place between 09 and 20 October 2023.

Some study programs offer preparatory courses (e.g. in mathematics); these may start as early as 02 October 2023.

The schedule of the Orientation Weeks for the summer semester 2023 is mostly online now.
(Please note that some pieces of information may still be added later on.)

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 events of the Orientation Week you will receive all the information you need to create your schedule and to get started with your studies. The following list provides an overview of all introductory offers, as well as other important tips that will help you avoid the most common difficulties.

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

We wish you a successful start to your studies!

General introductory events

Orientation for international students (in English)

As an international student, you are invited to our Welcome Program, which includes a Help Desk, an Advisory Course on “How to study at a German university”, an academic writing workshop, and various activities from students for students.

The University of Tübingen also offers two specific introductory sessions for international degree-seeking students and for international exchange students, where you can ask your questions directly.

You can find further information on the following dedicated websites:

(Please note that some new information may still be added shortly before the start of the semester.)

New at the university - what now?

You are also invited to have a look at the presentation "Neu an der Uni – wie geht‘s nun weiter?" ("New at the university - what now?", in German), which is provided 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.

Orientation for new M.A./M.Sc. students

If you’re coming to Tübingen for a Master’s program, you may want to attend the special introductory session for new M.A./M.Sc. students (in German), where you can find out more about how to study at a German university in general, and at this university in particular.

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. You can find out how to work with this portal in the live event "Introduction to the Alma portal for new students" (in German). There is also a website FAQ to the Alma Portal (in English) and a User's guide to the Alma Portal for students (in English, including video tutorials).

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?", in German) by the General Study Counseling Service.

Important notice:
Please register for courses using only the student login credentials sent to you via regular mail. (Any registrations made with Alma login credentials from the application phase will be deleted by the end of October.)

Orientation in teachers' training degree programs

Are you enrolled in a teachers' training degree program? There are also special introductory offers for all new students aiming to become a teacher (in German), where details about the structure of the Bachelor of Education (B. Ed.) programs will be explained.

Studying with a disability or chronic illness

Students with a disability or chronic illness often have very specific questions about their personal situation, about special requirements in organizing their studies, about support services, or about the individual adaptation of study conditions in order to prevent disadvantages. These topics will be addressed in the Introduction to studying with a handicap (in German, with barrier-free access).

There will also be a special event "Semester management for students with a disability or chronic illness" (in German, with barrier-free access). Note that this event takes place as early as 28 September, even before the regular beginning of the orientation week.

You can find further information on the website "Services for disabled or chronically ill students" (in English). Individual counseling is also available.

Dies Universitatis

During the Dies Universitatis celebrations, the semester will be officially opened with a welcome address to all new students. Afterwards there will be a fair where you can inform yourself about various student groups and academic facilities.

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.

All subject-specific introductory offers for the winter semester 2023/24 will be listed on the linked website by mid-September.

Welcome events by student groups

In many subjects, the elected student representatives (“Fachschaften”) offer additional welcome events from a student's 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.

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 courses for international students. Note that some of these courses start even before the regular beginning of the semester.

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 usually start a few weeks 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.

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. Registration for Latin courses in the winter semester 2023 is open until 17 October, 12 pm (noon).

You can find further information on the website "Was mache ich, wenn ich noch Fremdsprachen lernen muss?" ("What do I do if I have to acquire additional foreign language skills?", in German).

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 in the database of degree programs and on the websites of the individual faculties:

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 General Study Counseling Service.

The subject-specific introductory events will explain the relevant details about what to look for when creating your personal timetable. Please read the documents about your study program carefully, and make use of the option to ask questions during live events. You can also always contact your faculty course advisor via e-mail.

Your personal timetable does not have to be ready before the start of the respective subject introductions. However, it certainly makes sense to create a draft for your timetable in advance. If questions arise, you can clarify them in the orientation sessions and make changes to your timetable afterwards if necessary.

The Online Course Catalogue can be found in the Alma Portal.
Please note that not all lectures and events may have been announced in Alma yet, and that some information regarding time and location may still be preliminary.

Important notice:
Please register for courses using only the student login credentials sent to you via regular mail. (Any registrations made with Alma login credentials from the application phase will be deleted by the end of October.)

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). These courses are offered in the Transdisciplinary Course Program (TCP).

Additional offers by and around the university

Virtual guided tour of Tübingen

In this interactive virtual guided tour of Tübingen (in German, produced 2020), you can get to know some of the most relevant places in the city of Tübingen from the perspective of the students Amelie and Tony.

Living in Tübingen

Finding accommodation in Tübingen, as in other university cities, is not always easy. We therefore encourage all students who are new to Tübingen to start looking for a room, e.g. in a student hall of residence, in a shared flat or in private accommodation, as early as possible.

The Studierendenwerk Tübingen-Hohenheim manages several halls of residence distributed throughout the city, and also offers an agency for private accommodation.

There are also several additional student halls of residence in Tübingen which are managed by other institutions, e.g. by church organisations, by clubs, or by foundations. Rooms in private shared flats (WGs) are often arranged via online ads; in addition to specialised platforms (local or transregional) there exist, for instance, several Facebook groups with the purpose of finding accommodation in Tübingen. An overview can be found in the brochure "Wohnen in Tübingen" (in German), which is published by the General Study Conseling Service.

Financial issues

Students with EU nationality can apply for financial support by the state of Germany (BAföG) if their parents' income is not sufficient to finance their studies. Half of the support is provided as a grant and the other half as an interest-free loan which you can repay after the end of your studies. In exceptional cases, parent-independent support is also possible.

You can find more detailed information on BAföG funding, the funding guidelines and the application procedure as well as the responsible contact persons on the website of the Studierendenwerk Tübingen-Hohenheim.

Information on other financing options (scholarships, student loans, part-time jobs, etc.) can be found on this overview page.

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 General Study Counseling Service contains presentations, materials, and workshops on various topics that may come up during your studies, e.g. strategies for learning, methods for efficient time scheduling, preparation for exams, changing to a different study program...

Out of these, the event "Semester management" (in German) is especially useful for new students at the beginning of their studies. It takes place during the orientation week.

There is also a special event "Semester management for students with a disability or chronic illness" (in German, with barrier-free access). Note that this event takes place as early as 28 September, even before the regular beginning of the orientation week.

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:

Quiz: University terminology

How well do you know the special words that are used at the University of Tübingen? You can find out in this online quiz (in German) and in this glossary (from the Welcome Brochure 2020/21, also in German).

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 to the Welcome and Help Desk for international students during the orientation week, and to the advisory services for 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.

General Study Counseling Service

If you have questions regarding the organization of your studies or if you are experiencing difficulties, you can also contact the General Study 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”.