Englisches Seminar

Frequently Asked Questions - B.A. IAS

Missing a question? Be sure to check the main FAQ list of the English Department for answers regarding more general issues, e.g. recognition of prior credits (Scheinanerkennung).

Which classes should I take in my first semester?

If you start your course of studies in the summer term, you should definitely do the Basic Module Literary Studies (consisting of a lecture with a tutorial and a seminar) and "Language and Use." You should also add one seminar or lecture for the Elective Curriculum. In addition, you can start with a class in Professional Skills.

If you start your course of studies in the winter term, you should definitely do the Basic Module Literary Studies, "Language and Use," and the Basic Module Cultural Studies (consisting of a lecture with tutorial and a seminar.)

What do I need to do for the Basic Module Cultural Studies?

You will attend the lecture Introduction to Cultural Studies combined with a seminar and tutorial. Please note that the combined seminar/tutorial is specifically aimed at IAS students - a difference compared to the English/American Studies program. You will need to register for both the lecture and the seminar.

What is the Orientation Examination?

The Orientation Examination (Orientierungsprüfung) is not a separate exam, but you automatically pass it once you have passed the following modules:

The Orientation Examination is normally completed at the end of your second semester. You need to complete it by the end of the third semester.

What is the Intermediate Examination?

Just like the Orientation Examination, the Intermediate Examination (Zwischenprüfung) is not a separate exam. However, the grade of the Intermediate Examination makes up for 30% of your final grade. It consists of the graded examinations of the following:

Please note that this list is based on the current examination regulations; for students who entered the program prior to the 2016/17 winter semester the module names and exams are slightly different. See FAQ: Modulquerprüfung and FAQ: Version of the exam regulations for more information.

The intermediate examination is usually completed at the end of your fourth semester. You must complete it by the end of the sixth semester.

What are the requirements for the Advanced Modules in the Core Curriculum?

The Advanced Module Themes in Literary and Cultural Studies...

In the Advanced Module Research in Literary and Cultural Studies...


When should I attend the lectures in the Lecture Series?

Each semester, the American Studies Department offers a lecture on "Issues in American Literary and Cultural History" that provides an overview of the history of American literature and culture from the 15th century to today. The series runs chronologically and has a four-semester cycle:

  1. The Colonial Americas
  2. From the Revolution to the Civil War
  3. From the Civil War to the First World War
  4. From the First World War to the Present.

During your course of studies, you must attend three of the four semesters of the lecture and then take an oral exam with one of the professors of the American Studies Department. The exam is 45 minutes long and covers all three of the semesters that you attended, but you will be able to choose topics that you find particularly interesting. This document provides further detail on the examination process.

Since the exam is fairly demanding and counts 20 % toward the final grade of your B.A. degree we recommend that you only take the exam in the last year of your studies. This means that you should start with the lecture series module in your second or third semester at the lastest (depending on whether you will go abroad for a year—start in your second semester if you know already that you will be in the United States in your third year).

What kind of classes can I take for the Elective Curriculum?

You enjoy a high degree of autonomy in selecting topics for the three modules of the Elective Curriculum. Depending on your interests, you can take classes in fields as diverse as history, media studies, political science, sociology, art history, economics, or law. These classes are outside of the core curriculum (they should not be part of the Cultural Studies or Literary Studies Modules), but should either relate to the study of America or deal with theories and concepts that are relevant to American Studies.

What are Professional/Transferable Skills?

Professional Skills (Schlüsselqualifikationen, previously known as transferable skills) are career-oriented skills. You must acquire a total of 21 ECTS points in Professional Skills. You can, for instance, take Studium Professionale classes offered by the university's Career Service. These span a wide variety of subjects such as journalism, digital humanities, international business and management, rhetoric and communication, academic writing, and many others.

In addition, you can get credits for software/programming classes, or language classes at the university's Language Center.

We also strongly encourage you to use up to 10 ECTS points for an internship (see the FAQ entry on internships).

What is the Mobility Option?

You can find more information on the Mobility Option on this special section of our website. We also offer an information session about the Mobility Option during the semester; details will be announced on the website. Note that when you first start in the B.A. Interdisciplinary American Studies Program you are automatically enrolled in the three-year program "without mobility option." If you choose the Mobility Option—and we strongly encourage you to do so—you need to enroll in the four-year program #270 (IAS bachelor with mobility option) by the end of the fourth semester.

Where can I find and how can I get credit for an internship?

Doing an internship will provide you with invaluable insights into one or several professional fields and give you the opportunity to acquire professional skills and experience. You will also greatly benefit from doing an internship in an English-speaking country. The German American Institutes in Tübingen and other German cities regularly offer positions for interns. To look for internships you can also check the Praxisportal run by the Career Service or consult a student advisor (Thomas Gijswijt or Nicole Hirschfelder). Our yearly Career Day will also provide you with ideas and the possibility to talk with American Studies alumni.

You can either do an internship as part of the Mobility Option or for the Professional Skills. In the Professional Skills you will be awarded 7 ECTS points for a full-time internship lasting four weeks; and you will be awarded 10 ECTS points for a full-time internship lasting six or more weeks. You should consult with a student advisor (Thomas Gijswijt or Nicole Hirschfelder) to ensure that an internship is suitable. You also have to hand in a 1,500 word internship report with one of the student advisors no later than 12 weeks after the end of the internship, together with a letter from your employer detailing the working hours and period of your internship. 

What happens when I opt for B.A. IAS "mit integriertem Auslandsjahr"?

You will get one extra year of 'Regelstudienzeit' since the BA IAS with "Auslandsjahr"/Mobility Option is a four-year program. Please note that you need to decide to switch to IAS with the integrated year abroad before the end of your 4th semester. You can get the necessary form from one of the student advisors.