During Your StayCourse Selection
In general, courses and examinations are conducted in German in most subjects, especially at the Bachelor‘s level. However, students will also find a good selection of courses taught in English in a variety of disciplines. A number of Master‘s programs are exclusively taught in English. Here you find information on types of courses and course selection.
Types of Courses
There are three main kinds of courses offered at the university: Vorlesungen, Seminare and Übungen. While Vorlesungen are primarily lecture courses, Seminare require students to participate in discussions and sometimes prepare oral presentations. Proseminare are basic-level classes. Hauptseminare and Oberseminare are designed for students in the second cycle of their studies. In many departments, you must sign up for a Seminar at the start of the semester. Lastly, Übungen allow students to develop specific types of skills (e.g. translation, lab work etc.).
Note: If you are required by your home university to receive credit for a lecture course you can speak to the lecturer and request to submit a paper or take an oral or written test. Most lecturers agree to such an arrangement.
Exchange students have a relatively free choice in selecting the classes they wish to attend. We encourage you to take advantage of the extremely broad spectrum of courses offered.
To get an overview, please check the University’s information system LSF (Lehre, Studium, Forschung – Teaching, Study, Research). There, you will find also course catalogues of previous semesters, which will give you a good idea of the courses typically offered in the various departments and institutes when preparing your stay. The course catalogue for the upcoming semester will be available online a few months before the semester starts.
In addition to basic information like course dates, location and the number of credits awarded, you will also find course descriptions, which provide further information on the course content, prerequisites, or a reading list. If applicable, information on course registration is mentioned as well.
You will also find information on the language of instruction for each course. Consequently, you may search for courses taught in English via the LSF’s search function.
Please have a look at our LSF tutorial to get a brief introduction.
Note: In some departments, detailed information on course offerings and course registration may be published as a download version on the respective department’s website.
As you will quickly notice, the University does not have a uniform system of course registration. Registration procedures may vary from department to department or even from course to course.
Some classes require prior (online) registration, whereas for other classes showing up on the first day of class in order to sign up is sufficient. If prior registration is necessary, information regarding the specific registration procedure is given in the course catalogue.
Students who wish to obtain advice on course selection can seek help from the relevant departmental advisor or from their exchange coordinator at the International Relations Office.
Additionally, student associations (Fachschaften) within individual departments often provide helpful information on their websites.