Parallel Degree Programmes

A degree programme referred to as ‘parallel’ is one which enables students to simultaneously complete two courses of study (legal norm: § 60 paragraph 1, Act on Higher Education of the Land of Baden-Württemberg (Landeshochschulgesetz, LHG). If you’re interested in completing a parallel degree programme, you’ll find all the information you require below.


A parallel degree programme entails a significantly greater workload - the extra time commitment should not be underestimated. Although it’s possible to begin two courses of study simultaneously as part of a parallel degree programme, we would advise you to begin the second course only after the successful completion of at least two semesters of the first degree programme. It’s generally the case that the beginning of a degree course entails extra challenges; beginning just one degree course will mean extra time and effort. By delaying the uptake of a second degree course, and therefore the beginning of the parallel degree programme, you will be able to more reliably determine whether or not this is something you’re really required to do to reach your own personal goals. For certain professions for example, it can be better to acquire relevant work experience, rather than complete an additional degree programme.

Parallel Degree Programmes involving Courses with Unrestriced Admission

Heidelberg University allows all students to study two (or more) degree courses with unrestricted admission in parallel. All students are also able to select one degree course with unrestricted admission, and one admission-restricted degree programme to study in parallel. 

In both of the above cases, students can apply to complete a parallel degree programme by registering for a change of degree programme. Please complete the necessary application form for a change of degree programme.

Parallel Degree Programmes involving two Admission-restricted Courses

It is possible to study two admission-restricted course in parallel only if this is required for specific professional, academic or artistic reasons.

All applications for parallel study of two admission-restricted courses must contain an explanation of the particular professional or academic reasons that necessitate the choice of courses. The application must be submitted to the Student Administration at Heidelberg University. Confirmation from the dean of studies should be enclosed with the application in which the relevance of the stated professional or academic reasons for parallel study should be confirmed.  These reasons should be supported by a description of the student’s previous professional and academic pathway. Particular emphasis should be placed on previous practical or academic posts or achievements. 

The application for parallel study of two admission-restricted courses detailed below must be submitted to the Student Administration along with relevant form and required proofs.

Specific professional reasons for parallel study apply where a student can prove that his or her professional chances would be considerably improved by the completion of a supplementary degree programme, in addition to the current degree programme that he or she is completing.

  • Whether or not these conditions apply depend on the specific profession and the way in which the two degree programmes might prepare the student for his or her desired career. The individual student’s career plans are a decisive factor. There must be a significant, objective overlap between the content of the two degree programmes. 
  • The way in which the second degree programme supplements the first must be described in relation to the following points: Which requirements for the student’s desired career do the two degree programmes fulfil? Concrete proof of the sincerity of the student’s professional or academic aims.

Specific academic reasons for parallel study apply where the completion of a second degree programme will give the student an academic qualification enabling him or her to pursue a particular position in academia or research. 

The application must include an assessment of the academic significance of the student’s desired interdisciplinary course of study. This will depend on the whether the student’s desired combination of courses is of academic benefit.

Parallel Degree Programmes (Parallel Study) at two German Universities

It is usually not possible to complete a parallel degree programme which entails study at Heidelberg University and another university in Germany.

Parallel study at two different universities is possible in exceptional cases:

  • There is an existing cooperation between Heidelberg University and the other university.
  • The student can prove that he or she will be able to complete the full workload for both degree courses, and in particular, attend all necessary courses and lectures.

(This is generally the case where the student is already close to completing his or her first degree programme at the other university and must no longer attend courses or lectures, or is completing the degree via distance learning.)

The application for parallel study must be made in writing. It should include an explanation of the reasons for parallel study and relevant proofs.

Please include the following proofs with your application:

  • A list of all lectures and courses required for the current semester, including confirmation from a departmental advisor or a representative of the subject area, stating that the list “is correct and all lectures and courses required are covered”.
  • Agreement of the university.

Submission of application

All applications must be submitted to the Student Administration. 

If you require any advice or support in completing the application, please contact the Service Portal.

International students who intend to study a parallel degree programme must contact the International Student Advisory Office.