Depending on your language level, semester and interests you may take courses from one or more of the following categories:


  • Arts & Humanities: Art, Art History, History, Philosophy, Political Science, Theology
  • Business & Communications: Business Administration, Economics
  • Pre-Professional Studies: Education
  • Sciences: Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Physics
  • Social Sciences: Archaeology, Psychology
  • World Languages: German


When searching for courses, you will notice terminology for Philipps-Universität courses. The guide below will help you to understand these terms.

  • VL = Vorlesung. Vorwiegend trägt ein Hochschullehrer vor, und die Studierenden hören zu—nur begrenzte Gelegenheit für Fragen und Diskussion.
  • UE = Übung. Verschiedene Niveaus, oft mit Diskussion und Hausarbeiten zur Vertiefung eines Vorlesungsinhaltes.
  • PS = Proseminar. Einführende Seminare im Grundstudium mit Referaten von Studierenden.
  • SE = Seminar. Für Fortgeschrittene, fast nur Referate von Studierenden, verbunden mit Hausarbeiten.
  • KO = Kolloquium. Gesprächsrunde für Examskandidaten und Doktoranden.


BCA students are free to take courses not necessarily in their degree program as long as they have the fundamental knowledge necessary for success in the course.  For example, a student would only be eligible to take a master’s level peace and conflict course if they could demonstrate prerequisite knowledge in the material.


You will find the teaching style similar to the U.S.  Some instructors will use a lot of PowerPoint presentations, while others deliver course content in a more traditional manner, with questions and discussion being an integral part of the classroom experience.  BCA students are discouraged from attending Vorlesungen since this form of instruction is almost entirely passive and there is often not even a final test to assess learning.  BCA students are encouraged to take Proseminare and Seminar since they generally require group discussion and outside research.


One final examination at the end of the semester is the most common form of student learning assessment at Philipps-Universität.  Sometimes mid-term exams are also included, and sometimes final presentations are the basis of the final grade.  Regular, active participation is expected to earn credit for each class.


BCA students must complete a minimum of 12 U.S. credits per semester in Marburg.  Courses are typically 3 U.S. credits, so BCA students can plan on taking at least four or five courses in Marburg.  Remember that BCA also offers its own courses to help students ease their way into the German university system and fulfill important graduation requirements back on their home campus.


Course registration for Marburg starts midway through the pre-semester term in Vienna.  At that time BCA students will receive detailed academic advising from the BCA resident director on how to find and register for classes in Marburg.  Students finalize their schedules during the first two weeks of the semester in Marburg.

In many cases students will want or need to change their schedules after arrival in Marburg, so students are strongly encouraged to overload their schedule for the first week of classes and then drop the classes they won’t need.  Be sure to bring contact information for your study abroad advisor, academic advisor, registrar or any other person who can approve courses at your home school.