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Last updated April, 2023
Language of Instruction
The University of Tübingen offers a number of special study programmes for international students. In many subjects some of the courses and classes are held in English, on international topics.
The Department of International Language Programmes, offers German language programmes for international students, as well as orientation programmes. Various literature classes and classes on German culture, politics and regional studies are a fundamental part of the semester programme. Four to six weeks intensive German language courses at different levels are offered three times a year.
- Academic Year: October - July
- Winter semester: October - February
- Summer semester: April - July
Course Load and Minimum Unit Requirements
- Minimum Course Load – 30 ECTS per semester
- Maximum Course Load – 30 ECTS per semester
Two or three Seminare (four to six hours) or two or three Übungen (four to six hours) and two Vorlesungen (four hours) is considered a reasonable load.
Accommodation and the Cost of Living
The University of Tübingen does not have university-owned accommodation. The Student Services Organisation (Studentenwerk) in Tübingen has a Housing Office which helps international exchange students find rooms.
Estimated Cost of Living
Student Visa and Insurance
Information on Student Visas and Insurance for students going on exchange can be found elsewhere on this website.
The University, City and Region
The University of Tübingen was founded in 1477 by Count (later Duke) Eberhard im Bart. In 1534 Duke Ulrich I of Württemberg brought the Reformation to Tübingen; two years he later established a Protestant Theological Seminary, the Tübinger Stift, as an academic bastion of the new faith in Southern Germany. This theological institution has been of unique importance in establishing the University's reputation, and has had a significant influence on the course of German intellectual history, particularly in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Since 1769 the University has born the name 'Eberhard Karls Universität', in commemoration of both its creators: Count Eberhard and Duke Karl Eugen.
Until the middle of the 18th century, however, the University was only a sleepy little institution in provincial Tübingen. Then Duke Karl Eugen began a vigorous program of reform and renovation which greatly expanded and improved the University's curriculum and facilities.
These improvements, in turn, became the foundation for further expansions in the 19th century: new schools (especially for the natural sciences), departments, institutes and chairs were built and created a suburb just outside of the old city. Modern medical facilities were established.
The years following the First World War had been particularly difficult, marked by social turmoil and eventually concessions to the political authorities of the Third Reich. At the end of World War II, however, Tübingen was one of the few German towns fortunate to have survived intact, and the University was able to quickly reorganize and resume research and education.
More recently, the natural sciences and medical schools were moved from the town centre to the hills north of the city. The University of Tübingen consolidated its reputation as one of the outstanding universities in Europe.
The City of Tübingen
"Tübingen does not have a university, Tübingen is a university", it is said. Almost a quarter of its population are students, and the university with the clinics is the most important employer. The university, founded in 1477, is present everywhere in the city whose pleasant location in the Neckar valley south of Stuttgart, and the lively historic city center contribute to the pleasure of studying and living here.
The town of Tübingen and the University are inseparably connected. Even in the 17th century it was said that when the University is successful, the town also flourishes. Then and now the alma mater has shaped and continues to shape the city's appearance and its social and economic life. Academic teaching and research banished industrial noise and smells from the city. Today, the University employs more than 8,000 persons and is thus by far the biggest employer in town.
The structure of the population is however, decisively determined by the more than 23,000 students currently matriculated at the University. With an overall population of 83,000 Tübingen has the largest 'student density' of all German university towns.
For the town the close union with the University is, however, not only a blessing: traffic jams in the streets, lack of parking spaces, housing shortage, and high rents are only a few of the problems local council has to face.
The University's constant expansion is also reflected in the town's growth. While the oldest buildings, which nowadays mainly house liberal arts departments, are nearly all located in the old town, new university neighbourhoods quickly developed outside the old town centre in the 19th century. In particular the specialization in natural sciences and the increasing number of students made it necessary to build university buildings, hospitals and student accommodation on the surrounding hills.
Many people consider Tübingen to be a town of great minds, a place where - for example, at the Protestant Seminary 'Stift' - the course of intellectual history was largely influenced. Here Kepler, Hegel and Schelling received their intellectual know-how. Others call Tübingen romantic because of its idyllic old town centre with cobblestones and winding little lanes. Some people also associate the town with poets such as Hölderlin, Uhland, Schwab, Mörike, and Hermann Hesse.
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