The German university system is very different from higher education in the U.S.  There is a strong emphasis on research and writing, so it is important to balance your courses so that you have a course schedule that will work for you. 

You will be able to modify your course selection after you arrive in Berlin, but to identify courses for your application, it is best to work with Frau Gunhild Lischke, Cornell BCGS Language Director, in the German Studies Department.

Students typically take courses at the Freie Universitaet, but may take classes at the Humboldt and/or the Technical University of Berlin.

With permission, students may take courses designed for international students and/or courses in English.  Students in Arts & Sciences may only take one course in English if it is related to their major and unavailable in German.

Courses and Credit Approval

  • To find a list of departments and a link to courses, go to the academics tab on the BCGS website.
  • To discuss program fit, such as program type, expectations, level of structure/independence, or to compare options, get advice from Global Learning advisors and returned students. 
  • For assistance in selecting courses, see your faculty or college advisor. (Note: You may earn elective, distributional, minor or major credit depending on your major and college.)
  • Complete the Proposed Course of Study form that is part of the Global Learning application for a record of how your courses will count for credit at Cornell.

Academic Policies

  • Study the language of the host country (or take a course in that language) when studying in a non-English speaking country for a semester or year
  • Take the equivalent of 15 Cornell credits for a full semester, even if it is possible to take fewer and still graduate on time
  • Complete all the academic work and stay until the end of the program, defined as the last officially-sanctioned exam for any course you take abroad

Registration and Grades

  • You will be registered at Cornell and will earn credit for approved coursework for your semester/year study abroad
  • Decisions on the final allocation of credit are made upon successful completion of the course (equivalent of a “C” or higher—all courses for a letter grade)
  • Grades will appear on the Cornell transcript in the same format as they are recorded on the original transcript generated by the study abroad program or university. Grades are not factored into the Cornell GPA