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Where does knowledge come from?

The new Liberal Arts and Sciences Bachelor program starts this October at University College Freiburg

Freiburg, Jun 06, 2012

Where does knowledge come from?

Photo: Kunz

Learning what knowledge is all about: the four year Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) Bachelor is the University of Freiburg’s first interdisciplinary, English-language study program. It starts in October, 2012 with a pioneer group of 50 students. The application period is now open and runs until July 15th.

The University of Freiburg is the first public university in Germany to found a University College. Drawing together expertise from all eleven faculties, University College Freiburg (UCF) is organizing new interdisciplinary study programs and developing innovative concepts for problem-oriented and research-based instruction. UCF’s main project is the LAS program, which includes four elements: Core, Major, Languages and Electives. The Core comprises courses on methodology and epistemology as well as on key qualifications such as research strategies, academic writing or numerical literacy. In the words of Dr. Nicholas Eschenbruch, UCF Academic Director, “this gives students the background that is necessary in order to grapple with interdisciplinary scholarly or scientific questions, as well as practical ones.”

In contrast to the many LAS programs in other countries, LAS in Freiburg includes a dedicated Major in order to enable admissions into specialized Masters programs. In their Major, students acquire in-depth knowledge in a specific academic field that is, in itself, interdisciplinary – for example Culture and History, Life Sciences, Earth and Environmental Sciences or Governance. All students will reach academic levels of proficiency in English as well as German and are encouraged to learn further languages. In their Electives, students can set their individual priorities, can do internships, specific project work and/or study abroad.

The program follows a problem-oriented and research-based approach to instruction. To a large extent, students develop knowledge and understanding independently – as if the key questions still needed answers. “They research material on the various aspects of a problem and discuss their results”, says Eschenbruch. “By doing research and developing questions and answers step by step, students acquire and integrate knowledge in an interdisciplinary manner.” The semester is organized in topical blocks of four to eight weeks. “This enables us to develop new teaching and learning formats and gives us the time and room for intense involvement with academic questions.”

The LAS program in Freiburg is aimed at German and international applicants with a broad range of interests who are motivated to deal with complex questions from a variety of scientific perspectives and are willing to take on personal and social responsibility. The selection procedure focuses on interviews and motivation.

Further information concerning the program and the application process can be found at:


Dr. Nicholas Eschenbruch
University College Freiburg
University of Freiburg
Tel.: +49 761/203-4416