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University College Freiburg Welcomes First Students

University of Freiburg Launches Germany’s First Degree Program in Liberal Arts and Sciences

Freiburg, Oct 04, 2012

University College Freiburg Welcomes First Students

Dr. Nicholas Eschenbruch (left), Academic Director of the University College Freiburg, greets the first students of the new bachelor's program Liberal Arts and Sciences.

70 students from ten nations – intellectually curious, open-minded, and eager to grapple with complex issues: The orientation week for the first students of the University of Freiburg’s new bachelor program Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) has begun. The university received 190 applications for admission to the new degree program from 16 countries, including Hong Kong, Nepal, Sierra Leone, Columbia, Iran, Italy, Belarus, and the USA. “We conducted 115 interviews with applicants in the space of seven days,” reports classical philologist and LAS academic dean Prof. Dr. Bernhard Zimmermann. “We’re thrilled about the great interest in the new program. Our rigorous selection procedure ensures that the LAS students fit the profile we had envisioned.”

The four-year LAS program, unique in Germany, is the first interdisciplinary undergraduate degree program taught in the English language to be offered by the University of Freiburg. It comprises four parts: Core, Major, Language, and Electives. In the core program, all students take courses on methodology and epistemology. In addition, they are taught basic study skills like research methods, academic writing, or numerical literacy. In contrast to many LAS programs abroad, the Freiburg model requires that students select a major in order to ease their transition to a field-specific master’s program. The students acquire in-depth knowledge in one of three broad academic areas encompassing several disciplines – Culture and History, Earth and Environmental Sciences, or Governance. All students are expected to have excellent communication skills in academic English and German and are encouraged to learn additional languages. The electives area of the curriculum provides the students a chance to pursue individual studies but may also be used for internships, projects, or study abroad.

The LAS degree program is the central element of the University College Freiburg (UCF), which organizes interdisciplinary programs and develops concepts for research- and problem-oriented learning in cooperation with professors from all eleven faculties. The program was approved unanimously by the University Senate at the end of September 2012. In addition to the LAS program, the UCF is also responsible for two further projects: Starting in winter semester 2012/13, the Interdisciplinary Track (IndiTrack) program will give bachelor students the chance to extend their studies by a year to gain additional qualifications in an area of their choice. The participants will have the option of taking courses from the entire spectrum of disciplines offered at the university as well as special lecture courses and project seminars on the theory and practice of interdisciplinarity. In addition, the UCF will offer the module “Fascination Science” from 2013 on. It will give undergraduates in their second to fourth study semester the opportunity to develop and present outlines for research projects in small groups.

More information:

Prof. Dr. Bernhard Zimmermann
University College Freiburg
University of Freiburg
Phone: 0761/203-3122

Click here for a printable version (pdf) of the press release.