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Study options at the University of Paderborn

The academic year is divided into two semesters. Most courses start in October (Wintersemester) of every year, but some courses can also be started in April (Sommersemester). Information regarding the starting dates can be found on the web page of the ZSB (central student counselling).

If you would like to study at the University of Paderborn, the following degrees are possible: Bachelor, Master, State exams and Doctorate. The length of your studies depends on the degree, but ranges generally between 6 and 10 semesters. For each program, there are study regulations that determine which courses are mandatory. However, students have a choice with regard to their subsidiary subjects and, within their chosen program, a wide range of optional courses they can take according to interest.

Your study regulations also determine the minimum number of semesters you have to study and the type and number of academic achievements (credit points / grades) you need before you can register for your final exam. In some programs (e. g. economics), you are required to finish certain courses by a certain time.


Different degree courses lead to different kinds of degrees. Our course catalogue contains information on which degree is offered for a course you may be interested in. The following degrees are awarded by the University of Paderborn:


The German further education system has moved away from the traditional "Diplom" and "Magister" programs towards the Anglo-Saxon System of Bachelor and Master programs. This is meant to ensure international compatibility of university degrees and allow a better mobility in studies and work.

The "bachelor" as the first degree qualifying for a profession can be completed after around three years of study. A "master" can then be achieved over the course of four additional semesters. Normally, admission to a master program is only possible if you have already gained a bachelor's degree in a related area of study. The faculty will decide about the equivalency of a degree completed outside Germany.

Teacher Training Courses/ State Exam

These programs constitute the state-supervised first phase of teacher training in Germany. In North Rhine Westphalia there are different courses for future teachers at the "Grundschule", "Haupt- und Realschule", "Gymnasium" and "Berufsschule". Since winter semester 2011/12, teacher training courses have been adapted to the Bachelor/Master system.


A Doctorate in Germany is a very individual scientific work, completed under the supervision of a professor. You should find a professor in the applicable faculty who is willing to support your doctorate. Applicants should already have completed a degree that enables them to move on to a doctorate in their home country; grades should be above average. The doctoral degree regulations for each faculty will give you more information. Admission to a doctorate program can be subject to the successful completion of additional courses in Paderborn. The completion of a doctorate normally takes between three and five years; financing can also be an issue for such a long-term intensive work.


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