You are here: Home Prospective Students Questions & Answers

Questions & Answers

Prospective Students stripe



What is the Liberal Arts and Sciences program in Freiburg about? 

LAS is the first four-year, English-taught Bachelor program of its kind at a German university. It was established in 2012 at the University of Freiburg and is hosted by University College Freiburg, an interfaculty center for international, interdisciplinary teaching and learning. What makes LAS special is that it reaches across academic fields while also offering discipline-oriented academic training in one particular Major. It encourages students to critically reflect on science and knowledge and to become skilled communicators and creative shapers of their environment. Focusing on the education of the whole person, it creates opportunities for personal development into motivated and responsible human beings.

What type of student is LAS aimed at? 

The LAS program is aimed at students with broad academic curiosity. We are looking for applicants who value academic rigor and in-depth study, intellectual creativity and exchange, and would like to give their studies an individual emphasis. If, on top of that, you enjoy an international, hard-working and inspiring environment, LAS is probably for you. 

I already know I like one subject a lot more than others. Is LAS right for me? 

If you are looking to get maximum immersion in one subject, you should choose a disciplinary program. If you are interested in one of the subjects covered in our Majors and in academic inquiry across disciplines, you should consider our LAS program.

I have many interests and do not really know what I want to study. Is LAS right for me? 

Be careful. LAS offers choices, but also requires that you progressively develop and focus your studies. This means you will have to make decisions and let some things go. While the program offers guidance in this process, if you are easily paralyzed by indecision, LAS is probably not the right program for you.

Does LAS allow me to study anything I want?

No, and for a good reason. While breadth and choice are important for the Liberal Arts and Sciences Program, choice without structure can be arbitrary. Therefore, our Core includes courses all LAS students must take. Also, every student must choose one of the following Majors after their first year of studies: Environmental and Sustainability Sciences, Life Sciences, Governance, or Culture & History. The Major combines structure and choice. And, in your Electives, you have a wide range of opportunities and topics to choose from.

What role do the natural sciences play in the LAS program? What are the benefits of majoring in a natural science at UCF?

The Freiburg LAS program has two natural sciences Majors: Life Sciences and Environmental and Sustainability Sciences. Studying natural sciences in an LAS context provides you with knowledge and skills that are important for working in the sciences in general and the Life Sciences and the Environmental and Sustainability Sciences in particular. Beyond that, we draw connections to the Social Sciences and Humanities. This broader, interdisciplinary framework is usually not covered in a regular sciences program. For example, when majoring in Environmental and Sustainability Sciences or Life Sciences you are also able to attend courses in the area of Governance to better understand, articulate, and make decisions concerning our Environment and Health. Thanks to this academic cross training you can better develop your ability to acquire and organize facts and opinions, to analyze and present them, and to synthesize scientific information and ideas. You will thereby improve your critical and independent thinking and be in a position to bridge disciplines and cultures.

The standard German Bachelor's degree takes three years. Why does LAS take four?

LAS at UCF is a coherent, four-year program that includes breadth and depth as well as reflection on science and knowledge. It has a progressive storyline that covers academic competencies and skills training (e.g. academic and professional communication or intercultural and language skills). On top of that, we want you to build a sound academic specialization in your Major, have time to develop personally and academically, and have room for your own intellectual exploration.

Will I have the opportunity to study abroad during the LAS program in Freiburg?

About three quarters of our students spend one or two semesters abroad. The University of Freiburg has a broad range of exchange programs with partners all over the world open to LAS students. Furthermore, UCF has established structured exchanges with several partner institutions, e.g. University College Maastricht, the leading University College in the Netherlands, and Schreyer Honors College at Penn State University. We also have Erasmus partnerships with universities in England, France, the Netherlands, and Spain. Your third LAS year is especially suited for studying abroad. UCF will provide support in organizing a semester or a year abroad, especially concerning integration into your LAS curriculum and credit recognition. It is the students' responsibility to inform themselves and apply for the most appropriate programs and destinations.

LAS programs are well established in North America and currently emerging in Europe. Where does the Freiburg LAS program fit in?

With LAS programs in North America and around the world we share an emphasis on a broad curriculum, mandatory skills training, and the education of the whole person. At the same time, the LAS program in Freiburg has specific characteristics: (1) We go directly into academic training, while many US programs spend considerable time on the general education most Europeans are expected to get in high school. (2) We follow the conviction that understanding how science works is the key to an interdisciplinary education and place a strong focus on the reflection on science and knowledge. In comparison to other programs we place less emphasis on individual choice in this area. (3) Finally, LAS in Freiburg is a small, non-residential program that offers students the chance to fully integrate themselves into the city and the University of Freiburg – one of the leading research universities in Germany with 11 faculties and 25,000 students. LAS in Freiburg thus has a very different atmosphere from the larger, residential colleges elsewhere. 

What is the University of Freiburg like? How are UCF and the LAS program integrated into the University?

The University of Freiburg was founded in 1457, UCF was founded in 2012 as a central university institution. The University of Freiburg is a research university with 11 faculties, covering the whole spectrum of subjects from Philosophy and Theology to Engineering and Computer Science. It has repeatedly achieved highest ranks in nationwide competitions in research, teaching, and continuing education. You could hardly find a better institutional context for the first University College in Germany and for the LAS program at UCF that depends on research and teaching expertise from a broad range of academic fields. The majority of LAS courses are specifically created for and administered by UCF. At the same time, you will, as a regular student of the university, be able to attend other courses, talks, and lectures, use central facilities like the university library, participate in the university sports program or join any number of student societies and activities.

Sounds great – but is Freiburg also a good place to live, beyond the university?

Yes! Freiburg is widely considered one of the most attractive mid-size cities in Germany. It has a charming historical setting, a pleasantly mild climate, and the Black Forest is in easy reach for hiking in summer and skiing in winter. Freiburg has an open-minded atmosphere and a lively cultural scene. A lot of students choose Freiburg for its close-knit university community. As a "Green City", it is especially noted for its focus on ecology and sustainability. European cities like Zurich, Frankfurt, or Strasbourg are all within a two-hour train ride, while Paris, Milan, and the Mediterranean make for convenient weekend destinations. France is just a twenty minute drive away, Switzerland only a little more, so we are truly at the heart of Europe.

What does studying LAS in Freiburg cost?

University College Freiburg and its LAS program are part of the University of Freiburg. Being a public university funded by the German state, there are no tuition fees apart from a registration fee of about €161 per semester. This also means that UCF does not provide housing or scholarships for its students. Living and accommodation costs amount to approximately €750 per month. For more information on finances, housing, and scholarships, please see our website.

Tuition Fees: The State of Baden-Württemberg charges tuition fees for non-EU students (€1,500 per semester) and for students seeking a second Bachelor or Master's degree (€650 per semester). For more information, including exemptions, please see the University Student Service Center.

The fee of €1,500 per semester for non-EU students is (very) low by international comparison. Furthermore, part of the proceeds are invested in support measures for non-EU students at the University of Freiburg.


How do you select students?

We receive more applications than our annual intake of about 80 students. The LAS selection process is therefore competitive. As laid out in the LAS Admissions Regulations ("Auswahlsatzung"), it is based on academic achievements (e.g. grade of your University entrance qualification) and on your personal motivation for studying LAS in Freiburg. The program is English-taught, meaning you must provide proof of adequate English proficiency. Please consult the Application & Admissions section of our website for full details concerning the application requirements as well as the selection and admissions processes.


What do I have to take into consideration as an international applicant?

First of all, please see our information for international students.

International applicants do not need to know German in order to apply. We want to attract students from all over the world who are interested in LAS regardless of their language and cultural background. In the course of your LAS studies you are expected to study German and to pass an exam equivalent to at least A2 on the CEFR scale after your second year.

Concerning the application process itself, there are some differences as compared to the English-speaking world. Most importantly, international applicants as well as German applicants with non-German University entrance qualifications need to make sure that their qualifications are recognized as equivalent to the German "Abitur". Please refer to our website for more information and inquire at the university department for International Admissions and Services (IAS) for questions concerning diploma recognition.

I am currently enrolled in another study program. Can I join the LAS program in a higher semester?

LAS has a limited number of places and transfer from other study programs into a higher LAS semester is currently not possible. Furthermore, LAS is a coherent program with a Foundational First Year of studies. If you are already studying at another university and are interested in starting LAS, please apply for the first year of the LAS program. Courses and achievements from your previous program can be considered for credit recognition once you have started the LAS program.

I am interested in studying at UCF for 1 or 2 semesters as an exchange student. How can I apply?

Unfortunately, it is only possible to study at UCF as an exchange student if you are an incoming student on one of UCF's exchange programs.

What can I do with a LAS degree later on? What academic and professional options will I have?

While we do not know what you will do with your LAS degree, we can give you information on what others are doing. Liberal education programs do not prepare graduates for one specific trajectory or career. Rather, LAS is a structured opportunity for students to develop and focus their interests and competencies in a broad range of professional fields. Based on experiences since our 1st LAS graduation in 2016, we can proudly say that UCF graduates are doing meaningful and interesting things!

Many graduates pursue further academic training in Master and PhD programs. Some have already graduated from Master programs and are now fully employed. More detailed information, like Master programs and work fields from our alumni, is available under Career Perspectives.

LAS students are prepared for responsibilities and careers in international environments that demand fast and efficient adaptation to varying and complex challenges on a day to day basis. And the Freiburg LAS curriculum is structured in such a way as to enable entrance into Master's programs. However, admission into every M.A. or M.Sc. program is not guaranteed, and it is the students' responsibility to – with our guidance – look into appropriate programs and their admission criteria early on.

The most important ingredient is you: LAS gives you the opportunity to shape your own education. It also challenges you to use that opportunity to set out towards career goals that, ultimately, only you yourself can define. Here you can find more LAS Stories from our students and graduates.

Do you have more questions?

Contact us!