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Programs : Brochure

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  • Locations: Marburg, Germany
  • Program Terms: Academic Year, Fall, Spring
  • Program Website: Click to visit
  • Program Costs: Fall, Spring
Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring 2019 09/21/2018 10/05/2018 TBA TBA
Fact Sheet:
Language of Instruction: German Language Prerequisite: Must be at the 300 level
Housing Options: Residence Hall Minimum GPA: 2.0
Academic Area: Foreign Languages, Full Curriculum Credit Requirement: Must have completed 24 credits
Open to Non-MU Students: Yes Type of GO Program: Partner, Traditional
Program Description:
Marburg Header


Philipps-Universität was founded in 1527. The founder of the university was Philipp the Magnanimous, Landgrave (Count) of Hesse, and descendant of St. Elisabeth. Towering over the city is the castle, once residence of the Landgraves of Hesse and now used, in part, by the university. From the castle walls you can see the many university buildings scattered over the city. The view is a striking contrast of century-old sandstone buildings and modern steel and glass structures of the post-war years. Philipps University Marburg is considered one of the best in Germany and is on its way to becoming one of the most modern in Western Europe, however its surroundings have lost none of their original charm.

Marburg has approximately 86,000 residents, with 20,000 students and 6,000 people working for the university.  The majority of students in Marburg come from all over Germany. The Philipps-Universität also has more than 30 international partnerships and exchange agreements with other colleges and universities worldwide. The campus is spread out throughout the city of Marburg and some of the dormitories are just a 20 minute walk to town.  The city of Marburg is located approximately 1 hour (by train) from Frankfurt. 

Students may choose to study abroad at Philipps-Universität for either a semester or for a full academic year. The academic calendar is divided into two semesters (called Winter and Summer semesters).

Intensive pre-session German course "Studying in Marburg": Offered in September & March
This is a 4 week German language preparatory class. Student must indicate their interest on their application. This program is at an additional cost 

Fall semester (or Marburg's winter term):  Early-October to Mid-February

  • NOTE: Fall/winter semester study is only for students who are doing a year long program, OR are NOT returning to MU for the spring semester.
Spring semester (or Marburg's summer term):  Early-April to Mid-July.

Classes typically begin in early October for the “Winter” (fall) semester and exams are taken in January and February.  The winter break is usually from mid-February to the beginning of April when “Sommer” (spring) classes begin.  Exams take place in June and July and the “Sommer” semester ends mid-July.
Students are housed in seven dormitory buildings called the Studentenwerk. You will receive your room assignment on arrival day. These assignments are made by the Marburg housing office. Only some dormitory rooms are equipped with internet access. You will not have telephone, or television in your room.  In some cases, those services can be ordered.

The dorm rooms are single rooms with
  • closet,
  • bed
  • some have sink and vanity 
  • Bicycle storage
  • spacious outdoor area with seating and lounging areas
The bathrooms are communal and are not segregated by gender so men and women will be using the same restroom facilities.

The kitchens in the dormitories are communal. They include a shared refrigerator and some cooking utensils.  Every student receives an individual locker for storage. Please be prepared to bring with you or purchase upon arrival a set of plates, silverware, cup, bowl, kitchen towel, sponge for your own use.  The dormitory kitchens are actually supposed to be equipped with these items; sometimes, however, fellow students take them to their rooms, and the utensils remain there longer than they should.

The university provides all students with linens (sheets, pillows, and a comforter), but does not provide students with towels. Each dormitory also includes laundry facilities typically located in the basement.

The rental price includes the following services :
  • Provision of linen including cleaning
  • Cleaning of all common areas, window cleaning
  • Electricity, water, heating, garbage collection
  • Cleaning material, toilet paper
  • Repairs, maintenance of outdoor facilities
  • Cleaning of the communal kitchen
  • Replacement of lamps, fuses
  • Mensa I (city center) 6 km
  • Mensa II (Lahn Mountains) 8 km
  • Central Station 5 km  
Bus connections: 
  • lines 1 and 4 several times per hour, bus stop nearby.

Student Quotes:

"Some kitchens may be better stocked with kitchen utensils/supplies than others. Many students buy utensils and then leave them behind when they leave. The university does not stock the kitchens themselves. The people who leave dishes, utensils and supplies also have the right to take them back whenever they want to, meaning that one day they may be there and the next day they’re not. Every student receives an individual cabinet with a lock for food."

"Just like at Millersville, people in Marburg often do all their laundry at the end of the week. The dorm I stayed in when I was there only had three washers and dryers. I would advise not to wait until the last minute to do laundry, as they are often in use. Please note: Some buildings have courtesy hours and frown upon doing laundry past a certain hour; you may need to plan accordingly and check ahead of time if this applies to your building."

There are several cafeterias in university buildings where you can purchase beverages and snacks. In town there are several snack bars, bakeries and fast food facilities, and full service restaurants.

Breakfast is available in the bistro in the nearby university cafeteria (Mensa). Lunch and dinner are served in the Mensa as well, where prices range from approx. EUR 1.50 to 4 for a full meal. The bistro and the Mensa are located in the student services center (Studentenhaus). There are no cafeterias in the dormitories.

Kitchen facilities are used often by the university students to prepare their own meals and usually become a “social event”.  This is where you will get to meet a lot of people, not only on your floor, but from other floors and buildings.
Included in the “Accommodation” fee is a small meal subsidy/food allowance:  upon arrival you will be given a cafeteria debit card, and the card will be credited with EUR 50 per month. It can be used in the university facilities (cafeterias, the Mensa) to pay for food.

Student Quotes:

"There is no Meal Plan like there is in Millersville. However, every student gets a “U-card” (German: “U-Karte”) that he/she can load with money to buy meals in the Mensa. You also use this card to pay for anything you print out at the library as well. These cards can be loaded at machines located in the Mensa. Certain machines allow you to add 5 or 10 Euros, while others may allow up to 20 Euros."

Students select from the Philipps-Universität catalog to take their courses with the general student population. All courses are taught in German. Courses are not posted until just before the semester begins, however the university offers essentially the same courses each year. A minimum course load of twelve credits is required.

General courses in the areas of Language, History, Art, Music and Social Science are available. The course catalogue (in German: Vorlesungsverzeichnis) can be found at: online course catalog. Classes (on the Vorlesungsverzeichnis) are typically available at the beginning of June for the Wintersemester and at the beginning of January for the Sommersemester. Before departure you must work with Dr. Nimmrichter in the Foreign Languages Department to complete the MU German Department Academic Advising Form. Once classes have begun, students will have approximately one week to add/drop courses. You MUST contact Dr. Nimmrichter to finalize your courses while abroad. She will submit your necessary, signed Transfer Credit Dorm to Global Education, on your behalf. 
Registration for courses does not occur prior to arrival. Students register for classes in a completely different way than here at Millersville. You will need to go online and print out a Belegliste, which is basically a list of all the classes you would like to take and how many credits each course is worth.  After your first class meeting, you will go up to the professor and ask him/her to sign the Belegliste, which shows that you are admitted into the course and that you require a grade at the end of the semester (this would be a good time to tell your professor that you are an exchange student). Your attendance has to be proven by the professor with their signature. However, for courses at the Sprachenzentrum, you will register online after receiving the results of your placement tests, which you will take before classes start (these classes don’t start until a week after regular classes start, so you will have some time to get this sorted out). You will still need to add these courses to your Belegliste, but you will be unable to do this until you sign up online. Make sure your Belegliste is complete and accurate before asking your professors for signatures. Do not wait until the end of the semester to complete the form. No transcript can be issued until your Belegliste is turned in!  Your orientation leaders and advisors will explain more about this upon arrival.

Culture shock is often greatest in the classroom within the European system.  The German system is very different than the U.S.  Students are responsible to put in the necessary effort; there is no hand-holding meaning that it is an “adult” approach to learning. There are typically no assessments throughout the semester and grades are generally based on one final test or paper at the end of the term. Sometimes Professors require at presentation (in German: Referat) and this can factor into your grade as well. Note: Make sure that you tell your professors that you are an exchange student; they will not be informed that they have exchange students in their classes and will grade you just like every other student unless you tell them.

Regular Philipps-Universität and Sprachenzentrum courses range from 2-6 ECTS points with an average of 4 ECTS points. All courses will transfer back as 3 U.S. credits. Please note that no more than two courses worth 2 ECTS points or less may be taken in one term AND a minimum total of 16 ECTS points must be completed per semester. Irrespective of the total number of credits taken, course transfers are still subject to MU's distribution requirements. MU policy dictates that a maximum of 18 U.S. credits (6 courses) can be transferred back to MU per semester.

US Grade Equivalency Points at Marburg
A 15
A 14
A 13
A- 12
B+ 11
B 10
B- 9
C+ 8
C 7
C- 6
C- 5
F 4 and lower