Orientation programmes

Orientation programmes aim to support new students in choosing their degree programme. Higher education institutions now offer various forms of orientation programmes.

One to two semester orientation programmes

Anyone who is not yet sure whether and what they want to study can start with an orientation programme offered by many higher education institutions. In many cases, these orientation programmes are called orientation degree programmes. However, they are not degree programmes in the classical sense, but one to two semester programmes that do not lead to an academic degree. They are open to all interested parties who have a higher education entrance qualification and are intended as a decision-making and orientation aid.

Orientation programmes are usually interdisciplinary, so that interested parties can get an overview of the range of subjects in a particular academic discipline – in some cases even of the complete range of study programmes offered by a higher education institution. Furthermore, they help interested parties to find out whether studying is the right thing for them at all by providing insights into the academic way of working as well as the performance requirements of a degree programme. Participation in examination situations or written examinations is possible in some cases. This gives the participants a realistic impression of the requirements. In some cases, modules can then also be credited to degree programmes actually taken.

Due to the variety of orientation programmes, it is advisable to obtain information on the exact details from the websites of the higher education institutions or the student advisory services.

Subject-specific orientation programmes as an integrated part of a degree programme

If you already know in which subject area you would like to study, then subject-specific orientation programmes as part of a degree programme might be the right choice.

They also cover one to two semesters, usually provide an overview of the subjects offered in a particular field (e.g. philologies or STEM subjects) and support students in their choice of degree programme. Studies of these subjects usually continue as specialisations within the degree programme. Transferring to another degree programme in the subject area is also possible after completing the orientation phase.

The achievements acquired in the orientation phase can be recognised in full or in part.

Please check the websites of the higher education institutions or contact the student advisory services for details, as these orientation programmes also vary.