Studying at FU Berlin

Spring at Campus Dahlem / Picture: Bernd Wannenmacher

Before Studying in Berlin

Online Pre-departure Preparation

After students have been nominated for an exchange program by one of our partner universities, foreign students will receive information from the International Students Office. The Distributed Campus Platform, a multi-media online platform, provides additional information on the German university system, student life in Berlin, and an online German language class on topical information.

Arriving in Berlin and at Freie Universität Berlin

Useful information is provided by the International Students Office on formal prerequisites and conditions for studying in Berlin, information regarding health insurance, residence permits, visas for study purposes etc. on the following service pages.

Enrollment / Registration

Normally the enrollment period for the winter semester ends at the end of September/beginning of October, for the summer semester registration is possible until the end of March/beginning of April. It is beneficial to provide all necessary documents as soon as possible after nomination. As soon as all documents are approved students will receive a preliminary enrollment which is a requirement to get the student ID (for cafeteria and public transportation), IT-account (for all FU Berlin IT services and computers) and campus management account (for course registrations) in time. Detailed information concerning the required documents for enrollment can be found here: Registration at Freie Universität Berlin.

German Language

Please note that most of the courses in the bachelor’s program are normally held in German. Some graduate courses in the master’s program are taught in English each semester. Only shortly before your arrival detailed information and course descriptions will be published online in the Lecture and Course Catalog (start of the semester).

Learning Agreement for ERASMUS Students

The Learning Agreement comprises all study units and/or courses ERASMUS-students take at their host university. It is an agreement signed by the student and by both the home and host university, which should be provided to the host university before arrival. By signing the Learning Agreement, the home university confirms that the courses chosen in this individual plan of study correspond with the study regulations of the home university. Therefore the Learning Agreement ensures that all study units will be approved by the student’s home university after completing his/her ERASMUS period at Freie Universität Berlin. However, the Learning Agreement does not automatically enrol you in the respective courses. Ideally, the Learning Agreements should be submitted only after having enrolled in all the chosen courses after the beginning of the studies in October or April. As the choice of courses often changes after ERASMUS students arrive at their host university, you should rather not sign a Learning Agreement before arrival. If your home university, however, demands a Learning Agreement before, you can send it directly to the departmental co-ordinator. Please note that this Learning Agreement can only be preliminary and does not guarantee for the availability of courses chosen. An example for a Learning Agreement is provided here (pdf-file, in German).

Course types and performance requirements at the Institute for Media and Communication Studies

All courses offered by Freie Universität Berlin are listed in the Lecture and Course Catalog. The specific courses offered at the Institute for Media and Communication Studies are listed and described in the Commented Course Catalog of the Institute (in German). In order to make it easier for you to choose courses and prepare your individual schedule, information on the different course types is provided. The Institute for Media and Communication Studies offers various types of courses such as V / Vorlesungen (lectures), S / Seminare (seminars), Ü / Übungen (exercise courses) and C / Colloquien (colloquia):

Vorlesungen (lectures) are prepared talks given by the professor or instructor in front of a relatively large group of students. In these classes there are no discussions but it is allowed to ask questions.

Performance Requirements: Regular attendance, usually a written examination at the end of the semester

Seminare (seminars) are classes for relatively small student groups in which questions about specific topics and areas are examined and discussed together with the instructors.
Proseminare (proseminar), Einführungsseminare (introduction classes) and Überblicksseminare (review classes) are basic level courses.
Seminare (seminars), Hauptseminare
(advanced seminars) and Vertiefungsseminare (follow-up seminars) are advanced level courses.

Übungen (exercise courses) introduce certain techniques or introduce research methods.

Performance Requirements: Regular attendance and active participation, independent study or group work, usually presentations plus written assignments (10-15 pages in basic level courses, 15-20 pages in advanced level courses)

Colloquia are courses for small groups of advanced students, i.e. to discuss final assignments or advanced research projects. They offer scholarly discussions on specific topics.

ECTS Points

ERASMUS and international students receive a Transcript of Records when completing their studies at Freie Universität Berlin. Grades and credit points are allocated according to the „European Credit Transfer System“ (ECTS):



Course attendance and participation (without examination)


Completion of a study unit in the bachelor’s program (including examinations/assignments)


Completion of a study unit in the master’s program (including examinations/assignments)


Active participation and performance in a course in the bachelor’s program (e.g. lecture including a written examination, seminar including a written assignment or exercise classes)


Active participation and performance in a course in the master’s program (e.g. advanced seminars including an advanced written assignment or similar)


Grading system

ECTS credits are translated into grades based on the following grading scale:

 Grades from Freie Universität Berlin

 ECTS Grade

 1.0 – 1.5

 excellent (A)

 1.6 – 2.0

 very good (B)

 2.1 – 3.0

 good (C)

 3.1 – 3.5

 satisfactory (D)

 3.6 – 4.0

 sufficient (E)

 4.1 – 5.0

 fail (F)

Scholarships and Funding

DAAD, Fulbright, and Erasmus Mundus are examples of organizations and programs that offer individual scholarships and grants for students who study abroad for one or two semesters.

While Studying in Berlin

Course Registration and Campus Management System

It is generally necessary to register for study units and courses online through the Campus Management System within a specified registration period (usually, within the first two weeks of each semester). Pre-enrolled students receive their ZEDAT-Account (general IT-account at Freie Universität Berlin) during their personal enrolment at the International Student Mobility - Welcome Services at Freie Universität Berlin. The ZEDAT-Account is required to use the Campus Management System! Students who were not pre-enrolled will have to wait about 3 weeks for their ZEDAT-Account.

E-Learning: Blackboard

Blackboard is the central Learning Management System at Freie Universität Berlin. Blackboard allows you to access teaching materials (documents, presentations etc.) from your instructors, communicate with fellow students etc.


Various libraries belong to Freie Universität Berlin that offer wide access to resources. The University Library (Universitätsbibliothek/UB) is located in the Henry-Ford-building and collects relevant literature from all fields. Furthermore, departmental libraries (Fachbibliotheken) offer subject-specific literature all over campus. The library for social sciences is located in the Institute’s building and provides access to literature in the areas of media and communication studies, political science, sociology and ethnology as well as east-European studies. The Digital Library of Freie Universität Berlin provides access to all sorts of digital literature and media (journals, articles, books, databases).

Further Information

After Studying in Berlin

Transcript of Records

Transcripts of Records are not issued automatically at Freie Universität Berlin. Students who wish to obtain a Transcript of Records have to complete a form and contact the Erasmus Office via email:

Which documents are required to obtain a Transcript of Records?

Regardless of who issues the Transcript of Records, the following documents need to be provided:

  • This completed form.

  • If you are registered for some or all of your courses via the electronic Campus Management System: ECTS credits and grades will be entered into the system by the registrar’s office (Prüfungsbüro) at the end of each semester. For all courses visible in your Campus Management account, you should bring a print version of the section “Grades & points” ("Noten & Punkte") along when requesting your Transcript of Records.

  • For all other courses, certificates (“Teilnahme-/Leistungsschein”) are issued by the course instructor or the division’s office (“Sekretariat”) at the end of each semester. Please make sure to let your instructor know that you need a certificate in time. In case instructors do not prepare certificates, you may use this form (in German).

Please note that it may take a few weeks until the Transcript of Records is issued.

The Transcript of Records can be issued once the student’s grades are released i.e. all exams and assignments are graded and confirmed by the instructor. In case students or their home university need transcripts earlier, preliminary transcripts will be provided. The original Transcript of Records will be sent to the international office of the student’s home university, students receive a copy.

Withdrawal from the Register of Students (Exmatrikulation)

Shortly before you finish your studies at Freie Universität Berlin, you have to go through the "Exmatrikulation" process which is needed for a renewed registration at any German university and for the refund of the semester ticket. Please hand in the application form for exmatriculation (pdf-file), duly filled in, to the Student Services Center, Iltisstr. 1.