International Programme Students
Studying at the University of Potsdam
Dear International Programme Students,
We are glad that you are interested in studying at the University of Potsdam as an exchange student.
Potsdam – living history in a vibrant city
In 1991, one hundred and twenty years of scholarly activities in Potsdam gained new strength with the founding of the University of Potsdam.
For more information, please refer to our Portrait of the University of Potsdam.
The University’s Campuses
Studying on the University of Potsdam’s three campuses is akin to travelling through history, architecture and the use of historical and modern buildings.
Organization of Studies
Academic Year at the UP
01 October – 31 March
01 April – 30 September
semester breaks (vorlesungsfreie Zeit)
mid-February – end of March
end of July – end of September
International programme students usually arrive on 01 October or 01 April respectively. The university holds an orientation and registration week each semester before courses begin mid-month.
Courses at the University of Potsdam are divided into lectures (Vorlesungen), tutorials (Übungen), seminars (Seminare), proseminars (Proseminare), advanced seminars (Hauptseminare), and the like. Before the beginning of each semester, please find via the following links an overview of all courses being offered at the University of Potsdam:
The institutes and faculties of the University of Potsdam also publish more detailed descriptions of the courses being offered by them. For more information about these course catalogues with commentary, please see the
ECTS Credit System Points
The ECTS credit system is based on a numerical scale (1-60). All courses are allocated a specific number of credits based on the amount of work required for completion of the course. These credit points mirror the quantity of work required for each course in relation to the total quantity of work necessary to complete a full year of academic study. ECTS takes into account the total amount of time necessary for each course, not just the time spent in class.
According to the ECTS, 60 credits represent an academic year, 30 credits represent a semester and 20 credits represent a trimester.
Credits can only be awarded after completion of the required work for the course at hand (including any examinations). This does not preclude the possibility of special arrangements.
The ERAMUS coordinators help ERASMUS students with their own personal course of studies (in accordance with a learning agreement) and are mandated to assist you with academic and administrative matters as well.
At the end of your studies at the University of Potsdam, you will receive a number of certificates of proof of academic achievement (Leistungsnachweise) listing the courses and number of ECTS credits. Please submit these to the International Relations Office if you would like them transferred to a transcript of records.