Information for incoming international exchange students
Welcome to the Department of Politics and Public Administration at the University of Konstanz! Exchange students, that have been nominated by our partner universities, can apply for a one or two semester exchange in Konstanz. Have you been selected for an exchange by your home university? Please follow the step-by-step explanation about the enrollment process on the webpages of the International Office.
Information about the organization of studies in Konstanz can be found in the Incoming Student Guide 2021/22.
Below, you will find information about the course offer in Konstanz. Please read it carefully. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us (contact information on the right side of the page).
Course selection - Politics and Public Administration
The course offer at the Department of Politics and Public Administration varies from semester to semester. The exact course catalogue for each semester is published a few weeks before classes begin on ZEuS. To get an idea of what kind of courses are offered or to fill out your initial Learning Agreement for an Erasmus+ Exchange, feel free to browse through the course offer of previous semesters in the catalogue. Some courses (especially lectures) are repeated on a yearly basis. Seminar topics vary more often and are adjusted to current trends in research and the speficic focus areas of the researchers at the department. However, even if the same course is not offered again, you can usually expect there to be another course on a similar topic.
As the final course offer for each semester is published relatively late and the course registration process largely takes place at the beginning of the semester, we ask exchange students to fill out their initial Learning Agreements based on the course offer of past semesters. Once you are in Konstanz and know which courses you will be taking exactly, you should be able to change your Learning Agreement accordingly.
You can find the courses offered at the Department of Politics and Public Administration here:
(Should the links not work, you can also navigate to "Politics and Public Administration" under the tabs "Bachelor Programmes - Major Subject of Study" and "Master Programs" on ZEUS.)
You will see that we have gathered all courses taught in English in one place in order for you to have a better overview of the options. If you also speak German, especially on the Bachelor's level, we highly recommend also choosing courses offered in German. You can find those under the regular modules of the study program. Our MA program is taught entirely in English.
Wondering what the different course types mean? Read here:
Course types on the Bachelor Level
- Lecture (Vorlesung). These are the courses that students take during their first and/or second year of studies at university. They are held in large groups (sometimes more than 100 participants) and are, therefore, less interactive. However, lectures are supported by weekly tutorials, where older students help you go over the material every week. Usually there is a written exam (multiple choice or open questions) at the end of the semester. This course type is highly recommended for exchange students. Lectures taught in German are a good option, if you are not confident enough in your language skills to participate in a discussion, but would be able to listen and follow a course more passively.
- Introductory Seminar (Proseminar). These courses are taught in a smaller group (15-20 participants) and are very interactive. Besides covering a scientific topic, they also incorporate learning the techniques of academic research (focus in the Winter Semester) and writing (focus in the Summer Semester). Each student can only take one Introductory Seminar per semester. At the end of the semester, you usually have to write a research paper.
- Advanced Seminar (Vertiefungsseminar). This is the course type with the widest offer. Students take these seminars in their second and/or third year of studies. The group size is small (usually about 20) and classes are very interactive. At the end of the semester, you are expected to write a term paper.
Course types on the Master level
- Lecture (Vorlesung). These are Research Design I (Winter Semester) and Research Design II (Summer Semester). The lecture in the Summer Semester has two parallel options to choose from: one focusing on case studies and qualitative methods, the other one on quantitative methods and statistical modeling. It's highly recommended for exchange students to take this course during their time in Konstanz. Research Design I is not necessarily a pre-requisite for Research Design II.
- Seminar. The rest of the courses offered on the Master level are seminars. These are taught in smaller groups (max. 20 participants) and you are expected to write a term paper at the end of the semester.
The course type, language of instruction as well as the ECTS are indicated in each course description on ZEuS. As writing a seminar paper is quite a lot of work at the end of the semester, we don't recommend choosing more than two seminars per semester, if possible.
Please note that Bachelor's students are not allowed to take Master's courses!
There is no pre-registration for courses! We will explain everything you need to know about the registration process in info sessions before the semester start (during the Exchange Days).
Course Selection - Other Departments
Exchange students are expected to take at least half of their courses at the department they are enrolled in. For the rest, you are allowed to select courses from any other department. Feel free to click through the course catalogue linked above to see if anything sounds interesting to you. Please contact the respective Erasmus+ Coordinators to clarify if the course is suitable for exchange students and students from other disciplines:
Contacts at other departments
Humanities (Sociology, History, Philosophy, Literature): Melanie Hochstätter and Anja Christ (email@example.com)
Psychology: Serpil Hummel (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Law: Codrin Timu (email@example.com)
Economics: Susann Hartleib and Hanna Schwarz (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Course Selection - Interdisciplinary
The university also offers a wide range of interdisciplinary courses:
The International Office offers courses specifically tailored to incoming exchange students, which usually cover topics such as politics, society, economy and German culture. Take a look at what was offered in the Winter Semester 2021/22 here and in the Summer Semester 2022 to get an idea of what to expect.
Finally, there is a Centre for Transferable Skills, which offers valuable courses on topics such as communication, writing, sustainability, digital literacy etc. (Winter Semester 2021/22, Summer Semester 2022). These courses are a great opportunity to learn some relevant practical skills for your future career.