The Intensive German Studies Program (IGSP) at Philipps University in Marburg is designed for students who want to learn about German history and culture while immersing themselves in German language learning. The program is divided into three parts involving two six-credit intensive German language courses and one three-credit German taught comprehensive literature and reading course. For more information please visit the Intensive German Studies Program page on Marburg's website.
Built around the winding curve of the Lahn River, the ancient university town of Marburg nestles in a valley surrounded by mountains and forests. Overlooking the city is the castle, once home to the Landgraves of Hesse and now the property of the university. From the castle walls you can see the many university buildings scattered throughout Marburg. The city offers a number of cultural attractions, including the Marburg Theatre, traditional folk and religious festivals, and many concert series featuring international artists. The city is rich in history; Marburg's town hall, the Rathaus, dates back to 1524, and the Elisabethkirche is the earliest, purely Gothic church in Germany. Located in the heart of Germany, Marburg is less than a day's drive from the North Sea coast, the Alpine Peaks, and the industrial Ruhrgebiet. You can take the train from Marburg to any city in Germany, and to most European capitals, within hours.
Philipps University in Marburg was founded in 1527, shortly after the beginning of the Reformation, by Philipp the Magnanimous. It was the first university in Europe to have a Protestant theological faculty. The university started with 11 professors and 88 students in the buildings of a medieval Dominican monastery, which had become empty due to the reformation. Philipps University is well known for two particular students, Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, (early 19th century), who decided to collect fairytales that had been passed down from generation to generation while investigating the roots of the German language. A century later those fairytales were illustrated and bound together in a book that has been read by people throughout the world. Philipps University has also produced nine Nobel prize winners, including Robert Bunsen (for the Bunsen burner) and Denis Papin (the inventor of the steam engine).
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You will receive credit for all academic courses taken at this institution, and all of your grades from abroad will count toward your Penn State cumulative GPA. You may not take any courses overseas on a Pass/Fail basis. Students may not take sport or physical activity courses (e.g. sailing, bowling, yoga, etc.) abroad. These courses will not be credited at Penn State.
This program offers three courses in three separate blocks for a total of 15 German Credits. Students are required to take:
- Intensive German Language Course (worth six-credits of German) for six weeks followed by a one week break;
- A second Intensive German Lanugae Course (worth six-credits of German) for another six weeks, followed by a one week break and;
- Comprehensive literature and reading course (worth three-creidts of German) taught in German
To see what kind of credit students in past semesters have received for courses taken on this program, visit the Marburg Course Equivalency List. Keep in mind you will need to complete the course equivalency process once you have been accepted to your program and after you have completed your registration abroad. To obtain specific instructions on this process visit our Course Equivalencies page.To learn how the courses on this program can work into your individual degree audit, meet with your academic adviser.
Successful applicants will satisfy the pre-requisites established by the program
- Minimum 2.8 cumulative GPA
- Second semester Sophomore class standing or higher at time of study
Housing and Meals
Students will arrange their housing directly with Philipps University. You will live in a dormitory where you will be responsible for providing your own meals.
For more information on program costs, please be sure to review the Spring Budget Sheet. These budget sheets include information on costs that are billable to the bursar bill, as well as estimated additional costs. Costs vary by program, so it is important to review this information carefully.
Please note that tuition rates may vary depending on major and class standing.
Financial Aid & Scholarships
Penn State students studying through Education Abroad can use most components of their existing financial aid packages toward the cost of study abroad. This may include federal and state grants, VA educational benefits, federal student loans, and University scholarships and grants. Notable exceptions include work-study awards and some athletic scholarships.
The University Office of Global Programs also administers a number of grants and scholarships. Eligibility is based on academic excellence and/or financial need. There is also funding available for study abroad programs in diverse locations and for students from diverse backgrounds. In most cases, applicants should have a current year FAFSA on file with the Office of Student Aid. Funding opportunities may also be available through Penn State academic departments. For detailed information on financial aid and scholarship opportunities and application procedures, please visit the Funding Study Abroad section of the Global Penn State website.
For More Information
For more information about programs and education abroad at Penn State, we encourage you to meet with or contact our Peer Advisers. These study abroad returnees can explain program options, give an overview of the education abroad process, as well as provide information about his/her program. If you are not at University Park, contact your Campus Global Representative.
To learn more about the specifics of each program, schedule an appointment with the education abroad adviser for this program.
For the inside scoop on life in a foreign country, be sure to check out the Student Spotlights of Penn State students currently studying abroad.
How to Apply
If you would like to participate on this study abroad program, you will need to apply to Penn State Education Abroad by clicking the "Apply Now" button on this page.
You must complete the following materials in your application:
Visit the How to Apply section of our website for more information.
- Education Abroad Questionnaire
- One academic recommendation
- Signature Documents
Please note that you will also be instructed to complete an application with the host provider as a part of your Penn State application either at time of application or upon acceptance.
Studying Abroad with a Disability
Many students with disabilities successfully study abroad each year. Please note that other cultures may have different attitudes and available accommodations regarding disabilities. While we cannot guarantee the accessibility of all program sites and locations, specific accommodations may be arranged in consultation with our office, the Student Disability Resources office, and our partners abroad. To prepare for success, students are strongly encouraged to research the country and program location to consider if and how they will manage their disabilities abroad in advance of selecting a program. Students with disabilities and other diverse backgrounds can begin their research on our Diversity Awareness Abroad page.
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