- 18 years of age or above
- Good academic and disciplinary standing at Penn State
- 2.8 cumulative GPA or better at the time of application
- Second Semester Sophomore standing or above at the start of the program
- 1 semester of college-level German language or equivalent
Brave the German winter in a fairytale setting and learn on through springtime at one of Europe’s oldest universities! 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. For students of German, the IGSP offers an Intensive German language course for twelve weeks and additionally a six-week comprehensive German literature and culture course in German. Excursions to various German cities supplement the classroom experience. The program is divided into three parts involving two six-credit intensive German language courses and one three-credit comprehensive literature and reading course.
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).
Excursions to places such as Heidelberg, Rüdesheim, and Berlin, that are designed to complement the classroom learning, are also included in the program.
Spring: early January - late May
Refer to the program website for the specific dates, if available.
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.
Education Abroad in Countries with a Penn State Restricted Travel Designation
In order to comply with Penn State’s International Travel Policy, students interested in studying abroad in countries that Penn State has designated as “restricted” for travel, a petition for a waiver must be submitted. Once a petition is complete, and if the student is approved for study on the program in question, the student may be asked to meet with the Director of Education Abroad and the petition will be reviewed by the Penn State International Restricted Travel Committee (IRTC). The necessary petition will be included in the online application process for this program. To see if your program is taking place in a restricted travel country, please visit the Penn State Global website.