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Programs : Brochure

This page is the brochure for your selected program. You can view the provided information for this program on this page and click on the available buttons for additional options.
Program Description:



  • 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 review
  • Second Semester Sophomore standing or above at the start of the program 
  • 1 semester of college-level German language or equivalent

Program Description 

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.


Available Fields of Study

German, Literature

Course Listings

To find courses on the Marburg: Philipps University, Intensive German Studies Program program, follow the instructions on the host program page.

To see what Penn State students have previously taken on this program, see the Historical Course List, which is meant to be a guide as to what courses might be available and how they might transfer to Penn State. Courses listed here may not be offered during the semester you attend the program and the credit amount or course title may have changed. 

Note: You are not limited to choosing classes on the program Historical Course List. You should consult the full list of courses on the host program page before choosing a program.

Course Selection

To find appropriate courses that will fit into your degree requirements, you will need to work with your academic adviser. Suggested tips:
  • Research courses available on your program
  • Meet with your academic adviser to discuss potential courses abroad and your degree requirements 
  • Keep in mind that courses abroad may change or may be unavailable for your selected term, so you will need to discuss possible back-up course options
  • To register for courses on this program you will work with your host program
All students will take two six-credit intensive German language courses and one three-credit German taught comprehensive literature and reading course.

Academic Policies

  • You must enroll in a minimum number of 15 credits and a maximum number of 15 credits 
  • You cannot take any courses abroad on a Pass/Fail basis
  • World Campus courses should not be taken in addition to or as a substitute for courses offered abroad
  • You may not take sport or physical activity courses (e.g. sailing, bowling, yoga, etc.) abroad
  • If you are studying abroad in your final semester at Penn State, please note that Penn State may not receive your grades in time for graduation 

Course Equivalency Process

In order for courses from abroad to appear on your Penn State transcript, each course must be given a course equivalency. Please visit the Academics section of the Penn State Global website for information on the course equivalency process.  

Courses can be submitted for course equivalency before, during, or after the education abroad program, however, you should begin this process as soon as possible as it can take on average 2-4 months or more for courses to receive a Penn State course number. In some cases, it can be difficult to obtain syllabi from abroad before the start of the term, but when possible, courses can be submitted for review before departure. Talk to your Education Abroad Adviser about requesting syllabi.

Grade and Credit Conversion Scale

Grades and credit conversions from your host institution cannot be changed. They will be converted to Penn State credits and grades based on the following scales:
Grade Conversion Scale
Host Institution Grade Penn State Grade
 13-15 A
 11-12 A-
 10 B+
 9 B
 7-8 B-
 6 C+
 4-5 C
 1-3 D
 0 F
Credit Conversion Scale
Host Institution Credit Penn State Credit
 6 ECTS Credits (45-48 Contact Hours)  3 Credits

Housing and Meals


Housing is guaranteed and included in the program. Students will have a single room in one of the university dormitories (mixed dorms). Since Marburg has a historical center with mostly small, traditional houses, there is little space to accommodate the large number of students in the center of town. That is why university dorms are situated outside the city center and can easily be reached by local bus lines or also by foot.

There are common bathrooms, showers and kitchens on all floors of the dormitory buildings. Students should be prepared to bring, or purchase upon arrival, a set of plates, silverware, cup, bowl, kitchen towel, and cleaning supplies for your own use. Laundry rooms are available in every dormitory building. Bed sheets will be provided, but  students will need to bring or purchase a towel.

Almost all dormitory rooms are equipped with internet access however there are some that are some rooms that are not. There is free Wi-Fi in university buildings and in computer labs in the libraries during opening hours. It is recommended that students purchase a phone upon arrival to text locally and make phone calls.

Independent housing is not permitted on this program. There will be no exceptions. 


Meals are not included in the program and will be organized by the student. There are no meal plans at German universities, however there are several cafeterias in university buildings. In town, there are snack bars, bakeries and fast food facilities. During orientation, staff at the university will assist you in buying a cafeteria debit card (which can also be used around campus to print, copy, lend books etc.). There are no cafeterias in the residence halls.

Costs and Funding

Program Costs

Spring Costs

The cost of a program is based on Penn State tuition rates and partner institution fees. Due to the variety of locations and partner institutions, costs will vary depending on the program. Education Abroad works closely with our partners to ensure the most accurate cost estimates, however, fees can change quickly and without prior notice. Consult the cost sheets for your chosen program often and if you have any questions please contact your Education Abroad Adviser


The Education Abroad Office awards a number of grants and scholarships to students who participate in an education abroad program through Penn State Global. The application for the scholarships awarded through the Education Abroad Office is included with your program application. Eligibility is based on academic merit and/or financial need. You must have a current FAFSA on file to be awarded. There are additional scholarship opportunities through our partner universities, Penn State Academic Departments, and other sources. To view a full list of scholarships, eligibility requirements, and deadlines visit Funding Study Abroad.

Student Aid

Penn State students who plan to study on a Penn State approved program can use most forms of financial aid towards the cost of the program. Exceptions include work-study awards and some athletic scholarships. If you have specific questions regarding your aid awards, contact the Penn State Office of Student Aid

Withdrawal & Refund Policy 

Withdrawal and refund details are dependent on the timing and reason for your withdrawal from a Penn State Education Abroad Program. For specific details and steps on how to withdraw, read the Education Abroad Policies

After Commitment

Once a student has committed to a Penn State Education Abroad program, they are financially responsible for any fees incurred on their behalf. Therefore, if a student plans to withdraw from a program it is their responsibility to immediately notify the Education Abroad office, in writing; email is preferred. 

Regardless of the timing or reason for the withdrawal, the student will be responsible for paying the Education Abroad Administrative Fees. Additional fees from the partner institution will be assessed according to their withdrawal and refund policies at the date of the withdrawal notice.

After the Start of the Program 

If a student withdraws after the start of a program, any adjustment of Penn State tuition charges will be made according to the Tuition Adjustment Schedule as determined by the Office of the Bursar. Students may be responsible for up to 100% of program costs. In most cases, partial credit cannot be awarded for leaving a program before its successful completion.

For additional information on withdrawal policies, separate and apart from financial consequences, please consult the University Senate Policy on Withdrawal and Leave of Absence.

Life Abroad

General Information 

Studying abroad can be one of the most exciting and transformative experiences of your college career. It is an opportunity to develop independence, build cross-cultural competencies, grow as a person, and enhance your academic program. Entering a new culture can be challenging for everyone. You may ask yourself: is this the right country for me? What are their cultural norms? How will my identity be perceived there? What can I do to prepare for this experience? What will my daily life be like? Below are resources to help you answer these questions.


Penn State Education Abroad works closely with campus resources and our partner institutions around the world to ensure that students of all abilities reach their goal of studying abroad. While we cannot guarantee the accessibility of all program sites and locations, specific accommodations may be arranged on an individual basis. If you have accommodation needs or further questions please consult with the Student Disability Resources office and your Education Abroad Adviser. Additional resources are available through the Penn State Global Website. Disability information will not be used during the admissions process, but rather is meant to provide students with resources to help in planning a successful experience abroad.

Gender and LGBTQA

There are dramatic and subtle differences in how gender, identity, sexual expression, and sexual health are perceived in different countries. Before going abroad, it is important that you research the specific country or countries you will be visiting and have a full understanding of their cultural norms. Below are some resources to help you with that research and provide guidance for your life abroad.

Race, Ethnicity, and Faith

When choosing a study abroad location and preparing for your travels, you will want to be mindful of how your experience will be different than what you are used to in the United States. Your racial, ethnic, and spiritual identities may be interacted with and labeled by others differently than what you expect. Here are resources to help you prepare for these differences.

Non-U.S. Citizens

It is possible for non-U.S. Citizens to study abroad through Penn State. To do so successfully, you must plan early because this process may involve obtaining visas and other governmental procedures. Check with your DISSA Adviser prior to committing to a study abroad program and speak with your Education Abroad Adviser for specific information on the host country. If you plan on traveling to other countries during your study abroad experience, you will need to research and make plans to adhere to immigration policies for all of the countries that you plan to travel to and through. You are responsible for applying for visas for all applicable countries on your own. Advisers in the Education Abroad office cannot apply for your visa for you. Additional information may be available through your country's embassy and the consulate for your study abroad country.

Next Steps

Steps to Study Abroad

The planning stages outlined on the Penn State Global website will help you have the best study abroad experience possible. We recommend that you begin this process at least one year prior to the semester you plan on studying abroad. Visit the Steps to Study Abroad section of the Penn State Global website. 

How to Apply

Click the “Apply Now” button on this page to get started!

Application procedures can vary by program. Students should consult the application instructions available within each application. For more information, see the Application Process section of the Penn State Global website. 


You must apply to this program by the Penn State deadline. For a list of deadlines visit the Application Process page of the Penn State Global website.

Contact Education Abroad 

If you have general questions about Education Abroad opportunities at Penn State, please email

Peer Advisers

Education Abroad Peer Advisers are Penn State study abroad returnees who advise students on education abroad opportunities at Penn State. Each Peer Adviser can explain program options, give an overview of the study abroad process, as well as provide information about their experience abroad. Peer Advisers have walk-in hours in Boucke Building during the fall and spring semester when classes are in session. For more information, visit the Education Abroad Peer Adviser website. 

Education Abroad Advisers 

Education Abroad Advisers can provide information about courses, support services, application processes, housing details, program costs, cultural expectations, pre-departure requirements, and much more. Education Abroad Advisers have two types of meetings - scheduled appointments and walk-ins. For more information about how to meet with an Education Abroad Adviser, please visit the Penn State Global website

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For information about upcoming events, scholarship opportunities, deadlines, and much more visit the Penn State Global Events Calendar and follow us on social media!

Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring 2024 09/10/2023
Rolling Admission 01/02/2024 05/31/2024
NOTE: Start date marks arrival in host country. End date marks departure from program housing.
Spring 2025 05/15/2024 06/12/2024 TBA TBA

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Students will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.

Indicates that deadline has passed