Philipps-Universität Marburg

Philipps-Universität Marburg

Philipps-Universität Marburg

The Philipps-Universität Marburg program is a one or two semester study abroad program that has been offered in Marburg, Germany since 1963. There is a German only requirement.

In the fall, students begin their studies with a six week orientation consisting of an intensive German Language and Grammar Review course and a Contemporary German Culture and History course. In the spring, during orientation, only the intensive German Language and Grammar course is offered. Also during orientation, students participate in several excursions to places of cultural and historic interest. After the orientation period, students select from the Philipps-Universität catalog to take the rest of their courses with the general student population. All courses are taught in German.

About Marburg

The Philipps-Universität Marburg program is located in the ancient university town of Marburg, centrally located in Germany. The North Sea coast and the Alpine peaks, the industrial "Ruhrgebiet" and Berlin are all less than a day's drive from Marburg. Excellent public transportation enables students and residents alike to travel easily to any city in Germany and to many European capitals.

Marburg's magnificent location is characterized by wooded hills and the winding curve of the Lahn River. In summer, Marburg offers boating on the Lahn, strolls through the castle grounds and the extensive forests encircling the town, and hikes to nearby villages. A swimming pool, the sports stadium, tennis courts, and riding schools supply plentiful recreation. In the winter, there is the opportunity to ice skate and ski in the neighboring winter resorts.

The cultural atmosphere of Marburg is that of a large city, offering, among many other attractions, the Marburg Theater, a concert series featuring international artists, many film series, the Kunstmarkt, and lectures by noted speakers. Marburg retains, however, the more sedate pace and friendly atmosphere of a small city of some 50,000 inhabitants (80,000 in the greater Marburg area). The traditional folk and religious festivals of Marburg and of the ancient villages surrounding it offer memorable experiences for the American student.

View a video of students who studied abroad in Marburg.

About Philipps-Universität

Philipps-Universität was founded in 1527, shortly after the beginning of the Reformation, as the first university in Europe with a Protestant theological faculty. Founder of the university was Philipp the Magnanimous, Landgrave (Count) of Hesse, and descendant of St. Elisabeth. St. Elisabeth's Cathedral, the first Gothic church on German soil, dates from the 13th century. Towering over the city is the castle, once residence of the Landgraves of Hesse and now used, in part, by the university.

From the castle walls one can see the many university buildings scattered over the city. The view presents a striking contrast: century-old sandstone buildings and the modern steel and glass structures of the post-war years. The Philipp's University of Marburg, one of the best in Germany, is on its way to becoming one of the most modern in Western Europe, but its surroundings have lost none of their original charm.


Most students who study abroad are traditionally juniors. However, students can and do study abroad anytime after they have completed 24 credits. Students should complete an application to study abroad one semester before wishing to go abroad. Please contact the Office of Global Education and Partnerships for an application and ask about deadlines. A minimum of a 2.0 GPA, a minimum of two 300-level German courses (proficiency test may be required), a $50 application fee, a $500 program fee, an official University transcript and two letters of recommendation from professors from your home University are also required. At least one letter of recommendation must be from a German professor. The Director of Global Education and Partnerships will then interview students and a selection will be made shortly after the interviews are completed.


Students select from the Philipps-Universität catalog to take their courses with the general student population. All courses are taught in German. Courses are not posted until just before the semester begins, however the university offers essentially the same courses each year. A minimum course load of twelve credits is required.

Regular Philipps-Universität and Sprachenzentrum courses range from 2-6 ECTS points with an average of 4 ECTS points. All courses will transfer back as 3 U.S. credits. Please note that no more than two courses worth 2 ECTS points or less may be taken in one term AND a minimum total of 16 ECTS points must be completed per semester. Irrespective of the total number of credits taken, course transfers are still subject to MU's distribution requirements. MU policy dictates that a maximum of 18 U.S. credits (6 courses) can be transferred back to MU per semester.

General courses in the areas of Language, History, Art, Music and Social Science are recommended for Millersville in Marburg participants. Please see the following link for the current online course catalog.

Housing & Meals


Program participants are housed in dormitories arranged by the university through the accommodations organization, “Studentenwerk”. Students live in the Studentendorf, which has seven buildings with a population of 800 students and is located on a wooded hillside overlooking Marburg. The American students are distributed throughout the "Dorf," so that they have the maximum opportunity for contact with German students. Students will receive their room assignments on arrival day.

The "Studentendorf" includes:

  • Single rooms with a sink
  • Common kitchens and bathrooms
  • Television rooms
  • Game rooms
  • Libraries
  • Laundry facilities.
  • Bed sheets (Towels NOT included)


Students are responsible for purchasing and cooking food on their own. Students have access to a kitchen to prepare meals or may choose to dine out at the Mensa (cafeteria), restaurants and cafes around their university. Like most German students, Marburg participants may choose to eat lunch in the Mensa, located about a 20 minute walk from the Studentendorf or they may eat in town. Snack bars and lounges are in the Mensa and in the classroom buildings. During the semester, an evening meal is also available in the Mensa, although many students prefer to cook their own dinner (as well as breakfast) in the dormitory kitchenettes.


Students may choose to study abroad at Philipps-Universität for either a semester or for a full academic year. The academic calendar is divided into two semesters (called at Philipps Winter and Summer semesters).

Fall semester (or Winter semester)  Early October - Mid-February

  • Exams take place in early February
  • NOTE: Fall/winter semester study is only for students NOT returning to MU for the spring semester.

Spring semester (or Summer Semester):  Early April - Mid-July.

  • Exams take place in June/July.


Studying abroad requires a student to plan for both academic costs/fees and personal travel expenses. It is important to keep in mind the cost of living and currency exchange rates compared to costs associated with living in Millersville. For example, living in a large city will be more expensive than living in Millersville. However, in other areas of the world, the cost of living may be less. Traveling while you are abroad is an additional expense for which you must also plan for realistically. Always keep your travel plans in financial perspective. 

To help students plan for all academic costs, the Office of Global Education prepares cost worksheets for all official MU study abroad programs. These cost worksheets take into account all academic costs associated with studying abroad. Some of the amounts listed are estimated for budgeting purposes (airfare, meals, and living expenses); others are actual fees (tuition, passport fees, insurance, participation fees, etc.). Global Education does not provide estimates for additional personal travel.

Cost Worksheet(s):

Below are the most recent estimated cost worksheets for the Fall and Academic Year semesters at Marburg:

Philipps-Universität Marburg Academic Year Cost Worksheet [PDF]
Philipps-Universität Marburg Spring 17 Cost Worksheet [PDF]

Cost Overview:

Students pay Millersville University tuition (in-state or out-of-state depending on residency), and the MU general and tech fees directly to Millersville. Students pay Philipps-Universität directly for accommodations, including a security deposit (collected immediately upon arrival), a Marburg semester fee (for a local public transportation card), technology fee and orientation fee.

There is an additional non-refundable, non-transferable MU program participation fee and application fee paid directly to Millersville, due at the time of application.

These costs do not include meals, mandatory health insurance in Germany, passport, visa, airfare, airport transportation, books and supplies, or incidental expenses such as personal travel, clothing or laundry.

Funding Your Experience

Students should investigate loans that may be available such as the application for Federal Student Aid. Scholarships have individual regulations, and students should contact their home institution's Financial Aid Office to determine if their scholarships are transferable

Please see Financial Considerations for more information.

Transfer of Credit

Students should work with their major/minor advisors to select courses which help them make academic progress. Courses may fit into their major(s), minor(s), and General Education requirements, where appropriate.  The Office of Global Education cannot provide academic advice or determine class equivalencies. 

After being accepted to study abroad, a Study Abroad Transfer of Credits Form and detailed instructions are  made available to students and must be completed before a student leaves. This form gives students and their major/minor departments the opportunity to determine potential course choices abroad and the MU equivalencies before departure.  With advisor, department, and The Office of Global Education approval, the Transfer of Credits Form can also be amended while abroad, should students choose to register for other classes that was not originally approved. 

After the study abroad program is completed and a transcript is sent to Millersville University, all courses taken will come back to Millersville as transfer credit. Consult the Undergraduate Catalog ("Transfer Credit") for details regarding Millersville University’s transfer policy.

To Apply

Refer to Global Education's home page at for the application release date and the final application deadline for each cycle. Approximate deadlines for applications are as follows:

  • Spring: mid-September
  • Year-long: mid-February

Before downloading and submitting an application to study abroad through this program, students are STRONGLY encouraged to research the program thoroughly and discuss their plans with the Office of Global Education, their academic advisor(s) and any family members or other parties involved in the decision making process.

To apply, click on the following link to be directed to the "To Apply" webpage. Be sure to read all instructions before completing an application to study abroad: To Apply webpage