At the University of Fribourg, students of German language and literature have access to the entire scope of the field of study, from the historical stages of the German language to today's standard language and dialects, from German-language literature during the Middle Ages to that of the present, from literary theory to literary media studies and its relevant educational theory.
In the bachelor programme, students acquire knowledge in three subjects: German Linguistics, which deals with the structure of the German language; German Medieval Studies, which focuses on all types of German texts during the Middle Ages; and Modern German Literature, which deals with German literature from the 16th century to the present day.
In Fribourg, special attention is paid to dialectology and research on language acquisition. Students also have access to interdisciplinary research in medieval studies as well as comparative literary studies.

  • Show the study programme profile

    Profile of the study programme

    Study of German involves learning about the science of the German language and literature from the Middle Ages to the present day. Students should enjoy reading and writing and dealing analytically with language, texts and other media, and have an interest in the historical and cultural interconnections of language.
    The study of German in Fribourg offers the entire scope of the field of study, from the historical stages of the German language to today's standard language and dialects, from the history of German literature in the Middle Ages to that of the present, from literature theory to literary media studies and its relevant educational theory. Studies in Fribourg place particular emphasis on the field of dialectology and language acquisition research and pave the way to interdisciplinary research in medieval studies and comparative literature studies.
    Students will be studying with us in a city of manageable size, at a medium-sized bilingual university (with approximately 10,000 students, of which 250 are students of German), located in a mainly French-speaking environment, but under the language conditions assumed for a German-speaking institution. The study of German in Fribourg is also open to non-native speakers of German who have a strong command of German. Approximately 15% of our students do not have German as their mother tongue. In Fribourg students can study German and French language and literature at the same level.

    Organisation of the studies
    The three subjects, which focus on knowledge of the German language and its literature, are German Linguistics, German Medieval Studies and Modern German Literature. In the bachelor study programme, students become acquainted with all three fields of study equally; during the third academic year, the priorities in terms of content are set so as to accommodate students' professional preferences.

    German Linguistics deals with the structure of the German language, its changes, range of variation, and use or development in the individual. In the bachelor programme, the fundamentals of structural, historical, cognitive and pragmatic speech analysis are studied. Courses on research in language acquisition, especially the acquisition of text competence, are offered regularly. Since in Switzerland, German exists in the form of dialects and a standard language, and has always been in close contact with the neighbouring Romance languages (which is especially clearly manifested in Fribourg), dialectology, sociolinguistics and language contact research are afforded special importance.

    German Medieval Studies introduces the student to the world of German texts from the Middle Ages, Arthurian Romances, heroic epics and love poetry, but also to chronicles and documents, letters, prayers and tracts, educational books and recipes. The studies provide access to the language and interpret the texts against the backdrop of a society that is characterised by oral and visual exchanges and by symbolic, ritual and ceremonial forms of communication, as well as by scholarly Latin written language traditions. The medieval studies are therefore focused not only on imparting knowledge, but on a differentiated perception of complex historical artefacts, the ability to formulate scientific issues from spontaneous observations, develop adequate and therefore plausible solutions to problems, and convey them so that others can understand them.

    Modern German Literature covers modern German literature from the 16th century to the present time. In this subject students gain the competence to stylistically analyse texts of various genres and media and place them in their historical context. Special features of literary studies in Fribourg are the opportunities for comparative literature study engendered by our proximity to the language boundary, and the focus on the representation of literature in different media.

    Learning outcomes and career openings
    This bachelor programme allows for unlimited access to master's studies in German language and literature and therefore, among other things, to training as a Baccalaureate school teacher in German. Furthermore, the bachelor degree provides direct or facilitated access to many master programmes in the fields of languages, communication and literature. Approximately half of the graduates of German in Fribourg are working as teachers at Baccalaureate schools and in adult education, or in research and teaching at universities, but also in such varied fields as international relations, cultural activities, public relations, press, radio and television, advertising, consulting and project management, etc.

Studies organisation

Structure of studies

120 ECTS credits + 60 ECTS credits in a minor study programme freely chosen, 6 semesters



The following Swiss school-leaving certificates grant admission to bachelor programmes at the University of Fribourg:

  • Swiss academic Maturity Certificate
  • Federal vocational or specialised Baccalaureate + supplementary examination of the Swiss Maturity Commission (passerelle)
  • Bachelor Degree from a Swiss university, from an accredited Swiss university of applied sciences (HES/FH) or from a Swiss university of teacher education (HEP/PH)

A complete list of all further recognised Swiss school-leaving certificates is to be found on the webpages of swissuniversities (in French and German only):;
Foreign upper secondary school-leaving certificates are recognised only if they correspond substantially to the Swiss Maturity Certificate. They must qualify as general education. Foreign school-leaving certificates are considered to be general education if, among other things, the last three years of schooling include at least six general education subjects, independent from each other, in accordance with the following list:

  1. First language
  2. Second language
  3. Mathematics
  4. Natural sciences (biology or chemistry or physics)
  5. Humanities and social sciences (geography or history or economics/law)
  6. Elective (computer sciences or philosophy or an additional language or an additional subject from category 4 or 5)

The general admission requirements to the bachelor programmes at the University of Fribourg for holders of foreign school-leaving certificates as well as the admission requirements for individual countries are to be found on the webpages of swissuniversities:
In addition, foreign candidates must present proof of sufficient language skills in French or German.
All guidelines are available at (only in French and German):

The assessment of foreign school-leaving certificates is based on the «Recommendations for the Assessment of Foreign Upper Secondary School-Leaving Certificates» adopted by the Chamber of universities of swissuniversities on 11.11.2021 (; The admission requirements are valid for the respective academic year. The Rectorat of the University of Fribourg reserves the right to change these requirements at any time.


Also offered as a minor study programme (60 ECTS credits).

Special courses of our programme are also offered as part of the Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education Level I (50 ECTS credits).

Minor study programmes to be chosen

Key points

Degree conferred

Bachelor of Arts

Languages of study

Study in German

Commencement of studies

Commencement of studies in the Autumn Semester (September) or in the Spring Semester (February)

Access to further studies