The following page presents the various degrees that can be obtained at the Institute of Linguistics and Literatury Studies.

The Bachelor (from Latin: baccalaurea/baccalaureus: “someone who is crowned with a laurel”) is a so-called undergraduate course and the first scientific degree that can be obtained. A Bachelor's degree is a prerequisite to take up a Master's course. As only a single scientific discipline is addressed, the degree is also referred to as “Monobachelor”.

Credit points and lectures/courses

In order to complete a course of studies, it is necessary to collect a certain number of credit points, which are acquired through successful participation in lectures, seminars, exercises, projects, by submitting theses, and taking part in language courses, completing internships, or other accomplishments. Each lecture/course is assigned a certain amount of credit points, and you can collect points until you have acquired 180, allowing you to – in connection with submitting an adequate Bachelor's thesis – obtain the degree.

The study regulations govern how exactly the 180 credit points have to be acquired – subject to the respective course of studies. In order to obtain a Bachelor in Digital Philology at the TU Darmstadt, for example, you have to acquire 135 credit points in the compulsory subject area, which is divided into areas such as Digital Philology or Linguistics. The remaining points can be obtained through the elective required subject, which serves to focus on subject-relevant topics, and the optional subject, in which you can take a look beyond the scope of your scientific discipline, for example by attending courses/lectures in the fields of Political Science, Sports Sciences, or language courses – and, finally, through the final thesis.

Grades and graduation

However, a bachelor's degree is not only dependent on a certain number of credit points. The grades obtained during the course of study play a major role as well, as they determine the overall grade. On the one hand, this grade results from the final thesis, but also from the grades earned during the course of study in the various courses. However, not all events are graded, and even the graded lectures/courses can – depending on the course of studies – be included in the final grade, with different weightings. If you manage to collect all necessary grades and credit points, you are able to obtain a Bachelor's degree, which helps to take up a successful career or a subsequent graduate course!

By the way, the exact title of the Bachelor's degree depends on the respective course of studies. By obtaining a degree in a subject area of the Humanities, you will obtain the Bachelor of Arts, while a Bachelor of Science is awarded in Science or Engineering. If the subject has a pedagogical orientation, you will obtain a Bachelor of Education. For Bachelor's degrees, the standard period of study is usually six semesters, but that does not necessarily mean that you have to complete your studies in that time frame.

The Joint Bachelor is quite similar to the Monobachelor. The main difference is that the Joint Bachelor combines two subject areas instead of focusing on just one. How these subjects can be combined may vary from university to university. At TU Darmstadt, one of the subjects has to belong to Department 2, Social and Historical Sciences. You can choose from Digital Philology, German Studies, History, Philosophy, Political Science, and Sociology. The other subject may also belong to this field, but you can also choose Computer Science, Musical Culture, Sports Science, or Economics. Possible combinations in the Joint Bachelor of the TU Darmstadt would be, for example: Digital Philology and History, German and Computer Science, or Digital Philology and German Studies. It would not be possible to choose a combination of Sports Science and Economics, as the two subjects do not belong to Department 2.

Credit points and lectures/courses

Once you have enrolled for a combination of subjects, the actual studies are similar to the regular Bachelor's studies. In the scope of the Joint Bachelor, you also have to successfully take part in lectures, seminars, or projects in order to earn credit points. As for a regular Bachelor's degree, you have to collect 180 points for a Joint Bachelor – so the overall amount of work is the same. The important difference is that you collect credit points in two subject areas: 75 points each, plus 30 points that are obtained by submitting a Bachelor's thesis (associated to one of the two subject areas or designed as an interdisciplinary thesis) and in the optional area, for example by taking part in language courses, excursions, or lectures/courses from other scientific areas.

Completion and perspectives

Once you have collected the 180 credit points and passed the final thesis, you will be awarded the academic degree of the Joint Bachelor – allowing you to take up a professional career or a Master's course that is based on one of the subject areas of the Joint Bachelor. For example, a Joint Bachelor in German Studies and History allows you to aim for a Master's degree in German Studies or History – meaning that the degree gives you a bit more flexibility than the Monobachelor. However, as in the Monobachelor, the degree is not only dependent on the credit points, but also the grades acquired during the course of studies and in the final thesis, adding up to the final grade.

Here, too, the exact academic title awarded for completing a Joint Bachelor course depends on the chosen subjects: a Joint Bachelor of Arts for subject areas from the humanities, and a Joint Bachelor of Science for the natural sciences or technical subjects. At the TU Darmstadt, it is only possible to obtain a Joint Bachelor of Arts, due to the requirement that at least one subject from Subject Area 2 is required. Similar to the Bachelor's course, most courses of study in the scope of a Joint Bachelor have a standard duration of six semesters. However, this does mean that you have to complete your studies in that time frame.

If you decide to take on this course of study, you have already made quite a clear decision about your possible future career: teaching at a secondary school. In order to do so, you have to pass the first state examination (erstes Staatsexamen) at the end of your course of studies, followed by the 21-month teacher training and the second state examination (zweites Staatsexamen). But what happens during your course of studies before the first state examination?

At TU Darmstadt, you have to choose a combination of two subjects for the course of studies Teaching at Secondary Schools. These can be, for example, German, History, Biology, Mathematics, and others. In addition to the lectures/courses the two chosen subjects – which are not only focused on the subject area itself, but also didactics – you will attend courses in the so-called basic sciences, Education and Psychology, and in the MINT-area (MINT = Mathematik, Informatik, Naturwissenschaft, Technik – similar to the STEM acronym). This is to ensure that you are optimally prepared for teaching in terms of technical theory. In addition to this, there are practical school trainings, in the scope of which you will visit schools and holds own lessons. This is reflected in a pre- and post-preparation phase.

Credit points and completion

At the end of your course of studies, you will have to submit a final thesis. If it is considered sufficient, you are admitted to the final exams, which you have to pass as well. For successfully completed lectures/courses and exams, you get credit points – and you have to collect a total number of 240 credit points during your teacher training course. Apart from that, the grades from course of study are added up to final grade, together with the grades of the final thesis the examinations. The standard duration of study (up to the first state examination) is 9 semesters. After that, you can aim for the second state exam (zweites Staatsexamen), take up a Master's course, or pursue a completely different professional career.

The Bachelor's degree and the Joint Bachelor are basic degree. By obtaining one of them, or by passing the first state examination, you are eligible to take up a Master's course – a so-called consecutive degree program – to acquire further scientific qualifications.

However, you cannot register for any kind of Master's course. As a rule, each Master's degree program requires a Bachelor, Joint Bachelor, or first state examination in the respective field of study. This means that, for example, you can not take up a Master's course in German studies with a Bachelor's degree in Physics. Depending on the field of study and focus, you might also have to fulfill other requirements. For example, some Master's courses require potential students to present a Latin proficiency certificate, a specified number of credit points in the field of Literary Studies, or advanced language skills.

Credit points, grades, and graduation

The course of studies itself is very similar to the undergraduate courses. There are various types of lectures/courses in which you can collect credit points as proof of achievement and acquire further scientific skills. Likewise, the Master's course is completed with final thesis, which, together with the other grades acquired during the course of studies, determines the final grade. Unlike the undergraduate programs, only 120 credit points have to be earned to obtain a Master's degree. Depending on the course of study, there are also differences regarding the areas in which you have to collect credit points. The lower number of credit points also results in a shorter study time. Usually, Master's course have a standard period of study of four semesters. However, this does not mean that you have to complete your studies in that time frame.

As with the Bachelor and Joint Bachelor, the exact title of the Master's degree depends on the field of study: Master of Arts for completing a course in the humanities, Master of Education in the field of Pedagogics, and Master of Education in the natural sciences and the technical subject areas. If you wish to pursue a university career following the Master's degree, this qualification is usually the prerequisite for a dissertation project.