July 12, 2016
Teaching and research at the international Jacobs University in Bremen concentrate on three Focus Areas. The Focus Area Health includes the natural sciences at Jacobs University. Among other things, the area deals with the solutions to global health and supply problems through research into bioactive substances of natural and synthetic origin, as well as sustainable processes. This is also the case in various English-language Bachelor Programs, including physics, chemistry, biochemistry, medical chemistry, geosciences, and environmental studies. The programs have a transdisciplinary structure as well as a high level of practical relevance, with intensive support from instructors.
“Contact with the professors is very close,” says Jong Chan Lim from South Korea, who is studying Biochemistry and Cell Biology. “They help us whenever we need help and discuss individual questions with us.” At the private Jacobs University, biochemistry and cell biology are taught together – something special that is done by only a few universities in Europe. Biochemistry is the study of chemical processes in living things; cell biology examines the structure and physiology of cells, their components, and their interaction with the environment. As in all the degree programs at Jacobs University, students are integrated in research projects starting in the very first semester.
“The laboratory facilities are impressive; the professors support us intensively,” says Qianyu Feng from China, who is studying Chemistry. “As a female student from abroad, it is made easy for me here, because the university is so international.” The Chemistry program encompasses modules in organic and inorganic, analytical, and physical chemistry, as well as materials chemistry. In addition, students learn about mathematics, engineering, and industrial requirements.
“I decided on a degree in Medicinal Chemistry and Chemical Biology because I have always been interested in biology, and it has been my experience that the professors here are particularly inspiring,” says Mihella Berhanu Retta. The young woman from Ethiopia first completed a year of orientation, the Foundation Year, at Jacobs University before deciding upon her degree program. It is based on an innovative, transdisciplinary approach, in which researchers from the areas of life sciences, chemistry, biophysics, and biotechnology work together. How diseases develop and how they can be combated successfully, for instance by developing new medications, are the focal areas of the degree program, which conveys fundamental knowledge about the interaction of drugs and the body.
Gautam Rai, who just finished his Bachelor Degree in Physics, was particularly impressed that his own interests were promoted and that he was involved in the research work of his professors. “My course of study was practically custom-tailored,” says he. The theoretical knowledge acquired by students in seminars and lectures, for instance in classic and modern physics, can be checked and supplemented by students in experiments in state-of-the-art laboratories. Although the degree program is very demanding, students as a rule complete their degrees within the standard three years.
The Earth and Environmental Sciences degree program is part of the Focus Area Health and deals with the development of the Earth and its oceans, climate change, raw materials for modern, environmentally friendly technologies, and particularly with the human influence on natural systems. Traditional disciplines of geosciences, such as geology, geochemistry, geophysics, oceanography, and environmental geochemistry can be supplemented by social sciences and economics. Students are familiarized not only with the evolution of Earth and ocean systems, but also learn about the sustainable use of natural resources. Numerous field trips within Europe, a stay aboard a research ship, and early participation in research projects are fixed components of the multiple-award-winning Bachelor Program.