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Foundation Year - Frequently asked questions

Program Portfolio

What does the Foundation Year at Jacobs University offer?

You can find our program portfolio here.

How long does the Foundation Year lasts?

The Foundation Year is a one-year program starting in late August until the beginning of June (two semesters).

In which language is the Foundation Year taught?

The Foundation Year and all its courses are taught in English.

Will I learn German during Foundation Year?

Yes, you can. During the Foundation Year you can take any language course you wish. Learning German is not mandatory but you can definitely fit in in your schedule.

Program Features

How does a curriculum schedule look like?

Students usually learn in lectures, seminars, lab courses, tutorials, workshops, and excursions. Professors and all our lecturers are happy to give individual assistance.
We offer orientation and preparation courses. You can select between all our 1st year undergraduate courses. Depending on you academic level, which will be assessed when you arrive to campus, you can focus more on orientation (undergraduate courses and Foundation Year Interdisciplinary Courses) or on preparation (Fundamental Courses, Mathematics, Academic English).
The Foundation Year program is designed to be as flexible as possible giving you the chance to set a focus or do both: find out what to study and prepare you Academic skills and knowledge.

Can I change my classes?

Yes after your first semester you can basically change your entire schedule. Please always make these decisions in consideration with your Academic Advisor.

Do you offer different English classes?

Yes, we offer different English classes: Academic English for Science & Engineers, Basic Academic English, as well as Reading, Writing and Thinking at University.
During your first week you will be assessed according to your English skills. If you are an English native speaker, you will most likely be exempted from these courses.

Can I do a SAT test during the Foundation Year?

Yes, preparing for and taking the SAT test is possible during the Foundation Year. We offer special training courses and the test will take place on campus. Test training and the test itself is included in the tuition fee.

Do you also offer classes for personal development?

Yes, during the Foundation Year developing personal skills is a very important pillar. Participating in such workshops is mandatory to pass the Foundation Year.

Support, Advise and Counseling

What kind of support do I get in the Foundation Year?

During the Foundation Year you will get the following support system:

  • Foundation Year Team: The Foundation Year Coordinator, Faculty Coordinator and Student Counselor are always there to help with any kind of question.
  • Academic Advisor: Each student will be assigned their own Academic Advisor who will guide them through all questions regarding the curriculum and courses.
  • Buddy System: Before your arrival you will be getting a “buddy”, a senior undergraduate student, who you can have contact with before your arrival.
  • Tutorials: In the Foundation Year we offer extra tutorials for certain classes such as Mathematics.
  • Service Offices: Benefit from our university offices for all your questions such as Student Records, CampusLife or Student Service Office.
  • Colleges: In each of our four colleges there will be a 24/7 Resident Associate as well as Resident Mentors.
  • Students: Last but not least, all our students are very helpful. We believe in our community and you can ask for help any time.

Campus and Environment

Is the campus safe?

We have a 24/7 security team on campus (porters) and Resident Mentors in the college. There is always a Resident Associate on duty at night.

What kind of activities can I do?

Jacobs University does not only offer an excellent academic education but also many opportunities for students outside the classroom. The various student-driven social and cultural activities encompass events throughout the year. Student clubs range from arts to sports and community groups. For more information, please visit here.


Does Jacobs University offer accommodation on campus?

Yes. Room and board are offered for all Foundation Year students.

What does campus accommodation consist of?

Jacobs University offers accommodation in four residential colleges on campus. Each college has its own dining room, recreational lounge, study areas, and common and group meeting rooms. For more information, please visit here.

What kind of food is offered and where do I eat?

Each college has its own server with a big variety on warm dishes as well as a salad bar, sandwiches and desserts. Vegetarian and vegan options are always offered.

Do I need to pay extra for food?

Room & Board is included in the tuition fee. It does not need to be paid extra.

How does a room look like?

You will have a single room equipped with a bed including a mattress, blanket and pillow, a desk and a chair, a wardrobe and a cupboard. You will share a bathroom with your flat mate.

Application Process and Requirements

How do I know if I am eligible for the Foundation Year?

If you obtained a high school diploma or local equivalent and possess English language skills equivalent to the B1 level of the European Framework you may apply to the Foundation Year Program. Please note that we cannot accept O-Levels or AS-Levels as an entrance qualification.
If you are unsure if you are eligible, please contact

How can I apply for the Foundation Year?

In order to apply, you have to complete the online application form.

What are the application requirements?

The Online Application Form: which includes an essay of motivation that needs to be entered directly into the form.

Your High School Transcripts: Please upload a scanned copy of your high school diploma and your high school transcripts in the online application system. All academic records must be translated into English or German with a seal affixed by the translator stating that the translation is a true copy of the academic record.

Proof of English Language Proficiency: minimum score of 65 on the TOEFL iBT / 5.5 on the IELTS (UK) / 46 on the Pearson PTE Academic or the Cambridge Certificate (FCE). If English is your native language or if you have attended a high school where English is the language of instruction, the test requirement might be waived.

A Letter of Recommendation: Please collect a personal recommendation from a teacher, faculty member, or from a school official. Recommendation letters should be written or translated to English or German. The letters of recommendation can be uploaded in the online application system by the recommender or may be sent via e-mail by the recommender to the

Where can I find (more) information about the application process?

Information on the application process can be found here.

When is the application deadline?

We have rolling admissions. You can apply until June 1st if you need a student visa, if you do not need a visa the application deadline is August 1st.

When will applicants be informed about the outcome of their application?

You will be informed about our decision within three weeks after the submission of your application.

Application Documents

Which documents are required for the application?

A list of the required documents can be found on the Application Information page here.

In which language should my application documents be written?

If your documents are not written in English or German, an official translator to English or German must translate them.

What should the letter of motivation include?

In the letter of motivation you should explain why you are choosing the program, what your background knowledge is, and what your research interests are. Also, we are interested in your future career plans. You should thereby demonstrate why you are a suitable candidate for the Foundation Year Program.

What should the letters of recommendation include?

Primarily, the letters of recommendation should include an assessment of your academic performance and qualifications.

Can the letters of recommendation be written by a teacher or counselor?

Letters of recommendation composed by teachers and counselors are both welcome.

Language Requirements

What document should I submit in order to prove my language proficiency?

Please submit an official document issued by TOEFL, IELTS or Cambridge.

I have a language certificate that is not TOEFL or IELTS. May I apply anyway?

Besides TOEFL and IELTS, we also accept the Cambridge Certificate B1 or 46 on the Pearson PTE Academic.

Tuition and Other Fees

Is there an application fee?

There is no application fee. You can apply directly and free using our online application form.

How much is the tuition fee for the Foundation Year at Jacobs University?

The tuition fee is 28.000 Euros; it includes room & board, semester ticket and campus card.

Are there any scholarships or financial aid available?

No, we do not offer any financial aid for the Foundation Year.

Dates and Deadlines

When is the application deadline?

We have rolling admissions. You can apply until June 1st if you need a visa, if you do not need a visa the application deadline is August 1st.

May I send my proof of English proficiency after the application deadline?

No, the proof needs to be included as part of your online application.

When do semesters start and end?

The fall semester starts in September and ends in December. Spring semester starts in February and ends in May. Prior to the start of classes, there is an Orientation Week during the last week of August. For detailed dates, please see Jacobs University’s academic calendar.


Do I require a visa to begin my studies at Jacobs University?

In order to find out whether you require a visa, please see our Visa Information System.

How do I obtain a visa?

After being admitted and having secured your place in the Foundation Year by transferring the enrollment deposit, you should check our Visa Information System regarding the visa application process in your home country. To have access to our Visa Information System, please visit here. If you require a visa, your admission documents will contain a confirmation (Zulassungsbescheid) for the German embassy which can be used to apply for a visa.

How long does it take to obtain a visa?

If you have prepared all required documents, the process can take from 10 to 12 weeks, depending on availability of appointments in each embassy.


Do I need a visa and how will I get it?

Please have a look on our website which we designed especially for all pre-departure questions here.

What do I need to bring?

Laptop, clothes, passport, visa, ID, medicines, toiletries, towels and bed sheets.

Do I need German health insurance?

Yes, you have to have a public German health insurance. You can get this via our partner insurance Techniker Krankenkasse or AOK. For more information, please follow this link.