At Jacobs University, we equip our Chemistry students with the knowledge, research techniques, and the problem-solving skills necessary for a career in chemistry and/or biotechnology, and for further studies at the Master or PhD level. The transdisciplinary Chemistry study program offers chemistry modules that include organic, inorganic, analytical, and physical chemistry; students are also taught the relevant aspects of mathematics, engineering, and industrial practice. The focus of biotechnology in this study program is to learn how industry can take advantage of biocatalysts and biomolecules in order to contribute to a more sustainable future.
Jacobs University offers study programs that comply with the regulations of the European Higher Education Area. All study programs are structured according to the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS), which facilitates credit transfer between academic institutions. The three-year under-graduate program involves six semesters of study with a total of 180 ECTS credit points (CP). The undergraduate curricular structure follows an innovative and student-centered modularization scheme - the 3C-Model - that groups the disciplinary content of the three study years according to overarching themes:
Study program structure
The ﬁrst study year is characterized by a university-specific offering of disciplinary education that builds on and expands upon the students’ entrance qualification. Students select introductory modules for a total of 45 CP from the CHOICE area of a variety of study programs, of which 15-30 CP will be from their intended major. As unique feature of our curriculum structure is that it allows students to select their major freely upon entering Jacobs University. The Academic Advising Coordinator offers curricular counseling to all Bachelor students independently of their major, while Academic Advisors support students in their decision making regarding the major study program as contact persons from faculty.
To pursue Chemistry as major, the following CHOICE modules (30 CP) are mandatory:
- CHOICE Module: General Biochemistry (7.5 CP)
- CHOICE Module: General and Inorganic Chemistry (7.5 CP)
- CHOICE Module: Introduction to Biotechnology (7.5 CP)
- CHOICE Module: General Organic Chemistry (7.5 CP)
The remaining CHOICE modules (15 CP) can be selected in the first year of studies according to interest and with the aim to allow a change of major up until the beginning of the second year, when the major becomes fixed.
We highly recommend the modules ‘General MCCB’ (7.5 CP) and ‘General Cell Biology’ (7.5 CP) to deepen knowledge in life sciences.
In their second year, students take with a total of 45 CP from a selection of in-depth, discipline-speciﬁc CORE modules. Building on the introductory CHOICE modules and applying the methods and skills acquired so far (see 2.3.1), these modules aim to expand the students’ critical understanding of the key theories, principles, and methods in their major for the current state of knowledge and best practice.
To pursue Chemistry as a major, the following 45 CP of mandatory CORE modules need to be taken:
- CORE Module: Advanced Organic Chemistry (5 CP)
- CORE Module: Advanced Organic/Analytical Chemistry Lab (5 CP)
- CORE Module: Physical Chemistry (5 CP)
- CORE Module: Inorganic/Physical Chemistry Lab (5 CP)
- CORE Module: Advanced Inorganic Chemistry (5 CP)
- CORE Module: Industrial Biotechnology (5 CP)
- CORE Module: Bioprocess Engineering (5 CP)
- CORE Module: Advanced Biotechnology Lab (5 CP)
- CORE Module: Scientific Software and Databanks (5 CP)
For students pursuing a minor (see below) the intersession CORE Module Advanced Biotechnology Lab (5 CP) is taken in the third year, as a specialization module.
During their third year, students prepare and make decisions about their career path after graduation. To explore available choices and to gain professional experience, students undertake a mandatory summer internship. The third year of studies allows Chemistry students to take Specialization modules within their discipline, but also focuses on the responsibility of students beyond their discipline (see Jacobs Track).
The fifth semester also opens a mobility window for a diverse range of study abroad options. Finally, the sixth semester is dedicated to fostering the students’ research experience by involving them in an extended Bachelor thesis project.
In the third year of their studies, students take 15 CP from major-specific or major-related, advanced Specialization modules to consolidate their knowledge to be exposed to state-of-the-art research in areas of their interest. This curricular component is offered as a portfolio of modules, from which students can make free selections during their fifth and sixth semester. The default specialization module size is 5 CP, with smaller 2.5 CP modules being possible as justified exceptions.
To pursue Chemistry as major, at least 15 CP from mandatory elective Specialization Modules need to be taken, of which one should have a biotechnological content (Microbial Engineering and Chemical and Pharmaceutical Technology). The following Specialization courses are offered:
- Specialization: Advanced Organic Synthesis (from MCCB) (5 CP)
- Specialization: Organometallic Chemistry (5 CP)
- Specialization: Microbial Engineering (5 CP)
- Specialization: Chemical and Pharmaceutical Technology (5 CP)
- CORE MCCB: Medicinal Chemistry (5 CP)
- CORE EES: Environmental Science (7.5 CP)*
*due to the size of the module students who take the module may exceed the workload of 30 CP per semester.
For detailed information on the contents of the Specialization modules, the reader is referred to the respective module descriptions.
Students pursuing a minor (see above) must take the intersession CORE Module Advanced Biotechnology Lab (5 CP) instead of a specialization module.
The Jacobs Track, another important feature of Jacobs University’s educational model, runs parallel to the disciplinary CHOICE, CORE, and CAREER modules across all study years and is an integral part of all undergraduate study programs. It reﬂects a university-wide commitment to an in-depth training in scientific methods, fosters an interdisciplinary approach, raises awareness of global challenges and societal responsibility, enhances employability, and equips students with extra augmented skills desirable in the general ﬁeld of study. Additionally, it integrates (German) language and culture modules.
Methods and Skills modules
Methods and skills such as mathematics, statistics, programming, data handling, presentation skills, academic writing, and scientific and experimental skills are offered to all students as part of the Methods and Skills area in their curriculum. The modules that are specifically assigned to the study programs equip students with transferable academic skills. They convey and practice specific methods that are indispensable for each students’ chosen study program. Students are required to take 20 CP in the Methods and Skills area. The size of all Methods and Skills modules is 5 CP. To pursue Chemistry as major, the following Methods and Skills modules (20 CP) need to be taken as mandatory modules:
- Methods Module: Mathematical Concepts for the Sciences (5 CP)
- Methods Module: Physics for the Natural Sciences (5 CP)
- Methods Module: Analytical Methods (5 CP)
- Methods Module: Plant Metabolites and Natural Products (5 CP)
The Module Plant Metabolites and Natural Products can be replaced with a CORE module from another study program in order to pursue a minor.
Big Questions modules
The modules in the Big Questions area (10 CP) intend to broaden the students’ horizons with applied problem solving between and beyond their chosen disciplines. The offerings in this area comprise problem-solving oriented modules that tackle global challenges from the perspectives of different disciplinary backgrounds and that allow, in particular, a reflection of the acquired disciplinary knowledge in economic, societal, technological, and/or ecological contexts. Working together with students from different disciplines and cultural backgrounds, these modules cross the boundaries of traditional academic disciplines.
Students are required to take 10 CP from modules in the Area. This curricular component is offered as a portfolio of modules, from which students can make selections during their fifth and sixth semester, with the aim of being exposedto the full spectrum of economical, societal, technological, and/or ecological contexts. The size of Big Questions Modules is either 2.5 or 5 CP.
Chemistry students take Ethics in Science and Technology (5 CP) as a mandatory module. For the remaining 5 CP the students can select freely among the offered modules. However, it is recommended for Chemistry students to take the module “Sustainable Value Creation with Biotechnology. From Science to Business (2.5 CP).”
Community Impact Project
In their fifth semester students are required to take a 5 CP Community Impact Project (CIP) module. Students engage in on-campus or off-campus activities that challenge their social responsibility, i.e., they typically work on major-related projects that make a difference in the community life on campus, in its campus neighborhood, Bremen, or on a cross-regional level. The project is supervised by a faculty coordinator and mentors.
Study abroad students are allowed to substitute the 5-CP Community Impact Project with 5 CP of Big Questions modules.
Communication skills and foreign language abilites foster students’ intercultural awareness and enhance their employability in an increasingly globalized and interconnected world. Jacobs University supports its students in acquiring and improving these skills by offering a variety of language modules at all proﬁciency levels. Emphasis is put on fostering the German language skills of international students as they are an important prerequisite for non-native students to learn about, explore, and eventually integrate into their host country and its professional environment. Students who meet the required German proﬁciency level (e.g., native speakers) are required to select modules in any other modern foreign language offered (Chinese, French or Spanish). Hence, acquiring 10 CP in language modules, with German mandatory for non-native speakers, is a requirement for all students. This curricular component is offered as a four-semester sequence of foreign language modules. The size of the Language Modules is 2.5 CP.
The curriculum of the study program is outlined in the schematic study plan: