• What is a Liberal Education?
  • What is the profile of the Studium Individuale?
  • How does the Studium Individuale relate to other parts of Leuphana University of Lüneburg?
  • Who is studying the Studium Individuale?

FAQ: B.A. Studium Individuale at Leuphana College


What is a Liberal Education?

A Liberal education is a specific approach to higher education at universities and colleges. Its aim is to prepare students to be creative, purposeful and responsible agents in many walks of life.

A Liberal Education is less marked by studying a certain set of subjects or methods, but by other characteristics:

  • It focuses, above everything else, on the personal development of each student.
  • It emphasizes on breadth of learning, while allowing students to gain depth in chosen fields.
  • It provides an intensive, personal and collaborative learning environment.
  • It cultivates essential academic skills – such as analytical and reflexive thinking, clear and persuasive communication and well-rounded judgement – that are of high relevance for the student’s professional, civic and personal life.

Ideally, a liberal education produces persons who are open-minded and free from provincialism, dogma, preconception, and ideology; conscious of their opinions and judgments; reflective of their actions; and aware of their place in the social and natural worlds.

(Project on Liberal Education and the Sciences (1990). The Liberal Art of Science: Agenda for Action. Washington, DC: American Association for the Advancement of Science)

The tradition of a liberal education is best known and most wide-spread in the USA, in particular, though not only, at so called “Liberal Arts Colleges”. In Europe, programs of this kind have started to emerge in the late 1990s, with the various University Colleges in the Netherlands being probably the most well-known examples. While there are important differences between programs and Colleges, there is enough common ground that justifies speaking of such an approach.

What is the profile of the Studium Individuale?

Within the broad family of a Liberal Education, the Studium Individuale places particular emphasis on the freedom and responsibility of each student to design a personal course of study. About two-thirds of your individual curriculum is determined by yourself, with the support of academic advisors and fellow students. At the same time, the academic engagement with questions and problems of our contemporary world is a key feature of the Studium Individuale. For both reasons, we consider it a contemporary Liberal Education.

personal – engaging – challenging

The three terms capture best what the Studium Individuale is about: It is personal, by allowing you to develop a self-designed course of study according to your aims and interests. It is engaging, as it offers you a space to study seriously and passionately, tackling questions that are important to you. It is intellectually challenging as you have to make connections between different themes and because, in particular in the core modules, you will study things that are demanding and unfamiliar to you. It is personally challenging as your own choices, values and interests might be questioned and might change.

How does the Studium Individuale relate to other parts of Leuphana University of Lüneburg?

The Studium Individuale encapsulates ideas that are at the heart of the educational approach of Leuphana University of Lüneburg: the emphasis on personal development, the orientation towards important questions and challenges of our times, studying beyond the limits of single disciplines.

Mission statement of Leuphana University of Lüneburg

As a B.A. program and Leuphana Major, the Studium Individuale is embedded in the Leuphana College. Within the Leuphana College, undergraduate students from all different Majors begin their studies with the Leuphana Semester and the Complementary Studies program. As a student of the Studium Individuale, you share these elements of the Leuphana Bachelor with all other Bachelor students. If this approach to education is attractive to you, but you would prefer to study a specific combination of a given Major and Minor offered at Leuphana University, we encourage you to do so.

Who is studying the Studium Individuale?

A wide variety of students are studying the Studium Individuale. There is not one type. Nevertheless, we do believe that students with certain disposition are more likely to thrive. Most importantly, we are looking for students who are curious and who care, both intellectually and about the world.

You should be interested in different themes and questions and be open to engage with things that will be new to you, and that might not even speak to you at first sight. You should care for your learning, both individually and with others, and you should seek out rather than avoid demanding work.

You should be prepared to lead your studies in a responsible and mature way, thinking about your choices and explaining them to others. You should also be willing to put your existing ways of thought and opinions under scrutiny and into question, to attempt to take on different, unfamiliar points of view and thereby to transform yourself as a thinker and as a person.

Overall, a combination of a strong interest in intellectually challenging work and a serious concern for some of the actual questions and challenges that we face in the contemporary world are important preconditions for thriving within the Studium Individuale.

Curriculum and Teaching Method

  • What are the core courses? What is their purpose?
  • How does the freedom of choice work exactly? Are there any limitations?
  • Is there a specific teaching method in the Studium Individuale?

Curriculum and Teaching Method

What are the core courses? What is their purpose?

A constitutive part of the Studium Individuale is the specifically designed academic core, the intellectual backbone of the program. Each semester, one core course is taken. They are interdisciplinary, of high intensity, and taught in English. Here, particular emphasis is paid to learning and practicing important academic skills, such as close reading, convincing oral presentations, essay writing and working in teams. Choosing the major in Studium Individuale implies also choosing these core courses.

The overarching theme addressed in all courses of our core is ”modern freedom”. Students are engaging in central questions that are crucial for both understanding and taking action in the contemporary world: What is valid knowledge? How can we understand and evaluate historical change? How can we identify problems that matter to people? What are possibilities for, limits to and consequences of action? How can we use our (academic) freedom to make a meaningful difference in the world?

How does the freedom of choice work exactly? Are there any limitations?

The Studium Individuale allows you to study questions that you are interested in and want to explore in depth. You are asked to take courses from different fields and to consciously make meaningful connections across the different courses that you take. This is what we mean when we say that the Studium Individuale is an interdisciplinary program.

The rationale of the Studium Individuale is, in other words, not to simply study a number of different subjects alongside each other, but to draw together contents and approaches from different fields to explore your own questions.

For the formal rules, please take a look at the “Fachspezifischen Anlage”, the officially binding document that specifies formal curricular requirements of the Studium Individuale.

Fachspezifische Anlage (FSA)

Is there a specific teaching method in the Studium Individuale?

Committed to a contemporary Liberal Education, we cultivate a personal, engaging and challenging learning environment in the Studium Individuale. We focus on going beyond the confines of single disciplines.

We are striving for interactive and dialogue-oriented seminars that incorporate your own experiences and provide space for self-directed learning. We address important contemporary themes while at the same time aiming at high academic standards. We do not, however, follow one single teaching method as other programs of our kind do.


  • Is it an English-taught program?
  • Is the Studium Individuale an international program?


Is it an English-taught program?

The Studium Individuale is an internationally oriented program. Its own core courses are held entirely in English. An increasing number of Leuphana majors, such as Digital Media or International Business Administration & Entrepreneurship, as well as some courses in the Complementary Studies program are equally taught in English.

In the majority of courses that you might choose that are offered at Leuphana the language of instructions is German.

Is the Studium Individuale an international program?

Every student of the Studium Individuale is encouraged to study abroad, as we believe that international experiences make an important component of a contemporary Liberal Education. You can apply for all the partner universities of the Leuphana or arrange a stay abroad yourself.

In addition, we are extending our cooperation with various institutions committed to a Liberal Education, both in Europe and in other parts of the world, such as Leiden University College in the Netherlands or Marlboro College in the USA.

Support and job opportunities

  • Does the Studium Individuale offer an advising program?
  • Which options will I have as a graduate of the Studium Individuale?

Support and job opportunities

Does the Studium Individuale offer an advising program?

Advising takes an important role in the Studium Individuale. You will speak at least once per semester with an advisor from within the staff of the Studium Individuale. Questions that are addressed will be: What are my goals for my studies, and what do I plan to do with what I've learned? How do I make sure that I chose courses that fit my study goals? How do I make meaningful and productive connections between the modules I have choosen? What should I do first, and what should be the sequence in which I take my chosen courses? How can I complement my studies with suitable extra-curricular activities? How do I choose a topic for my B.A. thesis that fits my study profile?

For specific questions regarding the different components of your personal course of studies and questions that you explore, you can address other member of faculty from Leuphana University. You can also make use of the general ‘advising centre’ of Leuphana College, as well as of the career service. And not to forget: talking to your fellow students might be the most valuable advice and support during your studies.

Which options will I have as a graduate of the Studium Individuale?

The key rationale of a program such as the Studium Individuale is to provide students with skills, knowledge and habits of mind that are needed across various careers in different areas in the contemporary world. Depending on the choices that you make throughout your studies, the Studium Individuale enables you to continue your studies with a range of M.A. or M.Sc. programs. Innovative Master programs that combine different disciplines are particularly attractive and attainable for students that graduate from programs such as ours.

Concerning job market opportunities there is a growing demand of interdisciplinary trained, analytically thinking and responsibly graduates. Possible areas of work, to name a few, are: national or international NGOs, administration and politics, think tanks and research institutions, media, journalism and many other areas.

Job market opportunities

Contact persons

Academic Programme Management / Academic Director for Liberal Education

  • Dr. Steffi Hobuß

Lecturer & Advisor

  • Dr. Andrew Brogan
  • Dr. Veronica Bremer

Arrange an appointment

College's Student Counselling Service
Buil­ding 8, ground floor
Uni­ver­sitätsal­lee 1, 21335 Lüne­burg
Open Con­sul­ta­ti­on Hours
(via Zoom)
Wed  11 – 13 h
Thu 16 – 18 h

Initial Information

Information Office (Infoportal)
Building 8, ground floor
Universitätsallee 1, 21335 Lüneburg
Fon +49.4131.677-2277
Opening hours
Term time & term break:
Mon - Thu 9.30 - 12 h & 13 -14.30 h
Fr 9.30 - 12 h