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Programs : Brochure

This is the brochure page for your selected program. You can view the provided information for this program here and click on the available buttons for additional options.

NOTE: Study abroad applications for spring 2019 semester and calendar year 2019 abroad will be available the first week in August 2018. (For the list of affected programs, click here.)

  • Locations: Freiburg, Germany
  • Program Terms: Academic Year, Fall, Spring
  • Homepage: Click to visit
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Program Description:
About the Program Accommodations
Eligibility Dates and Costs
Academics Visa Information


About IES Freiburg - Environmental Studies

Freiburg is a picturesque medieval cathedral town with a rich educational heritage. Now a modern, cosmopolitan city of 200,000 people, Freiburg's skyline is still dominated by the famous gothic Münster (cathedral), and small streams (Bächle) dating from the Middle Ages that still flow along the narrow streets in the city center. Though small enough that almost everything is within easy walking or biking distance, Freiburg is also large enough to offer a rich cultural life of its own.

Located on the edge of the scenic Black Forest, an hour away from towering Alpine mountains, Freiburg is a year-round sports center. It is also ideally located close to France, Switzerland, and many interesting regions of Germany.
(Adapted from the IES Freiburg website)

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  • This program is only available to students of geography, environmental studies, and related fields
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 required.
  • No prior study of German is required
  • Sophomore, Junior or Senior standing when program begins.
  • Note:  Students must be in good academic and disciplinary standing with the University to study abroad. Each applicant’s disciplinary record will be reviewed, and students must be cleared by the Office of the Dean of Richmond College or Westhampton College. Students on conduct probation will not be able to study abroad if their probationary period extends beyond the start date of their intended program.  Situations of housing probation and honor probation will be handled on a case-by-case basis.
  • Participation may be denied, or acceptance may be revoked, if a student's conduct prior to departure raises doubts as to his or her suitability for the program.

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Course load
Students must register for a total of at least 15 IES credit hours per semester, including a 3-credit German language course. Although IES will allow you to register for as many as 19 credit hours, only 16 credits can normally transfer to your Richmond transcript (see "Academics Abroad" in the Study Abroad Handbook).

Course Selection
The IES Freiburg program has only one track open to UR students: the Environmental Studies & Sustainability track.

Environmental Studies & Sustainability track
The Environmental Studies & Sustainability track allows students to explore important topics in Environmental Studies in English, while living in Freiburg, a center of the modern environmental movement.

Organized in cooperation with the Forest Ecology and Management Program at the distinguished Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, the program offers English-taught courses taken alongside German and international students. Courses are organized as a series of three-week modules that focus on the sustainable management of natural resources, with a special emphasis on the adaptive management of forests. Additional topics include ecological processes in ecosystems and human effects on the environment.  Extensive field study trips to the Swiss Alps, the Rhine River Valley, and the Black Forest give you hands-on experience.

Students studying on this program for the spring semester may apply for an optional 4-week post-semester research assistantship worth additional credits.  Read more about these options on the IES website

You will also participate in German language courses at the beginning, intermediate, or advanced level taught at the Sprachlehrinstitut of the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg.

To help make study abroad more sustainable, IES Abroad purchases a carbon offset for the approximate round-trip air travel for each student attending this program.

Credit transfer

The University of Richmond accepts IES credits directly from IES. All courses must be graded. No credit is awarded for a "pass-fail" mark. Students must earn a "C" or above in order to receive transfer credit.

Please see this page on the website of the Office of the Registrar for an explanation of how academic credit earned abroad is transferred to UR.


IES Credits Richmond Units
3 .9
4 1.2
5 1.5
6 1.8
Grading Scale
IES uses a standard grading policy readily recognized by US institutions, as defined in the scale below. Grades received for courses at outside institutions will be converted into grades according to an approved conversion system.

IES Freiburg UR Equivalents
Excellent A, A- A
Good performance B+, B, B- B
Adequate performance C+, C C
*Adequate performance (low range) C- C -
*Unsatisfactory performance D D
*Failure to complete course requirements F

* Grades of C- and below will NOT earn transfer credit back to UR.

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Students taking part in the IES Freiburg program are required to live in housing that is affiliated with the program.  Students may not take part in this program if they obtain housing of another kind.

Housing is an important aspect of your life while studying abroad, and IES Freiburg locates comfortable housing that reflects typical student accommodations.  Students live in student residence halls with German and international students in suites with a shared kitchen and bathroom. As is customary in Germany, the suites are co-ed, with male and female students sharing the suite. Individual rooms are not co-ed and are considered private study/bedroom space.

Meals are not included; students usually prepare meals at home or dine in one of Freiburg's affordable student cafeterias.

To get to and from the IES Center, students normally rely on public transportation or bicycles.


Dates and Costs

Click here for the IES Freiburg Environmental Studies Dates and Costs.

Visa Information

Citizens of the United States and some other countries do not need to apply for a visa in advance of studying in Germany, but will need to obtain a residence permit once there.  Detailed instructions will be provided to accepted students.

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For more information, contact Chris Klein in the Office of International Education.

Updated May 2015

This document represents the most accurate information available at the time of publication. Statements contained herein are not contractual obligations, and verbal or other representations that are inconsistent with or not contained within the document are not binding. The University of Richmond reserves the right to change without specific notice programs and the conditions under which they are offered.

This program is currently not accepting applications.