Students who wish to become a teacher and study in Berlin are required to apply for a bachelor’s degree program. A bachelor’s degree program with a teacher training component includes two subjects that are relevant for the teaching credential and the student takes teaching-related career (Lehramtsbezogene Berufswissenschaft, LBW) courses. Completing this kind of bachelor’s degree program offers the option to obtain a teaching credential, but does not offer direct access to the teaching profession. To become teachers, students who have earned a bachelor’s degree are required to complete two additional phases to earn further qualifications: a master’s degree program (Master of Education) and their student teaching phase (Referendariat, for which they work at schools). Separate applications and admission processes are required for both phases.
Academic program structure and combinations of subjects
Becoming a credentialed teacher
Those who wish to teach in grades 1 through 10 and primarily at the elementary school (Grundschule) level in the future take 90 credits in the core subject of Elementary Education and 60 credits in a second discipline relevant to the teaching credential (this is called the “60-credit module,” or 60-LP-Modulangebot, at Freie Universität). This is followed by a one-year Master of Education and a student teaching phase (Referendariat), which also lasts one year.
At Freie Universität Berlin, students are required to choose from among specific options for combinations (in German) of Elementary Education and a 60-credit module.
Elementary Education is available only as a core subject. An exception applies to the subjects of art and music at the Universität der Künste (UdK). Since these subjects can only be studied as core subjects, special rules apply in this case and Elementary Education is selected as the secondary subject (Zweitfach) in the program in this case. For further information on this type of combination program, please contact the Universität der Künste.
At Freie Universität Berlin, the core subject of Elementary Education comprises the areas of General Elementary Education, German, and mathematics (in each case applicable to generalized instruction in grades 1 through 4), along with the student’s choice of specialized instruction or Music and Aesthetic Education (Musisch-ästhetischer Erziehung, abbreviated MÄERZ, at UdK).
Becoming a credentialed teacher with specialized training in two disciplines
Those who wish to teach in grades 1 through 10, primarily at the lower general secondary school (Hauptschule), general secondary school (Realschule), and comprehensive school (Gesamtschule) levels, take 90 credits in a core subject relevant to the teaching credential and 60 credits in the secondary subject (Zweitfach), which must be relevant to the teaching credential. Thus this type of bachelor’s degree program is formally equal to that taken by future credentialed secondary school teachers (those studying for Studienrat or Studienrätin positions). Their training tracks do not begin to diverge until the one-year Master of Education program and the one-year student teaching phase (Referendariat) that follows it.
Students do, however, decide during their bachelor’s degree program which kind of master’s degree they will pursue later, in that they choose to focus on certain areas. For example, they are required to complete a module entitled “Practical School-based Studies” (Schulpraktische Studien) in their core subject during the fifth semester in order to become eligible for admission to the one-year master’s degree program. As a result, it is important to obtain information by consulting the study regulations or the examination offices as early as possible, even at the beginning of the academic program.
At Freie Universität Berlin, students are required to choose from among specific options for combinations (in German) of a 90-credit core subject and a 60-credit module.
Please note: In certain combinations of subjects, the master’s degree program – and thus also the teaching credential track – is already specified. The only option open to students who choose the subject of Work Studies (Arbeitslehre), for instance, is the one-year master’s degree program.
Becoming a credentialed secondary school teacher (Studienrat)
Those who wish to pursue careers as secondary school teachers (Studienrat or Studienrätin positions) are required to earn 90 credits in the core subject and 60 in the secondary subject. This type of teaching credential generally entitles the bearer to teach in grades 7 through 12 at the academic secondary school (Gymnasium) level or at the comprehensive school (Gesamtschule) level if the school has an upper-division academic track (termed the gymnasiale Oberstufe).
This type of bachelor’s degree program is formally equivalent to that taken by future teachers with subject-specific academic training in two subjects. The bachelor’s degree students do, however, determine which kind of master’s degree they will pursue later, in that they choose to focus on certain areas. As a result, it is important to obtain information by consulting the study regulations or the examination offices as early as possible, even at the beginning of the academic program.
The subsequent Master of Education program lasts two years and the student teaching phase (Referendariat) also takes two years.
At Freie Universität Berlin, students are required to choose from among specific options for combinations (in German) of a 90-credit core subject and a 60-credit module. Please note: Students pursuing future Studienrat or Studienrätin positions are not permitted to choose Work Studies (Arbeitslehre) as the secondary subject.
Becoming a credentialed secondary school teacher (Studienrat) with a subject-specific vocational emphasis
The training program for the teaching credential for those who wish to teach at vocational schools (Berufsschulen) requires that a 90-credit core subject with a subject-specific vocational emphasis be combined with a secondary subject/module that is relevant to the teaching credential. Core subjects that meet this requirement are offered at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and Technische Universität Berlin. For more detailed information, please see the websites of these two universities. In this case, a three-year bachelor’s degree program is followed by a two-year Master of Education program and a two-year student teaching phase (Referendariat).
Becoming a credentialed teacher for special needs schools (Sonderschulen)
This teaching credential program is intended for future teachers who will work at special needs schools (Sonderschulen) or in integrated classes (Integrationsklassen) at other types of schools up until grade 10. The bachelor’s degree program in Rehabilitation Studies (Rehabilitationswissenschaften, formerly Special Education, or Sonderpädagogik) with the teacher training component is offered only at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin; Rehabilitation Studies is an option as the core subject and as the secondary subject or module. The subsequent Master of Education program in this track takes three semesters, or one and one-half years. It is followed by a one-year student teaching phase (Referendariat).
Within the field of Rehabilitation Studies, students are required to choose two specific areas of special education:
Subjects offered with teaching credential programs in Berlin
Business and Economics Education
Nutrition and Food Science
FU=Freie Universität Berlin, HU=Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, TU=Technische Universität Berlin, UdK=Universität der Künste
There are specific combination options for the study programs. The combinations possible at Freie Universität Berlin are shown in the table of combinations.
The Jewish Religious Studies (Jüdische Religionslehre) program is not currently offered in Berlin. Islamic religious instruction at elementary schools in Berlin is the responsibility of the Islamische Föderation (Islamic Federation) in Berlin (in German); a specialized university course in this field is not offered in the state of Berlin.
The academic subjects compatible with the teaching credential, and all other undergraduate programs offered at Freie Universität Berlin, are described in detail under the link Undergraduate Programs (in German).
All of the examination regulations, which include extensive details on individual modules and other aspects of the programs, are shown in the Study and Examination Regulations (see “Undergraduate Programs”).
Teacher training component only with teaching-related professional skills (LBW) courses
The area of teaching-related professional skills(Lehramtsbezogene Berufswissenschaft, LBW) courses encompasses 30 credits. It is required for all bachelor’s degree students who wish to keep the option of earning a teaching credential open to them (i.e., the option of applying later for a Master of Education). This option arises when a student chooses LBW courses and a suitable combination of subjects.
LBW courses introduce students to the fundamental issues of education, teaching, and schooling. Students enrolled in these courses should explore the school setting as a future career field and learn to reflect on their practical experiences with the guidance of theory. Students also learn the basics of how to teach and learn the specific content of the subject-specific academic modules.
Students who are enrolled in a combination bachelor’s degree program and choose subjects that cannot be combined except in a teaching credential track (at Freie Universität, currently Biology, Chemistry, Ethics, Elementary Education, Integrated Sciences, Mathematics, Physics, and Social Studies) can only take LBW courses to meet their professional skills studies requirements. All other bachelor’s degree students can choose general professional skills (Allgemeine Berufsvorbereitung, ABV) courses instead. Students pursuing a combination of subjects that, while suitable for a teaching credential, does not necessarily have to involve a teaching credential, such as History and Spanish Language and Literature with Latin American Studies, are eligible for the teacher training component only if they choose LBW rather than ABV courses.
It is possible to switch from LBW to ABV courses by arrangement with the board of examiners for the core subject, since LBW modules are eligible for ABV credit. By contrast, it is not possible to switch from ABV to LBW, since the professional skills profile of the teaching credential-related modules has no equivalent among the ABV courses.
Since the winter semester of 2007/2008, the state of Berlin has offered graduates of bachelor’s degree programs with suitable degrees the option to apply for a consecutive program leading to the degree of Master of Education. Students are required to continue to pursue the same combination of subjects in which they have earned their previous bachelor’s degree. The core subject of the bachelor’s degree program is studied as the first subject and the separate module (Modulangebot) studied in the bachelor’s degree program is studied as the second subject. There are other admission requirements, including completion of subject-specific education courses and/or teaching-related professional skills (Lehramtsbezogene Berufswissenschaft, LBW) courses during the bachelor’s degree program. For further information on the master’s degree programs offered at Freie Universität Berlin, please see the detailed subject descriptions.
The degree of Master of Education can also be earned in other states in Germany and should be mutually recognized. Graduates of programs with a teacher training component who wish to teach at a school in a state other than the state where they have completed their teaching credential program should consult the local school or education authorities promptly to see what additional requirements may apply. Information can also be found on the website of the German Education Server (Deutscher Bildungsserver), for example.
Concurrent-enrollment programs with a teacher training component at two universities in Berlin
If at all possible, students are required to study core subjects and modules at the same university. Exceptions are permitted only in the case of study programs with a teacher training component if certain combinations of subjects can only be taken at two different universities.
For example, if the student wishes to combine the core subject of Social Studies (Political Science), which is offered only at Freie Universität, with a secondary subject that is only available at HU or TU (see table of combinations), that student submits an application for admission to the core subject and to the secondary subject at HU or TU; the application is submitted to Freie Universität Berlin.
For the core subjects of Geography, Protestant Theology, Philosophy, Russian, or Sports, which are offered only at Humboldt-Universität, Social Studies or Catholic Theology at Freie Universität can be chosen as the secondary subject. Prospective students apply to Humboldt-Universität for the complete combination in this case.
If a student wishes to combine two study subjects offered at different universities in Berlin, that student is always required to apply for the complete combination at the university that offers the core subject.
No combinations involving subjects at the Universität Potsdam are permitted.
Where do I apply for which subjects?
There are four universities in the state of Berlin that offer subjects relevant for teaching credentials. Where a prospective student is required to apply depends on where that student wishes to study the core subject, which is also the institution to which the student applies for the secondary subject. Accordingly, a student whose secondary subject is not offered at the same university as the core subject, but is only available at another university, enrolls concurrently at different universities in Berlin. The universities have entered into agreements on blocks of study placements for their core subject students.
If the core subject and secondary subject are both offered at the same university, the student is required to take both at that university. If multiple universities offer the same combination of subjects, students are permitted to apply at the same time to both or all of them.
Teacher training resources in Berlin
Freie Universität Berlin Center for Advising and Counseling Service Brümmerstr. 50, 14195 Berlin Tel.: (030) 838-700 00 firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.fu-berlin.de/en/studienberatung/index.html
Pädagogische Werkstatt der Freien Universität Räume KL 23/123 + KL 23/207 Habelschwerdter Allee 45, 14195 Berlin Tel.: (030) 838-533 18 email@example.com
Studienaufenthalte und Praktika im Ausland Arbeitsstelle für Internationale Kooperation im FB Erziehungswissenschaft und Psychologie Gabriele di Vincenzo, Raum JK 25/212 Habelschwerdter Allee 45, 14195 Berlin Tel.: (030) 838-559 87 firstname.lastname@example.org