Bielefeld Exchange

The Philosophy Department offers study abroad programs through an agreement with the Abteilung Philosophie of the Universität Bielefeld, in Bielefeld, Germany. The strengths of the department in Bielefeld closely match those of our department here in Atlanta, with particular focus on ethics, political philosophy, philosophy of law, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of science.

Students and faculty from Universität Bielefeld interested in studying or working at Georgia State should contact Martin Carrier for information.

Graduate students in our MA program with training in German and interest in studying abroad should contact the Program Director (Sebastian Rand, as early as possible to begin planning for a successful time abroad.

There are two main options for MA students to study at Bielefeld:

Spring Semester only option:
The Spring Semester here corresponds to the German “Summer Semester,” which runs roughly from Easter (April-ish) through the summer (classes ending in mid-July). Students intending to go to Bielefeld for the Spring Semester of their second year usually must have defended their thesis before leaving for Germany in March. They cannot be enrolled in any regular classes at GSU during the Spring Semester in which they are going abroad, and so must also have completed all course requirements by the end of Fall Semester prior to leaving (assuming they wish to complete the MA in two years). Ideally, such students will require no credits to graduate beyond the thesis research credits for Spring Semester — in other words, they will require no credits to transfer from Germany in order to graduate. For more details, please consult with the Program Director.

Full Year option:
Students wishing to go to Bielefeld for a full academic year must also have completed all or most of their degree requirements, with the exception of the thesis; we therefore generally restrict full-year participation to students wishing to have a third year in the MA program. For more details, please consult with the Program Director.

Graduate students should be aware that because funding for students in the MA program is tied to teaching or research assistantships — which normally cannot be done from Germany — GSU-based funding cannot be relied upon to support study abroad. While Bielefeld offers visiting graduate students a small research assistantship (and charges only a nominal tuition fee), that assistantship will not cover anything beyond rent. For this reason advance planning, including looking for additional sources of funding, is strongly encouraged.


– Students going for the Spring Semester only must apply by October 15.
– Students going for a full academic year must apply by April 15.


There are two main sources of internal GSU funding for study abroad. You can find links to complete information about these scholarships/grants below, along with some general information:

(1) IEF grants
– Awarded to degree-seeking students only
– Requires a cumulative GPA of 2.75 or higher
– Grant of $1,000 per semester, students must apply separately for each semester of funding.

(2) GES grants
– Prefer applicants with no previous foreign travel experience
– Available to any student on need-based funding of any kind (Pell grant, Stafford loans, etc.)
– Students are eligible only if there is unmet need according to Federal/University guidelines
– Requires that students submit a budget
– Grant of up to $7,500/semester, depending on unmet need.

There is also information available through the Study Abroad office about further funding opportunities. Contact Stephen Murray at that office.