University of Cologne (Exchange)

  • Location: Germany - Cologne
  • GPA Requirements: 2.75 GPA
  • Other Requirements: Nomination by German department, completion of at least German 225 or equivalent
  • Application Deadline: February 20 for fall programs and September 20 for spring programs
  • Program Term(s): Academic year, spring
  • Official Website: University of Cologne (Exchange)
Program Dates
Term Start Date End Date
Summer 2024 April 1st, 2024 September 30th, 2024
Winter 2024 October 1st, 2024 March 31st, 2024
Summer 2025 April 1st, 2025 September 30th, 2025

These dates are tentative. Confirm program dates before booking travel.

Allegheny students may opt to participate in the entire academic year, or the Summer semester to coincide with the Allegheny semester.

Important: Winter semester: (required pre-semester language early-September )/ Summer Semester: (required pre-semester language mid-July) 

Where: Cologne, Germany

Located on the Rhine River, Cologne is an ideal site for study in Germany. It is rich in art and culture, and although its history dates back to Roman times, it is a modern and vibrant center. Known as the broadcast center of Germany, Cologne is also one of the country’s most cosmopolitan cities, with large ethnic neighborhoods and international arts festivals. Cologne is considered a university city, with  more than 100,00 students studying at more than 20 institutes of higher education.


The University of Cologne is one of the oldest and largest universities in Germany with around 50,000 students. The University offers the following faculties: Management, Economics & Social Sciences, Law, Medicine, Mathematics & Natural Sciences, Arts & Humanities and Human Sciences. Students may enroll in courses for international students in a maximum of two of the faculties.  Courses take place mostly in German, with some opportunities in English. Students are required to enroll in the German language pre-session that takes place prior to to the beginning of the semester.

Winter semester:
October 1 to March 31

In the pre-semester (September), our Pre-semester German Language Courses take place.
During the semester, the lectures take place in the lecture period.

Summer semester:
April 1 to September 30

In the pre-semester (March), our Pre-semester German Language Courses take place.
During the semester, the lectures take place in the lecture period.

You can start your exchange studies in the winter or summer semester.

Academic Structure

Courses taken with local students.

Course Credit

The University of Cologne has six faculties and offers courses in the most comprehensive study fields:

Faculty of Arts and Humanities
Faculty of Law
Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences
Faculty of Humanities
Faculty of Management, Economics and Social Sciences (for exchange students with limitations)
Faculty of Medicine (for exchange students with limitations)


For a full list of course offerings, visit the University of Cologne’s website here. Please note that the course catalog for the upcoming semester is published about 2-3 months before the start of the semester.


Preference will be given to those applicants who have completed at least intermediate (225) German and one 300-level German class prior to their studies at Cologne. Students must meet with the Allegheny German Department before applying for the program.

Housing & Student Life

Allegheny students are guaranteed housing and are expected to live in one of the 84 dormitories managed by the Koelner Studentenwerk. All housing is located off-campus and is managed by the Koelner Studentenwerk and not the University.

With over 50 different student organizations to choose from and a variety of extracurricular activities to participate in, students will always find something to do in the vibrant city of Cologne.

Visa Information

U.S. citizens will apply for a residency permit upon arrival. Please coordinate with the university regarding your permit. Non- U.S. citizens should consult with the Global Education office regarding the visa application process.

Fees & Costs

Students pay Allegheny tuition and an off-campus study fee of $800. Allegheny financial aid, except work/study, is applied to program costs. Students are responsible for paying for housing and meals separately in Germany and are also responsible for paying the University of Cologne student services fee (around 265 Euro). The service fee includes a ticket for rail transportation in North Rhine-Westphalia.. Estimated additional costs include: books and supplies, international airfare & local transportation, health insurance, and personal expenses.

Application Process

Allegheny students must apply for approval to study off-campus from the Global Education office AND apply directly to their chosen program. For this program, the program requires a nomination from Allegheny’s Global Education Office before students can apply directly to the program. So, students must complete the Allegheny approval application and then wait for further instructions to apply to their program. The Allegheny approval application deadline is February 20 for fall programs and September 20 for spring programs. Study away approval applications will be reviewed immediately following the appropriate semester deadline. After a student has been approved by Allegheny, the Global Education office will send the student’s nomination and/or application documents to the program abroad. Students will receive instructions directly from the host program’s visiting student office with their next steps. For more information about the study away application process, please visit the application steps page.