There are four Bachelor degree programs in History:
At the Bachelor's level, study programs are in principle completely open within the University of Bern, provided that another subject or associate subject, such as Eastern European Studies, offers a suitable curriculum. It is not possible however, to combine the History major, e.g. BA Major in History with a BA Minor in History.
For further information:
→ Subject combination & study structure
→ Study programs Bachelor
The bachelor's degree program in history is divided into two eras (Epochenschwerpunkte, ES):
Students determine which will be their main era focus (ES 1) and which is their second era focus (ES 2).
In the BA Mono in History (180 ECTS) and BA Major in History (120 ECTS) programs, both eras have approximately the same weight. The only difference is that students in their first era focus have to attend one more exercise (Übung) and write a seminar paper (Seminararbeit). As a rule, students also write their Bachelor's thesis in the first era focus. In the study program BA Minor in History (60 ECTS), the first era focus (ES 1) has a higher weight than the second (ES 2). The details are given in the appendix to the curriculum. It is particularly important that BA Minor in History (60 ECTS) students in the post-introductory phase complete the seminar and seminar paper within their first era focus (ES 1), but the exercise in the second (ES 2). In the study program BA Minor in History (30 ECTS) there is only one era focus.
The BA Minor in History (60 ECTS) also has three study stages, although the exercise phase and the seminar and final phase after the introductory course are less clearly separated than is the case in the Major and Mono study programs.
The study program BA Minor in History (30 ECTS) has only one study phase and no introductory phase.
→ Curriculum appendix
The introductory course serves as a methodological introduction to the subject of History and consists of a proseminar in History before 1800, a proseminar in History after 1800, a source course (Quellelenkurs) and a Lecture course as well as the two proseminar papers in History before 1800 and History after 1800 (BA Mono, BA Major) or a proseminar paper either in History before 1800 or in History after 1800 (BA Minor 60 ECTS). The BA Minor 30 ECTS program does not have an introductory course.
Students of the study programs BA Mono in History (180 ECTS), BA Major in History (120 ECTS) and BA Minor in History (60 ECTS) can attend exercises, HW exercises and seminars in a respective semester only if the introductory course is fulfilled at the latest by the registration deadline of the second registration phase. The communication of the corresponding dates takes place on the website of the Institute of History as well as in the Forum Geschichte in ILIAS. Students are responsible for making sure that their work is placed in the correct KSL containers (Gefässen).
There is no compulsory Latin course for the Bachelor's degree program in History, regardless of the respective epoch focus. Students who are interested in Ancient History or Medieval Studies are recommended to attend the Latin course at the University of Bern. The Latin course can be credited in the elective area. With regard to the Master's program, the Latin compulsory course can also be made up.
You can register for courses via the core teaching system (KSL). All courses offered by the institute are listed there. Registration in KSL automatically leads to students gaining access to the ILIAS platform of the course in question, where course documents can be found. Login is via your students campus account.
In the case of fully booked courses, there are waiting lists from which students move up as soon as a place becomes free again due to another student deregistering. A list of these courses can usually be viewed in the Forum Geschichte on ILIAS. Very late registrations are only possible if no one else is on the waiting list.
In the optional area (15 ECTS), any course can be credited, provided that it is marked as a free achievement (freie Leistung) in KSL. At least 10 ECTS must receive a grade (1-6).
In the Bachelor's program (except BA Minor 30 ECTS), the history module consists of several lectures and the Reading List exam (Literaturlist) which is a self-study course followed by an exam in-person. The lectures must be completed before registering for the corresponding reading list. Registration is therefore only possible in the semester after attending the last lecture of a module.
In the Bachelor Minor 60 ECTS and 30 ECTS, students complete only one reading list examination. Those students who have the BA Mono (180 ECTS) or BA Major (120 ECTS) study profile must complete two reading list examinations.
Lecture attendance must be certified at the end of the semester. All of the necessary documents as well as further important information on registration can be found under Module Bachelor.
If students fail the reading list exam at the first attempt, they are automatically registered for the next examination. The basis of the repeated exam (second attempt) is the same reading list as the first.
Students who do not pass the repeat exam are excluded from further study of history.
No registration in KSL is necessary for written papers; grades are entered directly. Students receive an introduction to writing papers in the proseminar and associated tutorial courses. As a rule, they should contact potential supervisors (via e-mail, office hours or during a course) and jointly agree the deadlines and procedures. Professors can also advertise suitable topics on their respective department pages.
The only exception to the above is the registration for the master thesis.
Students who miss the deadline for completing their bachelor's degree have the opportunity to take courses during the last semester of their bachelor's degree that can later be credited to the master's program. It is only possible to receive early master's credits in one semester.
Major students in History are subject to the following regulations:
Students who do not meet the first requirement may attend courses of the Master's Major in History, but only if the Bachelor's Thesis has been submitted by the Friday of week 7 (for FS) or week 37 (for HS). Students must discuss exceptions to this rule with the Director of Studies.
Minor students in History, are subject to the following regulations:
Students who do not fulfill the first requirement may attend courses of the Master-Minor History but only if the seminar paper has been submitted by the Friday of week 7 (for FS) or week 37 (for HS).
Students must discuss exceptions to this rule with the director of studies.
The written (final) papers (bachelor thesis for major and mono students; seminar paper for bachelor 60 ECTS; proseminar paper for bachelor 30 ECTS) must always be handed in by the Friday of week 7 (for spring semester) or week 37 (for autumn semester). The specific dates for the upcoming semesters can be found on the institute’s website. Exceptions are only possible in weeks 5 and 6 (for the spring semester) or weeks 35 and 36 (for the autumn semester) after explicit consultation with the Director of Studies.
→ Academic Student Counselling
A transfer to the Master's program is only possible after the entire Bachelor's program has been successfully completed. It is not possible to transfer to the master's program only in the major or only in the minor subject.
Students apply for transfer when they enroll for the next semester (cf. ZIB Self Service). In order for a transfer to be successful, students must have applied for the Bachelor's degree in time (cf. information on the homepage of the faculty and institute).
The Department of History offers the following Master's degree programs:
The study programs are in principle freely selectable within the university also at the Master's level, provided that another subject offers a suitable study program. It is not possible to combine within the History major, i.e. BA Major in History combined with BA Minor in History. In the Master's degree there are additional specialized study programs such as Latin American Studies, Gender Studies, Sustainable Development, which combine well with studying History.
The master's program is divided into areas of specialization (Fachschwerpunkte - FS). These are:
Students in the MA Mono and MA Major study programs freely choose their first and second specialization (FS 1/FS 2). Students in the MA Minor 30/60 study program (cf. 1) also freely choose their single major. In the study program MA Minor 30/30 (cf. 1), the focus of the ECTS of the source or reading course as well as the focus of the epoch is based on that of the BA Minor 30. Students in the MA Minor 30/30 can freely choose the focus of the subject, just like those in the MA Minor 30/60.
Important information on course content, course structure and combination options as well as on the legal basis for the Master's program of the Department of History:
→ Study plan
→ Study plan appendices
→ Master's program on the faculty website
If students choose the specializations Ancient History or Medieval History in the Master's degree programs as specialization 1 (FS 1), they can only attend courses in these specializations if the required Greek or Latin knowledge - amounting to at least 10 ECTS - has been proven.
The required knowledge of Greek or Latin can be acquired during the Master's program. Students who have chosen Ancient History or Medieval History as specialization 2 (FS 2) do not have to provide proof of Greek or Latin knowledge.
How students register for the Master's thesis can be found on the website of the Faculty of Humanities.
→ Online registration
Students can obtain an extension of the submission deadline, instructions on how to apply can be found on the website of the Faculty of Humanities.
Students who have not completed their BA studies up to and including the 9th semester must submit a request for an extension of study time to the Director of the Institute using the appropriate form.
Students who have not completed their MA studies up to and including the 8th semester must submit a request for an extension of study time to the Director of the Institute using the appropriate form. The counting of semesters starts again at one in the Master.
In order to request an extension of study time, students must have a study plan on file with the Director of Studies between 10. May and 10. June or between early December and 10. January.
Requests with a view to extending study time must include the following items:
Requests without appropriate information will not be processed.
If students do not graduate within 12 semesters, they will be subject to higher semester fees beginning with the 13th semester (doubling of fees in all subsequent semesters). Students who have changed study programs during the course of a degree program must note that all semesters from their non-completed program of study must be added to the total period of study. Therefore, the effective number of semesters since matriculation is decisive for the calculation of semesters in the respective study level (BA, MA) and not the number of semesters in an individual subject. The counting of semesters in the Master's program (i.e. after the Bachelor's degree) starts again at one.
The University administration may waive tuition increases after the 12th semester without graduation. In order for such a waiver to be granted, affected students must submit a so-called hardship petition to the ZIB (email@example.com) by October 15 (for the following spring semester) or March 15 (for the following autumn semester). The following checklist shows which information hardship applications for the waiver of increased tuition fees must contain. Students also need a tuition plan, which they must obtain separately from the Director of Studies. It is not permissible to resubmit an existing tuition plan that was prepared as part of a tuition extension.
Graduation (Bachelor and Master) is only possible if all grades are entered in KSL in the correct column. The only exception is the grade entry for the Master's thesis.
Degrees from major and minor programs of study may be completed independently. Differing regulations of other majors are reserved.
The documents will be issued by Daniel Marc Segesser. Please send him an email with the subject line "Bachelor's degree or Master's degree" and the following information in the email: Last name, first name, matriculation number, telephone number, telephone availability.
For all other important information, please refer to the website of the Institute and that of the Faculty of Humanities.
Students can exmatriculate at the end of a semester, provided that all achievements of the relevant study program have been completed by the Friday of week 7 (autumn semester) or Friday of week 37 (spring semester). Completion is generally considered to be the date of an examination or the submission of a paper. The grade entry in KSL does not necessarily have to be received by the stated deadline. The study administration can only issue the documents for the degree (Bachelor and Master) when all grades have been received. However, being matriculated is no longer necessary.
The Institute of History offers mobility in studies to its own students as well as to those from other universities. Students of the University of Bern have the possibility of studying at other institutions within Switzerland, in Europe or even outside.
For studying abroad, it is mandatory to contact our coordinator; for mobility within Switzerland, please contact the Director of Studies if you have any questions.
Mobility students from abroad should contact the coordinator, and those from within Switzerland the Director of Studies.
The Swiss-European Mobility Programme (SEMP) is part of a transitional arrangement which makes it possible to maintain the existing exchange activities, despite the exclusion of Switzerland as an Erasmus+ program country. The Swiss-European Mobility Programme is funded by the Swiss Confederation. The conditions for participation and the process of study abroad are the same as for Erasmus.
Further exchange opportunities are:
To log onto the digital platforms of the University of Bern (KSL, ILIAS, etc.), a campus account is required. All employees of the University receive this with their employment and all students at their matriculation.
→ Instructions for KSL
→ Instructions for ILIAS
KSL (Kernsystem Lehre) is the University of Bern's administration system for teaching. Among other things, grades, study progress, degrees and certificates are managed in it.
KSL shows all courses of the University of Bern and the relevant information: Who is organizing and supervising the course, the place and time it is held, and much more. Students and employees of the University of Bern manage study profiles and academic achievements in KSL.
People without a campus account can also use KSL with minor restrictions. Access to the public version is via www.ksl-vv.unibe.ch.
ILIAS is the central teaching and learning platform of the University of Bern. It can be used for the efficient and simple accompaniment and support of face-to-face courses as well as for the implementation of extensive online courses.
Registering for ILIAS happens via your Campus Account. Students from other Swiss universities can log in to ILIAS with their home university login. In this way, they still have access to the teaching and learning materials of courses they are taking, for example, as part of a mobility study program in Bern, until a Bern campus account is set up.
The institute’s management, the director of studies and the student council communicate important information to all history students via the Forum Geschichte on ILIAS. In order to receive all important notifications, you need to join the «Forum Geschichte».
As a general rule: first do your research on the websites of the Institute of History and the University of Bern - most of the information relating to studies can be found there. However, if you have any further questions about the history program or your studies, please contact the academic student counselling of the Institute of History. If you have questions about studying in general or personal problems, contact the counseling center of the Bernese universities.