Universität Potsdam, Germany

The status of this exchange is currently under review; students who wish to apply should have at least one other program option. 

Mount Holyoke may nominate one student each year to study on exchange at the University of Potsdam.  Priority is given to qualified students who are receiving need-based financial aid at Mount Holyoke, but students not receiving aid are also eligible to apply.

University of Potsdam

  • Founded in 1991, based on the Potsdam College of Education
  • Approximately 19,000 students (1,900 international students, from more than 85 countries)
  • Comprehensive university offering a wide range of courses in the humanities, sciences, and social sciences

City of Potsdam

  • Located in the northeastern part of Germany, capital of Brandenberg
  • Known for its palaces, gardens, parks, and museums, as well as for films, media, and the university
  • Population about 150,000 (about 5,000,000 for the Berlin/Brandenburg metropolitan area)

Academic Program

  • Two semesters: Winter Semester runs from early October to late February, Summer Semester from early April to late July
  • Exchange students must study at Potsdam for the full academic year
  • Students enroll directly into courses offered by Potsdam to its degree-seeking students
  • Students may register for courses in any combination of subjects
  • All students are strongly encouraged to participate in the Studienkolleg, a program for international students who enroll at Potsdam for a year (though note that you will not receive academic credit for this course)

Living Arrangements

  • Guaranteed housing in a student residence


  • Minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Must have completed sophomore year (or at least three semesters, for spring entrants) prior to enrolling at Potsdam
  • Must have completed at least four semesters of German language study prior to enrolling at Potsdam

Financial Arrangements

  • Exchange student pays MHC tuition; Potsdam waives its tuition
  • Exchange student pays directly for room fees, and is responsible for her own meals, as well as any nominal university fees, required health insurance, books, personal expenses, and travel to Potsdam
  • Exchange student may receive a stipend from the University of Potsdam to help cover living expenses
  • Exchange student is eligible for a Barrett Travel Award of $1,000, from the German Studies Department, to cover travel expenses
  • Students selected for the exchange who are eligible for need-based financial aid are guaranteed Laurel Fellowships; financial aid award will be based on total budget, including MHC tuition, MHC study abroad fee, any nominal university fees, and allowances toward room and board, books, personal expenses, and round-trip airfare

How to Apply

  • Submit Mount Holyoke’s Request to Study Abroad (and Laurel Fellowship application, if applicable) according to the instructions on the Deadlines page; applications are ordinarily due early in December
  • Students will be notified by early February whether they have been selected for the exchange
  • Exchange nominee will complete Potsdam’s application for admission (students must also be accepted by Potsdam)