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Join the International Foundation Year

At Jacobs University International College, we know the importance of personal growth. This is why we have developed our academic preparatory program, the International Foundation Year. The program will provide you with tailored academic and personal support for your individual development and prepare you for the challenges of university-level study. In addition to building your academic knowledge and skills, the program will boost your confidence and provide you with essential lifelong soft, professional, and personal skills.

The right pathway for your Future

Are you undecided about what you want to study or do you have a general idea? Our International Foundation Year offers you two pathways to a degree course at Jacobs University. You can choose between the Focused or Orientation Pathway.

  • The Focused Pathway
    This pathway allows you to study a specific subject (Business, Engineering, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences or Computer Science) in preparation for your chosen degree course.
    1. Choose your subject
    2. Study subject modules over two semesters
    3. Successfully complete your International Foundation Year
    4. Progress directly into year one of your chosen undergraduate degree program
  • The Orientation Pathway
    On this pathway you explore a variety of subjects and decide on your degree program later.
    1. Choose a subject to focus on during your first semester
    2. In your second semester choose a different one
    3. During your second semester, you will choose your degree program
    4. Successfully complete your International Foundation Year
    5. Progress directly into year one of your chosen undergraduate degree program

Core Modules

The core modules are integral parts of the program and provide you with interdisciplinary basic skills. They are designed to enhance your academic and personal skills.

This module strengthens your English language abilities in all four areas (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) and improves your academic study skills. During your first semester the module content will be generalized and in your second semester it will be specific to the subject you have chosen.

Upon joining the program, you will be given a Mathematics placement test which will determine whether you take the basic or advanced route. Both are designed to develop your skills around mathematics and statistics.

This module will introduce you to basic IT skills such as use of documents and spreadsheets created in Microsoft Office, and presentation skills using PowerPoint. You will also be shown how to use the Virtual Learning Environment.

The program provides you with training for the SAT that you will need to take before progressing to an undergraduate degree program. This only applies to students who have not taken the SAT before or want to improve their scores.

This module has been specially designed to enable you to progress on to your undergraduate studies. It focuses on increasing the self-competence and social skills necessary to flourish in a university environment.
It also provides you with general skills which not only pave your way for success academically but which are also skills for life, related to the professional standards required in the world of employment.

The Subjects

Through a combination of core modules and subject-specific study, you will develop the skills you need to succeed at an university. Our program offers you five subjects to choose from that act as a pathway to a degree at Jacobs University.

  • This pathway provides you with the necessary foundation to pursue a future in business. A career in business can cover a range of fields ranging from management and accounting to marketing and human resource management. You can also gain practical and professional business skills which enhance your employability.

  • This subject will teach you the fundamentals of computer programing, coding, mathematics, and technology. Computer science lies at the core of all modern industries and plays a major role in today’s modern work life. A degree in computer science can lead to positions within an IT department or several other professions such as software developer, computer analyst, software engineer and many more.

  • Join the first stage of your journey to the Industrial Engineering & Management (IEM) degree program at Jacobs University. The IEM program equips graduates with the essentials of both the management and the engineering business functions. For students who dream of a future leading industrial and trade enterprises, engineering research or education, this program opens the door to a wide range of engaging career paths.

  • This pathway prepares you for degree programs within the department of Life Sciences & Chemistry at Jacobs University. Each program is designed to equip you with the theoretical and practical skills for a rewarding career across many different industries. You explore areas of forensic and environmental science, chemistry and aerospace engineering.

  • Get introduced to the world of social sciences and learn about the society we live in, individual behavior and what makes us who we are. The field of social sciences offers a variety of career paths ranging from positions in government to counselling and human resource management. You can also continue to study at Master’s level. At Jacobs University about 60% of students enter prestigious graduate schools such as Oxford, Cambridge, London School of Economics, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Georgetown and Sciences Po.

Dates at a glance


Arrival by

Start of teaching

End of teaching

September 2021 intake

Monday, 30 August 2021

Wednesday, 1 September 2021

Friday, 15 April 2022

January 2022 intake

Monday, 10 January 2022

Wednesday, 12 January 2022

Friday, 5 August 2022

Continuation Degrees

The International Foundation Year prepares you for a degree program of your choice at Jacobs University in subjects ranging from the natural sciences, mathematics and engineering to the social sciences and economics. Discover our variety now!

Explore our Degree Programs

To progress directly into your chosen degree course at Jacobs University, you will need to successfully complete the International Foundation Year and achieve a minimum score on the SAT / ACT / TestAS.


Meet some of our Foundation Year graduates

Living on campus allows you to experience the beauty of different cultures. I have made friends with students from all over the world.

Darlina Mamaqi - Albania

The classes are small, our instructors take care of each individual student and help us out if we struggle with the material.

Oleg Borisov - Russia

Gaining insights into an institution like Jacobs University and taking courses from many disciplines has helped me to find myself and to figure out what I want to do with my life.

Emily Waller - Germany

The program allowed me to get to know my strengths and my weaknesses and to recognize my potential.

Göksenin Cakir - Turkey

We are integrated into everyday university life and get a good insight into the life of the students and into the various subjects. It’s now much clearer to me what I want

Elias Bosch – Germany


Let’s get in contact

William Levi
Recruitment Counselor and Admissions Officer


Do you have questions or would you like to be consulted personally? We are happy to help you with your inquiry.

Leave us a message or contact us directly:

Whatsapp / WeChat: +49 151 142 67 805

Tel: +49 (421) 2004313

Skype: foundationyear

Email: foundationyear [at]


If you want to apply directly and independently, please use the button "Direct student application". If the application is made through an agent please click the button "Application via agent".

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