Generale Studies program – winter semester 2011/2012

General Studies
As a central academic institution, General Studies at Mainz University has the task of expanding specialist studies on an interdisciplinary level and supporting interdisciplinary approaches to research and teaching. Addressing the highly complex current issues requires not only the specialization in science, but simultaneous cooperation across the boundaries of each individual discipline. The extensive General Studies program provides a forum for interdisciplinary scientific discourse and also provides an insight into links between scientific findings and real world applications. It helps promote reflection and an awareness of the relationship between the disciplines.
The General Studies program at Mainz is an institution with one of the richest traditions of its kind in Germany. It is aimed at students, university affiliates, and any interested individuals, thereby fostering intellectual openness. Founded initially in 1948/49 as an academic preparatory course, it opened up as General Studies program for all students in 1949/50. The federal state Rhineland-Palatinate also made financial support available for guest lectures and special lectures for the first time in 1953/54 to "broaden horizons, deepen knowledge and for personal and political education," in the words of then General Studies program director, Karl Holzamer. The 100th series of colloquia of the "Mainz university discussions" was celebrated during the winter semester 2007 and 2008.

Our key topics
Changing key topics links interdisciplinary General Studies lecture offerings with teaching courses in individual subjects. They provide an opportunity to address the current and most important scientific topics of the day and present the points of view from a variety of different disciplines. The renowned series of colloquia of the "Mainz university discussions" and additional lecture series on different topics each semester are designed and organized by employees from a variety of different scientific fields. With interdisciplinary lecture series, in-depth specialist teaching courses, and variable programs with regard to the selected topics, General Studies aims to open up a wide range of scientific and educational fields to participants in a problem-oriented manner.

The "Johannes Gutenberg endowed professorship" foundation
Facilitating the interdisciplinary debate of current issues and to conveying an image of living science to the public are goals that also serve the Johannes Gutenberg endowed professorship, founded by "Freunde der Universität Mainz e. V." in 2000 and based in the General Studies Department. General Studies is responsible for planning, organizing, and carrying out events and supports the professorship holders both in the conception and organization of the lecture series held during summer semesters.

Other public events
General Studies acts as a coordinating body, initiating and supporting interdisciplinary and integrative courses and projects in cooperation with the departments, subjects, work groups, and centers, as well as with other institutions within and outside the university. The public events arising from these diverse cooperative ventures form their own category in the semester program and address and discuss a wide variety of different interdisciplinary problems and questions.

Program elements without admission requirements
The General Studies program spanning the sciences includes the following public lecture segments:

The interdisciplinary series of colloquia "Mainz university discussions,"
Lecture series and further events on the key topics which change every semester.
The "Johannes Gutenberg endowed professorship" foundation lecture series (held each summer semester).
Numerous lecture series, individual lectures, colloquia, readings, meetings, symposia, workshops, exhibitions, etc., in cooperation with university and non-university institutions – summarized in the chapter "Other public events."

No admission requirements apply when taking part in these lectures. The events on offer as part of General Studies are usually free of charge and are directed not only at students from all departments and members of the university, but also at the general public to provide an insight into the tasks and significance of science and help promote the external image of the university.

Offerings from university institutions
In addition to these public events, General Studies also provides a program guide with information on offerings from other university institutions such as the university library, psychotherapy information center or general university sport. Additional details on applicable admission requirements and terms and conditions for participation can be obtained from those institutions.

General Studies tutorials and prerequisites for BA students
Some BA courses (currently German Studies, History, Philosophy, Communication Studies, Sports and Sports science) and Master's study courses (currently M.Sc. Anthropology, M.Sc. Biology. M.A. Book Studies, M.A. Empirical Research in Democracy, M.A. Educational Science, M.A. Anthropology and African Studies, M.A. German Studies, M.A. History, M.A. Comparative Literature/European Literature, M.A. Art History, M.A. Musicology, M.A. Intercultural Romance Studies, M.A. Sociology and M.A. Theater Studies) contain a module that consists of a General Studies lecture series respectively lecture and a relevant tutorial. The General Studies tutorials developed for this purpose are subject to admission requirements and are directed exclusively at students on the BA courses named above.
Additional information and registration for these tutorials via JOGU-StINe (

Additional departmental courses and prerequisites
A selection of courses from regular subject course offerings, directed at registered students of all subjects and those auditing, are listed in a separate chapter of the program guide.
Subject matter and presentation of the courses listed here, for which students can receive subject-specific certificates, is to offer information and orientation across subject borders. Some courses that are subject to admission requirements are combined with the General Studies subject cores because of related content and are therefore listed as "additional courses" under these core areas.
The selected specialist teaching courses are free of charge for students enrolled at Mainz University. The "Center for Continuing Academic Education" ( provides information on the fees and registration process for those who would like to audit.

Program Guide
General Studies publishes a program guide for each semester containing a detailed list of events on offer as part of General Studies. This guide is published one week before the semester begins. Program on campus (SB II, reconstruction law and economics, UB, philosophy building, new cafeteria, reconstruction chemistry) and in the city of Mainz (State Museum, Volkshochschule Mainz, book shops, etc.). The program guide can also be sent to interested parties outside the university with advance notice.
The latest version of the printed program guide for winter semester 2011/2012 was published October 17, 2011.

Donations account for General Studies
General Studies at Mainz provides an opportunity not available at many universities in Germany to take part in interdisciplinary lecture series, presentations, colloquia, seminars, meetings, etc. We rely on financial support from the private sector to be able to continue offering a qualified program of events free of charge.

If you would like to support the General Studies work, please feel free to make a donation in the amount of your choice using the account listed below for Mainz University:

Deutsche Bundesbank Mainz, Mainz branch
Account number 550 015 11, Routing number 550 000 00
6101-8500-28286-2730500, General Studies, cost center 8400/donation

Donation receipts available.