Courses | Curriculum

Select the courses you wish to attend from the course list, with the schedules and with the course cycle list. Check with KSL/CTS  (Core Teaching System, the University of Bern course catalog) about potential changes and verify the date of the beginning of each course (this is not always in the first week).

Check arrangements for your travels to Zürich if you intend to take courses at ETH Zurich. Refer to the website of the MSc in Atmospheric and Climate Science program at ETH Zurich for information about the courses (see also the list of elective courses) to make your choice. See also the FAQs about taking courses at ETH Zurich and reimbursement of travel expenses below.

Make sure that you are registered at ETH Zurich as a "Special Student": Fill in the registration form (pdf, 68 kB) and send it to the address given in the form in the first week of the semester. You will then get a personal login to subscribe for courses at ETH Zurich (typically in the second week of the semester). Courses at ETH Zurich must be subscribed for within the fourth week of the semester. There is no registration fee and no charges for courses. More information and explanations about studying at ETH Zurich can be found on their rectorate's homepagePlease note that this registration must be made for every semester.

All courses (with credits and grades) that are on the list of Elective courses ETH (PDF, 2KB) (pdf, 4 kB) are fully accepted as a part of the MSc in Climate Sciences, University of Bern and can form part of the 52 ECTS elective courses. For all other courses you wish to take (within the 10 ECTS extra-curricular courses), written permission from the studies coordinator is required. Refer to the website of the MSc in Atmospheric and Climate Science programme at ETH Zurich for information about the courses to make your choice. See also FAQ on extra-curricular courses.

The Graduate School of Climate Sciences is reimbursing travel expenses for courses taken at ETH Zurich during two semesters of your choice. Note that some courses are only held every second year, it is therefore recommended to bundle your courses at ETH Zurich into two semesters. You have two options for the reimbursement of travel expenses:

  1. a grant of 400.00 CHF/semester for the Generalabonnement (free use of public transport), or
  2. the reimbursement of single tickets (base half fare) plus a grant (40.00 CHF/semester) for the Halbtaxabonnement (Half-Fare Card). The total amount for this option is limited to 600 CHF/semester.

Subject to reimbursement are expenses for return tickets from Bern (or effective costs for public transport from your place of residence, if lower) to Zürich. You can apply for the reimbursement of travel expenses by filling in the Reimbursement of travel expenses form (PDF, 298KB) and providing original paper tickets. If you use the Halbtax-Abonnement, collect all your original paper tickets, stick them on a sheet of paper and number them consecutively (see the Travel expenses example (PDF, 2.4 MB)). Alternatively, we need the proof of purchase for the Generalabonnement, e.g., available from your customer account at
Don't forget to write down all travel dates, even if you have a General-Abonnement! Let us know if you use special tickets (e.g. Gleis 7, Libero). The option of the General-Abonnement is recommended for students who are planning to attend more than one course at the ETH Zurich. Consider buying a Gleis-7-Abonnement if you have a Halbtax-Abonnement.
Return the form by post until 28 February (autumn semester) or 30 September (spring semester) to: Graduate School of Climate Sciences, Oeschger Centre, University of Bern, Falkenplatz 16, CH-3012 Bern. Please note that the payment process can take up to two months.

Special regulations apply for the Climate Sciences Workshop I: Please add these travel expenses to the reimbursement form of the following semester. If you do not plan to take courses outside the University of Bern hand in a reimbursement form for the Climate Sciences Workshop I only.

Please note that the grants for Generalabonnement and/or Halbtaxabonnement are disbursed twice per student at the utmost.

10 ECTS can be taken outside the module of elective courses (52 ECTS, Annex 1 of the Studeis Program).

Eligible are courses given at a Swiss University, ETH Zurich or any other University that typically are

  • on the Master level and have a close relation to Climate Sciences,
  • on the Master level and are essential for your Master thesis project or
  • on a high Bachelor level, not in the field of your Bachelor studies, and essential for the understanding of an elective course or for your thesis.

These courses are subject to antecedent approval by the studies director. Please send requests by email, and include course number, title, lecturer, university, credits, level and program (e.g., BSc Biology), and semester (or a web-link to the course in KSL/CTS), as well as a short motivation highlighting one or more of the above relations to Climate Sciences and your curriculum.

Requests must reach the studies coordinator within the first 4 weeks of a regular course and antecedent to a course by topic (Blockkurs).

As soon as you have finished the hunt for ECTS points [e.g. at ETH Zurich, after 2 – 3 semesters] you ask the external institution [ETH Zurich] for a collective certificate with all of your courses, ECTS and grades (see Information sheet). This is called transcript and is issued by the external institution. You send this transcript to the graduate school studies coordinator, and we import this list into your UniBE KSL/CTS account.

If the grade of an exam is less then 4 (i.e. fail or unsatisfactory), the exam can be repeated once. The grades of the 2nd round count towards the grade average (even if they are lower than the grades of the first exam). In the elective courses module, a maximum of 6 ECTS credits of unsatisfactory grades can be compensated. More important compensations require an approval by the studies director.

In the case that your BSc certificate arrives late (too late) you may start your studies and take courses (given you have 150 ECTS). Send your BSc certificate directly to the registration desk (Immatrikulationsdienste) and they will change your status. This 'overlap' (intermediate status) is restricted to one semester only. All the courses will appear in the core teaching system KSL/CTS in the "Freiwillige Zusatzleistungen" or "Zwischenablage" section. Make sure that your KSL/CTS entries are converted correctly when the Bachelor's certificate is available.