Courses | Curriculum

Select the courses you wish to attend using the course list, the schedule and the course cycle here.
Course registration and administration at Univ. Bern is not centralized, it is the responsibility of the lecturer. You do not need to pre-register for most courses at University of Bern, but you need to register for the exam at some point during the semester. Check for exceptions, potential changes of the schedule and deadlines on KSL, the Univ. Bern online course list.

Check 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 as a "Special Student" at ETH Zurich: See their information page for 'special students University of Bern', fill out the registration form and send it to the given address in the first week of the semester. You will then receive a personal login with which you may register for courses. Courses at ETH Zurich must be registered for by the fourth week of the semester. There is no registration fee and no fees for courses. More information and explanations about studying at ETH Zurich can be found on their homepage of the RectoratePlease note that this registration must be done for each semester.

All courses (with credits and grades) listed as Elective courses ETH (PDF, 59KB) are fully recognized within the MSc in Climate Sciences, University of Bern and can be part of the 52 ECTS elective courses. For all other courses you wish to take (within the 10 ECTS of "wild cards", i.e. extra-curricular courses), written permission from our studies directorate is required. Check the website of the MSc in Atmospheric and Climate Science program at ETH Zurich for information on the courses to make your choice. See also FAQ on extra-curricular courses.

FOR PHD STUDENTS ONLY: PhD students proceed as indicated on the ETH website for special students.

The Graduate School of Climate Sciences offers reimbursement for travel expenses to courses held at ETH Zurich during each semester of your studies. A maximum of 1200 CHF per person will be reimbursed. 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 HB. The amount of the reimbursement is based on the following rules:

For holders of a half fare travelcard:
up to 600 CHF, based on receipts of single half fare tickets.

For holders of a GA travelcard:
the lower amount of
a) up to 600 CHF, based on single half fare tickets for course attendance, or
b) 30 % of purchase amount for GA travelcard(s), pro rata.

You can apply for the reimbursement of travel expenses by filling in the ReimbursementTravelExpenses form. All expenses must be covered by proofs of travelcard or ticket purchases, provided as electronic receipts (see Travel expenses example 1 (PDF, 140KB)) or as paper tickets. Stick all proofs on a sheet of paper and number them consecutively (see the Travel expenses example 2 (PDF, 2.5 MB)). Write down all travel dates, even if you have a GA travelcard. Consider buying a Gleis-7-Abonnement if you have a half fare travelcard.
Submit the form and proofs as soon as you have finished attendance, to University of Bern, Oeschger Centre, Hochschulstrasse 4, CH-3012 Bern. Please note that the payment process can take up to two months.

Special regulations apply for the Introduction Course: 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 Introduction Course only.


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. This is called transcript of records and is issued by the external institution.
For ETH, see the information page and the according information sheet.
You are asked to send the transcript of records to the graduate school studies coordinator, who will import the grades 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 10 ECTS credits of unsatisfactory grades can be compensated (Studies Program 2018, Art. 7, Para 2). 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.