Course Information

Course Selection

Students sitting in circles in a lecture hall, discussion in small Groups.

Courses are interactive and offer opportunities for Group work

The Sommerhochschule European Studies program consists of two two-week sessions. Six European Studies courses with 4 ECTS credits (32 contact hours) per course are offered during the first session and six during the second session. Out of the courses offered during one session, students can select one during the early morning (8:30–10:30am) and one during the late morning (10:50–12:50am). For further details please see the schedule.

In addition to the European Studies courses, the Sommerhochschule also offers German language courses in the afternoon. All German courses last both sessions and can be selected for the whole period only.

In the course of the four-week program students are required to attend courses amounting to 10 ECTS credits. In order to meet this requirement one of the following options is possible:

1. three European Studies courses (out of 12 offered), or
2. the Arbitration Academy course plus one European Studies course, or
3. German A1, A2, B1, or B2 plus one European Studies course.

Students may also enroll or audit additional courses. The maximum number of courses students may attend during the summer program is four (this includes courses taken for audit). Students who successfully complete four courses will receive the SHS Diploma in European Studies

ECTS Credits & Contact Hours

A student standing at a speaker's desk giving a presentation, with five students in the background.

Students give presentations in the courses and at the evening seminars

The Sommerhochschule grants credits according to the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). The allocation of the ECTS credits to the Sommerhochschule courses is based on the amount of work necessary for a course.

Each European Studies course corresponds to 4 ECTS credits.
Each German language course corresponds to 6 ECTS credits.
The Austrian Arbitration Academy course corresponds to 8 ECTS credits.


The lecture time per course is represented by contact hours. (Each contact hour consists of 45 minutes class time.)

Each European Studies course has 32 contact hours.
Each German language course has 64 contact hours.
The Austrian Arbitration Academy course consists of 64 contact hours.


Cooperation with the Diplomatic Academy

Attending the summer school increases the chances of admission within the highly competitive application process at the Diplomatic Academy (DA) of Vienna. Students who proceed to study in the Master of Advanced International Studies Program (M.A.I. S.) at the DA may also be exempt from attending certain core courses covering the same material as the courses they took at the summer school. The decision on such exemptions can only be made by the respective department chair in economics, law, history, and political science during the individual advisory session at the beginning of the academic year at the DA.

For more detailed information please contact the DA:
Diplomatic Academy of Vienna
Favoritenstrasse 15a, A-1040 Vienna, Austria
phone: +43-1-505 72 72

Exams & Grading System

A row of four students sitting in class reading.

Taking exams and writing papers constitutes part of the grade.

Final examinations are given in all courses. Courses are graded using the Austrian grading system: 1 (Sehr gut/very good); 2 (Gut/good); 3 (Befriedigend/satisfactory); 4 (Genügend/sufficient); 5 (Nicht genügend/failed). The grade points given in the transcript provide an opportunity to differentiate performance within each of the stated grades.


Grade and grade points are as follows:

Austrian Grade Grade Points
1 89 –100
2 76 – 88
363 – 75
451 – 62
50– 50


The Sommerhochschule reserves the right to exclude students from the summer school in case of improper behavior.

Transcripts & Diplomas

Transcripts of Record will be given to those students who attend classes regularly and who pass the exams in the required number of courses.


Students who successfully attend and complete four courses will receive the SHS Diploma in European Studies.
Those who have a GPA of 1.25 on the basis of Austrian grading for their diploma courses will receive a diploma with highest distinction.

Classroom Attendance

Classroom attendance is vitally important for a successful completion of each course, particularly in those classes which rely on classroom discussion or other forms of active participation by the students. Therefore regular classroom attendance is mandatory for all courses. Students absent from classes without leave will not be graded.

Cancellation of Courses

The Sommerhochschule reserves the right to cancel any course for which the number of registered students is deemed insufficient, or for other compelling reasons.