Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Department of History

An A-Z Guide



is the online course catalogue for the university. With AGNES, students can view a schedule of the courses on offer each semester, create their semester plan, and register for both courses and, if necessary, examinations.




stands for Bundesausbildungsförderungsgesetz. Financing is often an obstacle to undertaking an education programme. Those who neither have enough money themselves nor can be supported by their parents are entitled to financial support from the state. One half of the grant consists of an interest-free loan; the other half is a state subsidy. The amount of financial support is generally calculated on the basis of income.




Change of course

is possible if you realize that one of your subjects has turned out to be an absolute mistake. If this happens, you should contact the Student Advisory Service immediately.



is located at Unter den Linden 6, room 1115. It is available for student activities and film screenings.



stands for the Computer and Media Service. CMS takes care of all computing and other technical facilities and problems. It also provides certain free software packages.


Contributions and fees

must be paid to the university each semester upon matriculation or re-registration. They consist of a contribution to the Studierendenwerk, a student activities fee, a semesterticket for transportation, and administrative fees.



is the name of the student service responsible for enrolment, re-registration, requesting semesters of leave and managing your personal data. As a rule, you only encounter Compass at the beginning and end of your studies. Students must apply for leave at the matriculation office, stating reasons for the request. During a leave of absence, you have no right to receive proof of performance. This does not apply to examinations if the conditions for the examination have already been fulfilled before the leave of absence. Leave semesters do not count as subject semesters, but they do count as university semesters.


Course catalogue

is abbreviated VV (for Vorlesungsverzeichnis) and lists the course offerings for each semester. It also contains important addresses, dates, and similar information. In contrast to the general VV, the Kommentiertes Vorlesungsverzeichnis (KVV) contains detailed comments and literature references to the individual courses. It is available online via AGNES.


C.t. and s.t.

tell you when events begin. The abbreviation c.t. stands for cum tempore (meaning ‘with time’) and indicates that the course does not begin until 15 minutes after the full hour (the so-called ‘academic quarter’). Thus, 8:00 c.t. means that the course starts at 8:15. The abbreviation s.t., on the other hand, stands for sine tempore and means that the event begins on the hour. Courses and events not explicitly labelled s.t. may be assumed to be c.t.






for student representatives will take place multiple times during your studies. Because these elections determine the representation of your interests, you should definitely take them seriously. For students, the elections of the StuPas, the InstRat, the FakRat, as well as the Academic Senate and the women's representatives are of particular importance.



is an essential tool in everyday university communication. The university provides you with your own HU email address via Squirrel Mail. Please keep in mind, however, that it expires with your exmatriculation.



is the administrative process required to become a student at the university. Once you have received your certificate of enrolment, you are accepted as a student member of Humboldt-Universität. Enrolment is indefinite but must be renewed every semester by re-registration.


Examination office

is your contact point for questions about crediting and examination matters. You can also contact them with questions concerning your thesis.



means the student's withdrawal from the university. This usually happens involuntarily if you have not re-registered despite a reminder. If a compulsory examination is failed three times, you are forced to withdraw from the relevant course of study. If the standard period of study is exceeded, proof of examination counselling must be provided; otherwise, there is a risk of mandated exmatriculation.




is to be rendered in writing by students. This independent written work varies in scope depending on the type of seminar. A term paper, which may require elaboration of an oral presentation or a further deepening of a seminar topic, may be assigned.




offer you the opportunity to test skills learned from your studies for their value in practice. They can also facilitate professional networking. The creditability of an activity as an internship is to be discussed with the practice representative. Many students choose to work in libraries or in research or cultural institutions, but if you are interested in working as a restorer, there would be nothing against an internship with (e.g.) a stonemason. The university's practice exchange is also helpful here.





is the Kooperative Bibliotheksverbund Berlin-Brandenburg – not only the union of all university libraries, all public libraries and many special libraries in Berlin and Brandenburg, but also the most important instrument for literature research for students in Berlin. The KOBV can be accessed freely at It is worth investing two or three hours to get to know its functions and possibilities. The KOBV serves, among other things, to locate media in other Berlin and Brandenburg libraries that is not onsite at the university or the Stabi (Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, Unter den Linden 8, 10117 Berlin). Students can order these media via interlibrary loan for a fee. Also of note are the KOBV-VKs. These catalogues enable literature searches in special subject areas. The VK Judaica, for Jewish history, is a particular highlight. The KOBV also provides access to other Berlin libraries, which Humboldt University students can use either free of charge or at favourable rates.





is the final module examination that you will take at the end of a module. It is intended to examine all areas of the seminar you have attended. In the introductory phase, it consists of a presentation or an oral examination.


Matriculation number

is your identification number, which you will receive with your matriculation. It can be found on documents such as the student card or the matriculation certificate. Because, unlike your name, it is known only to you and the enrolment office, it is often used to anonymise exams and public postings and as a username.


Module sheet

records your achievements. In the past, successful participation in a course was confirmed with a certificate. Now, however, this proof is provided by the module sheet, which confirms your successful participation in all courses belonging to the relevant module and records the grades of your MAPs. You should keep your module sheets in a safe place and not lose them.



is the internal course management platform of the university. For many courses you will need to register on Moodle as well as in AGNES. With Moodle, courses can be enhanced with online resources. Moodle can provide a seminar plan, readings, and chat rooms. You can find an introduction on the Moodle homepage.




is the abbreviation for nomen nescio (meaning ‘I don't know the name’). If you encounter an N.N. in the course catalogue, this means that no lecturer has yet been determined for this course.




is an international club which should be one of the first points of contact for a planned semester abroad. Students who have already spent a semester abroad can share their experience with you at Orbis and will be happy to help you plan your semester abroad.





means that you must register anew for the coming semester in order to extend your matriculation. The re-registration takes place automatically when you pay your fees. Note that re-registration deadlines are in February and July. Latecomers will be charged a late registration fee.



Secondary listeners

are students who are enrolled at one university and wish to attend courses relevant to their degree at another university. You can register as a secondary listener. This registration does not establish a membership relationship with the other university. In order to be allowed to attend a course as a secondary student, you may have to obtain the consent of the lecturer and complete an application form at the enrolment office of the other university.


Semesterticket allowance

is a grant programme that awards the cost of a semesterticket to qualified applicants. All HU students may apply. Grants are awarded according to social situation and hardship. Further information can be found on the website of the Semesterticketbüro of the RefRat.


Standard period of study

specifies how long a course of study should normally last. The standard period of study (including the Bachelor's thesis) is six semesters for a BA and four semesters for an MA. The total duration of the Bachelor's programme is 5,400 hours, divided into 900 hours per semester. As a rule, the course time (attendance time) amounts to about one third of the total number of hours. The remaining time is reserved for preparation and assignments.


Subject semester

is the number of semesters completed within a given programme of study. Semesters abroad and internship periods also count. Subject semesters are distinct from university semesters, which cover all your time enrolled at universities.




Teacher training option

may be elected along with a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree. The course of study with the teacher training option does not commit you to a life as a teacher when you graduate. If your studies offer you other incentives in the academic, cultural, or political professions, you can qualify for them despite having elected the teacher training option.



University sport

offers many options for leisure activities and spectatorship. It is best to attend closely to what is on offer and, if you are interested, register early in the online lists.