You are here: Home Comprehensive Partnerships Penn State University (USA)

Due to the current situation and a duty of care towards our employees, we kindly ask for your understanding that the International Office is primarily available via email until further notice. Emails will be read and answered as quickly as possible. Any in-person consultations are suspended. Only under these conditions will it be possible to maintain service long-term.

Penn State University (USA)

Penn State Lion


About the Partnership

The University of Freiburg and the Pennsylvania State University have had linkages since 1998, which have grown into a strong strategic partnership. The first Memorandum of Understanding between the Pennsylvania State University and the University of Freiburg was signed in 2011, laying the foundation for a multidisciplinary undergraduate student exchange.

The following year, the partner universities engaged in faculty exchange activities. An agreement between the Schreyer Honors College and the University College Freiburg signed in 2013 established student exchange opportunities on a prominent level. In 2014, the memorandum was renewed and the collaboration was expanded towards a strategic partnership. From 2016 on, a new Collaboration Development Program was providing seed monies for long-term programs integrating faculty and junior researchers from both universities.


The Partnership on YouTube


Highlights of the Partnership

  • After a Kick-off Meeting in Freiburg in May, the universities cooperatively launched the Penn State - Freiburg Joint Collaboration Center in July 2018. One of the Center’s goals is to enable stakeholders on all levels to benefit from a strong, successful and mutually beneficial partnership.
  • In August 2018, Rector Schiewer had the honor of delivering the commencement speech during the Penn State Graduate Commencement.
  • In September 2018, the University of Freiburg has successfully been granted two Clusters of Excellence in Germany’s Excellence Strategy. Joint scientific foci will be developed according to cluster research topics.
  • The Freiburg-Penn State Collaboration Development Program has been created to provide seed monies to develop plans for long-term programs integrating faculty and junior researchers from both universities.
  • Nick Jones, Executive Vice President and Provost, came to Freiburg to support the University of Freiburg's application as a "University of Excellence" within the "Excellence Strategy".
  • We are looking forward to the visit of the President of Penn State Eric Barron in July 2019.


Opportunities for Students

Interdisciplinary Student Exchange:

  • call for applications for the outgoing exchange published annually in February/March
  • mandatory information sessions run between March/April and August
  • annual application deadline in September/October for an exchange semester or year starting in the fall of the following year.


Opportunities for Researchers

The Collaboration Development Fund Program, a jointly financed Seed-fund program, was launched to facilitate collaborative research and teaching projects to become sustainable, self-supporting, long-term activities. Penn State and the University of Freiburg have committed these Seed funds for a third year in 2019.

For more information, contact Katja Stempfle-Eberl at the International Office via


General Mobility and Support Opportunities

  • University of Freiburg Staff Exchange Program (Deadlines: Sept 30th for travelling from September – Frebruary; January 31st for travelling from March – August)



For more information about the partnership, contact Katja Stempfle-Eberl via