Physiotherapists play a significant role in most health care teams in the maintenance and/or restoration of movement and function in a range of client groups. Starting in winter semester 2016/17, Furtwangen University is offering a new Physiotherapy degree programme in conjunction with the Gesundheitsschulen Südwest (Healthcare Schools South-West). In only 7 semesters you gain 2 qualifications: the professional qualification  = professional licensing (state examination) and the Bachelor of Science. Graduates with a Bachelor of Physiotherapy are not only fully qualified to provide physiotherapy treatment using relevant methods, techniques and applications, but are also able to examine and question these from an academic standpoint.

Although in Switzerland and France a university degree for physiotherapists is already mandatory, in Germany physiotherapists normally receive their 3-year training through state-recognized healthcare education institutions. Very few offer a degree programme and those are generally at fee-paying private universities. Our degree programme is the first and until now the only state undergraduate Physiotherapy degree programme in Baden-Württemberg, and as such, is tuition free. The amount of clinical practice on patients is equivalent to that offered in physiotherapy schools and the excellent clinical facilites provided by our cooperation partner Gesundheitsschulen Südwest mean that our students have the best possible conditions for practical training during clinical placements.

The lectures of the seven-semester programme take place on the Furtwangen Campus of HFU and in the HFU Study Center in Freiburg.

What's in it for me?

  • Gain 2 qualifications: the professional qualification  = professional licensing (state examination) and the Bachelor of Science in only 7 semesters
  • No tuition fees - only the normal student administrative fees are payable
  • Programme is offered in the Schwarzwald-Oberrhein region
  • First, and until now the only, state undergraduate Physiotherapy degree programme in Baden-Württemberg
  • Partnership with Gesundheitsschulen Südwest to provide clinical placements
  • Excellent clinical facilites and cooperation partners providing best possible conditions for practical training
  • Amount of clinical practice on patients equivalent to physiotherapy schools

Quick Information

Degree awarded Bachelor of Science (210 ECTS) plus state professional qualification
Duration of programme 7 semesters
Delivery full-time
Location of instruction Furtwangen and Freiburg plus various locations for practical clinical training
Programme begin winter semester (October)
Application deadline 15 July, application by post at any time, online application c. 10 weeks before application deadline
Restricted intake yes
Pre-sessional course requirement no, however a three-month internship in a hospital or medical environment is recommended
Academic entry requirements

university entrance qualifications (e.g. Abitur, Fachhochschulreife); upon matriculation proof of a lack of criminal record and of physical suitability for the profession must also be presented (both issued no longer than 3 months prior to this time)

Language of instruction German
Tuition Fees none - only normal student semester fees (€60 Administration Fee, €13 student union contribution and €47 student services fee)
Accreditation in progress

Programme Aims

The programme is based on the three basic pillars of research, teaching and patient care.

With a degree from HFU you gain the following skills:

  • Reflective applied physiotherapy (practice on patients)
  • Responsibility for tasks, e.g. team leadership and quality assurance tasks
  • Independent cooperative work in multi-professional teams
  • Project management
  • Preventitive physiotherapy and health promotion using physiotherapy
  • Scientific reflection
  • Testing of evidence
  • Appropriate modification of professional behaviour
  • Qualification for Master's degree programme

Programme Structure

Practical Training

The practical part of your degree programme is carried out in healthcare institutions selected by the university and its cooperation partner Gesundheitsschulen Südwest (GSSW). These are mainly hospitals and rehabilitation and post operative clinics in the region. Applied physiotherapy will be carried out in the following areas of medicine:

  • Orthopaedics
  • Surgery
  • Neurology
  • Internal Medicine
  • Gynecology
  • Psychiatry
  • Paediatrics

During your placements so-called teaching visits will take place. This means that we will visit you on-site to check on your learning progress.

The practical training will mainly take place in institutions in the Schwarzwald-Oberrhein region, Switzerland and in France. We have a large number of affilate institutions where practical training can be carried out. We personally select and supervise these institutions so that generally speaking you do not have to organize placement yourself.

Several blocks of clinical experience, each lasting several weeks, take place from the 3rd to the 6th semesters at a variety of different institutions. This enables you to gain the wide range of work experience required for the professional physiotherapy certification.

Physiotherapy training or degree - what is better for me?

The opportunity to study Physiotherapy in Germany is still relatively new. If you have the relevant university entrance qualifications (such as Abitur or Fachabitur), doing a degree with us is an inexpensive alternative to professional training. Here are some of the pros and cons:

Professional TrainingDegree at HFU
1,600 hours of practical trainingyesyes
Cost€300 - 500 / monthfree of charge
University entrance qualificationsnot requiredrequired
Qualification awardedstate-recognized physiotherapiststate-recognized physiotherapist + Bachelor of Science in Physiotherapy
Duration3 years3.5 years
Internship abroadseldom possiblepossible through affiliate partners in France and Switzerland

Current study programme models in Germany

The Bachelor degrees in Physiotherapy offered in Germany can have various structures:

  1. primary qualification = undergraduate degree including professional qualification and licensing
  2. courses with practical modules
  3. sandwich courses (work and study)

The Physiotherapy degree offered at Furtwangen University is an undergraduate degree. This means that you have the professional license to practice as a physiotherapist without prior professional training and you have a Bachelor of Science degree. Furtwangen University is responsible for setting up and carrying out the academic programme. 1,600 hours of practical training is integrated into the programme.

Career prospects

Your career prospects are excellent due to the current lack of physiotherapists. It is predicted that demand for support and rehabilitiation in Baden-Württemberg will increase by 43% until 2030, with an equivalent demand for university-educated physiotherapists.


Deadline for applications for the physiotherapy course is:

  • 15 July for start in the winter semester (October)

The internet site for online applications will be made live approximately 10 weeks prior to the deadline.

Applications can be made by post at any time: Admissions

For foreign prospective students

If you did not gain your university entrance qualifications in Germany, click here for information on foreign applications. Please note that Physiotherapy is a German-taught programme.

Further Information in German

As the Physiotherapy Bachelor degree programme is taught in German, please click here for information in German regarding the programme.


Prof. Dr. Peter König
Faculty of Health, Safety, Society
07723 920 2955
Furtwangen Campus, Room O 0.05

Florian Sandeck, M.Sc.
Faculty of Health, Safety, Society
07723 920 2969
Furtwangen Campus, Room O 0.17

Daniela Ketterer, B.A.
Faculty of Health, Safety, Society
07723 920 2968
Furtwangen Campus, Room O 0.17