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Here you will find frequently asked questions. If you have any further questions do not hesitate to write us an e-mail:


1. What is the EPG?

Basic Studies in Ethics and Philosophy (Ethisch-Philosophisches Grundlagenstudium - EPG) has been an obligatory part of Teacher Training University Degrees (Lehramtsstudium für das Gymnasium) in Baden-Württemberg since the summer term of 2001. The objective of the EPG is to sensitize future teachers to scientific and occupational ethical problems, to communicate fundamental ethical knowledge, to develop skills in reasoning and discussion, and to provide them with non-reductionist, ethically reflected scientific understanding. The EPG consists of two courses, each held two hours a week, which are graded according to the performance of students in oral presentations, written examinations or essays. The basic courses in Ethics and Philosophy are interdisciplinary.


2. Do I have to attend EPG courses?

In short: You have to attend an EPG course and present the appropriate grades and attendance certificates if you are being examined according to the scientific examination stipulations for teaching training at secondary schools from the 13th of March 2001 (WPO)
or according to the stipulations from the 31st July 2009 (GymPO I). You belong to the latter group if you began your teacher training degree in the winter term of 2010 or later. In both cases the successful completion of an EPG-course is a stipulation for the acceptance to the final examination for teacher training degrees focused on secondary school teaching.


3. How many EPG courses do I have to attend?

There are two types of EPG courses: a primary foundation course with an introductory character (EPG1), and a follow-up secondary course concerning subject specific and occupational ethical questions (EPG2).  Regardless of which examination stipulations apply (cf. “2. Do I have to attend EPG courses?”), if you are qualifying for teaching at grammar schools, you must attend both EPG1 and EPG2 courses.
If you began your teacher training degree in the winter term of 2010 or later, you will have to pass a written exam in both courses, each of which will be rewarded with 6 ECTS points.


4. Is the EPG only obligatory for ethics teachers?

No, the EPG courses are mandatory for all teacher training degree programmes with regard to secondary school education.


5. I study Philosophy/Ethics – do I have to attend EPG courses?

Yes, EPG courses are mandatory for all teacher training degrees.


6. I study theology – do I have to attend EPG courses?

Yes, EPG courses are mandatory for all teacher training degrees.


7. Which subject should the EPG courses concern that I have to attend?

EPG-2 courses should be chosen in a meaningful relation to the chosen subjects of your degree. However, it is up to you which courses you attend – therefore this can of course be different from your degree subject. You must only make sure that you attend and fulfil the requirements for EPG courses, i.e. attend both EPG1 and EPG2.


8. When do I have to attend EPG-courses?

It is recommended that students complete the EPG1 course during their minors/first two years. The EPG2 courses would be more suited to the latter part of your degree, since your knowledge regarding your subject will have grown and you will therefore gain more from attending an EPG2 course.


9. How do I find the courses that are on offer?

The EPG courses can be found in the general course catalogue which is available online ( and in print, at http://www.epg.uni­, and in the list of lectures in the different departments that offer EPG courses. They are also in a printed version of the EPG courses.


10. Do I have to register in advance for the courses on offer?

Generally, students are supposed to register via the electronic course catalogue. However, sometimes the different courses require notification of interest by email etc. which can be gathered from reading the list of lectures.


11. What distinguishes the EPG from other institutes?

Basic ethical-philosophical courses are on ethics and are interdisciplinary in content. In accordance with article C of the scientific examination board (WPO) or article D of the updated version (GymPO) there are two types of courses, which are termed “EPG course 1” and “EPG course 2”. Teacher training degree candidates must attend and successfully complete one EPG1 seminar and 1 EPG2 seminar in order to be accepted to their finals.

11.1 EPG1 Courses

EPG1 courses are to introduce students into the framework of ethics and are to clarify ethical dimensions of research and science. They are to communicate fundamental expertise in the understanding, elucidation and discussion of ethical and interdisciplinary problems. In this regard they also lay the foundations for the understanding of questions und methods of so-called applied ethics, that is, of ethics concerned with specific subject matter.

Important contents of the teaching modules for the EPG 1 courses are:

  • A scientific theoretical understanding of each subject within the total apparatus of the scientific disciplines
  • Ethical dimensions of science and research
  • Fundamental conceptual differentiations within the field of ethics
  • Meaningful theories of ethics

The stipulations for students in the EPG1 course are termed as:

  • To accumulate knowledge of ethical philosophical fundamental questions.
  • The ability to work through ethical and interdisciplinary questions and derive an understanding from this. This concerns applied ethics, that is, an understanding of the different fields of ethics.

EPG2 Courses

An EPG2 course is concerned directly with subject orientated and occupational questions. The course delves into ethical dimensions and problems of one or many subjects (or of subject paradigms) in connection with the different fields of ethics. It also concerns theoretical and methodical interdisciplinary fields in ethics (e.g. bio-ethics, medical ethics etc.) und reflects upon ethical questions relating to the workplace, professional surroundings, communications, all with an emphasis on their relation to general ethical sociological questions. In regard to exemplary discursive forms of argumentation and judgment, occupational ethical questions are to be approached that relate to different subject matters.

EPG2 courses are to cover:

  • Ethical dimensions and questions in regard to specific fields of ethics
  • Fundamental principles and methods of interdisciplinary applied ethics
  • Occupation orientated questions
  • The socio-political significance of each of the fields.

The requirements for students for the EPG2 courses are as follows:

  • The ability to construct objective judgments based on exemplary ethical problems in regard to different subject matters and in the different fields of ethics. To apply the theoretical knowledge from the fields to specific occupational questions and scenarios.


12. Are specific grades a requirement for the successful completion of an EPG course?

Yes, the EPG courses are completed successfully if the grades are between 1 and 6 (WPO: including “half” grades (e.g. 2,5). They count towards the completion of the “teacher training” final examination (Staatsexamen).
If you began your teacher training degree in the winter term of 2010 or later (GymPO I), your grades will be stored electronically. The new grading system looks as follows:
sehr gut
nicht ausreichend

Students are required to register for their exams beforehand (in addition to registering for the courses) with Mrs Ehinger (Gemeinsame Kommission der Philologischen, Philosophischen und Wirtschafts- und Verhaltenswissenschaftlichen Fakultät).


13. Do my EPG grades count towards the „teacher training“ final examination (Staatsexamen) itself?

Yes. The successful completion of an EPG course is on the one hand a stipulation for the acceptance to the final exams (Staatsexamen), on the other hand the two EPG courses count towards the final examination grade. The two courses are proportionally identical in significance 1:1, and make up 3-4% of the final “Staatsexamen” grade (see WPO §16, section 9 and article C, section 3, or GymPO §21, sections 9, 10, and 11).


14. Can a course from another faculty be accredited as an EPG course?

No. It is specifically not possible to use another course completion certificate to count as an EPG course (that is, courses that are not specifically termed “EPG” courses). On the other hand, the EPG courses are accepted as equivalent course requirements for other faculties, so far as the content criteria for that subject are fulfilled (in accordance with WPO § 8 section 3, sentence 3). The institutes and faculties have the following possibilities: they can allow an EPG course to be offered either:

  1. Only as an EPG course, in which their own faculty requirement for a successful course completion is not included;
  2. As an EPG course and at the same time as a course accepted as part of their own faculty course requirement, insofar as the students then decide whether they accredit the course as part of the faculty requirement or as an EPG course; but can only decide for the one or the other.
  3. To offer it as an EPG course and faculty course, but allow the students to decide whether they would like to accredit the course as a faculty course certificate, as an EPG course certificate, or, for students who began their course of studies before the winter term of 2010, as both. In such cases two specifically different requirements have to be met (e.g. EPG exam and faculty essay). The new stipulations (GymPO) and the ECTS grading system, however, do not offer this opportunity any longer.


15. I have further questions regarding the EPG: Who can help me?

Recent information about the EPG can be found at
Additionally, EPG co-ordinators Dr. Barbara Skorupinski and Sebastian Schwenzfeuer will be happy to answer further questions during their office hours, via telephone (+49-761 203 9248 and +49-761 203 5502), or via e-mail (