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Sustainable Systems Engineering (Bachelor of Science)

We are training the engineers of the future with our bachelor’s degree program Sustainable Systems Engineering (SSE).

In addition to a solid and broad engineering education you will address socially relevant topics of sustainability, for example:

  • How can renewable energy be generated, fed into the grid and stored? What are the challenges of the energy transition?
  • How do we make our digital communication more efficient and secure?
  • How can technically relevant material properties be determined? How is the ecological footprint calculated and what options are available for a product at the end of its life?
  • What exactly does sustainability mean? How do I reconcile ecological, economic and social aspects?

After successfully completing your bachelor’s degree, you are well qualified for continuing your studies in our international master’s program in Sustainable Systems Engineering at the University of Freiburg or in another engineering master’s degree program. It is also possible to directly start a career at a company or public institution. Current career prospects for engineers are excellent.


  • University entrance qualification (e.g. high school diploma or Abitur)
  • Very good German language skills (level C1 of the European reference framework required for application already)
  • To enjoy technology and solving modern, complex challenges as well as being unafraid of mathematics and physics are also important requirements for successful studies in Sustainable Systems Engineering.

Basic information

Total credits:

180 ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits

Standard course length:

6 semester resp. 3 years

Language of instruction:

German, options in English

Course start:

Winter semester (October)

Tuition and fees

German and EU citizens

  • 78€ fee for Student Services (Studierendenwerk, SWFR)
  • 70€ administrative fee
  • 7€ fee for student union


The amount of 155 € is charged by the University per semester.

Non-EU citizens

  • 1500€ tuition
  • 78€ fee for Student Services (Studierendenwerk, SWFR)
  • 70€ administrative fee
  • 7€ fee for student union


The amount of 1655 € is charged by the University per semester.

Application and admission

The course starts in winter semester 2018/19 for the first time.



without specific admission requirements (unrestricted admission)

Application deadline:


July 15th (international applicants)

Note: Holders of a German university entrance qualification can enroll directly by October 5th. 

If you have any questions about the application process, please contact the Student Service Center, which coordinates applications. You will also find information on how to apply or enroll there.

Curriculum / study plan

The bachelor’s degree program SSE conveys all the fundamentals and methodologies of engineering in the first four semesters:

  • Physics and Materials Technology
  • Mathematics and Systems Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering and Energy Technology
  • Chemistry and Process Engineering
  • Society and Technology

Building on these foundations, the course offers an in-depth study of methodology and expertise in topics of sustainable development from an engineering perspective in the following semesters:

  • Energy systems including renewable energy
  • Resilience (Resistance and adaptability of systems, e.g. after accidents or an environmental disaster)
  • Sustainable materials

In addition to expertise, other key engineering skills will be acquired such as simulation techniques, lifetime analysis and programming languages as well as, according to your interests, various soft skills such as presentation techniques and project planning. All of these are important skills for your career.

The curriculum is as follows:

1. Semester

  • Mechanics
  • System Design project
  • Mathematics I for Computer Science and Engineering students
  • Introduction to Programming
  • Microsystems Engineering – Processes and Components

2. Semester

  • Electrodynamics and Optics
  • Introduction to Electrical Engineering
  • Mathematics II for Engineering students
  • Environmental Law and Risk Assessment

3. Semester

  • Solid State Physics
  • Continuum Mechanics
  • Electronics - Components and Analog Circuits
  • Differential Equations (Mathematics III)
  • General and Inorganic Chemistry


4. Semester

  • Sustainability Concepts and Evaluation
  • Systems Theory and Control Engineering
  • Measuring Technology
  • Materials Science (elective)
  • Circuit Technology (elective)
  • Technical Thermodynamics (elective)


5. Semester

  • Sustainable Business
  • Life Cycle Analysis
  • Simulation Techniques
  • Signals and Systems
  • Engineering Mechanics - Dynamics (elective)
  • IT Security and Privacy (elective)


6. Semester

  • Sustainable Materials (elective)
  • Energy Systems (elective)
  • Resilience (elective)
  • 2 BOK courses at ZfS / SLI (elective)
  • Bachelor Module 

The individual modules with learning objectives, content, responsible teachers, scope of work, types of examination and literature etc. are described in detail in the module handbook.

The exact structure of the course including an explanation of the compulsory and elective modules and elective options are outlined in the examination regulations.

Module handbook and exam regulations

Please note: Only the latest version is listed here. Older versions (if available) can be found in Module Handbooks and Exam Regulations under Studies and Teaching.

  • Module handbook online version in HISinONE (expected in August 2018)
  • Module handbook pdf version (non-binding and preliminary version, German only!)
  • Exam regulations (see § Satzungen, German only!)
    The web pages of the legal department now contain the new examination regulations.

Career prospects

After successfully completing your bachelor’s degree, you are well qualified for continuing your studies in our international master’s program in Sustainable Systems Engineering (SSE) at the University of Freiburg or in another engineering master’s degree program. It is also possible to directly start a career at a company or public institution.

You can apply your knowledge as an engineer in the following professional  fields:

  • Semiconductor industry
  • Energy and environmental technologies
  • Material development
  • Communication technology
  • Urban planning
  • Environmental management and policy
  • Business consulting / NGO work


If you have questions about the admissions process or want to learn more about the benefits of the program, please contact us directly:

General questions regarding the course including application and admission process:

Eva Otto
Emmy-Noether-Straße 2, 2. OG Nord
79110 Freiburg
Tel. +49 761 203 54010

Academic adviser:

Dr. Georg Ganzenmüller
Emmy-Noether-Straße 2, 2. OG Nord
79110 Freiburg
Tel. +49 761 203 96784

Academic adviser:

Björn Christian
Emmy-Noether-Straße 2, 2. OG Nord
Telefon: +49 761 203 54094


Highlights of the course

As an SSE student in Freiburg, you have the opportunity:

  • to get a taste of cutting-edge research projects of internationally renowned professors,
  • to benefit from the state-of-the-art facilities of a modern and European campus,
  • to live in one of the most popular and greenest student cities in Germany.


First Semester – Arrive, study, then decide

You do not know which of the three Bachelor's degree programs Microsystems Engineering, Embedded Systems Engineering or Sustainable Systems Engineering is right for you? You cannot decide? You do not know what exactly each subject entails?

No worries – the first semester for each of the courses mentioned above are identical and designed so that you get familiar with all three subjects. After two semesters, you can easily change majors without having to extend your studies or losing any time!

We would love to help. Please contact our academic advisers with any questions you may have.

Mentoring program

At the beginning of the course, every student is assigned a professor as a mentor. The mentors help with organizing the student’s study plan and other study-related questions. Students should see their mentor once every semester. The mentors are happy to help whether it is about going abroad, applying for a master’s program or looking for a job. 

"System Design Project" with robotic competition


As part of the "System Design Project", the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Freiburg organizes a robotic competition every year: first semester students work in groups of four for the title of the fastest, most innovative and most creative robot.

Equipped with a nearly 250-euro Lego robot kit, the students compete against each other in multidisciplinary groups of four. The task is to build a vehicle that independently runs on a course unknown to the participants. In the run-up to the teams, only the degree of difficulty of the route, such as track length and gradients, is known.

In 2018, the participants had to overcome the following challenge: their robots should complete a course as quickly as possible. They had to stop in front of a barrier where they were loaded with a ball, which had to be placed at the end of the train in a container. In addition, the robots were to turn in front of obstacles or push them out of the way.

Smart, Micro, Green – Engineering in Freiburg

Smart – stands for robots that act independently, for computers that learn to interpret images or algorithms that become faster and smarter. Simply put, smart stands for computer science.

Micro – is meant literally here. The tiniest technical systems emerge that inconspicuously take on complex tasks in everyday life, medicine and industry. Without even knowing it, you are constantly dealing with microsystems. They make our lives healthier, safer, more comfortable, more versatile and, to say the least, easier.

Green – Freiburg is known worldwide for being the Green City. Since 2015, the Faculty of Engineering has been active from an engineering perspective with its own department for sustainability research. How can renewable energy be generated, fed into the grid and stored? How do we develop materials and systems that are produced and used in an energy- and resource-efficient way and that can adapt optimally to difficult environmental conditions or disasters?

Studying engineering in Freiburg always means that you benefit from all three areas of research, no matter which area you choose. Smart, micro and green technologies are becoming more and more in demand - acquire the necessary competencies to solve the social and technical questions of the future as engineers and computer scientists!

Further information

  • Homepage of the bachelor's program (German only!)
  • Homepage of the Department of Sustainable Systems Engineering (INATECH)
  • Leaflet with information about the Bachelor of Science program in Sustainable Systems Engineering (German only!)