Joint Study - Frequently Asked Question (FAQ)


General informations

I would like to do a Joint Study semester abroad. When is the best time to apply ?

You can find the Joint Study submission dates here. The application window in the Mobility Online System will open 6 - 8 weeks before the application deadline. Please plan enough time for the preparation of the required documents and start the procedure early. The application is only possible for the following winter/summer semester of the following academic year (e.g. you start applying in June 2020 for summer semester 2021)

Unfortunately, I missed the application deadline. Is there still a possibility to be put on a waiting list or something similar for the next semester ? Are there any remaining places ?

Due to the necessary long preparation time (about 6 months before the start of the mobility), no remaining places will be awarded after the application deadline. You can find the next application dates here

Do I have to write a letter of motivation, a letter of recommendation and an equivalence list for my second/third preference choices as well?

No, you don't have to. Refer to your first preference choice in your application. If you are not awarded a place at your first preference choice but are nominated for another, you only need to resubmit the equivalence list.

I would like to do a semester abroad with the Joint Study program. The application process is relatively time-consuming. Which documents take the most time to complete and what should I start with first?

As part of the Joint Study application, the following documents must be submitted in the online system (Mobility Online):

  • A finance plan 
  • The estimate travel costs ( Screenshots of flight prices from a search engine)
  • 2 letters of recommendation (dowloaded here) in German or English and have them filled out by BOKU habilitated professors (O.Prof., Ao.Prof., Univ.Prof., Priv.Doz., Assoc. Prof.). The professors must not be from the same institute.
  • Transcript of records from Bachelor's and Master's degrees programmes in English
  • Diploma/ Degree Certificate Copies
  • CV and motivation letter
  • Equivalence lists

We recommend applying in the online system as a first step and then tackling the two letters of recommendation and the equivalence list next, as these are the most time-consuming to complete.

I am studying UBRM and would like to do a semester abroad in Ecuador. There are many universities there with degree programmes similar to UBRM. Is that possible?

Unfortunately, only exchange semesters at our partner institutions can be completed within the framework of the Joint Study Exchange Programme. However, you can apply for a Joint Study Freemover Scholarship.

What does the Joint Study grant include?

The Joint Study Grant consists of a monthly scholarship (up to 4 months), a travel grant and a subsidies for costs occurred in the travel preparation (visas, vaccinations, etc.). You can find more information on the funding here. Please keep in mind that the Joint Study Agreement exempts you from tuition fees at the host university - depending on the university between € 5,000 and € 25,000 per semester! So you apply for one of the available study places (waived of tuition fees) and for the grant.


  • Proof of language proficiency
Do American partner universities require a TOEFL language certificate or is a BOKU language certificate sufficient?

An external language test is, in general, required (e.g. TOEFL, IELTS, Cambridge, ...). Please check the websites of the partner institutions for more informations. In some cases, BOKU language tests or confirmations by the BOKU Joint Study Coordinator are also accepted. A list of the host institutions to which this applies can be found here (ATTENTION: the link is only accessible during the application period - 6-8 weeks before the application deadline)! Please note that the language certificate should not be the deciding factor for your choice of host institution. Most of the time, these partner institutions that don't require language tests are in high demand and only very limited places are available.

Do I need to have a TOEFL/IELTS test score when applying for a Joint Study stay ?

No, you don't have to. You only need to provide proof that you meet the application requirements. See requirements. If you intend to go to host institutions that require TOEFL/IELTS, we recommend that you take care of the language certificate early.

What if I have not yet completed enough English language ECTS to meet the application criteria? Can I still submit?

You are welcome to submit a language certificate, such as a TOEFL/IELTS test result (not older than 2 years) or take a language test at BOKU-International Relations to fulfil the requirements, instead. You can find more detailed information on the topic of proof of language proficiency here.

  • Study status
Can I apply for the scholarship as a Bachelor student ?

No. At the time of application you have to be enrolled in a BOKU Master program. For a mobility as a Bachelor student you can apply via Erasmus or CEEPUS

Can I apply for the Joint Study Scholarship with a non-Austrian citizenship?

Yes, as long as you are enrolled in a BOKU Master program. This does not apply to students of international master programs that already include mobilities.

  • ECTS and grades average
I didn't do my Bachelor at BOKU, do I already have to complete 20 ECTS at BOKU? Do these points refer to the time of the application deadline or to the departure?

The 20 ECTS requirement must already be fulfilled at the time of application. In case you have already taken exams that are not yet registered in BOKU Online, please contact the Joint Study Coordinator.

The information on the requirements states that I need a grade average of at least 2.3. Does this only refer to the average from the master's degree or also to the average from the bachelor's degree?

Generally, the requirement refers to the transcript of the master's program. Please note that the overall impression conveyed by the application is decisive.

What exactly is defined as transcript of records? Does the bachelor's degree also count? And if you are admitted to 2 master's programs, can you only present the certificate of the one you are applying with? What date should this have?

Create a digital transcript of records from BOKU Online (BOKUonline/Studienfolgsnachweis/weighted according to ECTS credits, language English: with validity date in the application window (current). If you are enrolled in two Master's programs, apply with the one in which you clearly want to further your education in the context of the mobility.

Equivalence list

Instructions - Filling in the equivalence list
Column name Explanations
"Course-Code" Here you enter the course codes of the courses you intend to take at the host institution.
"Designation of foreign program parts" Title of the course you intend to take at the host institution.
"Extent3 credits" Here you enter the amount of credits (credit points/creditos) at the host university or semester hours (not the conversion!).
"Recognition for course/examination according to Austrian curriculum" 

If you would like to have the course accredited for a compulsory or elective course of your curriculum, enter the title of the course included in the curriculum. If the conversion results in remaining ECTS, you can enter these in another line as the reminder "Free electives"/"FWF" and have them credited. (see example below)


"LV - Number" Here you enter the course-numbers of those courses, if you intend to have courses completed abroad credited for courses at BOKU.
"Course title4"

Title of the course, if you intend to have courses completed abroad credited for courses at BOKU. 

If you intend to credit the course only as a free elective course, just enter "Free electives"/"FWF". (see example below)

"PF/WPF/WF/FW5" What is the status of the BOKU course for which you would like to receive credit for the course completed abroad. PF = compulsory course, WPF = compulsory elective course, WF = elective subject, FW = free elective.
"Extent ECTS according to conversion"

Here you convert the credits of the host university into ECTS and enter the amount of ECTS. Information on conversions can be found in the document Courses-Codes-Credits or (if not available) on request from the Joint Study Coordinator.

"**OK v. LV-Leiter*in" Here you collect the signatures of the course instructors (for credit for required and elective courses).
  • Courses planned/completed at the host university and courses to be recognized must be compared so that the desired recognition is clearly recognizable and comprehensible. Something must always be entered on the left (= courses completed or to be completed) as well as on the right (= courses to be recognized).
  • Remove additional empty lines and do not submit completely empty pages.
  • Pre-fill the names of the BOKU course instructors- illegible signatures are otherwise difficult to assign.
  • Signatures may not be copied together by hand under any circumstances - not even from documents you have obtained yourself. This is a criminal forgery of documents or signatures.
  • If corrections are made to an equivalence list, signatures may have to be obtained again.
  • Equivalence lists must be submitted for recognition as a PDF, not as a Word document


What signatures do I need on the list of equivalence? How do I submit?

You will need the following signatures for the list of equivalency (before going abroad):

  • Your signature
  • The signature of your subject coordinator at BOKU
  • If applicable, the signatures of compulsory course instructors (also applies to elective courses) at BOKU.
  • The signature of the BOKU Dean of Studies

All signatures - except that of the Dean of Studies - accepted online. For the original signature of the Dean of Studies, please send the list of equivalences, already with all other signatures, by mail to Study Services (, and have it signed by Dean of Studies, Prof. Peyerl. Do NOT contact the Dean of Studies or the Head of Examination Services directly and use only your BOKU students e-mail address.
Expect an average processing time of 2-4 weeks and plan enough time for necessary corrections --> Start early with your equivalence list. When the equivalency list is signed and ready for pick-up, you will be notified by mail from Student Services. (Collection by authorized person is possible).

ATTENTION: Copying other people's signatures is a forgery of documents! It is your responsibility to get all signatures complete and on time! Otherwise it may affect your funding and the crediting of your subjects at BOKU (Incomplete lists cannot be processed!) If the signature of the Dean of Studies is not obtained on the equivalence list before your stay, it cannot be issued on the equivalence list after your stay!!!

Please take into account the processing deadlines!

Who is my Departmental coordinator (Fachkoordinator*in)?

You can find the list of Academic Departmental coordinators (= members of the Study Abroad Advisory Board) here. If you are not sure which subject area your study program belongs to, you can find more information on the subpages of the specialized study groups.

Do I also need to obtain the signature of the course instructor for elective course credit?

Since October 1st 2020, you have to obtain the signatures of the course directors of both specialized and compulsory courses and elective courses if you want to have courses completed at the host institution credited for the corresponding BOKU courses. If you only want to have the courses of the host university credited as free elective courses, you only need the signature of the departmental coordinator.

I only need a few ECTS for my degree. Can I also have only 10 ECTS accredited as part of my mobility?

As a minimum, 3 ECTS credits per month must be earned at the host university. In general, this is 12 ECTS for one semester. Please refer to the regulations described in Courses-Codes-Credits. At the end of your joint study stay, at least 12 ECTS must be credited. Which ECTS you submit for your degree is up to you.

The courses I am interested in would be mainly Bachelor courses. Is it possible to have "Bachelor ECTS" in the USA accredited as "Master ECTS" at BOKU?

At most joint study partner universities, undergraduate programs are four-year programs. Accordingly, courses from the fourth year in particular are assigned to the Master's level at our university. Equivalency is ultimately confirmed by the course director, Departmental coordinator, and finally the Dean of Studies (Studiendekan*in) through the recognition process per equivalency list. Please note the regulations course selection.

I would like to take only bachelor courses at the host institution, is this possible?

Please refer to the BOKU regulations on course selection explained in the document Courses-Codes-Credits.

I would like to get credit for the courses as free electives only. What belongs in the field "Credit for course / exam etc.". Do I have to find an equivalent course at Boku for each subject I take at the host university?

No, you don't have to. If you only want to receive credit for courses taken at the host institution as free electives, simply enter "Free elective" or "FWF" in the field "Credit for course/exam". An example can be found in the FAQ question: What is the best way to enter the courses that I would like to receive credit for?

Do I have to obtain all signatures of the course instructors, departmental coordinator and dean of studies by the application deadline?


Exception: Please note that due to the COVID-19 restrictions there will be less signatories present at BOKU and longer communication loops will be necessary. By the application deadline, you should have obtained at least the confirmations (signatures) of the course instructors and Joint Study Departmental Coordinators*. Please submit the complete equivalence list within 2 weeks after the application deadline via upload in Mobility Online or e-mail to jointstudy(a) 

Individual crediting - Recognition of individual courses

Completion of an equivalence list and obtaining all signatures is mandatory and must be done before departure to the partner university.

If there is no signed equivalence list before departure, the courses must be recognized via individual crediting at BOKU. Recognition therefore cannot be guaranteed and each individual case will be reviewed.

Information on recognition of courses: Recognition

Guidelines for recognition for students: Guidelines

Recommendation letter

What should be included in the "Brief description of the mobility project"?

It is sufficient if you indicate that you plan to spend a semester abroad at the designated. No detailed description is necessary.

What do I need to write in the section "semester"?

The semester in which you intend to perform your mobility.

I study "Wildlife Ecology & Wildlife Management", a combined study program between BOKU and Vetmed, can I also ask professors from Vetmed?

Unfortunately no. The letters of recommendation have to be filled out by habilitated professors of BOKU (O.Prof., Ao.Prof., Univ.Prof., Priv.Doz., Assoc. Prof.). The professors must not be from the same institute.

How do I know if a professor is habilitated?

On the BOKU business card of the teacher, a teaching authorization in a subject area is shown. Example: Authorization to teach in organic agriculture. 

Can I approach any professors or should I know them better?

Ideally, the professor should have experienced you in a course in order to make a recommendation. Professors with whom you have completed project work or scientific work (e.g. Bachelor's thesis) are well suited. 

Does the letter of recommendation have to be submitted by letter to BOKU-International Relations?

No. The letter of recommendation should be uploaded by the applicant in Mobility Online. Alternatively, they can be sent by e-mail to jointstudy(a)

Selection of the host institution/allocation of places

There is no partner information on the website for my first preference. Can I rely on the listing on the Joint Study Outgoings page? So is it possible to apply to all the universities mentioned?

On our website Host institutions  you will find all universities with which we have a Joint Study Agreement. The universities available in the respective application window can be selected in the application form in Mobility Online (only visible in the application window! 6-8 weeks before application deadline). Please use the information provided on the websites of the partner institutions as a guide for your research.



How likely is it that I will get my first preference?

Unfortunately, it is not possible to give a concrete answer to this question. The allocation of study places depends on the number of available places, number of applications and the overall impression of the application. Please use the comment function of the application form to communicate further preferences or to indicate if you would be open for further host countries (e.g. university in English-speaking countries).

Mobility Online

Do I have to submit the documents by e-mail?

No. Please create an account on Mobility Online and upload your documents there on time. If you are applying for a Joint Study Freemover Scholarship, please submit all documents by email.

In the fever of uploading, I have already confirmed the correctness of my data (application sent) and now I can not change anything. Can I be unlocked again for this?

No. Please send us your documents by e-mail with the request that we upload them for you.

I noticed that my Bachelor certificate also needs to be uploaded in English (currently it is uploaded in German). Is there any way I can be unlocked to change it again or send you the English collective certificate?

If no changes are possible after the application deadline, please send the document to jointstudy(a) The Joint Study Coordinator can then upload it for you.

Finance plan

How accurate does the financing plan need to be?

The purpose of the financial plan is to help you think about the costs that will incur and how you will finance your study visit. Through the Joint Study Agreement you are exempt from the tuition fees at the host institution and receive a grant for your stay. However, there will be various costs for accommodation, insurance, visas, etc. Information about the potential costs can be found in the Partner Informations or on the websites of our partners institutions. A rough estimate of the costs is sufficient.

Is a bank statement sufficient or do I have to provide proof of my parents' income or similar?

For the Joint Study application, you do not need to provide proof of financial viability for the stay.