FAQ Computer Science (B.Sc.) (English)

Frequently asked questions about the Bachelor’s degree program Computer Science (English).
Based on the examination regulations of 2021. 

Admission

What are the admission requirements?

The study programs are highly competitive. The admission requirements consist of two components:

  1. You need a high-school diploma that is eligible as a German university entrance qualification. See the question below on how to check if your diplomas constitute a German university entrance qualification.
  2. The results of both an aptitude test (SAT or TestAS) and an English proficiency test (IELTS or TOEFL), the latter is not required if you are a native speaker of English. There are two exceptional alternatives to these tests:
    a) You provide a certificate proving that you have taken part in the (semi-)finals of an international Computer Science competition (such as IOI).
    b) 
    You can apply for an on-site interview in Saarbrücken. Note, however, that we only have a limited number of on-site interview slots, and as such being invited to the interview on its own will be competitive. Note further that we cannot refund your travel expenses.

All applications will be ranked according to your high-school diploma final grade and the grades achieved in the second component (if applicable) and the available seats will be filled from top to bottom.

Unfortunately, we can make no exceptions to these rules. We cannot accept other certificates than the ones mentioned above.

How can I check if I have a German University Entrance Qualification?

.The decisive source for this is the ANABIN database issued by the German federal government. Anabin classifies foreign school-leaving diplomas as either to be equivalent to a German university entrance qualification or specifies addition requirements. Unfortunately, ANABIN is available in German only.

Below, you find instructions on how to use Anabin to check if your diploma is eligible. Additionally, here is a list of the most common cases per country.

Anabin

1. Go to: https://anabin.kmk.org/no_cache/filter/schulabschluesse-mit-hochschulzugang.html#land_gewaehlt and select your country (the example shows the Netherlands).

Anabin Homepage

2. You are presented with a list of all certificates that are relevant for admission in German universities.

Anabin Homepage

3. Select your certificate and a window opens that shows the eligibility with this certificate:

Anabin Homepage

the relevant statement here is “Direkter Zugang (für alle Fächer) zu allen Hochschulen”. This means that your certificate equals a German university entrance qualification. Any other statement there means that additional restrictions apply that you unfortunately need to translate using an online translation service.

Some Examples

Most common school-leaving diplomas of EU countries are accepted without restrictions. In doubt, please check Anabin as described above. Here are some examples for non-EU countries:

  • United Kingdom: Scottish Qualifications Certificate (SQC) – Higher/Advanced Higher, General Certificate of Education – Advanced Level / Advanced Subsidiary Level, Cambridge Pre-U, AICE, International Advanced Level,
  • Switzerland: Matura (other special cases in Anabin)
  • Albania: Deftese pjekurie with Certificate Matura Shteterore
  • Turkey: Lise Diplomasi 11 years in conjunction with Turkish university admission exam documented by code card with more than 180000 points (in SAY, SÖZ, EA or DIL).
  • Israel: Te’udat bagrut
  • India: IIT Joint Entrance Exam (Main and Advanced)
  • China: DSD-II School and gaokao
  • USA: High-School Diploma with advanced placement test (required grades specified in Anabin)
When do I qualify as a native speaker?

Your are considered an English native speaker if you obtained your high-school diploma in one of the following countries: Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, UK, USA.

If I register for an interview, do I still have to provide SAT / IELTS (or similar) scores?

No.

What can I do if I don't receive the necessary test scores / certificates from my institution before the deadline?

Nothing.

Do I need specific grades or scores in the test results / university entrance qualification?

There is no specific cut-off point for test results, as they also vary per application year. Furthermore, the number of admitted students is capped, whereas we cannot foresee the number of applications. We rank candidates according to their test results and thereby give preference to better test results.

Do we accept other qualifications than the ones listed?

No.

Can I change my application from Bachelor Computer Science to Cyber Security (or the other way around)?

Yes.

Do Abitur or A-Level results suffice for the aptitude test?

No.

Can I use apply in any other way then using the online form (e.g. e-mail)?

No.

If I have received my education in English, do I still need to provide an English test result?

This depends on where you received your education. See question “When do I qualify as native speaker?”

What SAT tests are required?

Since June 2021 it is no longer possible to take SAT subject tests. Therefore the standard test (evidence-based reading/writing, maths) is sufficient. The essay is not required.

How long are aptitude test scores valid?

Your scores need to be not older than 2 years.

Is aptitude test XYZ also accepted?

Please see the website for a list of accepted aptitude tests.

Is the International Advanced Level equivalent to German university entrance qualification?

No. However, some high-school diplomas of other countries are considered to be equivalent to a German university entrance qualification. See question “How can I check if I have a German University Entrance Qualification”.

Is there an alternative for international students who don't have the aptitude test results?

You can apply using the interview track.

Is there a NC (numerus clausus)?

There is no NC (numerus clausus) however, since the programs have a limited number of seats, admittance is based on a ranking of the applicants.

Is it possible to use practical experience to meet the eligibility criteria?

No.

What aptitude tests are accepted?

SAT, ACT, TestAS, Gaokao (China), JEE Advanced (India), Suneung (South Korea).

Do I need to attend preparatory school?

There is no need to attend a preparatory school or similar. If you are admitted, you can directly start your studies.

Questions about the interview:

What happens in the on-site interview?

We will test you for required mathematical and language skills.

How are on-site interviews handled in the pandemic?

It is still unclear if the interviews will happen on site or remote in 2021. Either way, we highly recommend that you provide results of the above-mentioned study entrance tests as part of your application.
If you choose to apply for an on-site interview, we will announce in July/August If interviews will be carried out remotely because of the pandemic.

Do I need to prepare for the interviews in any way?

If you want to prepare for the interview, the best you can do is to recap your mathematical skills at high school level. We can however not go into details which particular topics will be subject to discussion in the interviews.

Questions about the deadlines:

General deadlines
  • Application deadlines: 15th January (optional early admission) and 15th July
  • Notification of preliminary acceptance for people on the aptitude test track and invitation to interviews: 13th January
  • Mathematics pre-exam to interview via Zoom: 7th February
  • Interviews for those who passed the pre-exam: 8th February
  • This program has a limited number of seats and is therefore highly competitive.
    Therefore, we will make a pre-selection of applicants to be invited to the interviews.
When should I apply?

Both deadlines are ok.

Is there any way to apply after the deadline has passed?

Unfortunately, no. German law enforces that all required documents (such as a high school diploma) have to be submitted by the application deadline; intermediate certificates and/or grades cannot be accepted.

When will I be notified whether I am accepted to the Bachelor's program?

We will send out notifications of acceptance or rejection within the month following the application deadline. Please be aware that we cannot inform you before the end of the application period. Thus, even if you apply by May 31 e.g., your notification will be in August. We are encouraging you to apply for early admission (your notification will then be in the month of January).

What is the advantage of applying for early admission?

You may be notified earlier.

Questions about the program and the university:

Do I need to speak German?

No, you do not require any knowledge of German. Our courses are entirely taught in English, our staff is used to working with international students and staff on an every-day basis on campus. We are providing the best conditions to make you feel welcome at Saarland University. Additionally, we are providing German courses for beginners and more advanced students in case you are interested in improving your every-day language skills.

Do I need to know how to program?

No, you don’t need to have programming skills. We’ll teach you all you need to know during your course!

How important is mathematics?

There are two lectures in maths (MFI 1 & 2). However, mathematical reasoning will be required in many other lectures and seminars.

Is it possible to change my study course to or from Cybersecurity?

Within the first two semesters, changing between study courses in the area of Computer Science and Cybersecurity is not difficult. Apart from a strong focus on Cybersecurity topics, the course also teaches foundations of Computer Science, programming I and II, algorithms, theoretical Computer Science, etc offering you sufficient flexibility during your studies and plenty of career paths to choose from. If you start out with Computer Science and realize that you want to change your specialization, you can still switch to Cybersecurity. A large part of your course work (e.g. all courses listed above) will be recognized – vice versa.

When does the semester start and end at Saarland University?

https://www.uni-saarland.de/en/division/ls/dates.html

Will the lectures be online or in person?

Lectures are usually given on site and in presence, if the pandemic allows for it.

Questions about the general life at university:

Are there any German language preparatory courses offered?

A German language course program is integral part of our international BSc study programs.

Are there any places (WhatsApp/Facebook groups, Discord, etc.) where I can talk to other applicants or students?

https://discord.com/invite/rMNFZrK

Are there any kind of part time jobs available for students?

Questions about accomodation:

Is there more detailed information about the apartments?

All rooms are rooms in shared apartments, which means you will have your own private bedroom and share the kitchen and bathroom with other students. Usually 3 or 4 students will share one apartment.

The rooms are located in a good distance to the university and you can reach the campus by bus.

The rooms are fully furnished and vary in size, but range between 14m² and 23m².

The rental prices range between 300€ and 400€ per month, including utilities. Rental costs are not included in the program and have to be paid by the students themselves. In addition, a refundable security deposit of around 500€ will have to be paid.
Details on the specific room that can be offered to you will be made available to you after acceptance.

How can I find housing in Saarbrücken and what will it cost me?

Students in Saarbrücken should calculate to have about 800 EUR living expenses per month, though this figure will vary individually. This figure includes fixed costs such as the obligatory health insurance and the rent for an apartment. The health insurance is 115 EUR per month and covers all necessary procedures. The rent adds up to about 300-400 EUR per month, which is significantly less than in Munich, Aachen, Berlin or Karlsruhe. If you aren’t already living in Germany, you can apply to rent one of the apartments reserved by the university for its international BSc. programs. These apartments are intended to make it easier for you to settle in and can be rented for one year. By the end of the first year, you’ll need to find new accommodation (either in a university hall of residence or on the private housing market). The university provides assistance with both. It is also very common to share an apartment with fellow students (called Wohngemeinschaft in German, or WG for short). More information.

Questions about the fees:

Does the semester fee include housing? / What fees do I have to expect when studying at Saarland university?

The academic study programs offered at Saarland University are state-funded. Therefore no tuition fees are charged for all Bachelor’s and consecutive Master’s programs. Instead, students pay an administrative fee per semester, which includes a pass for public transportation and further benefits (no housing!). More information about it here

Are there any financial aid / scholarship programs?

https://saarland-informatics-campus.de/en/studium-studies/scholarships/

What are the tuition fees for a non EU nationality ?

There is no tuition fee at Saarland University. The administrative fee for all students can you find here.

Questions about Other / Technical:

Is Credit transfer possible?

This is possible in principle, but requires analysis
on a case-by-case studies. Once you request the transfer, we will look into this more detailed, but only after you are enrolled.

Are there any dual study ("Duales Studium") offers for the new english courses?

No.

Where can I find additional information about how the course itself is organized? E.g. in which semester will be which course.
What is the difference between B.Sc. Computer Science (German) and B.Sc. Computer Science (English)?

The German program has a minor subject that is taught in German only.

Is there any practical experience (jobs, industrial projects or internships) available during this program?

The students can use a work placement or internship in industry (maximum of 6 credits) for the ungraded section of mandatory elective courses.

Is it possible to see the ranking when rejected?

No. The ranking data is internal information.

Is it possible to reapply?

Yes.

Will there be any info session (possibly online) for the accepted or enrolled students before the semester starts?

– On October 12 and 14, the primary introductory event for International CS Bachelor and International Cysec Bachelor students will take place live on YouTube. The CS Students’ Council, Professor Sebastian Hack, and Professor Christian Rossow will tell you everything you need to know about your new university, its structure, the support institutions and amenities, how to get around in Saarbrücken, and –if you just arrived from abroad– some quick-start tips for Germany. You can find the stream link and timetables on this website.
– The International Office is holding a Welcome Week for international students. We strongly recommend you to participate in the Welcome Week from 4th to 8th October. There you will be able to receive a lot of helpful information regarding your stay in Germany.

What is the latest appropriate day I can arrive in Germany?

We recommend students to be in Saarbrücken about one week before the lectures start. You should join the welcome events and you need a few days for formal steps at university, town hall, etc.

How many students are in this Computer Science (English) program this year in total?

We have 15 seats in each program.

Is it possible for this Computer Science (English) student to participate in the Honors Program?

Every BSc student can apply for the honors program. Note however that it is very competitive and only the best 5% of students get in.

Is it possible for me to take courses related to media informatics as well as some Hochschule der Bildenden Künste Saar (University of Art and Design in Saarbrücken) and courses from the Department of Psychology at Saarland University?

No, only students who study Media Informatics are allowed to join the courses at the HBKsaar and at the Dept. of Psychology. Some psychology courses are available for students of the BSc Informatik with the minor psychology.

Questions about Uni-Assist:

What role does Uni-Assist play regarding the application (https://www.uni-saarland.de/en/studies/international/applying/apply.html)?

Uni-Assist is a service to check a priori if your high-school diploma qualifies as a German University Entrance Qualification. We can do such a check only after you applied.

Do I need a VPD from Uni-Assist to apply?

It is not required, however we cannot check your high-school diploma before you apply only after.

Do I need documents from or an application via uni-assist (Vorprüfungsdokumention) for the study program?

Uni assist documents are not necessary. However, appropriate uni-assist documents are one way of proving your German university entrance qualification (HZB). So, if in doubt, submit them if you have them.

Questions about Studienkolleg/VSI MINT:

What is VSi MINT and where can I find more information about it?

VSi MINT is a study program taught in German. It is targeted to international students whose high-school diploma does not qualify as a German University Entrance Qualification to gain access to Saarland University’s STEM study programs.

As a student in the UdS VSi+MINT program, can I transfer to the International Cybersecurity/ Computer Science Study Course?

We apply the same admission criteria to all students. By graduating from VSi+MINT, you acquire a German university entrance qualification. However, the international BSc programs for Computer Science and Cybersecurity require additional qualifications that you have to provide. Please check the relevant section on Admission requirements.

Do I need documents from or an application via uni-assist (Vorprüfungsdokumention) for the study program?

Uni assist documents are not necessary. However, appropriate uni-assist documents are one way of proving your German university entrance qualification (HZB). So, if in doubt, submit them if you have them.