FAQ Computer Science
Based on the examination regulations of 2 July 2015.
Admissions, Organization and Program of Study
What is the standard length of study for the master’s degree program?
The regular study period is four semesters. Within these four semesters, students must obtain a total of 120 credit points.
Does the computer science master’s degree program have restricted enrollment?
No, but you must apply to the program. Further information can be found here.
Can I choose my lectures freely?
The lectures are divided into different categories. Students must complete the following courses in order to attain the master’s degree:
- Core computer science lectures with exercises (choice of electives, 27 graded CP)
- Core or advanced lectures or in maximum one seminar (choice of electives, 27 graded CP)
- One Seminar on topics of computer science (choice of electives, 7 graded CP)
- Master’s seminars (12 graded CP) and master’s thesis (30 graded CP)
In addition, at least 17 more ungraded CP must be obtained through the following courses:
- Master’s practica or any other eligible computer science courses
- Supervision of tutorials (as a tutor)
- Language courses (max. 6 CP, only living languages)
- Any courses approved upon request by the Examination Board
What do the performance assessments look like?
Performance assessments are part of each course. They can take various forms. For example, they can be based on oral or written exams, or project work. Details can be found in the examination regulations. If the performance checks are passed, the student acquires the CP corresponding to the course. The result of each graded exam is therefore reflected in a student’s final grade.
Exams, Credit Points, and Credits for Other Activities
What are credit points?
Credit points (CP), which can be obtained through a lecture, indicate the lecture’s workload. A credit point corresponds to 30 hours’ study effort. For example, a core lecture with 9 CP has an average workload of 270 hours.
Can I count my tutorial activites toward my studies?
For the supervision of a tutorial group as a tutor (“Bremser”), four non-graded CPs are given. If several groups for different courses are supervised, it is possible to obtain these points multiple times.
How many credits do I have to earn per semester?
In general, 30 CP should be earned per semester. The minimum requirements are 9 CP after one semester, 30 CP after two semesters, 60 CP after four semesters, and 90 after six semesters. If a student fails to meet these minimum requirements, he or she is informed in writing that the achievement of the study objective is at risk, and is also offered a consultation. If a student does not meet the minimum requirements for a second time, he or she loses the right to examination at each university in the Federal Republic of Germany. This will be communicated to the person concerned by a written notification from the Examination Board. The student has the possiblilty to give a statement.
What happens if I cannot participate in an exam?
If a student cannot participate in an examination, he or she must provide a valid reason. In the case of illness, a medical certificate must be submitted to the lecturer of the course without delay. If a candidate misses an examination and does not give proof of a valid reason, he or she is deemed to have failed. The same applies if a student tries to influence the test results by cheating or using non-approved aids.
What is the Examination Board?
The Examination Board is made up of five elected members and their respective elected alternates. One of these five members presides. The tasks of the Examination Board include, among other things, the processing of applications from students and the monitoring of progress after each semester. In addition, the Examination Board ensures compliance with the provisions of the examination regulations.
Master's Thesis and Completion of the Degree
What is the master's thesis?
The master’s thesis is a scientific report on a project that has been carried out under supervision. It is intended to show that the candidate is able to solve a computer science problem according to scientific methods and to present the results clearly. The thesis can be written in English or German, or on request also in another language. Six months’ working time is allowed for the master’s thesis. Details can be found in the examination regulations.
Why is the master’s seminar required?
The master’s seminar is a type of research colloquium, in which the student must present the topic of his or her master’s thesis to the faculty of the chair where he or she wishes to write a thesis. This seminar must be completed before registering the thesis with the examination secretariat, and serves as a way to receive feedback from the faculty and to evaluate how well the student has understood the topic. The master’s seminar provides 12 CP. No later than the semester after the master’s seminar, the student must register his or her master’s thesis; otherwise he or she has to do it again.
Is there a final exam for the master’s degree program?
The master’s program comprises in-course examinations and a thesis (the master’s thesis). This means there is no single final examination; instead, every course includes its own performance checks. Therefore, the student has the opportunity to actively shape his or her degree every semester.
When do I receive my master’s degree?
Students who have fulfilled the requirements according to their study regulations will receive their master’s degree. It will reflect the results of their performance assessments and the master’s thesis.
What is the Computer Science Students’ Representative Council?
The Computer Science Students’ Representative Council (“Fachschaft”) represents the students in this course of study. It is made up of elected members who take care of the students’ interests and is, so to speak, the students’ “voice”. The Council ensures, for example, that the students’ proposals for the use of the study fees are passed on to the right places.
The homepage of the Council provides much more information about its work.