Application Process and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about our International Bachelor Programs

This page provides information about the admission requirements, the selection process, and the application timeline. Please take some time to read it carefully. The admission office will not reply to questions and inquiries, if the corresponding answer is included in this page. Our FAQs also explain everything you need to know if you are interested in studying computer science or cybersecurity at Saarland University at the Saarland Informatics Campus in Saarbrücken.

Admission Requirements

This is a competitive program that has a limited number of seats. To be considered for admission you must provide a University Entrance Qualification (UEQ) and choose one of three application tracks listed and detailed below.

The University Entrance Qualification

The central component of your application is a University Entrance Qualification enabling for direct access to study programs at German universities (UEQ). Without a UEQ, it is legally impossible to enroll. What constitutes a UEQ depends on various aspects (please see the Appendix below). We cannot assess whether your documents constitute a UEQ before you apply. We can only check your application documents after you submit your complete application. We will ignore any mail that asks us for an assessment of documents prior to an application.

Application Tracks

In addition to the UEQ you need to provide additional qualifications. You can do this in one of the following three tracks:

  1. You provide documentation of having successfully participated in a science/informatics/mathematics olympiad, and results from an English test.
    (please refer to the Appendix for the requirements for the English test and the olympiads we accept.)
  2. You provide the results of an aptitude test, and an English test.
    (please refer to the Appendix for the requirements for the English test and the aptitude tests we accept.)
  3. You participate in a two-day (online) interview.

Note that you cannot apply for multiple tracks. You have to choose one when submitting your application. After you submit your application, you can no longer change between tracks.

Selection Criteria

After all documents you provided have been carefully examined, your UEQ grade will be combined with your track results into a score that gives you a position in a ranking of all participants. We admit the best N applicants from this ranking to the study program, where N depends on the number of available seats in the program.

Timeline

The program starts in the winter term in mid October. The application portal opens on November 15 of the previous year. Our final application deadline is July 15. However, if you want early feedback on your application (early accept or early conditional accept), you can apply to one of the earlier „preliminary review deadlines“: January 15, April 1 or June 15. See the next section for details.

After the final deadline, we review all applications within four weeks. The admission/rejection letters will be available by August 31 the latest. Please do not request status updates prior to this date. Note that if you want to apply in the interview track, you have to apply for one of the preliminary review deadlines (see below). In other words: Note that the interview track is only available if you apply until June 15. It is not available with deadlines after June 15.

Preliminary Review Deadlines

To provide timely feedback, we have three preliminary review deadlines (PRDs) on January 15, April 1 and June 15.

You can submit an application to one (and only one) of the PRDs by submitting before the last PRD deadline (June 15). The upcoming PRD will be the one you submitted to. You can submit to a PRD even if you do not have a UEQ yet. You have to provide the latest transcript/marksheet from your school so that we can check that you have a good chance of obtaining a UEQ.

All applications submitted to a PRD will be reviewed within four weeks after this PRD. Depending on the application track you choose and the documents you submit, one of the following will happen:

  You provide Olympiad certificates that meet our standards You provide aptitude test results in the top group You apply in the interview track
Your documents constitute a valid UEQ If your UEQ grade places you in the top group, we will admit you right away. You will get a notification within four weeks. If your UEQ grade places you in the top group, we will invite you for an interview within four weeks.
You don’t have a UEQ yet but handed in certificates that suggest that you are on track to obtain one by July 15 If your current grades indicate that you will eventually gain a UEQ that places you in the top group, we will admit you under the condition that you submit a valid UEQ that is consistent with your previous grades by the final deadline on July 15. You will get this notification within four weeks. The final admission decision will only be made after you submit a valid UEQ and communicated to you by August 31. If the grades in the documents you submit indicate that your UEQ might be in the top group, we will invite you for an interview within four weeks.
Your documents do not constitute a valid UEQ The decision about your application can be made only after the final deadline and will be formally communicated by August 31 the latest. However, if you haven’t heard from us within four weeks after applying to a PRD, assume that you will eventually be rejected.

If you have not been notified of either an early admission, early conditional admission, or an interview invitation four weeks after the intermediary deadline you submitted to, your application is still active until the final deadline on July 15. You can upload new documents (UEQ, Aptitude or English test, Olympiad certificate) for the final deadline and we will re-review your documents. After the final deadline passed, we include you in the final ranking of all applicants. Our experience however is that, given the limited amount of seats we have, applicants who applied for a PRD and have not been admitted or conditionally admitted on that PRD have little chance of being admitted at all.

To choose the interview track, you must apply for one of the PRDs, i.e., by June 15 the latest. Note that you cannot re-apply for an interview if you have not been invited after a prior PRD or not been admitted after the interview.

Interviews

Interviews are held about five weeks after the respective PRD (see the schedule in the table below). If you applied for the interview track and are selected for the interview, we will notify you within four weeks. If you do not hear within four weeks, assume that you have not been selected for the interview and your application will be rejected (see Final Decisions below).

Interview dates are fixed and cannot be changed. You cannot postpone your interview to a later PRD round. If you do not appear for the interview on the date you are invited, you will be rejected automatically.

Please do not email us about the status of your application on the interview track, as you can determine that status following what is written above.

The interview itself consists of two rounds that are spread over two days: On the first day, you will take a math test, solving exercises that test your knowledge of algebra, geometry, and calculus. If you pass this test, on the second day, you will have a one-on-one interview with one of our faculty, who will assess your problem-solving and English skills. Please note that we cannot disclose further information about the nature of the test or the interview except that it will be based on standard high school mathematics (in all international curricula) and basic problem-solving skills, so do not email us about the syllabus or the contents of these.

Final Decisions

Final decisions about acceptance/rejection are communicated before August 31. The decision notification will include a formal confirmation letter. In case of acceptance, you will need this letter to enroll at the university.

Application Deadlines 2022

Track
Interview Aptitude Olympiads Acceptance Notification
Deadline UEQ required? Open Invitation Dates Open Open Conditional Final
Jan 15 Preliminary Jan 31 Feb 07-08 9am-1pm CET Feb 09 Aug 31
Apr 01 Preliminary May 02 May 09-10 9am-1pm CEST May 11 Aug 31
Jun 15 Preliminary Jul 11 Jul 18-19 9am-1pm CEST Jul 20 Aug 31
Jul 15 Final Aug 31

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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 additional 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.

  1. Goto ANABIN and select your country.
  2. You’re presented with a list of all certificates that are relevant for admission in German universities.
  3. Select your certificate and a window opens that shows the eligibility with this certificate:
  4. The relevant statement here is “Direkter Zugang (für alle Fächer)” or “Direkter Zugang (fachgebunden) zu allen Hochschulen”. This means that your certificate in principle equals a German university entrance qualification. “für alle Fächer” means that your UEQ is not limited to any subject where as “fachgebunden” means that your UEQ is limited to certain subjects. Any other statement there means that additional restrictions apply that you have to translate using an online translation service.

Examples

Most common school-leaving diplomas of EU countries are accepted without restrictions. In doubt, please check Anabin as described above.

  • 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 (with APS-certificate)
  • USA: High-School Diploma with advanced placement test (required grades specified in Anabin)

Olympiad Requirements

  • Participation in the International Olympiad in Mathematics (IMO).
  • Medal at the International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI), Physics (IPhO) or Chemistry (IChO).
  • Medal at a standard Mathematics Olympiad during the last two years of school or during university, that is beyond the country level, such as the Asian Pacific Mathematics Olympiad (APMO).
  • Medal at a standard Informatics Olympiad during the last two years of school or during university, that is beyond the country level, such as the Baltic Olympiad in Informatics (BOI) or the Central European Olympiad in Informatics (CEOI).
  • Participation in the Inter-collegiate Programming Competition (ICPC) beyond the country level.

Note that we cannot make any exception from this list.

Language Requirements

You need to provide a proof of English language proficiency for the Olympiad and Aptitude track unless your are a native speaker. We accept the following English tests:

  • IELTS Academic Test
  • TOEFL iBT Test
  • TOEFL Essential
  • Cambrigde Certificate

You are considered a native speaker if you obtained your high-school diploma in one of the following countries: Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, UK, USA. We cannot make any exceptions from this rule.

Accepted Aptitude Tests

  • SAT Standard test (evidence-based reading/writing, maths) is sufficient. The essay is not required.
  • TestAS
  • ACT
  • Gaokao
  • JEE Advanced
  • Suneung

Your test must not be older than 2 years. There are no minimum requirements on your score because we fill our seats by a ranking of all applicants. The programs are highly competitive however. Successful applications in past iterations came from the 95% percentile which corresponds to SAT scores 1400+.

FAQ: Application, Admission, Qualification, Interview, Timing

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

If you do not have your university entrance qualification yet, you can apply with your most recent certificates (e.g. transcripts). All other documents, i.e. aptitude or English tests need to final when applying.

What can I do if I don't receive the necessary test scores / certificates from my institution before the regular final application deadline on 15 July?

All documents have to have to be uploaded prior to this deadline. If your documents arrive after this deadline, we are encouraging you to apply for the next winter semester.

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?

Required qualifications are limited to the ones listed on our website.

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

Yes. You can also apply for both.

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

No, this is not sufficient.

Can an admission to a different university / completion of a bachelors degree replace the german university entrance qualification?

It depends. Please refer to the ANABIN database for that. Note that we can only check this after you applied and not before. Please also do not inquire about this because we can only assess the documents after you applied.

Can I use another application mode instead of the online form?

No, application via our online form is mandatory. We cannot accept applications via e-mail or any hard-copy applications.

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

No, it is not. 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 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, this is not possible.

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.

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.

What is the latest day I can arrive in Germany without missing anything?

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.

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.

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

No, that is not necessary.

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.

What is the advantage of applying for early admission?

You may be notified earlier. Note that it does not increase your chances of being accepted.

FAQ: Our Programs

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.

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 it possible to change my study course to other international degree program?

Since there is only a limited number of seats available, it is possible to switch from one study course to the other only at the beginning of a new semester and only after you have submitted a new application. Therefore, you should in any case consider carefully from the beginning which course is the right one for you.

So, for example, if you start with Computer Science and realize that you want to switch to Cybersecurity by either applying to the next higher semester by the deadline for the following semester, or by reapplying during your current semester for the first semester in the upcoming winter semester.

If you change to the next higher semester, a large part of your credits (e.g. all the above-mentioned courses) can be transferred to the other study program. So in case of properly completed achievements, you will receive a credit certificate from the examination office, which you must present in the course of your application for admission to the higher semester.

However, whether an application and thus switching programs will be successful, ultimately depends on the number of available seats and the respective applicant situation. This also applies to a renewed application to the first semester of the respective other degree program.

Is a transfer of credits possible?

In principle, this is possible, but requires a detailed evaluation in each individual case. As soon as you are enrolled, you can apply for a transfer and we will check your documents individually.

Do you offer any dual studies (“Duales Studium”) for English Bachelor courses?

Unfortunately, no.

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.

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

In October, 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 in early October. There you will be able to receive a lot of helpful information regarding your stay in Germany.

How many students are part of the English program each year?

We have 15 seats/year 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.

FAQ: 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?

FAQ: 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.

FAQ: Fees

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, which includes a pass for public transportation and further benefits (no housing!): https://www.uni-saarland.de/en/study/organisation/fees.html

Are there any financial aid / scholarship programs?
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: https://www.uni-saarland.de/en/study/organisation/fees.html

FAQ: 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.

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.

FAQ: 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 and who wish to gain access to Saarland University’s Bachelor Plus MINT study program.

As a student in the UdS Vsi MINT program, can I transfer to the BSc Computer Science (English) or Cybersecurity (English)?

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.