Essential Information about Master Studies
For applicants and admitted students
Selecting the study program
For an overview of our Master-level study programs, see the "Courses of Studies" page, which is a starting point for exploring our programs. For each course of study, the "study plan" page describes the program in more detail. Our master study programs are consecutive study programs that require a Bachelor degree of the same program or equivalent studies. You may still be admitted if some of our Bachelor courses are not covered by your studies, but then the admission may be given with "additional prerequisite studies". To find out more details about the structure of our Bachelor programs, please visit their description under Courses of Studies. Details about the topics covered in the courses are available in our Module Handbook.
How to apply
The "Application (Ma)" page for each course of study (accessible via Courses of Studies) provides details on application deadlines, required content of your application package and the selection process. For international students, application is via our online application platform, which provides detailed guidance.
What are "additional prerequisite studies/courses"?
If you are "admitted with additional prerequisite studies" to one of our Master programs, then your previous studies were not found to be equivalent to our Bachelor program in terms of the course content required for the Master program. Prerequisite courses can be completed in one of the following ways.
- Attend the Bachelor courses listed in your admission letter and take the regular exams for these courses (usually written exams). Please note that Bachelor courses are only offered in German! English literature references and tutorials/exercises may be available in English for some courses.
- Pursue an "equivalence exam" by studying English text books (references for essential course content are provided by the lecturer) and taking an oral equivalence exam (only pass/fail grade).
Additional prerequisite studies should be pursued within the first 2 semesters of study, if possible. Regular master studies can be pursued in parallel. Please see the Module Handbook for a description of the prerequisite course content.
When you start your studies in Kaiserslautern
Choice of specialization
At first, you should choose two specializations and inform the Head of Master Examination Board of your choices. He will then assign you a mentor who is your point of contact for planning your studies (see "Selecting the study program" for details.). It is possible to switch specializations later under certain conditions.
Based on your choice of specializations, the Head of Examination Board will assign you a mentor. The mentor is a Professor of the Computer Science Department who is actively teaching and researching in one of your specialization areas. You should contact your mentor before the start of the semester to discuss your study plan. The mentor will provide guidance and give recommendations. Moreover, the mentor is in charge of accepting certain parts of your examination plan, a formal document you have to file before registering for exams.
Introduction weeks for new students
For the new students of our department, the Students Council organizes a number of presentations, discussions, get-togethers and fun events during the "Introduction Weeks", which are conducted at the beginning of the semester in the weeks before lectures start. This includes overview presentations about studying in Kaiserslautern as a new Master student. Don't miss this opportunity to get essential information and make contact with the students council and your fellow students!
Planning your first semester
Our department provides a wide range of Master-level courses. While this gives our students a lot of flexibility in terms of picking courses of interest, it may also be a challenge for newcomers. There is no fixed course schedule. To help students plan their studies, we offer a number of information sources and tools. Here are some tips and guidelines for planning your studies, especially your first semester.
- Start with the study plan (in your study program under Courses of Studies) to find out about mandatory and optional blocks and courses. Give special attention to your chosen specializations.
- Check which courses are offered to find out about courses you can choose and which are interesting for you. You can use the KIS system to find out about courses offered in the upcoming semester. In KIS, in the Informatik section, you may click on "Informatik" to see the list of all courses (including Bachelor!) or explore "Spezialisierung Bachelor und Master" for master-level courses in specific areas. You can also use the "Lectures" section on our website to get an overview of the CS lectures offered in the coming semester and the two subsequent semesters. Try to look ahead to build a more complete plan (beyond the first semester).
- Make sure you have the prerequisite knowledge for the courses you pick (see the Module Handbook for details).
- Make sure you leave enough time for your additional prerequisite studies and for the German language course, if you have to do them. In general, do not go over 30 ECTS credit points (CP) of workload in total per semester (including prerequisites)!
- You can use the study plan template to plan your individual studies. Please also check the rules when preparing your study plan.
- Discuss your individual study plan with your mentor.
When you have completed your personal study plan, you have to prepare an official "examination plan" and have it signed by your mentor. The examination plan can later be modified.
During your studies
Regular CS lectures do not require students to sign up or register. This is different for seminars and projects and may also be required for courses offered by other departments. Information is usually available on the homepage of the lecturer. For additional prerequisite studies, please contact the professor giving the course early on to clarify details and to obtain information.
The examination plan is a document that lists all the courses you want to get examined in and the section you place them in (computer science theory, formal fundamentals, specialization 1 and 2, supplement). In the plan, you must include all required course details (module number, module name, CP). The examination plan is to be filed before you can register for exams specified in the plan, and is checked and approved by the examination office and your mentor.
Interacting with the examination office
The examination office needs to be contacted for any administrative tasks that involve exams, such as submitting your (updated) examination plan, registering for an exam or stepping back from exams. It is located on the 3rd floor of Building 47. New master students need to personally see the examination office for a first-time registration and submission of the first examination plan. Please see Important Dates for the registration period. The QIS system may be used to verify exam registrations and pursue registration for a subset of the exams.
Here is an overview of the most important rules for pursuing your exams. The official Examination Regulations should be consulted for a detailed and complete description.
- For written exams, examination dates are published at the beginning of the semester (see KIS: Informatik -> Prüfungen or Exam Dates). Usually two exam dates in the (academic) year in which the lecture took place are offered. These may be in the same or in different semester(s).
- For oral exams, you first have to obtain an examination date from the professor holding the exam. The professor will let you know at the beginning of the course which kind of exam will be offered and how to obtain a date for an oral exam.
- Register your (written and oral) exams with the examination office no later than two weeks before the examination date
- Canceling an exam is possible until one week before the exam, or until the day of the exam due to illness or other important reasons. In that case, contact the examination office no later than the day of the exam and provide appropriate documentation (e.g., statement by medical doctor) no later than 1 week after the examination date.
- You have a maximum of three attempts to pass an exam. If you fail, you need to retake the exam. Please observe deadlines for retaking failed exams. Make sure to register with the examination office! You are NOT automatically registered for repeat exams!
Study program deadlines
The standard time for completing the master studies is 4 semesters. However, you may take more time if needed. The maximum study period and progress deadline is as follows.
- You need to register all exams (i.e. all courses and the master thesis) no later than at the end of your sixth semester.
- If you don't register until two semesters after this deadline, you will get a "failed" grade for your first attempt of the exam. From that point on, the regular deadlines for repeating exams hold!
- Register your oral exams with the examination office no later than two weeks before the examination date.
- Register all other exams, projects and seminars during the exam registration period (Nov 16 - Dec 16 / May 16 - Jun 16)!
Information sources and points of contact
Please use the links provided in the text above as a starting point for exploring the web pages of the CS department. The general entry point to all aspects related to studying is the Education sections.
Students council ("Fachschaft")
The CS students council is elected by the students of the CS department at a plenary meeting once a year. The students council represents the interests of the students of their department. The main task for it is to improve the course situation here at university for the students of their department. Also, the members of the student council provide advice for the students in organizational, social and study related issues. Some examples of services the students council offers are:
- Introductory weeks
- Lecture survey
- Lending of old exams protocols etc.
- Organization of parties
- Suggestion box
The International School for Graduate Studies (ISGS) serves as a university-wide cross-faculty structure to support internationalization of the University and coordinates activities and programs on the graduate level. Special fields of action are:
- support & helpdesk for departments of the University of Kaiserslautern
- services & support for international postgraduates & visiting scholars
- cross-disciplinary orientation & integration arrangements for postgraduates & scholars
- cultural & social programs for international postgraduates
- public relations & international marketing
The examination board is responsible for the organization of examinations and decides in examination matters. In addition, it decides about admission to courses of study. All decisions of the board must be in compliance with the examination regulations.
The examination office needs to be contacted for any administrative tasks that involve exams, such as submitting your (updated) examination plan, registering for an exam or stepping back from exams. It is located on the 3rd floor of Building 47.