Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Frequently Asked Questions
Here you can find the answers to the most common questions Medical Engineering students have during their studies.
If the answer to your question is missing, feel free to contact your study advisor.
I am really struggling with my studies right now. What can I do?
The most important thing first: you are not alone! Almost all students are familiar with the experience of reaching a low point in their studies, feeling overwhelmed or not knowing what to do. The good news is that you can do a lot by yourself to feel better and experience success and satisfaction in your studies again. Here are some measures you can take right away:
- Self-help material for various psychological problems (recommended by our psychologist!)
- Self-help material for managing stress by WHO in various different languages (recommended by our psychologist!)
- If you need to talk to a professional in person: make an appointment with our psychologists!
- If you have trouble adapting to the German university system and establishing a good routine for studying: Please read our booklet “Mastering your studies”.
- If you need to improve your physical wellbeing and get out of you head: join a sports course offered by our University Sports
- If you are concerned that you might not pass your conditional subjects within one year or might fail the third (i.e. last) attempt of an exam: Please apply to another English-taught Master’s program for the next semester (so that you have a backup plan) an make an appointment with your study advisor.
- If you feel lonely and would like to make friends: join one of our student initiatives or the language exchange events of Studentenwerk. Female students are cordially invited to join the monthly International Women’s Café (Students’ Edition), organized by the Erlangen Women Center. The international student association DEGIS has produced this great video on how to make friends in Germany, which is a good starting point.
…and talk about your struggles with fellow students. They may be feeling just like you and be glad that you bring up the topic. Everything is easier when you share it with others!
I need a letter of recommendation from a professor (to apply for a scholarship, summer school etc.). How can I get this letter?
First of all, it is important for you to know that you are not entitled to a letter of recommendation. Our academic staff is very busy and free to decide wether they want to issue you are recommendation letter or not. Please note that only professors can issue you a recommendation letters. Your study advisor or PhD students are not authorized to write recommendation letters.
Who should I approach about a recommendation letter?
It only makes sense to ask professors for a recommendation letter if you have studied with them for some time (i.e. have taken several, preferably smaller courses with them) and have had excellent grades in those courses (1,0 – 1,3). Of course, their courses must be related to the subject/purpose you need the recommendation letter for. Ideally, you already have a more personal relationship with your professor, e.g. you are doing your master’s thesis with them or work for them as a student assistant.
What do I need to prepare for the recommendation letter?
If you want anyone to do you the favor of writing you a recommendation letter, you need to make it as little time-consuming and easy for them as you can. This means that you should already prepare a pre-written text about your academic accomplishments, which your professor can easily adapt for their official version of the letter. You can find many styles of recommendation letters online to give you an idea. Please be aware that German recommendation letters are very fact-based and must not include any emotional statements. Please send this text template together with a current grade overview and cv to your professor of choice and ask them very kindly and politely if they are willing to write you a recommendation for the summer school X or scholarship Y. If they do, make sure to thank them because they took some time out of their busy day to help you with something that does not have any benefit for them.
How can I forward emails from my FAU account to my private email account?
Please log into www.idm.fau.de, go to the section “self-service” – “email” and click on the magnifying glass symbol next to your FAU email address. Enter the private email address to which you want to forward your FAU communication and click on the “update” button.
I was already enrolled during the covid pandemic. Which of my semesters are not counted as regular semesters?
SS 20, WS 20/21, SS 21 and WS 21/22 were officially declared “covid semesters” and therefore count as zero when your official duration of studies is assessed. Please don’t be confused – all semesters are counted in the semester count that you can see in your Campo overview (as well as in your enrollment certificate), but if you studied during the covid semesters you can deduct them from this number. This is also explained in the footnotes of your enrollment certificate.
Example: If you started your studies in WS 21/22 and your Campo account shows 5 semesters you can deduct the covid semester, hence you are officially only in your 4th semester.
I am enrolled in the Medical Engineering program and pregnant. How does this affect my studies?
In order to ensure your and your child’s safety during your studies, you must inform our Student Records Office of your pregnancy as soon as possible. In order to do so, please send an email to ibz-mutterschutz[at]fau.de . Our study advisor for pregnant students, Ms Susanne Kramarenkoff, will provide you with all the information you need. This concerns the kind of courses you are allowed to take or shouldn’t take (e.g. certain lab courses), the flexibilities you are entitled to with regards to your studies (leave of absence, flexible rules regarding exams) as well as the support services FAU can offer you (childcare facilities, parent-child meetups for students etc.).
Studying at FAU
Can I register for tutorials/exercise classes before the lecture period starts?
No. You will be told in the first week of the lecture period, when you attend the first session of your chosen lectures, when and how you can register for the accompanying tutorials/exercise classes for that lecture. You will also be informed about your options regarding the selection of specific time slots and as to how much your personal time preferences can be taken into account. You are not formally entitled to a certain tutorial date, especially since a certain maximum capacity (20-30 participants, depending on the room capacity) cannot be exceeded and certain dates are very popular among students. There will be, however, enough spots available for every student.
How many ECTS points am I expected to obtain per term?
The regular recommended workload per semester is 30 ECTS points, as our master’s program consists of 120 ECTS points and the regular duration of studies is 4 semesters. You can find the recommended distribution of credits per term in the module catalog (see “Information for current students”). However, you don’t have to stick to the exact same study plan, you are free to make your own choices and take less or more modules/credits per semester.
From the university’s perspective, there is no minimum amount of credits that you have to acquire per semester and nobody will check on you how many courses you are taking. All master’s students have the guarantee that the general duration of studies will be extended to a 5th semester if they need it. The extension to the 5th semester can be achieved simply by re-registering for the respective semester by transferring the semester fee during re-registration week (i.e. first week of July or first week of February).
Please note two important aspects, however:
- If you need a 6th, 7th or even more semesters for your studies you have to file an application with our examinations office before the start of the respective semester and give justified reasons for it. In addition to that, you will also have to prove that you had a “regular” study progression so far, meaning that there is a realistic chance that you will be able to finish your studies soon.
- If you are in Germany on a study visa the immigration authorities will regularly ask you to submit a document issued by the university in which your regular study progression is confirmed. You can generate this document yourself in your Campo account – provided that you acquire on average at least 20 ECTS per semester. If you are unable to generate this document because you don’t fulfil said requirement, you have to contact our Student Records Office and give justified reasons why you cannot prove a regular study progression. It will then be evalutated whether you will receive the confirmation or not.
Conclusion: Although the university itself does not obligate you to obtain a certain amount of credits per semester, it is highly recommended – especially for Non-EU students – to acquire between 20 and 30 ECTS per term.
Especially during your first semester, when you are still getting used to your new university and study program, it can make sense to take rather 20 than 30 credits. If you feel you need a lot of time to study for some of your courses it can also be a good idea to accompany those courses with less time-consuming options, such as a softskills course for “M8/Free Choice Uni” or medical modules from module group M1.
What does “VHB” in the module catalog mean and how do I use VHB courses?
VHB stands for “Virtuelle Hochschule Bayern” (Virtual University of Bavaria), an online study platform that FAU students can use without any costs. Please click in the top right corner of the VHB page for the English version. You have to register once (please select “Gesundheitstechnik” as your study program/”Studienfach”) and get access to several online courses, some of which are in English, too. Exams are mostly taken online, sometimes there is a regular written examination. Please note: VHB-exams which are taken online at your home computer (i.e. without video supervision by an examiner) cannot be accredited for the study program!
Is it possible to study German at FAU?
Yes, the FAU language center offers free German courses during the semester and intensive courses (with a fee) during the holidays. Please check the German department’s website for more information. You can use all language courses offered by our language center for the “Free Choice Uni” module (M8 from FPO 2018 onwards) if you wish to.
You can also take free German language courses and courses on German culture via the virtual learning platform VHB (www.vhb.org – please register with the study program “Gesundheitstechnik”). Please note, though, that you cannot use these course for your Master’s studies.
If you prefer learning German in an informal atmosphere and making new friends at the same time, you should consider registering for an online language exchange platform such as tandem.net or apply to be matched with a real-life tandem partner by our FAU tandem partner service.
I have completed the last achievement of my studies. Will I be deregistered from the university right away and lose my student status?
No, you stay registered as a student for the entire semester in which you have completed your last achievement. This means that you keep your student status until the end of the semester (30th of September or 31st of March respectively), hence you can continue to work as a student assistant/working student and continue to live in a students residence until that date. This also applies if you have already received your Bachelor´s or Master´s certificate. If you wish for an early de-registration (e.g. for job purposes), please contact our Student Records Office.
What do I need to know about the German academic system and German culture?
When you make the decision to study in a foreign country it is crucial to understand that things will differ in many aspects from your life and studies in your home country and that you will need to adjust to these differences, such as:
- how the university and its infrastructure are organized
- how students and teachers interact in class, how students communicate with lecturers, staff and other students
- what exams look like and how you prepare for them
- which services the university offers (and which it doesn’t offer)
- the concept of courtesy and good manners in daily life-interactions
- which activities students engage in in their free time
But don’t be scared, if you have an open mind and are willing to learn about these differences, you will find that they broaden your horizon and can result in a very enriching experience!
If you are unsure if the intercultural experience is for you or want to prepare for your time at FAU, you can take this online course offered by the Virtual University of Bavaria (VHB). You have to create a user account, but it is free of cost!
What is the maximum number of semesters I can study in the master’s program?
All master’s students are granted 5 semesters (if you re-register in time by transferring the semester fee). After that, you can get a 6th or 7th master’s semester (and beyond) by applying for it at our Examinations Office (pleaese find the respective form here and submit it before your 6th, 7th etc. semester starts). In order to get the extension, you have to give justified reasons for it (e.g. master’s thesis not finished yet, severe illness etc.).
Please note that the extension will only be given if you can prove a regular study progress (i.e. you took and passed a reasonable amount of exams and were not completely inactive) and there is a realistic chance that you will be able to finish your studies soon if given the extension.
Please note that SS 20, WS 20/21, SS 21 and WS 21/22 were so-called “covid semesters” and count as zero with regard to your official duration of studies.
Do I have to have my timetable drawn up before I start my studies?
When you start your first semester, the answer is clearly no. We won’t leave you alone with the flood of information at the start of your studies, but will be happy to show you step by step at our introductory event how to create your timetable and what you need to bear in mind. Just come along – you can find out the time and place on our website or from the Student Advisory Service.
Regarding Master Modules
Can I take more modules within a module group than required?
Yes, definitely, there is no ECTS credit limit for taking additional modules and/or additional exams. If you don’t communicate another preference at the end of your studies, our Examinations Office will automatically account the modules with the best grades for your master’s degree. The other modules and grades will only be listed in your Transcript of Records, but not in the Master’s certificate.
You may also use the modules you take additionally in other module groups, according to the rule for switching modules that is explained at the bottom of your module catalog – or in the module groups M7 (Felixible Budget Faculty of Engineering) and M8 (Free Choice Uni).
It is also ok if the modules you want to use to complete a certain module group exceed the ECTS requirement for the respective group. E.g. it is no problem if you use a 5 ECTS module and a 7,5 ECTS module to complete module group M7 (which only has an ECTS requirement of 10 ECTS). Please note, however, that in this case 2,5 ECTS of the module with the worse grade of the two will be lost. You cannot split up modules and use the remaining ECTS elsewhere.
Can modules be interchanged within the module catalog?
Yes, but only some of them – according to the following rules:
- For module M3 you can use a module/modules worth max. 5 ECTS points in total from the module groups M2 and M5 of your own study branch or from M2, M3 and M5 of the others branches (some of which are taught in German!)
- For module M5 you can use a module/modules worth max. 5 ECTS points in total from the module groups M2 and M3 of your own study branch or from M2, M3 and M5 of the other branches (some of which are taught in German!)
Which lectures am I supposed to use for M7/Flexible Budget Faculty of Engineering (study regulation FPO 2018 and onwards)?
For this module group (10 ECTS), you can generally take any graded course offered by our Faculty of Engineering which is offered as a mandatory subject or “compulsory elective” in a Master’s program of our Faculty of Engineering. You can find out which faculty and study programs a certain course belongs to by consulting our online course platform Campo.
Please search for your desired course under “studies offered” – “search for courses”.
- Under “parallel groups/dates” you can find the lecturer of the course. Please click on their name in order to find out about their affiliation with a chair/lab. By clicking on the arrow next to their name, you can see the department structure which the chair/lab belongs to. If you want to use the course in M7, your lecturer has to be a member of a lab/chair that is part of the Faculty of Engineering.
- Please click on the “basic data” section of the course. Here, you can find out if the course is part of the curriculum of at least one Master’s program of the Faculty of Engineering (“TechFak”). If this is the case, the cours is suitable for M7.
- The course has to be graded.
Please note that all modules that are listed for M2, M3 or M5 in the module catalogs for all branches of study of our master’s in Medical Engineering, can be used in M7, too.
In addition to the above-mentioned engineering modules, you can also use a defined set of modules from the field of economics, which are listed in your module catalog for M7.
Exception for HMDA students: If you are studying in the branch of study “Health & Medical Data Analytics and Entrepreneurship” (HMDA), you can only choose your modules for M7 from the list you can find in your module catalog for module group M7. This is due to the fact that for HMDA students, all M7 modules have to be related to economics, innovation or entrepreneurship.
IMPORTANT: Conditional subjects cannot be used in M7, as they are considered courses on Bachelor’s level, which you needed to take additionally to qualify for our master’s program.
If the module description in Campo states explicitly that the module cannot be used for M7, this statement applies.
If you are unsure about whether a certain module falls into these categories please contact your study advisor.
Can I take additional exercises or practical courses that are being offered together with a lecture from my module catalog?
Yes. All lectures can be complemented by additional exercises and practical courses offered by the same lecturer to accompany the respective course. This way, you can increase their ECTS value of the grade that you obtain by taking the respective exam.
The Examinations Office automatically selects the best achievements from the module group while issuing the BA or MA certificates. The remaining achievements will not count towards your grade average. If you want to decide for yourself which subjects should be counted for your Bachelor’s/Master’s degree, please contact the Examinations Office in due course before your final certificate is issued. The remaining achievements will not be listed in the certificate but in the transcript of records under the category “Zusatzleistungen” (additional achievements).
Which lectures am I supposed to use for M8/Free Choice Uni (study regulation FPO 2018 and onwards)?
For this module, you can take any graded technical or non-technical course offered at any faculty of FAU. Please make sure that you receive a grade in that course. Just browse through our online course platform Campo and see which courses look interesting to you. You can also use courses offered by the Virtual University Bavaria (VHB), provided that they offer an exam with identity control (= exam under supervision, either on-site or remotely via zoom/camera) or a written paper.
Possible courses include but are not limited to: economics, language courses, psychology, literature, cultural history, any module of our Facutly of Engineering or the Medical Engineering degree program itself (under the condition that the course is not counted for other module groups) or your conditional subjects. In case you don’t feel inspired we can recommend “Nailing your Thesis” (by Prof. Dirk Riehle), as it is a good preparation for your Master’s thesis.
If you were admitted with conditional subjects you can also use your conditional subjects in module group M8.
You can also take more modules and exams for M8 and thus acquire more ECTS credits than the required amount of ECTS points for M8 (5 ECTS). If you complete more exams than needed and do not state any preference at the Examinations Office, it will select the best possible grades when issuing your Master’s certificate.
If you take classes outside of our Facutly of Engineering, it is possible that the exam registration cannot be conducted via the Campo portal. In this case, please contact the lecturer or Mrs. Jahreis of our Examinations Office (helga.jahreis[at]fau.de) and ask them to register your exam manually.
Can I use my conditional subjects for my Master’s course?
Yes, if you are satisfied with the grade you achieved in your conditional subjects you can use them for your module group “Free Choice Uni/M8” (according to Study Regulation/FPO 2018 and 2019). You cannot use them for any other group, as these other groups have to consist of Master’s level content, which the conditional subjects are not – by definition.
In order to have your conditional subject moved to the “Free Choice Uni/M8” section of your Campo account, just send an email to Mrs. Jahreis of our Examinations Office (helga.jahreis[at]fau.de) and ask her to do so.
Do I have to register for my courses – and if so, how?
You don’t need to register for regular lectures at FAU (which comprise the largest part of you Master’s curriculum). If you are interested in taking a certain lecture you just go to the respective lecture hall at the time that ist indicated in our online course portal Campo. You can stop attending the lecture anytime and don’t have to inform anybody of it. Since most lecturers will share course material on the StudOn platform, you will need to join the respective course in StudOn at some point – but this does not equal a binding registration. In principle, you could join the StudOn course and never attend the lecture (or vice versa). You can register for the exam later on in the semester (you will be informed by your study advisor and lecturers when exam registration takes place), but it is important to note that attending a lecture does not mean that you have to register for the respective exam. You can also register for an exam without ever attending the lecture, but then it is your responsibility to study the content on your own, of course!
Exception: If you want to take online lectures offered by VHB (Virtual University of Bavaria = e-learning platform of all Bavarian universities) you will need to register for the course via the VHB website. Please look up the respective lecture on the VHB website to find out when the course registration takes place.
Seminars and practical courses (lab courses): These courses require previous registration, as they have a limited number of participants. Please look up the seminars and practical courses of your choice in Campo to find out when the registration starts and via which channel (usually via our StudOn platform or in rare cases via email to the responsible tutor/professor etc.) it is carried out. Important: The registration for seminars and lab courses usually takes place several weeks before the actual lecture period begins (in March or September respectively).
Whom do I need to contact if I want to move credits & grades from one module group to another?
Please contact Mrs. Jahreis of our Exminations Office (helga.jahreis[at]fau.de). Your study advisor cannot make any changes in your module/grade overview in Campo. It is only possible to move modules to a certain module group if it is in compliance with the rules explained in your module catalog (see the footnotes there).
How are my average grades for the module groups calculated in the Campo portal (FPO 2013)?
If you only render the ECTS points required for the module group, the individual module grades are weighed according to the average grade. The grade will be calculated not by rounding it, but only takes the first decimal into account.
Example: Flexible Budget of master degree programme (M7 of FPO 2013, 10 ECTS points):
- Achievement of 5 ECTS points: grade 1.0
- Achievement of 2.5 ECTS points: grade 1.0
- Achievement of 2.5 ECTS points: grade 2.0
- Average grade: (5 x 1 + 2.5 x 1 + 2.5 x 2) : 10 = 1.25
–> The average grade of 1.2 weighs 10 ECTS points into your final Master grade. The calculation of the total Master grade is based on 110 ECTS points, because of module group M6 being ungraded.
If you render more than the ECTS points required for a module group, the Examinations Office will automatically select the best possible combination that fulfills the modules ECTS requirements when issuing the certificate. Additional module will not be taken into account. Module are always weighed by their full ECTS value. A proportional calculation of ECTS points is invalid according to the General Examination Regulations (ABMPO TechFak), even if the required ECTS requirement has been met for the module group!
Example: Flexible Budget of master degree programme (FPO 2013, 10 ECTS points):
- Achievement of 5 ECTS points: grade 2.0
- Achievement of 2.5 ECTS points: grade 1.0
- Achievement of 2.5 ECTS points: grade 1.0
- Achievement of 2.5 ECTS points: grade 1.0
- Average grade: (2.5 x 2 + 2.5 x 1 + 2.5 x 1 + 2.5 x 1) : 12.5 = 1.25
–> The average grade 1.2 will be accounted for the grade with 10 ECTS points. The calculation of the total grade is based on 110 ECTS points, because of module group M6 being ungraded.
If you have rendered more than the ECTS points required for the module group and do not wish for the automatic selection of the best possible combination, you can contact the Examinations Office before it issues the certificate and communicate which achievements should be considered for you Bachelor’s or Master’s certificate.
What am I supposed to do with PDF certificates (“Scheine”)?
Sometimes a course achievement (for example for a seminar or a practical course) can not be processed via the Online Portal-Campo platform. In this case your lecturer will issue you a paper certificate stating your name, the course title, your grade and the ECTS value of the course. You have to take this certificate to Mrs. Jahreis at the examinations office in order to have her enter your course achievement in your Campo account.
The exams that are concluding my studies take are part of the second exam period and therefore take place in a new semester. Do I have to re-register?
No, if they are the last exams of your studies, you do not have to re-register. You can take those exams even if the dates are in the new semester. You can still see your grades in the Campo portal and even have the possibility to take the respective repeat exams in the subsequent if necessary.
I have “conditional subjects”. What does that mean?
You may have been accepted to the Master’s program under the condition that you pass one or more conditional subjects within the first year (i.e. from the 1st of October to the 30th of September or from the 1st of April to the 30th of March). This means you have to take certain classes in addition to your regular Master’s workload of 120 ECTS credits, usually from the fields of mathematics, computer science and/or electrical engineering and pass the respective exams. You cannot continue your studies in the 3rd semester if you don’t pass your conditions, meaning that you will be deregistered from the master’s in Medical Engineering if you don’t clear your conditions in your first two semesters. Please note that your visa status is tied to your enrollment status. If you lose enrollment, you also lose your study visa, your room in the student dorm and your student job (if you have any) and have to return to your home country.
As soon as you pass the exams for your conditional subjects, you have to communicate this actively via email to our examinations office (Mrs. Jahreis: helga.jahreis[at]fau.de) so that you can be re-registered for your 3rd semester. If you don’t pass the conditional subjects within one year, you cannot continue your studies! The 1 year-deadline is imposed on the university by law, hence it is non-negiotiable, even if you cannot attend an exam due to illness or other severe reasons. Please note that the conditional subjects in your admission letter cannot be changed, deleted or accredited.
- “Algorithms, programming, and data representation” (lecture, 5 ECTS credits) is offered in the winter semester (WS), but you can also take the exam in the summer semester. “Algorithms, programming, and data representation” consists of a lecture, which ends with an exam, and an exercise part, which helps you to practice you programming skills. In order to fulfil your condition, you only need to proof that you passed the exam. This book is a good preparation for the course: Guttag, John. Introduction to Computation and Programming Using Python: With Application to Understanding Data Second Edition. MIT Press, 2016. ISBN: 9780262529624.
- “Engineering Mathematics” (name of the lecture: “Mathematics for Engineers III”), 7,5 ECTS credits, offered by Prof. Merz in the WS, OR “Probability and Stochastic Processes” (5 ECTS credits), offered by Prof. Fantuzzi in the SS. You only have to pass one of these two courses and can decide on your own which one you want to choose. You are free to take both courses, too, if you wish. It is strongly recommended that you take the course you have less previous knowledge in, as you will need a strong mathematical base to be successful in our Master’s program. “Engineering Mathematics” is only offered in the winter semester (WS), but you can take the exam in summer semester as well. “Probability and Stochastic Processes” is only offered in the summer semester (from SS 23), but you can take the exam in the winter semester, too.
- “Fundamentals of Electrical Engineering” (lecture, 5 ECTS credits) is offered in the summer semester (SS), but you can get access to the lecturer’s slides, study on your own and take the exam in winter, too.
- “Dynamical Systems and Control” (lecture, 5 ECTS credits) is offered in the summer semester (SS), but you can get access to the lecturer’s slides, study on your own and take the exam in winter, too.
When you have passed your conditional subjects and are happy with your grade you can use them for module M8 (Free Choice Uni, according to Study Regulation/FPO 2018 and onwards). Just send Mrs. Jahreis of our Examinations Office an email (helga.jahreis[at]fau.de) and ask her to move the course to M8. Please note that your conditional subjects can only be used for M8 but not for any other module group of your Master’s course. Unless you do the above, conditional subjects will not appear in your Master’s certificate, only in your Transcript of Records.
If your admission letter does not state any conditional subjects, this means that the above information does not apply to you. You can simply follow the regular Master’s course and don’t have a one-year-deadline for any of your subjects.
I have failed an exam attempt for a module. Can I switch to another module?
This depends on whether the respective module is mandatory or not. If you failed the exam for a conditional subject or for a module that is marked as mandatory in your module catalog (please see the footnotes there) you cannot switch it. You have one year (= two attempts) to pass your conditional subjects and three attempts to pass any other mandatory module.
If the module in question is not mandatory, you can switch your registration for the repeat exam to another module of the same module group with the same ECTS value. Please note that your failed attempt(s) will be subtracted, meaning that if you switch to another module after a first failed attempt you will only have two attempts left to pass the exam of the new module. If you switch after your second failed attempt you will only have one attempt left to pass the exam of the new module. If you switch from one module with 5 ECTS to two modules of the same group with 2,5 ECTS each, the failed exam attempt(s) will be subtracted for both of them. If you want to make use of this option, please send an email to Ms Helga Jahreis of our Examinations Office (helga.jahreis[at]fau.de) during the official exam registration period and ask her to switch your registration to a new module of the same module group. If exam registration period is already over, you can only switch your registration to exams of the same module group which you have already registered for.
How do the examination and grading system at FAU work?
All exams can only be taken once per semester. They either take place in the first exam period (= first two weeks of the holidays) or in the second one (last three weeks of the holidays – the second exam period partly coincides with the beginning of the new semester). Exams will only be offered in one of those two periods. You have to register for exams via the Campo system. It is only open for registration for three weeks during lecture period. Your lecturers and study advisor will let you know when the exam registration starts. Attending a lecture doesn’t mean that you have to take the corresponding exam or are automatically registered for it. You have to register for every exam you want to take otherwise you cannot participate!
If you fail an exam you have to take the repeat exam in the following semester and are automatically registered for it. You generally have three attempts in total for each exam (exception: only one year, i.e. max. two attempts for conditional subjects).
If you have registered for a first attempt of an exam and don’t feel well prepared you undo your registration via your Campo account until 3 working days (Mon-Fri) before the exam day. After that deadline, or if the registered exam is a mandatory repeat exam, you can only cancel your registration with a medical certificate, which you have to send to our examinations officer Mrs. Jahreis (helga.jahreis[at)fau.de).
If you have passed an exam you cannot repeat it in order to improve your grade. Failed exam attempts will not be listed in your final transcript of records or Master’s certificate. All passed exams will be listed in your transcript of records.
The best grade in the German academic system is 1.0, the worst passing grade is 4.0:
I am facing my last attempt for an exam or I failed my last attempt. What do I do now?
Please note that “last attempt” means different things in different contexts. For regular exams which are part of your master’s curriculum, you have a maximum of 3 attempts. If you fail the 3rd attempt you cannot continue your studies and are deregistered from our Medical Engineering program. This means that you can never return to our Medical Engineering program again, not even to one of the other branches of study.
For conditional subjects, you only have two attempts maximum (i.e. a non-extendable one-year-deadline, imposed on the university by the State of Bavaria). If you don’t pass your conditional subjects within your 1st year, you cannot continue your studies and are deregistered from our Medical Engineering program. This means that you can never return to our Medical Engineering program again, not even to one of the other branches of study. This is even the case if you missed an exam attempt due to illness or other severe circumstances.
When you learn that you failed your penultimate attempt, you should contact your study advisor as early as possible in order to be optimally prepared for the last attempt and to inform yourself about possible study alternatives.
Please be aware that in order to switch to another Master’s program at FAU, you need to formally apply for this alternative program via the Campo portal within the official application period and be granted admission to this program. Therefore, you MUST apply to other suitable English-taught master’s programs at FAU in the semester in which you have your last exam attempt. In addition to programs at FAU, you MUST also apply to programs at other German universities in order to broaden your chances. Please inform yourself early on about the application deadlines! Public universities tend to have earlier deadlines. Private universities (e.g. in Fürth) might offer you the chance to apply until shortly before the start of the new semester, but they charge high tuition fees. If you get admission to the alternative study program, you have a backup plan for the following semester if you cannot continue your studies in the Medical Engineering program. You have to inform the immigration office when you change your study program. Please note, however, that the immigration authorities will usually only allow you to change your study program once.
Only for regular exams, not for conditonal subjects: If you feel unable to take the exam on the examination day, you must withdraw from the exam before it takes place by submitting a medical certificate to the Examinations Office (helga.jahreis[at]fau.de). If you suddenly feel ill during the exam, you have to inform your exam supervisor, leave the exam and directly go to an officially recognized doctor (Vertrauenssarzt). After you have finished the exam, it is generally not possible to declare it invalid retroactively (for example due to illness or personal crises).
If you have failed your exam in the last attempt, this means that you will lose your enrollment status in our program by the end of the semester. If you don’t have admission for another program you can switch to, you won’t be an enrolled student anymore and subsequently lose your student status. If you are in Germany on a study visa this visa becomes invalid, meaning that you become “illegal” and may have to leave Germany and the Schengen area immediately. PLEASE TAKE THIS MATTER VERY SERIOUSLY! You must inform your local immigration authority as soon as you learn that you will lose your student status. Your responsible immigration officer will inform you of your next steps. If you have a student job, you will also lose it from the moment you are not an enrolled student anymore. The same applies if you live in a student residence/student dorm. Please make sure to inform the responsible officers in due time in order to avoid legal problems.
What else can you do?
If you have a bachelor’s degree with good to very good grades, at least basic to intermediate German skills and are motivated and open to other options, you can try to find a STEM job in Germany and apply for a conversion of your study visa to a work visa. If this is a viable path for you, please seek advice from our officer of the German Employment Agency, Mr. Hümmer (michael.huemmer[at]arbeitsagentur.de) as soon as possible.
I have already acquired all ECTS points that are necessary for my master’s degree. Can I still take exams?
Yes, during the semester in which you have acquired the required 120 ECTS points for the master’s degree, you have the possibility to take additional modules and exams in order to improve your overall grade.
Please contact Ms. Jahreis of our Examinations Office (helga.jahreis[at]fau.de) when your 120 ECTS are complete and let her know that you would like to take more exams in the current semester and therefore don’t want her to issue your degree certificate yet.
It is no problem if the exams you want to take take place in the second examination period, i.e. if the exam dates lie in the susequent semester. You are still allowed to take them without having to re-register for the subsequent semester.
After you have completed your additional exams, please inform Mrs. Jahreis which exams you want to use for your master’s degree and which ones should only be listed in the “Additional Achievements” section of your transcript of records (i.e. without counting towards your degree).
In case you failed some of the addional exams, you can ask Mrs. Jahreis to deactivate them. (This is only possible since you already have acquired the necessary 120 ECTS in this scenario).
How do I register for an exam if I don’t find it on the Campo platform?
First of all, exam registration is only possible during exam registration period (usually three weeks in the middle of the lecture period – you will be informed by your lecturers and your study advisor). For most of your exams you will be able to register online via our Campo platform. However, there are some exceptions:
- For courses offered at VHB (Virtual University of Bavaria) by lecturers who are not members of FAU, you cannot register via the Campo platform. Please read the course information on the VHB website (it’s mostly in German – please use google translate or ask a German-speaking friend). It will tell you whether you have to register online via the VHB website, via email with your lecturer or in a different way.
- For most courses outside the Medical Engineering curriculum, you won’t be able to register via the “study planner with module plan” in Campo. This will mostly be the case for courses which you want to take within the module groups “Flexible Budget Faculty of Engineering”/M7 and “Free Choice Uni/M8”. In order to register for these exams, you have to select “Register for electives” in Campo and use the search function. This works best if you search for the exam title or the exam number:
- Option 1: Search for the exam title, which is in most cases identical or very close to the title of your module/course.
- Option 2: Ask your lecturer in the next lecture session or in the StudOn forum to give you the exam number. Please avoid asking your lecturers for the exam number via email in order to save them from being bombarded with emails!
- If you cannot find your desired exam via option 1 or 2: Please contact your study advisor.
- There are some courses which are part of the Medical Engineering module catalogs but don’t appear in the Campo exam registration. This is mainly the case for seminars and practical courses. Please ask your lecturer how you can register for those achievements. If you have to register with them personally (i.e. not via the Campo system), they will issue you a paper certificate (“Schein”) after the successful completion of the module, which states your name, the course title, the amount of ECTS credits and your grade. Please send this certificate to Mrs. Jahreis of our Examinations Office (helga.jahreis[at]fau.de) in order to have your coursework registered in the Campo system.
How are my average grades calculated in the Campo portal (FPO 2018 and onwards)?
All modules that are required to fulfill the ECTS requirements of a module group are included in the average grade for this module group, weighted according to their ECTS value. In doing so, the calculated grade value is not rounded up, but truncated after the first decimal place:
Example: module group M5 in the Master’s program (10 ECTS):
- Performance with 5 ECTS: grade 1.0
- Performance with 7.5 ECTS: grade 2.3
Average grade: (5 x 1 + 7.5 x 2.3) : 12.5 = 1.78
The average grade of 1.7 is included in the Master’s examination with 10 ECTS. The calculation of the master’s examination grade is based on 110 ECTS, since module group M6 is ungraded.
If you acquire more than the ECTS required for a module group, the examination office automatically selects the modules with the best grades necessary to fulfill the ECTS requirement of the module group when issuing the certificate. Additional modules are not included in the calculation.
If you have taken more than the required ECTS points in a module group and do not want the modules with the best grades in each case to be automatically credited, you can inform the Examinations Office before your certificate is issued which achievements should be included in your Bachelor’s or Master’s examination.
From the calculated overall grade of the Bachelor’s or Master’s examination, the second decimal place is truncated (i.e. not rounded), e.g. 2.35 becomes 2.3.
I have passed my conditional subjects – what now?
From the day of your enrollment, you have one year to prove that you have passed your condtional subjects. Otherwise you cannot be re-registered for the third semester of your Master’s studies. Once your lecturer lets you know that you have passed your condition(s), you have to wait until the grade appears in the Campo portal. When this is the case, please contact Mrs. Helga Jahreis of our Examinations Office (helga.jahreis[at]fau.de) and inform her that you have passed your conditions. It is crucial that you attach your Master’s admissions letter to this email, as it contains your conditional subjects. Mrs. Jahreis will pass the information on to our Student Records Office and our officers there will switch your semester status to “3”.
I have obtained more ECTS credits than I need for my degree. Which courses will be counted towards my Master’s degree?
This decision is up to you!
If you don’t communicate any preference to our Examinations Office, the modules with the best grades will be used by default to be counted for your degree and to calculate your final Master’s grade. The remaining modules will not be listed in your Master’s degree certificate, but in your transcript of records in the section “Additional achievements”.
If you have other preferences and want to have a certain module, which you find important, listed in your Master’s cerificate, please inform Mrs. Jahreis of out Examinations Office (helga.jahreis[at]fau.de). You can make the decision until the end of your studies but you have to notify Mrs. Jahreis before your documents are issued.
What do I need to do if I want to transfer credits form previous studies/studies abroad to my Master’s in Medical Engineering?
Achievements from previous studies and studies abroad can only be accredited towards the Medical Engineering program if the have been evaluated positively by your accreditation officer for Medical Engineering.
In order to apply for accreditation of previously acquired credits and grades, please read the information on accreditation carefully and follow the process described here: https://www.medical-engineering.study.fau.eu/current-students/recognition-of-academic-achievements/
How can I register for exams from other branches of study which I want to use in my module group M3 oder M5 (rule for interchanging modules)?
As explained in the footnotes in your module catalog, you can interchange some modules between the other branches of study (which you have not chosen) and your own branch of study:
You can use a modul/modules with max. 5 ECTS from M2, M3 or M5 of the other branches of study or from M2 or M5 of your own branch of study for your module group M3 and another modul/modules with max. 5 ECTS from M2, M3 or M5 of the other branches of study or from M2 or M3 of your own branch of study for your module group M5.
If you want to take exams from the other branches of study you cannot register for them as part of the “tree structure” for your branch of study in Campo. Please register for the exams in Campo as “electives”, i.e. register them as part of your module group M8/Free Choice Uni. After you have passed the exams you have time until the very end of your studies to ask Mrs. Jahreis (helga.jahreis[at]fau.de) our Examinations Offices to move them to your desired module group.
I have to give a scientific presentation – how do I do that?
Prof. Andreas Maier has published a very useful video which explains the elements of a good scientific presentation. Please find it here.
How many chances do I have to pass an exam?
For regular exams of all kinds (except for the exams of your conditional subjects, see below), you have a maximum of 3 exam attempts. You decide when your 3 attempts start, because you decide when you want to register your 1st attempt via Campo. In case of a failed attempt, you are automatically registered for the next exam attempt in the subsequent semester (= 2nd attempt). If you fail your 2nd attempt you are automatically registered for the exam in the subsequent semester (=3rd attempt, i.e your final attempt). If you fail a 3rd exam attempt you are deregistered from your study program and lose your student status in the subsequent semester. If you are ill on the exam date, you can withdraw from it by submitting a doctor’s certificate to Mrs. Jahreis of our examination office and the missed attempt won’t count as such.
For conditional subjects, you have a hard, non-extendable 1 year-deadline (defined by law), which limits your number of exam attempts. This means that you can take a maximum of 2 exam attempts within that 1 year. If you don’t pass your condtions within the 1 year-deadline (regardless of whether you actually took the exam or missed is due to illness or other severe reasons) you are deregistered from your study program.
How can I withdraw from registered examinations?
Please note that the information below does not apply to exams for conditional subjects!
- You may withdraw from an examination which you are taking for the first time up to three working days (Monday–Friday, excluding public holidays) before the examination date. You can withdraw from examinations during this time period via the Campo portal without giving any reasons. Your registration for the examination is cancelled on withdrawal and you must re-register for the examination in the following semester if you want to take it then (see Section 10 ABMPO). You can withdraw from repeat examinations only if you have legitimate reasons, see section 2 below for more information.
- You can withdraw before every examination after the three working day-deadline has passed if you have a legitimate reason. These reasons include illness, which must be confirmed by submitting a doctor’s certificate for the exam day(s). The medical certificate must include a description of your symtoms and a diagnosis (“ärztliches Attest mit Symptomen und Diagnose” in German) – more information can be found here, but every medical certificate containing symptoms and diagnosis is fine). A scan of the medical certificate and this form (“Notification of illness”) must be submitted via email to our Examinations Office (helga.jahreis[at]fau.de) immediately. After that, the original certificate must also be submitted (via post or in person) within 7 days. If you miss this deadline, the examination will be graded as unsatisfactory (see Section 10 ABMPO).
Candidates may also withdraw before examinations in justified exceptional circumstances. If on the day of the examination you cannot attend an examination or you are unable to sit an examination for reasons out of your control (e.g. traffic jam, accident or cancellation of connections in public transport), you must report this to the Examinations Office (helga.jahreis[at]fau.de) immediately, otherwise the examination will be graded as unsatisfactory (see Section 10 ABMPO). The reasons for withdrawal must be explained credibly via email to the Examinations Office (with supporting documents etc.).
- If you are unable to submit your medical (or other) certificate before the exam or on the day of the exam, the examinations office may grant you a courtesy period of 7 days after the exam date (at the very latest) to hand in the missing document. Please note, however, that students are not entitled to this courtesy period.
- If you withdraw from an exam after the deadline for self-deregistration has passed, you will automatically be registered for the same exam in the examination period of the following semester.
- If you fall ill during an examination, you may leave the examination. In this case, you must visit an official FAU medical examiner without delay (see Section 10 ABMPO). You can find an information sheet and a list of official FAU medical examiners here.
- If you complete the examination as normal, you confirm that you are in good health and are able to sit the examination – you cannot submit an application for special consideration retrospectively (even with medical certificates).
- If you do not attend a registered exam and do not submit a medical (or other) certificate to the examinations office in due time, the exam will be counted as a failed attempt. This is also the case if you only informed your examiner (which would be polite to do if you are taking a smaller course with few participants), but not the examinations office (which you must inform).
I need a document stating the provisional end of my studies. Where can I get such a document?
The authority for foreigners or non-residents (Ausländerbehörde/Rathaus) often requires a document in order to ensure your current status as a student (“ein aktuelles Schreiben der Universität über das voraussichtliche Studienende” or “Bescheinigung zur Vorlage bei der Ausländerbehörde/Confirmation for submission to immigration authorities”) in order to extend your study visa. You can download this document with the title “Bescheinigung zur Vorlage bei der Ausländerbehörde/Confirmation for submission to immigration authorities” in the section “My Studies” – “My Achievements” in Campo.
The confirmation refers to the “individual duration of study pursuant to certificate of enrollment”. This means that if you studied during the official “covid semesters” (SS 20, WS 20/21, SS 21 and WS 21/22), these semesters are mentioned as such in your certificate of enrollment and count as zero. You need to submit your certificate of enrollment together with the confirmation at the Immigrations Office. Hence, the officers there will deduct the covid semesters from your duration of studies.
The confirmation also refers to the “approved extension in accordance with the examination regulations”. This means that all master’s students receive 1 additional semester after the regular duration of studies of 4 semesters (4+1 = 5 semesters in total are guaranteed).
If you cannot access the confirmation in Campo it is due to the fact that you did not acquire enough credits in relation to your duration of studies. If this is true for you, please contact our General Study Advisory Service and ask for an individual assessment of your case.
I need to submit my official bachelor’s certificate within one year but I won’t be able to meet this deadline. What should I do?
This is a serious issue! Please note that the deadline for submitting your original bachelor’s certificate (1 year after the beginning of your studies) cannot be extended under any circumstances. This deadline is imposed on the university by the Bavarian law, which means that no person at FAU can change, adapt or overrule it.
If you fear that you might not be able to submit your original degree certificate in time, it is crucial that you apply for several other English-taught master’s programs at FAU as well as for English-taught master’s programs at other German universities so that you have a backup plan. Your study visa is tied to your student status. Hence, if you lose your enrollment status in our Medical Engineering program due to your missing certificate, you will also lose your visa and become “illegal”. This means that you have to leave Germany and the Schengen area immediately.
Please pay close attention to the application deadlines! You will not be able to apply for another study program last minute. Therefore, it is of great importance that you start doing your research of suitable alternative programs at the beginning of your second semester, even if you still have some hope that you might receive your degree certificate in time. It is better to be safe than sorry!
I came to Germany with a study visa (visa for study purposes). What does this mean for me?
It is important for you to understand that your study visa is tied to your enrollment in a specific study program in Germany. This means that you are only allowed to stay in Germany as long as you are an enrolled student in your study program. Your visa shows a specific period of validity, but regardless of this, it will automatically lose its validity when you lose your enrollment. If you fail an exam for the last time, you will lose enrollment in the following semester and consequently lose your visa status on the first day on which you are not enrolled anymore (i.e. 1st of October or 1st of April of the following semester). If you don’t have a valid visa anymore you become “illegal”, meaning you have to leave Germany and the Schengen area and return to your home country.
Therefore, it is of the utmost importance to you to keep your student status at all times.
Please be aware that in order to switch to another master’s program at FAU, you need to formally apply for this alternative program via the Campo portal within the official application period and be granted admission to this program. Therefore, you MUST apply to other suitable English-taught master’s programs at FAU in the semester in which you have your last exam attempt. In addition to programs at FAU, you MUST also apply to programs at other German universities in order to broaden your chances. Please inform yourself early on about the application deadlines! Public universities tend to have earlier deadlines. Private universities (e.g. in Fürth) might offer you the chance to apply until shortly before the start of the new semester, but they charge high tuition fees. If you get admission to the alternative study program, you have a backup plan for the following semester if you cannot continue your studies in the Medical Engineering program.
You have to inform the immigration office when you change your study program. Please note, however, that the immigration authorities will usually only allow you to change your study program once.
Please take this matter very seriously or else you will get into serious trouble with the immigration authorities.