Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Frequently Asked Questions
Here you can find the answers to the most common questions students have before taking up their studies with us, whether they are related to studying in Erlangen or to the Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg.
If the answer to your question is missing, feel free to contact your study advisor. We are happy to help you out!
Do I have to pay tuition fees?
FAU does not charge tuition fees. You only have to pay an administrative fee of currently (summer 2022) 117,50 Euro per semester (i.e. twice a year), which also includes a student ticket for public transport.
Do I have to register for seminars and practical courses before the semester starts?
Yes. If you want to take a seminar (module group M4 in the Master’s program) or a practical course (module group M6 in the Master’s program) in the upcoming semester, you have to register for it roughly 1 – 1,5 months before the lecture period starts. Please look up the respective seminar or practical course in our online course platform Campo in order to find out about the registration modalities.
Since it is not recommended to take seminars or practical courses in the first semester of your Master’s studies, you don’t need to worry about registering for these courses as a new Master’s student. You can still take them in your 2nd, 3rd or 4th semester.
Does FAU provide scholarships?
I am having some trouble with the online application portal Campo. Where can I get help?
For more detailed information about the applying process, please click here. If you are facing technical problems please contact our campo support campo[at]fau.de.
Is there a tutoring service for international students?
The study advisors will be happy to help you with any question you might have concerning the study program. At the beginning of each term, a welcome meeting is held in order to provide you with general tips and information about your studies.
Moreover, FAU offers a “buddy program”, in which international students are assisted by an experienced German volunteer from their faculty. Your personal “buddy” can help you with everyday problems, show you the city etc. and hopefully will become a good friend! You can apply for this program here.
Our student body representatives, who participate in various committees of the university and help shaping the study conditions at FAU, also have a working group for international students. If you would like to become a member of this group or are just looking for support, please contact them here.
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!
When does the lecture period start?
The lecture period of the winter semeste starts in the middle of October, the lecture period for the summer semester in the middle of April. The exact dates vary from term to term, you can find these and many other important semester dates on the Student Records Office´s website .
Where can I find more information regarding examination and registration dates?
The registration periods for module examinations can be found on the homepage of the Examinations Office.
Registration for these examinations exclusively takes place via our online portal Campo. Please note that exam registration is only possible during the official exam registration period (see above).
Regarding Medical Engineering
Am I eligible for the branches of study Medical Image Processing, HMDA or Medical Robotics?
Our academic requirements for the three branches of study are:
- a subject-related qualification (computer science and engineering) for university entrance at Master’s level (e.g. bachelor’s degree).
- Furthermore, we expect our students to possess excellent programming skills (C/C++/Java, Matlab, Python), profound knowledge in Electrical Engineering and a strong theoretical Mathematics background. Our entrance qualification board individually evaluates each application with all taken courses in the Bachelor’s program. This means that having studied Medical Engineering does not automatically make you suitable for entering our Master’s program, as the content of each Bachelor’s program varies enormously. On the other hand, you do not necessarily need a degree in Medical Engineering to join the program. Please understand that we cannot predict your chances to get accepted before you apply.
English language requirements can be viewed on our info page concerning prospective Master students.
Can I study the Bachelor’s program in English?
No. The Bachelor’s program in Medical Engineering is offered in German only. German language requirements are DSH 2, TestDaF 4 or equivalent. Please be aware that the academic vocabulary is more difficult to understand than daily life German.
Can I study the Master’s program Medical Engineering at FAU completely in English?
Yes, but only the branches of study “Medical Image and Data Processing”, “Health and Medical Data Analytics“ and “Medical Robotics” are taught in English. These branches of study focus on programming, pattern recognition, algorithms and data structures. Please be aware that a students with English and German skills have a bigger variety of lectures to choose from, as some optional courses are in German. We also highly recommend that you take at least a basic German course before you start your studies at FAU. It will make dealing with administrative matters a lot easier.
Our other two branches of study, “Medical Devices and Prosthetics” and “Medical Electronics”, are taught in German only and require very advanced German skills (DSH 2 or TestDaF 4, but also keep in mind that academic vocabulary is more difficult to understand than daily life German).
If you only fulfill the English requirements, please make sure that you choose one of the English branches when you apply for the Master’s program, otherwise we will have to reject your application.
My admission states “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.
The conditional subjects will usually not appear in your Master’s certificate, only in your Transcript of Records. You have the option, however, to have them counted for the module group M8/”Free Choice Uni(versity)” if you wish to. As soon as you pass the exams for your conditional subjects, you have to communicate this to our examinations office (Mrs. Jahreis: email@example.com). If you don’t pass the conditional subjects within one year, you cannot continue your studies! 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 you need participate in to practice you programming skills and to qualify for exam participation. 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) or “Probability and Stochastic Processes” (5 ECTS credits). 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 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).
- “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.
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.
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.
What are the job opportunities after I finish my master’s degree in Medical Engineering?
Studying Medical Engineering at FAU is closely linked to strong research and industrial partners, such as Siemens, adidas, Fraunhofer Society and many others. This gives our students the chance to make useful contacts early on (e.g. during their Master’s project) and increases their job prospects. For an overview of companies involved in the ‘Medical Valley’ of Erlangen-Nürnberg, click here.
What is the standard period of study in my degree program?
The standard period of study in the Master’s program is 4 semesters. You will automatically get the permission to do a 5th semester if you re-register on time. After that, extensions for a 6th or 7th semester are possible, but you have to file a petition then and give justified reasons for it.
If you want to know more about deadline extensions or extending the standard period of study, click here.
Where do the courses of the Medical Engineering program take place?
Our Medical Engineering program is highly interdisciplinary, meaning that you will not only take classes at various departments at the Faculty of Engineering (Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Material Sciences and Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering), but also at the Faculties of Science and Medicine. This means that although you will mainly conduct your studies on the South Campus (“Südgelände” in the southern part of Erlangen), you might have to got to the Faculty of Medicine from time to time (located in the city center of Erlangen).
You can reach every location within 15 minutes by bike or bus (we do not recommend taking your car, as there is a constant lack of parking spaces in Erlangen).
Studying in Erlangen
Are there any student offers concerning public transport?
Yes! The students of FAU can apply for a semester ticket which allows them to travel through the VGN network from Monday to Friday between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m. and all day on Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays. This ticket is “free” since it is covered by the enrollment fees.
If you do need to travel also during weekdays, you have the option of buying the additional ticket. More information about the tickets can be found here.
Do you have any tips for international students coming to Germany for the first time?
Yes, of course! You can find general information about housing, health insurance, German culture etc. in our Welcome Brochure. You can also join our Facebook group for international Master’s students (https://www.facebook.com/groups/223841687666224/) as soon as you receive your admission letter. Feel free to post your questions in this group, search for other students from your home country or look for future classmates!
Do you offer student accommodation (dorms)?
German universities do not provide housing for their students. It will be your responsibility to find a housing arrangement which suits you (hall of residence, shared or private apartment). Our accommodation coordination service can assist you with your search to a certain extent, but cannot guarantee that you will find a place to stay or be held liable for your rental contract. Please find further information here.
Generally, we recommend that you search for accommodation through all available channels (social media groups, notice boards on campus, newspapers etc.) and in a wider area (i.e. Nürnberg, Fürth, Forchheim and the surrounding villages), as the Erlangen housing market is extremely tense. All areas in Erlangen and surroundings are safe and offer a high quality of living. The German public transport system is good and you will be able to reach your place of study (our Faculty of Engineering/”Technische Fakultät” in the south of Erlangen) regardless of where you live.
Please note that the concept of shared apartments/dorms might be very different from your home country:
- There is usually only one person living/sleeping in a room (except for couples), bedrooms are not shared with other students.
- Shared apartments and dorms are usually mixed-gender (men and women living together in a respectful way, for example sharing a kitchen).
- When you apply for shared apartments, always tell your prospective roommates about yourself, your hobbies, your cooking skills etc., as people will be looking for a social match rather than for someone who can just pay the rent.
If you receive an offer by our accommodation service/private landlord/dorm that you can afford, we highly recommend that you look no further and accept it.
I got accepted and am planning to move to Erlangen. How can I find accommodation?
Firstly, some bad news: In contrast to academic systems in other countries, German universities are not allowed to own and rent out dormitories. Therefore, the admission to our program does not come with a room in a student dormitory. You have to find accommodation on your own, which can be especially challenging if you are still residing abroad, your financial means are limited and/or you don’t speak German. The Erlangen housing market is extremely tense (not only for students), meaning that the offer is small and prices are high. Many students spend their first months in an airbnb or hotel, so please plan your financial budget accordingly!
Our FAU accommodation service will assist you in your search as much as we can but we can only offer you what is available on the market at a given time (again, FAU does not own housing facilities). Please find a compilation of online resources and tips for finding a dorm/apartment here.
A word of advice: Have a “plan B” in case you come to Erlangen and don’t find a place to stay within the first months. Do you have friends or family members in other parts of Germany where you could stay for a while? Can somebody borrow you money if the apartment you found turns out to be more expensive than you thought? Do you have enough savings for a return flight ticket if you want to go back to your home country? Please consider these aspects before travelling!
I got accepted! How do I travel to Erlangen?
The most convenient option is to book a flight to Nürnberg (Nuremberg). From there, you take the subway line U2 (subway station right in front of the airport entrance) to Nürnberg main station (Hauptbahnhof/Hbf). Trains to Erlangen leave several times per hour. You can buy your train ticket at the ticket machines, online or at the Railway Service Centre (“DB Reisezentrum”) located on the ground floor in the western side hall. Choose “Erlangen Bahnhof/Bhf” (Erlangen station) as your destination. The train ride takes around 30 minutes. From Erlangen station you can take a taxi or bus to your accommodation. For more information on bus services, see vgn.de/en/.
Besides the subway connection, you can also reach the airport easily using the Nuremberg bus network. The bus stop for lines 30 and 33 is located in front of the departure and arrival terminals. The bus lines 30 and 33 connect the Airport with Erlangen and Fürth, respectively.
What are the general costs of living in Germany?
Expenses for a student living in Erlangen generally range around 930 Euros per month. Depending on your personal standards, you have to expect to pay between 250 and 500 Euros for rent. Please see more details here.