Frequently Asked Questions
Can I enroll in the Bachelor's course of study in computer science starting in the summer semester?
No, since summer semester 2020 it is not possible anymore to enroll in the summer semester.
When do I need to have completed my Bachelor's in order to enroll for the Master's course of study on time at the end of the semester?
The latest you can change your enrollment to a Master's course of study in October 31 for the winter semester and April 30 for the summer semester. You must have completed all exams and performances for your Bachelor's degree and have received the results by this deadline. A confirmation that you received a grade of at least 4.0 and have passed is sufficient for the Bachelor's thesis.
However if you are completing your Bachelor's in the summer semester, you must have completed all exams by September 30. To complete your Bachelor's in the winter semester you must have completed all exams by March 31. If you finish your exams after these deadline, you will still be able to transfer to the Master's program as described above. However, the number of core semesters will increase that are needed for Bachelor's course of study.
Exam Performances and Registration
What changes with the examination regulations "Bachelor Informatik 2018"?
The following changes affect you, provided you change into the new examination regulations "Bachelor Informatik 2018":
- The module "Numerisches Rechnen" is no longer a compulsory module. It now falls into the elective category "Sonstiges".
In case "Numerisches Rechnen" and 4 elective courses (at least 1 in the field of theory) have already been passed before the change applies: You can use one of the "old" elective courses for a subsequent Master Informatik study at RWTH, if this course is included in the elective catalog of the master program. "Numerisches Rechnen" can not be counted towards the master program.
- There is no new compulsory module added, the freed-up credits are distributed to the following modules:
- "Praktikum Systemprogrammierung" (6 CP -> 8 CP)
- "Berechenbarkeit und Komplexität" (6 CP -> 7 CP)
- "Mathematische Logik" (6 CP -> 7 CP)
- "nicht-technisches Wahlfach (NTW)" (3 CP -> 4 CP)
- "Seminar Informatik" (4 CP -> 5 CP)
Even if you already passed one or more of these modules, you will receive the above credits.
- If you have already completed the module "Numerisches Rechnen" in the compulsory area according to the old examination regulations, this module will be credited to you in the elective area when changing to the new examination regulations.
Following is an overview of the possibilities to change into the new examination regulations "Bachelor Informatik 2018":
Case 1: You have started your studies in the current semester (WS18 / 19): You already study according to the new examination regulations, no further steps are necessary.
Case 2: You have already begun your computer science studies earlier and are currently still studying according to the old examination regulations: For the winter semester 2019/2020 your enrollment will be automatically changed to the new examination regulations.
What types of module exams are there?
As specified in the module catalog, module examinations may consist of one or more of the following types of exams:
- Oral exam - duration of 15 to 30 minutes
- Written exam - duration of 60 to 120 minutes, maximum of 150 minutes for application subjects, see module catalog
- Presentation - duration of 10 to 60 minutes, plus discussion time
- Written exam at home - solving a problem from an area covered in the course
- Written homework - exercises throughout the semester, which can account for up to 20 percent of the exam grade
- Research paper - examination of an individual topic based on literature research, ranging from 5 to 20 pages
- Practical - design, implementation, and testing of software and hardware systems, implementation of experiments and measurements, traditionally in small groups in order to train team skills
- Bachelor's thesis - 4-month preparation period, maximum of 50 pages
- Colloquium - final presentation of the Bachelor's thesis
Are there supplemental oral exams?
Yes, after a third failed written attempt for an exam (§ 14 (2) ÜPO). The request to complete a supplemental oral exam must be submitted immediately after the results of the second exam attempt have been announced and no later than at the exam viewing.
Which prerequisites must be fulfilled to be admitted to an exam?
General Module Performances:
if required by the lecturer: successful participation in exercises.
The exact conditions will be announced by the lecturer. Admission to the exam based on successful participation in the exercise is valid for all exam attempts that take place in the same semester or year in which the admission was granted and for the corresponding course. They are no longer valid after that point (§8 (10) SPO Computer Science (B.Sc.) 2017). The examination board grants some exceptions upon request.
Note: Due to a transition regulation, all exam admission granted before winter semester 2015/2016 are valid for all exams and exam attempts for a course.
Bachelor's Thesis: You must have at least 120 credits before you can begin a Bachelor's thesis.
"Systems Programming" Practical: pass the module "Technical Computer Science"
Seminar: pass the module "Introduction to Academic Work (Proseminar)“
How often can an exam be retaken?
Mandatory subject, including within an application subject: 2 repeat attempts, 3 attempts total
Elective subject, including within an application subject: 2 repeat attempts, 3 attempts total
Seminars: 2 repeat attempts, 3 attempts total. Note that a change of the seminar does not reset the number of failed attempts
Bachelor's thesis: 1 repeat, 2 attempts total. The repeated attempt at the Bachelor's thesis must be registered no later than three semesters after the failed attempt
When do I need to complete repeat exams by?
Aside from the Bachelor's thesis there is no deadline for when any of the repeat exams must be completed. You must register for the repeat exams yourself.
Will I be automatically re-registered for repeat exams?
No, you are responsible for re-registering for any repeat exams.
What can I do if missed the deadline for registering for an exam?
If you missed the deadline for registering for one or more exams, you can request to register after the deadline in some exceptional cases. You must submit an application for a Belated registration for an exam explaining the reason you missed the deadline and include all of the exams, for which you still need to register. You submit the application to the computer science examination board via the Application System (follow the hyperlink).
How and in what cases can I have a grade excluded?
Pursuant to Section10 (5) SPO Computer Science (B.Sc.) 2017 the worst module grade from each of the five mandatory areas, as well as from the elective and application subject, can be left out of the calculation of the final grade. However, only a maximum of 30 CP can be discounted from the calculation.
A prerequisite to this regulation is that all module exams including the Bachelor's thesis and colloquium are completed within the typical length of study of six semesters. Module grades are only removed if this results in an improvement to the final grade.
Note: Due to an interim regulation, students who enrolled before winter semester 2016/2016, can also apply the grade exclusion regulation according to Section10 (8) in combination with Section 16 (4) of the BPO 2010.
Can I write an external final thesis?
Externally advertised theses without an issuing supervisor from the Department of Computer Science cannot be accepted. More information on this topic can be found in Organizational Information in the section “Bachelor's Thesis and Colloquium”.
Transfering from Other Courses of Study or Universities to the Bachelor's Course of Study
What do I need to pay attention to when transfering from another course of study or another university to the Bachelor's course of study.
You can receive credit for academic performances that you achieved in other courses of study or at other universities and that correspond to the scope and content of academic performances in the computer science Bachelor's of study. If you are transfering from another course of study, the Registrar's Office requires you to submit either an affidavit or a certificate of good standing: Affidavit.
Please note: Please read the information about “Degree Program Change (possibly with certificate of good standing)” and “Recognition of Coursework Credits and Semester Placement” under Organizational Information.
Will I receive credit for previous performances that I did not pass?
Yes, as along as they are relevant to the computer science Bachelor's course of study.
Please note: Please read the information about the accreditation of academic performances under Organizational Information.
Application Subjects, Elective Modules, and Other Academic Performances
Where can I find information about the application subjects?
Information about the schedule and content of the application subjects can be found in the exam regulations and in the curriculum. Additionally there is an introductory event on the application subjects held at the end of the lecture period every summer semester. The event is announced via the mailing list and here on the webpages of the computer science department advising.
How do I choose an application subject?
You must submit your selection of an application subject to the Central Examination Office no later than when registering your Bachelor's thesis. The procedure is laid out in Section 5 (2) SPO Computer Science (B.Sc.) 2017.
Can I switch application subjects or elective modules and if so, how?
You can change your application subject or elective at any time in person at the Central Examination Office.
Please note: Read the information provided under the question "How do I choose an application subject?"
Can I mix modules from different application subjects?
How and when do I register for Introduction to Scientific Work (Proseminar)?
The proseminars are allocated at the end of the lecture period of the previous semester, that is in July for winter semester and in January for summer semester. Please pay attention to the announcements in lectures, in the computer science departmental advising's mailing list, and here on the Department of Computer Science and computer science departmental advising's webpages.
Help, Contacts, and Support Offices
Literatur and resources are often recommended in lecture. Can I find this in the computer science library, and if so, where?
Literature relevant to the Department of Computer Science's current courses can be found in the so called "Handapparat" of the Computer Science Library.
How can I find literature for my proseminar, seminar, or Bachelor's thesis?
The Computer Science Library offers diverse research possibilities for searching for literature and regularly offers trainings. The sign up lists for the trainings are in the library.
I have exam anxiety, learning problems, problems with contacting others, or need orientation. Where can I find help?
Together with the student representative council the Department of Computer Science has developed a mentoring program, which takes on the numerous questions, problems, and insecurities students face, particularly at the beginning of studies and which can be quite burdensome. The mentoring team helps new students by offering intensive supervision and effective advising, enabling them to successfully master the difficult beginning phase of their studies.
Additionally, the RWTH Aachen Student Advice Centre offers psychological counseling throughout the course of one's students in cases of personal strain and crises as well as all questions and problems that can effect studies, including:
- Work and learning disabilities
- Problems with motivation
- Examination and presentation anxiety or other fears
- Mood swings
- Orientation or decision difficulties
- Contact problems
- Crisis and conflict situations
Do not hesitate to take advantage of these offers if you find yourself in need.