Admission Process and Restricted Admission
Due to our graduates' excellent career prospects and the attractiveness of RWTH as a location to study computer science, our courses of study are in high demand. We are delighted with the strong interest in our programs and seek to provide our students with an excellent education and prepare them for a successful career in this highly exciting field.
RWTH has introduced a so-called numerus clausus for its Bachelor's and teacher training programs in Computer Science. This means that the courses of study are restricted-admission courses: As the number of applicants is larger than the number of available spots, it is not possible to admit all applicants to the program. Combined with the high dedication of everyone involved, this ensures the best study conditions and an excellent education.
The Department of Computer Science offers an especially high number of places in these study programs. The admission process is designed in a way that ensures high chances of admission for all applicants. Applications in the winter semester will have to be made until July 15.
Applying for a Course of Study
As the Computer Science courses of study have restricted admission, it is necessary for prospective students to apply for admission.
Applicants with a university entrance qualification – in Germany this is typically the "Abitur" – must apply by July 15 at the latest for admission in the upcoming winter semester. This application is created online, and a print out of this application must be received by RWTH by this date.
Admission is based on the grade point average of the applicant's Abitur certificate and his or her individual waiting time ("waiting semesters"). As a results of the primary admission process, a first batch letters of admission and letters of rejection is sent out at the beginning of August. However, at a later stage, further placements may be allocated as part of the secondary admission process (see below). The university entrance qualification certificate must be presented during enrolment.
The Allocation Process
A certain proportion of study places are allocated by means of special quotas:
- Seven percent of places are allocated to EU applicants from outside of Germany
- Three percent of places are allocated to students who want to take up a second degree program
- Two percent of places are allocated to students who are experiencing some form of hardship
Primary Process: Allocation Based on GPA and Waiting Time
After the first places have been filled with special quota applicants, the primary allocation process begins. Places are allocated based on the grade point average of the university entrance qualification certificate and possible waiting times of the candidates. However, as not all applicants who are admitted actually enroll in the course of study, remaining places are allocated in the secondary allocation process. This process is reiterated until all places are allocated or all applicants have been admitted.
The primary process is completed by early August, and all applicants should receive their letter of admission or rejection at this time. Please note that due to the secondary allocation process, applicants who have receive a letter of rejection still have the chance to be admitted at a later stage.
Secondary Allocation Process
Unless all places have been filled in the primary allocation process, the secondary process takes place right after completion of the primary process. Depending on the number of iterations, the process may last into the winter semester.
Admission / Allocation of Places
We are aware that the secondary allocation process poses a problem – applicants who have to wait, sometimes even after the start of the semester, before they receive a definitive answer on whether or not they have been admitted to the course encounter difficulties with starting their studies and with finding a place to live. In order to make the entire admission process as efficient as possible, it is common practice for us to “overbook” the available places, with the aim of allocating most places in the primary process.
GPA and Waiting Time
80 percent of applicants are allocated based on GPA, 20 percent based on “waiting time,” i.e. the time between completion of the university entrance qualification and the application. Waiting times are only taken into account if the applicant has not been enrolled in any degree program at a German University.
Everyone who receives a letter of admission has been allocated a place – they just need to make sure to enroll within the enrollment period.
If you miss the enrollment period of the respective allocation process, you will not be considered in later stages of the allocation process. This does not apply to applicants to teacher training courses who do not have received admission to the second subject of their choice.
NC and the NC Value– What Does it Mean?
The lowest GPA that is sufficient for an applicant to be admitted to the course is later published as the “NC value.” It should provide future applicants with a rough idea what grade they might need to be admitted to the course in future application processes. However, it is important to note that the required grade might chance significantly from year to year, so its predictive power is limited.
The NC value cannot be seen as an indicator of the quality or difficulty of the course of study!