JOHN SCHNOBRICH / UNSPLASH

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Below you will find some frequently asked questions that are addressed to the Examination Committee.

Please check if your question is in the list below before you ask us. This page is in English because of the many foreign students we have.

 

Disclaimer 1:
Please be aware that this FAQ is meant to help you, but it is not the authoritative rule book. Please consult (for Bachelor or for Master) the Prüfungsordnung for the precise rules (this Prüfungsordnung is, so to speak, the "law book" for the course of study), and the Modulhandbuch for the layout of your course of study, including the standard compulsory courses etc. Both documents can be downloaded from the main website of the faculty of physics and astronomy.

 

Disclaimer 2:
Any advice you get from us (where us / we / our are defined here as the student secretariate and/or the chairperson of the examination committee (Prüfungsausschussvorsitzende)) is only valid in the form as recalled by (and with the meaning intended by) us. Any misunderstandings or different recollections of conversations with us will be ruled in favor of us. If you want to be more secure, you are advised to handle things by email, though even in that case any dispute about the interpretation of the text in those emails will be ruled in favor of us. In other words: it lies in your responsibility to be sure you know what we said, wrote and meant. In the end the famous rule ignorantia juris non excusat also applies here.

General

What is the examinations office?

This is the secretariate led by Mrs. Nerger and Mrs. Hiemenz. It is located in the INF 227 building, Room 00.320. If you have any questions or issues regarding your physics study, this is your first point of contact (with the exception of standard issues for the chairperson of the examination committee, see the list below). Please check out the hangouts for opening hours etc. (also check out possible changed hours, see "latest news" below). Please be aware that toward the end of each semester these ladies have extremely high workload due to the many diplomas (Zeugnisse) they have to prepare, so please be especially considerate/patient during these periods.

What can I expect from the Chair of the Examination Committee?

He is the main contact person in charge of decisions related to your study. If the secretariate cannot answer or solve your issue, this is your next point of contact. Routine decisions are made by him directly. Complex cases will be discussed by the committee and decided by the full committee. Currently the chairperson is Prof. Cornelis Dullemond. For information about the consultation hour and/or how to reach him, please refer to the webpage of the examination board. Typical issues for the chairperson of the examination office, for which you can directly contact the chairperson (or visit his consultation hour):

  • Acknowledgements of credits from your study abroad, as well as Erasmus Learning Agreements (outgoing). Please fill out the online web form before you come to the consultation hour!
  • Requests for extension of Bachelor or Master thesis. Please write a formal letter with explanation why the extension is necessary, and make sure it is signed by you AND your supervisor.
  • Questions concerning acknowledgements of non-physics modules which the secretariate cannot answer.
  • Questions concerning where (Pflicht/Kern, Wahlpflicht/Vertiefung, Wahl/Options, UK) certain modules can be acknowledged which the secretariate cannot answer.
  • Problems with your study and/or requests for exceptions to rules (e.g. due to illness or personal/family problems or other difficult circumstances).
  • Any other issues the secretariate refers you to the chairperson.
Where can I find the latest news on student matters?

The latest news for student matters (including modified opening hours of the student secretariate or modified consultation hours) can be found here.

How is it handled if I get the wrong advice or information?

We all make mistakes, and so it can happen that you get advice or information from study advisors, the student secretariate, the chairperson of the examination committee, the dean of studies or one of our websites that contain errors or are simply wrong. We are generally inclined (though do not promise in any way!) to try to repair problems arising from such situations in order to minimize damage done. But: the Prüfungsordnung and the Modulhandbuch remain the final word, so even if advice was given that was in conflict with the Prüfungsordnung and/or the Modulhandbuch, it is the Prüfungsordnung and the Modulhandbuch that count. Also refer to the "disclaimer 2" at the top of this page.

Special regulations during the Covid-19 crisis

How must I submit my Bachelor or Master thesis?

During the Covid-19 crisis the submission of a Master or Bachelor thesis is done electronically. Please send the PDF of the thesis to the student secretariate p_a_secr@physik.uni-heidelberg.de before 14:00 on the day of the deadline. Put your two examiners on the Cc of that email, so that they, too, receive the PDF. For large PDF you can also put a downlown link in the email. The deadline for this submission remains the same as it was for paper-form submission.

What about the submission deadline?

A delay caused by the Covid-19 crisis counts as a justification for a request for extension of the submission deadline. But make sure to explain the reason for the delay.

I am abroad. Can I nevertheless participate in Heidelberger online courses?

As long as the course is fully online, there is no reason why your physical location matters. So yes, you can. But you have to be still immatriculated at Heidelberg University. In other words: if you are (for your semester abroad) taking a "Freisemester", then the answer would be: no, you cannot.

Are the "Sprechstunden" of the chairperson of the examination board cancelled?

No. But they take place online. The procedure is described here.

Can oral examinations take place online?

Yes. This applies to all kinds of oral exams, including the Master specialization oral exam MVMod and the Bachelor-Kolloquium. A temporary supplementary set of examination regulations has been issued by the Rector of the University, to deal with all the covid-19 related circumstances affecting examinations of all kinds, including online oral examinations: Ergänzende_Prüfungsordnung.pdf. Please refer to this document if you intend to do an examination online, and also point your examiner to this document in case he/she is unaware of it. In addition, note the following:

  • For Master Vertiefung exam (MVMod) don't forget that, in addition, the exam must be registered in advance in the usual way using the usual form, but this time online (see below). This holds true irrespective of the Covid-19 crisis.
  • A third person should be also included in the online conference call to take minutes ("Beisitzer(in)"). These minutes can be simply written on a blank piece of paper (it is not necessary to do this on any official form). The Beisitzer should sign it, and make a scan or make a photo with his/her handphone, and send these to the examiner by email.
  • For the Bachelor Colloquium the examiners should keep in mind how the grading goes (2/3 for the thesis, 1/3 for the Bachelor Colloquium). This is best seen in the standard bachelor colloquium minutes form (but the minutes can, as is described above, be done on a blank piece of paper).
  • For the MVMod exam and Bachelor Kolloquium, the examiner now has to grade the exam and inform the student secretariate of the result. Two possibilities:
    • The formal way (preferred): The examiner prints out the minutes, writes the grade(s) on it, signs it, scans it back in, and sends the scan by email to the student secretariate at p_a_secr@physik.uni-heidelberg.de.
    • The quick-n-dirty way (during the Covid-crisis okay, though less preferred): The examiner send an email to the student secretariate at p_a_secr@physik.uni-heidelberg.de, with the unsigned minutes attached, and the grade in the text of the email and that he/she agrees with the minutes.
  • Both the student and the examiner(s) have to be visible over the live video stream.
  • We recommend doing a technology test well beforehand, to check if all works technically smoothly.
  • If the exam has to be interrupted due to technical problems, the exam remains valid up to that point. It can then be resumed at a later time. The examiner decides when and how.
  • Tip: Many video-conferencing software systems offer online whiteboard as well as screen sharing features. This can help a lot to make the exam work well.
How can I submit registration forms to the student secretariate online?

In times of Covid-19 many forms and paperwork have to be done online. Here is a list of PDFs of the various forms:

  • Registration of Bachelor Thesis: Download the form as PDF here. If you study physics Bachelor in 50% mode, you need to use instead this form.
    Note (for the 100% Bachelor) that if you wish to have your Bachelor exam counted as entry exam to the Master programme, please also download and fill out this form and add it to your application to the Masters program (see information about Bachelor to Master transition here).
  • Registration of Master MVMod-exam: Download the MVMod-registration form as PDF here.
  • Registration of Master mandatory modules (student only): Download the form as PDF here.
  • Record sheet for Master MFP module (supervisor only): Download the form as PDF here.
  • Registration of Master Thesis: Download the form as PDF here.

Here is the procedure (valid for the time of the Covid-19 crisis):

  • You fill out the form, in one of the two ways:
    • Either you print out the PDF, fill it out with a pen, scan it with a scanner or photograph it with your handphone,
    • Or you fill out the PDF electronically (e.g. using Adobe Reader or Mac Preview or any other PDF reader with annotation function). If the form needs to be signed, you can paste in an image or svg version of your signature into the document.
  • Then send the document (PDF or Photo) by email to
    • (for the case of the list of mandatory modules): the student secretariate,
    • (for all other cases, e.g. BSc Thesis, MVMod, MSc Thesis): your examiner.
  • The examiner has to approve this registration (for BSc Thesis, MVMod, MSc Thesis). Two possibilities:
    • The formal way (preferred): The examiner prints out the form, signs it, scans it back in, and sends the scan by email to the student secretariate at p_a_secr@physik.uni-heidelberg.de.
    • The quick-n-dirty way (during the Covid-crisis okay, though less preferred): The examiner send an email to the student secretariate at p_a_secr@physik.uni-heidelberg.de, with the unsigned document attached, and the statement that he/she agrees with the document.
  • The student secretariate will then verify everything, and if everything is ok, it will be entered into the LSF. You can then see this in the LSF within a week or two.

Important information for first-semester Bachelor students

If you have just started your study of physics, many things are new and you may be overwhelmed with information. However, right from the start it is important to know a few critical issues:

  • Please critically read the Prüfungsordnung of your study, because this contains important and binding rules. Not knowing these could cause you trouble.
  • Please keep in mind that your most critical first exam is Experimental physics 1 (PEP1), because this is the Orientierungsprüfung. For this module special rules apply! You must pass this exam at the latest in your 3rd semester, otherwise your study will be aborted! If your study is aborted, you will also lose your right to study physics elsewhere in Germany... For more information, see section about Klausuren and section about critical points in your study.
  • Please check that your immatriculation (at the central university administration) includes your full, official name, with all middle names, otherwise the certificate of your study (once you passed all your modules) may not be valid.

Practical Internship (Projektpraktikum)

This set of questions relates to the "Projektpraktikum" (internship) in Bachelor as well as Master.

Where can I do the internship?

You can do this at any scientific institution anywhere in the world. You can also do it at companies. If the supervisor has no academic status or function, then please make sure to find a co-supervisor with academic status or function (from any university). The main condition is that the topic involves at least some physics. Related topics such as chemistry, informatics or mathematics are not per se excluded, but need approval of the chairperson of the examination committee.

What should be in the certificate?

If your "Projektpraktikum" is in a company or at another university, please make sure to ask your supervisor to make a certificate (a letter) for you to certify that you indeed did this Projektpraktikum. This letter should contain:

  • Your name
  • The name and affiliation and contact information of your supervisor
  • The starting and ending date
  • The topic
  • The total number of working hours

It should be on official letter head and it should be signed by your supervisor. Please provide the original of this letter / certificate to the examination office.

How many credit points?

Each Projektpraktikum must involve at least 120 hours of work (equivalent to 4 Credit Points). In total we can acknowledge up to 12 Credit Points worth of Projektpraktikum for Bachelor, and also up to 12 Credit Points worth of Projektpraktikum for Master. Example: two Projektpraktika of each 6 CP or 3 of each 4 CP.

Can I have a grade for the Projektpraktikum?

No. If the supervisor gives one on the certificate, we will book the Projektpraktikum nonetheless without grade.

Is there another way in which I can get my internship acknowledged?

That depends. If it resembles one of the experiments from the Fortgeschrittenenpraktikum, you could ask Dr. Klaus Reygers. But in general the answer is: no.

Can I accept a salary?

No. A paid internship cannot be acknowledged for credit points. But if the internship is in another city or abroad, then you are allowed to receive a stipend/reimbursement to cover your extra costs due to the distance. These costs can be a second (temporary) accomodation or the cost of daily commute from Heidelberg to the other city or the extra costs of daily expenses in an expensive country (e.g. Switzerland). You must submit your contract (or anything else that states how much money you receive) to the examination office, together with a letter from yourself in which you explain why you need this money and on what you spend it.
Note: If your internship is part of a study abroad that is funded otherwise (e.g. Erasmus or a stipend from the university), then this stipend is no problem of course.

IMPORTANT: A note on "Internship Agreements"

In some countries (e.g. France) internships require the sending institution (us) to sign a so-called "Internship Agreement". Often these agreements require us (Heidelberg University) to insure students for the case an accident happens, or have other clauses that are potentially tricky. Neither the student secretariate not the chairperson of the examination committee is autorized to sign such a document on behalf of Heidelberg University. Please consult the Academisches Auslandsamt for such matters. And do so well in advance of the start of your internship.

Bachelor Thesis

Do I have to register my Bachelor Thesis in advance?

Yes. Please register your thesis at the student secretariate before you start.
Note that you can request that your Bachelor examination also counts as entry exam for your application to the Master program.

Who can supervise a bachelor thesis?

The primary (official) supervisor must be a Professor, Privatdozent or Research Group Leader at our faculty. Note that some researchers at the Max Planck Institutes in Heidelberg have such appointments at our faculty as well. The second advisor can be from another faculty, another university or even from a company, but has to have at least an academic Privatdozent status (Habilitation) at a university because he/she has to have Pruefungsbefugnis. Note that this is not always fulfilled for Research Group Leaders, many of which do not yet have a Habilitation/Pruefungsbefugnis. Please check this.

Is the 12-week limit strict?

Yes. Strict to the day. But you can make a formal application to the chairperson of the examination committee for up to 2 weeks extension. This must be a paper letter, explaining why the project was delayed. It must be signed by you and by your supervisor. The letter must be delivered to the examination office (Prüfungssekretariat). In urgent cases you can in addition send the chairperson of the examination committee an email. Note that the chairperson of the examination committee may not be able to to react immediately, so please hand in your extension application at least a few working days before time runs out.

Can I do my Bachelor thesis at another university?

In principle yes. The construction is that your primary advisor is still from our faculty, but the secondary advisor would then be from the other university and would be your daily supervisor.

Can I do my Bachelor thesis at a company or non-university research institute?

In principle yes, but only if the project is a research project related to physics. The official first and second supervisors still have to obey the above criteria, but a local daily supervisor can be anyone from the company who has a doctor title. Please also consult the Internship section above.

Can the Bachelor thesis be on the same topic as a previous Projektpraktikum?

Yes. It could happen, for instance, that you start a Projektpraktikum and get so fascinated by the topic that you would like to write your thesis on that topic as well. There is no rule that prevents this. Just keep in mind that a bit of diversity in your "Lebenslauf" may be helpful later on the job market - but that is your personal decision.

Can I accept a salary?

No. See above (internship).

Master Thesis

What are the 3 parts (MFS, MFP, MFA) of the Master Thesis phase?

The Master Thesis phase is divided into 3 parts:

  • The first part (MFS) is 3 months, and is meant to get to know the field, read literature, join the research seminar of the research group, perhaps join other seminars and attend talks in the field of your to-be Master thesis. During this 3 month period you can already start with some practical things, to get to know the field better, but you do not have to. If, at the end of these 3 months, you feel that this field or research group is not the right one for you, you can still decide to switch to another group and/or field.
  • The second part (MFP) is also 3 months, and is the phase in which you really start working yourself in to the methodology, try things out, and formulate, together with your supervisor, the actual goal of your thesis. Note that once you start this phase, there is no way back, and you have to finish your thesis (the MFP+MFA parts) within 9 months.
  • The third and final part (MFA) is 6 months, and is the part in which you will be doing the actual research and write it all up into a thesis. Please submit the thesis in PDF form by email to the student secretariate in time.
Do I have to register my Master Thesis in advance?

Yes, in three separate phases. Before you start your Master thesis year (i.e before MFS, MFP and MFA) please download, print out and fill out this form and hand it in (in person) to the student secretariate. If the student secretariate approves, you can start the first 3 month part (MFS) of the Master thesis phase. Before the start of the second part (MFP) you should register your actual thesis at the student secretariate. You can do so by filling out and printing out this Master thesis registration form and bringing it (in person) to the student secretariate. When the student secretariate approves this, you can start the second 3 month part (MFP). This phase should officially end after about 3 months with an appraisal by the supervisor. For this, please print out this form and give it to your supervisor to fill out, and make sure that the form finds its way back to the student secretariate. This should be done around the end of MFP, but the exact date is not so critical. However, what is critical is that starting from the official starting date of the MFP phase (as written on the Master thesis registration form, see above) you have exactly (to the day) 9 months to finish the MFP and MFA phases, i.e. to submit your thesis (in PDF form) to the student secretariate.

Are the modules MFS, MFP and MFA strict in content?

Not really. If you already want to start doing the actual research during the MFS phase, that's perfectly ok. If you and your supervisor decide to first do a bit of hands-on work to get to know the field, and then start reading up on the literature, that's also ok. You and your supervisor have to plan the project the way you consider the best. The MFS, MFP and MFA division is in that sense mainly meant to give some guideline/structure to the planning of the thesis. However, the formalities (such as the forms you have to fill out and the time limitations) have to be adhered to!

Is the 9-month limit for MFP+MFA strict?

Yes. Strict to the day. But you can make a formal application to the chairperson of the examination committee for up to 1 month of extension. This must be a paper letter, explaining why the project was delayed. It must be signed by you and by your supervisor. The letter must be delivered to the examination office (Prüfungssekretariat). In urgent cases you can in addition send the chairperson of the examination committee an email. Note that the chairperson of the examination committee may not be able to react immediately, so please hand in your extension application at least a few working days before time runs out.

Who can supervise a Master thesis?

The primary (official) supervisor must be a Professor, Privatdozent or Research Group Leader at our faculty. Note that some researchers at the Max Planck Institutes in Heidelberg have such appointments at our faculty as well. The second advisor can be from another faculty, another university or even from a company, but has to have at least an academic Privatdozent status (Habilitation) at a university because he/she has to have "Pruefungsbefugnis". Note that this is not always fulfilled for Research Group Leaders, many of which do not yet have a Habilitation/Pruefungsbefugnis. Please check this.

Can I do my Master thesis at another university?

In principle yes. The construction is that your primary advisor is still from our faculty, but the secondary advisor would then be from the other university and would be your daily supervisor.

Can I do my Master thesis abroad?

As above: in principle yes. But please note that the academic system in another country is very different. Also it will be harder for the primary advisor (the one from Uni-HD) to keep track of things. So if you wish to do a Master Thesis abroad, please choose a senior primary advisor in Heidelberg. In case of doubt, please contact the chairperson of the examination board.

Can I do my Master thesis at a company or non-university research institute?

In principle yes, but only if the project is a research project related to physics. The official first and second supervisors still have to obey the above criteria, but a local daily supervisor can be anyone from the company who has a doctor title. Please also consult the Internship section above.

Can the Master thesis be on the same topic as a previous Projektpraktikum?

Yes. It could happen, for instance, that you start a Projektpraktikum and get so fascinated by the topic that you would like to write your thesis on that topic as well. There is no rule that prevents this. Just keep in mind that a bit of diversity in your "Lebenslauf" may be helpful later on the job market - but that is your personal decision.

When can I start my Master Thesis?

To start your Master Thesis project, you have to have achieved at least 48 Credit Points, consisting of 2 core modules, the compulsory Master Seminar, the MvMod module (including the oral examination), plus further elective modules. If you have achieved these, but these points have not yet been booked into the system, note that you can already "inofficially" start the MFS-Phase of your Masters project (you do not have to sit and wait), and register once everything has been booked.

Can I accept a salary?

No. See above (Internship).

Bachelor 50%

As an alternative to the 'normal' Bachelor of physics, there is the possibility to do a 50% Bachelor of physics, combined with a 50% Bachelor in another topic. This is primarily meant for students who wish to become a teacher in a German Gymnasium ("Lehramt"). But it is also possible to do a non-Lehramt-related 50% Bachelor in physics. Here follow some general FAQs, applicable to both the Lehramt and the non-Lehramt version of 50% Bachelor:

Which Prüfungsordnung and Modulhandbuch are valid for the 50% Bachelor of Physics?

The 50% Bachelor of Physics is described in the same Prüfungsordnung and Modulhandbuch as for the 100% Bachelor. But please make sure to download the versions of these documents that we put online after September 2019!

Can I do a Master of Science in physics after a 50% Bachelor of physics?

In principle yes, if you fulfill the acceptance criteria (see the "Zulassungsordnung" of the Master of Science in physics). Two acceptance criteria are particularly noteworthy in this context: At least half of the credit points of your Bachelor should be physics (not half of the 50% Bachelor, but half of the total). In addition, we require that the Bachelor Thesis was written in the Physics part of the 50% Bachelor.

What if lectures of the two disciplines overlap in time?

For the combination Physics and Mathematics we try to avoid this. For other combinations it is unavoidable. The only solution is to plan the order in which you take your modules such that the clash is avoided. In bad cases please consult with the chairperson of the examination committee.

In which of the two 50% Bachelors do I have to do the Bachelor thesis?

You can write your Bachelorthesis in either one. But if you wish to continue into Physics Master of Science afterward, then your Bachelor thesis has to be done in the Bachelor of Physics.

Who is the consultation person for the 50% Bachelor / Lehramt?

Prof. Selim Jochim and Dr. Ostrowski.

Does the 50% Bachelor have "Streichnoten" (as the 100% Bachelor does)?

Yes: but contrary to the 100% Bachelor, you can remove the grades of only 1 physics module from the calculation of the final grade.

Does the 50% Bachelor have "Jokers" (as the 100% Bachelor does)?

Yes: as in the 100% Bachelor, you have a third "attempt" for up to two lectures in Physics.

*** From here on let us distinguish between these two variants of 50% Bachelor physics: ***

Specific for 50% Bachelor Physics for teacher-education (Lehramt)

To become a teacher for Gymnasium, you have to do a 50% Bachelor, combining two topics. Here we assume that one of these two topics you choose is Physics (in the Modulhandbuch this is called "Lehramtsoption"). Once you finished that, you continue with a "Master of Education". Here we will only discuss the 50% Bachelor part. Here are a few FAQs:

With which other 50% Bachelor can I combine my 50% Bachelor of Physics (Lehramt)?

You can combine with any other 50% Bachelor that is listed on this website. We recommend, however, combining it with Mathematics.

Do I have to do the same modules as the 100% Bachelor?

You have to do PEP1-PEP5 and PTP1-PTP4 (i.e. the same experimental and theoretical physics compulsory lectures as the 100% Bachelor), but not the mathematics lectures. The criteria for passing the exams are identical to those for the 100% Bachelor. In addition you also have to do the "Physikalische Anfängerpraktikum 1 für Lehramtsstudenten" (PAPL1) and "Astrophysik und Kosmologie für Lehramt" (PASTRO.1). You can find these listed in Table 2b of the Modulhandbuch of Bachelor of Physics. Furthermore, there are several cross-discipline didactical modules that have to be done: 2 CP Fachdidaktik in the other discipline (the 2 CP Fachdidaktik in physics is included in PASTRO.1, see above), Einführung in die Schulpädagogik/Pädagogische Psychologie (6 CP), Grundlagen der Bildungswissenschaft (4 CP) and Berufsorientierte Praktika BOP I und BOP II (6 CP). See Section 5 of the Modulhandbuch. In total these didactical modules add up to 20 credit points, as you can verify.

For the Lehramtsoption physics: Are there choices?

Unfortunately no. The study plan for the 50% Bachelor Physik for Lehramt is entirely fixed; there is no "Wahlbereich".

Can I include the Vorkurs?

Unfortunately no. There is no "space" left in the program (Lehramt) to book these additional credit points.

Where can I sign up for the Practicum (Lehramt)?

For PASTRO: Block course, sign up via email at the Haus der Astronomie. For PAPL1: either on-line or ask Dr. Jens Wagner.

Can I do a Master of Education with a 100% Bachelor?

For the moment yes, though you will need some additional courses. Please consult with Dr. Ostrowksi. Note that this might change in the future.

Is there additional information about Lehramtsoption online?

Yes, you can find that here.

Specific for 50% Bachelor Physics Science (not-Lehramt related)

Although we do not really recommend it, it is also possible to do a 50% Bachelor of Physics unrelated to Lehramt (in the Modulhandbuch this is called "Fachanteil 50%").

With which other 50% Bachelor can I combine my 50% Bachelor of Physics?

In principle you can combine with any other 50% Bachelor that is offered at our university. We recommend, however, combining it with Mathematics or Informatics.

Do I have to do the same modules as the 100% Bachelor?

You have to do PEP1-PEP5 and PTP1-PTP4 (i.e. the same experimental and theoretical physics compulsory lectures as the 100% Bachelor), but not the mathematics lectures. The criteria for passing the exams are identical to those for the 100% Bachelor. You also have to do the "Physikalische Anfängerpraktikum 1" (PAP1). You can find all these compulsory modules these listed in Table 2c of the Modulhandbuch of Bachelor of Physics. For the Überfachliche Kompetenzen (UK) area you have quite some freedom. In total (for both halves of your study combined) you have to fill 20 credit points worth of lectures. You can fill them with any module from the usual UK module list of the Modulhandbuchs of the two disciplines (Physics and the other one). But in addition, you are also allowed (and you are encouraged) to include the "Anfängerpraktikum 2" (PAP2), worth 6 CP, and/or a Bachelor Pflichtseminar (PSEM) worth 3 CP (2 for the PSEM itself, and 1 for the UKS2 belonging to it, see modulhandbuch for details). You can find an example Modellstudienplan in the Modulhandbuch in the appendix (Tables 22 and 23).

Do I have to do the didactical modules from the Lehramtsoption?

No.

Do I have to do the BOP modules from the Lehramtsoption?

No.

Do I have to do PAP2 and/or PSEM (like in the Modellstudienplan)?

No. It's optional. The Modellstudienplan is just a suggestion.

Can I include the Vorkurs?

Yes, you can include it in your UK-Bereich.

Semester abroad

This section is about semesters abroad in general. If you are Erasmus outgoing student, please in addition to this also read the next item.

Disclaimer:
The chairperson of the examination board may sign your Learning Agreement (in case of Erasmus), or give you other advice for your travel abroad, but the chairperson of the examination board is not the responsible person for the travel abroad. For example: For any information about Erasmus, please contact the person in charge of Erasmus. The chairperson of the examination board is only concerned with acknowledgements of courses taken abroad. For more information about Erasmus exchanges, see the next item.

How do I get credits acknowledged in Heidelberg?

See below.

Language courses?
In general we allow 2 ECTS CPs to be awarded for language courses (in UK-Bereich) per semester. For time spent abroad you can also do all courses at the beginning (i.e. if you are 2 semesters abroad you can, if you want, take 4 CPs worth of language course at the start), because that makes more sense for a stay abroad.
Can I do my thesis abroad? See above (Bachelor thesis; Master thesis).
Can I do a practical/internship abroad?

See above.

Do I have to achieve a minimal number of credit points?

The examination committee does not have any requirements for a minimal number of credit points to be achieved while abroad. But your funding agency (for example Erasmus) might have requirements. Please ask them about this. 

IMPORTANT: A note on "Internship Agreements" (for non-Erasmus students only)

In some countries (e.g. France) internships or student exchanges require the sending institution (us) to sign a so-called "Internship Agreement". Often these agreements require us (Heidelberg University) to insure students for the case an accident happens, or have other clauses that are potentially tricky. Neither the student secretariate not the chairperson of the examination committee is autorized to sign such a document on behalf of Heidelberg University. Please consult the Akademisches Auslandsamt. for such matters. And do so well in advance of the start of your internship.

ERASMUS exchange (outgoing) and Online Learning Agreements (OLAs)

When you have applied for, and been selected for, an exchange semester/year at a University abroad through the Erasmus Program, you will be confronted with a lot of complicated bureaucracy. This FAQ is the FAQ of the student secretariate and the examination board, not of the Erasmus organization. But given that you will want to get your credits abroad transferred to Heidelberg, the examination board gets involved. And given that the (Online) Learning Agreements (OLAs) will determine in advance of your time abroad which modules can be transferred, the examination board necessarily gets involved in the OLAs. This is the topic of this FAQ section here.

Who is the Erasmus contact person?

As mentioned above, the examination board is not associated with Erasmus, but does sign the OLAs. The actual Erasmus contact person at the faculty of Physics and Astronomy is: Frau Dewald-Klussmann. For the University as a whole, you can also visit the website of the Erasmus program at Heidelberg University.

When should I contact the chairperson of the exam board?

In the Erasmus program everything is regulated. In particular, the Erasmus organization wants to make sure that the credit points (CPs) you achieve abroad are not (through no fault of your own) rejected by your home university when you return. So the main purpose of the Learning Agreement (LA) or the new-style Online Learning Agreement (OLA) is to make sure that you, your home university and your partner university all agree which courses can be taken and will be acknowledged when you return (credit transfer). It is therefore meant to help you and give you planning security.

Why do I need to fill in the "Vorantrag" web form before the OLA?

Before the chairperson of the examination committee can sign off a LA, he/she has to know the content and volume of the courses, and how you intend to bring them into our curriculum. The web form at http://www.ita.uni-heidelberg.de/~dullemond/prueaus/ simply allows this to be done in a structured way. Beyond making the task easier for the chairperson of the examination board, this web form has no further consequence.

Does the Learning Agreement (LA/OLA) have to be signed by the chairperson of the examination committee?

That depends on which stage of the whole process:

  1. When you apply for the Erasmus program you have to include (for each of your two choices of destinations) a draft Learning Agreement. These LAs do not have to be signed by the chairperson of the examination office.
  2. When you get admitted to the Erasmus programme (for one of your two choices), please ask the host university (the university where you intend to go to) when their lecture program for the Erasmus students (at least for your first semester abroad) will be available online, and when the deadline is for the OLA. The deadline for the OLA should (of course) be after the lecture program is online. If not, please let the Erasmus coordinator at the university abroad know that we (Physics Department of Heidelberg University) only sign OLAs when the program of your first semester is online. If they nonetheless insist, please contact the chairperson of the exam board.
What is the procedure to get my OLA signed by the chairperson of the exam committee?

Please first read the previous item about when the chairperson should sign. Once the lecture program at the university abroad is online, then follow the following procedure:

  1. Select the courses you want to take, and fill out the web form accordingly. This is not the OLA, but a primitive form meant to ease the task of the chairperson.
  2. Send the code (that you obtain after submitting the web form) to the chairperson of the examination committee by email. In the subject of the email write something like "Code for Learning Agreement", so that the chairperson of the examination committee can distinguish it from a request for acknowledgement of credits.
  3. You should get a reply from the chairperson of the exam committee within 1 week. If not, please send a reminder email. If that also does not help, please contact the student secretariate.
  4. In this response by the chairperson you will see the list of modules you submitted, supplemented with comments. The comments all start with "-->". Please read these comments carefully.
  5. In case you wish to discuss details of your choice of modules, or if the chairperson invites you, please come to the consultation hour of the chairperson of the examination committee.
  6. Once all issues have been clarified, you can start filling out your OLA. In doing so, please heed all comments in the email from the chairperson (see "-->") and possibly what has been discussed in the consultation hour. Common mistakes are: (1) putting the wrong number of credit points in table B (for compulsory/core courses use the Heidelberg number of CPs), and (2) applying for too many CPs for language courses (see here).
  7. Then the chairperson of the examination committee will sign your LA or OLA. Do not forget to sign yourself too!
  8. In the old-fashioned PDF LAs, you should then send the PDF of your signed LA to Mrs. Dewald-Klussmann. In the new-style OLA the signature is done online (also by the chairperson), so then you need not send the PDF.
The lecture programme at the host university for next year is not yet online, yet the deadline for the LA approaches; what should I do?

Sometimes the host university does not yet have the programme for the next semester online before your LA has to be signed. It is therefore impossible to be sure which modules will be offered. In such a case, please let the host university know that we cannot submit an LA before at least the program of the first semester of the exchange is online. If the host university still insists on receiving the LA before the program is online, you can contact the chairperson of the exam board and ask for help.

What about a two-semester exchange: How should I fill out the LA?

If you plan to go abroad two semesters, you will inevitably be faced with the situation that the lecture program for the second semester is not yet online by the time you have to fill out the LA. In that case, please consult with the Erasmus coordinator of your host university how to handle this. Maybe you can simply use last year's program.

Can I take courses that are not listed in my OLA?

Yes. Feel free to change your courses any time, and take any course you like. The LA does not restrict you in any way, at least not from our (Heidelberg) side. Some partner universities, however, are very restrictive and allow you to only take courses that have been explicitly approved by both the host university and the home university.

If I take courses that are not listed in my OLA, can these credits still be tranferred? Yes, but these modules have to be inspected and approved by the examination board in the usual way (see here).
I would like to know if my changed choice of courses can be transferred.

If you are at your host university abroad and change your course program, you may wish to know if these new courses can be transferred (acknowledged) to/in Heidelberg. You can either send an informal question about this to the chairperson of the exam board. Or you can also go the more formal route of modifying your OLA ("during mobility"), but then please first fill out the web form, with only the modified/added lectures (usual procedure). Either way (informal by email or formal via web form and OLA) is fine. Any assurances made either way will be adhered to by us.

Do I have to send the updated LA back to Heidelberg during mobility?

No, at least not for us. But some partner universities insists on this. In case you wish/need to update your OLA, please read the item above.

Return from abroad: How to get credits acknowledged?

When you return from one or two semesters of study abroad, you can get your credits from the university abroad converted into Heidelberg University credits. Here is the procedure:

Some answers to frequently asked questions related to credits from abroad:

How "official" does the Transcript of Records (ToR) have to be?

The chairperson of the examination board has to be able to verify that the document is genuine. This can be verified in various ways:

  • Classical way: Bring the paper-version of the ToR, which should be officially signed by the university personnel of your host university (or printed on fraud-proof paper). Often the host university sends this official ToR to Heidelberg University, but it often takes some time before it arrives at the student secretariate.
  • PDF or paper-form with Verify ID: Several universities print a Verify-ID at the bottom of the ToR, so that the chairperson of the examination board can go online and verify the document.
  • PDF with electronic signature: PDF documents can be digitally signed using cryptography. Some universities sign their ToR digitally. But the chairperson of the examination board then must see the electronic PDF of the document, because the digital signature obviously gets lost if printed on paper.
  • PDF sent from host university directly to us: If the chairperson of the examination board or the student secretariate receives the ToR in PDF form directly via email from the people of the host university, we might accept that (but no guarantee).

We do not accept "print-yourself" ToRs that have none of the above verification properties.

Do I have to find an equivalent module on the Heidelberg side?

No, not necessarily. Often your module from abroad does not have an equivalent module in Heidelberg. And even if it does, there might be reasons why you may not want to have it acknowledged as a Heidelberg module. In that case we can acknowledge (if the module has sufficient level and is physics-related or otherwise fits into our programme) that module with the original title. Example: a module "Physics of Volcanology" from the University of Hawaii would then be booked as "Physics of Volcanology (Uni Hawaii)".

How are the grades converted to German grades?

We use a table from the central university office (ZUV) which tries to make a fair conversion of grades, taking into account the different normalizations of grades in different countries.

How many ECTS credit points are awarded?

Some countries in Europe (and all countries outside of Europe) do not use ECTS credit points. We typically convert those alternative credits into ECTS credits by defining 1 ECTS credit as 1/30th of a semester (or if the system is trimester-based: 1/60th of a year). If that does not work (e.g. for internships or so) we use the rule that 1 ECTS credit point is worth 30 hours of work. Some universities have an official conversion factor of their credit points into ECTS credit points. If you can point the chairperson of the examination board to that official web-page, that conversion factor can (likely) be used.

Master oral exam (MVMod)

Who can be my examiner?

Not all lecturers can be chosen as MVMod-examiner. Given the nature of this exam as a broad overall "birds-eye perspective" examination of a given field, only lecturers with broad lecturing experience in that field can conduct this exam. There is a list of possible examiners for each given field, the latest version of which is regularly published on the student matters billboard. This is a restriction only for the MVMod oral exam, not for other exams.

Can I use courses from abroad for MVMod?

In principle yes, if the chairperson of the examination committee agrees. But there is a danger that the oral examiner here in Heidelberg might have a different focus of topics than your course abroad. So it is strongly advisable to carefully discuss the topics with the oral examiner.

Can I choose a projektpraktikum (MVProj) as part of the oral exam (MVMod)?

No.

Can I choose a seminar as part of the oral exam (MVMod)?

No (Decision of the Studienkommission, valid starting Summersemester 2021).

Does the examination have to be conducted by just a single examiner?

In principle yes. The reason is that the idea of the MVMod-exam is to see if you have managed to obtain a bird's eye perspective over the topics, rather than simply understanding each topic individually. The questions of the exam can therefore cross or link several of these topics at once. However, sometimes it is very hard to find a single examiner for the topic combination you chose. Here are some new (as of October 2020) rules how to handle this:

  • Find an examiner that fits best to your choice of topics.
  • Note that if your topics are too far apart (e.g. "Introduction to medical Physics" combined with "Quantum Field Theory") that the examiner is entitled to refuse this combination.
  • If the examiner of your choice wants to have a second examiner involved, then that is okay.
  • In that case, make sure both examiners sign the exam registration form.
  • If no suitable second examiner can be found, you will have to change your list of modules.

It is (as of October 2020) no longer necessary to ask the chairperson of the examination board for permission to have two examiners.

Does/do the examiner(s) have to have taught the courses themselves?

No. There is a common misunderstanding that only if a professor has taught all courses of your MVMod-selection him/herself, he/she is allowed to carry out the MVMod-examination. That is not correct. The only criterion is that the professor has to be proficient in all your selected topics, and feel confortable with carrying out the examination in these topics.  If, however, the professor has not (yet) taught one or more of your selected modules, you may want to discuss carefully with the professor beforehand what his/her expectations are - but that is your decision.

Do the courses have to be part of a single specialization area?

It is not strictly enforced, but it is the norm (because of the bird's eye perspective issue, see above). If you have a good reason to combine topics from different specialization areas, then that is fine as well, but you will have to find an oral examiner that agrees to examine all of these topics. Combining different specialization areas is not a good argument for finding two examiners: i.e. it does not give you the right to have two examiners (but if you find two examiners who agree, then that is fine).

How much does the grade count?

The grade for the oral MVMod-exam does not only count for the 6 CP of the exam itself, but also for the 12-16 CP lectures that are part of the exam.

Can I register my MVMod already before the modules have been entered in the LSF?

No. The student secretariate checks if all modules you register have been passed, and have been booked into the LSF system. If not, your registration will not be accepted.

Acknowedging modules from other faculties in Wahl / UK / Options

Am I allowed to visit lectures from other faculties?

Yes! As long as you are immatriculated at Heidelberg University, you have the right to visit any lecture of any faculty, independent of which study programme you are in. To our knowledge there are no restrictions.

Can I get these modules (from other faculties) acknowledged in Wahl / UK / Options?

This depends on many factors. One can often get modules from other faculties acknowledged in the "Wahlbereich" and sometimes also in the "UK Bereich". The rules for which modules are acknowledged are written in the Modulhandbuch, under the sections "Wahlbereich" and "UK Bereich" respectively (in Bachelor) and in "Options" (in Master). In practice, in addition to what is written in the Modulhandbuecher, we typically use the following criteria (no liability, though):

  • In Master: any courses/modules from the faculty of physics and astronomy must have Master level. We cannot acknowledge a clearly bachelor level lecture in physics for the physics Master programme.
  • In Master: any courses/modules from outside the faculty of physics and astronomy, we do not require the module to have Master level. The logic here is that for external topics we cannot expect you to participate in Master level courses because you would not have the bachelor basic knowledge in that field.
  • Courses from the Mathematics Faculty can usually all be acknowledged in the UK and Wahl (Bachelor) or Options (Master) areas. The only exceptions are courses that are meant as math support for other faculties (for example mathematical methods for economic sciences). Of such special-purpose courses only those that are meant for physicists are acknowledged. The math courses that are generally accepted are math courses for mathematics students.
  • Courses from the Chemistry Faculty: We have special chemistry UK modules (see Module handbook). Typically we expect you to first do those courses before we acknowledge more specialized chemistry courses.
  • In UK-Bereich we typically acknowledge courses that have usefulness in physics but also outside of physics. For instance courses in programming languages, data management, etc. Courses that are too technical and have little relation to physics (e.g. course in engine design software packages) are generally not acknowledged. Also please note that programming courses that are meant specially for students from non-natural/non-computer-sciences will (in general) not be acknowledged: instead please take a general programming course or a programming course given by (or meant for) the physics, mathematics, informatics or other "natural sciences" departments.
  • Language courses (English or any other language) are generally acknowledged, but up to max 2 CP per semester. For people who were for 2 semesters abroad we apply 4 CP per year, i.e. they can do their language courses in the first abroad-semester and nothing in their second abroad-semester and still get 4 CP. The logic: when you go abroad it is best to learn your language at the beginning.
  • In the Wahlbereich Bachelor there is a list of faculties for which modules can be acknowledged in the Wahlbereich Bachelor. In addition to this we acknowledge topics in history or literature that are somehow related to physics (e.g. history of science). Topics in medicine, if not too far away from physics or other natural sciences, are considered equivalent to biology and thereby included. We sometimes also acknowledge modules from completely unrelated other fields such as psychology or social sciences, but we reserve the right to decide those on a case-by-case basis: they require you to go to the consultation hour of the chairperson of the examination committee.
If I cannot get it acknowledged, will this achievement be lost?

If a module cannot, according to the above, be acknowledged, it can usually still be booked in the catagory "Freiwillige Zusatzleistungen". This means that it does not count for credits, nor for the final grade, but it will show up on your diploma documents, so that you can prove to potential employers that you did these voluntary additional courses. They are therefore not "lost".

PSEM, MVSEM and other seminars

Which seminars can I visit?

We always offer special-purpose seminars for PSEM and for MVSEM. If all are fully-booked, please contact the dean of studies. Whether a seminar is a PSEM, MVSEM or not, should be indicated in the LSF description. So if you look for appropriate PSEM or MVSEM seminars, look in the LSF.

For my PSEM in Bachelor, can I participate in a Master MVSEM seminar instead?

It is not recommended, and it is not what the Master MVSEMs are meant for. Participation in the MVSEM requires more prior knowledge than for a PSEM. A Bachelor student participating in a Master MVSEM seminar may pull the level of the MVSEM down for the other participants, and the Bachelor student may not be able to follow everything him/herself. Also, in the MVSEM there is less emphasis on the presentation skills than in PSEM.

Can I have a seminar from another faculty/department be acknowledged as PSEM or MVSEM?

In general no. But there are exceptions: Seminars from the Math department (or other departments) that are very close to physics can, in principle, count (ask the chairperson of the exam board on a case-by-case basis). However, it has to be assured that that seminar follows the module description for PSEM/MVSEM, and the number of credit points is equal (or higher) than our PSEM/MVSEM. Any excess CPs will be lost. For PSEM the seminar must, therefore, include feedback/discussion of presentation skills (see UKS2 in the module handbook). For MVSEM the seminar must include a written part. For both PSEM and MVSEM the number of participants must be at least about 12, to ensure a sufficient exposure to presentations of fellow students. To get the seminar acknowledged, the lecturer has to issue a certificate, and this certificate should contain all information needed to allow us to verify that the above conditions are met.

Can I do a particular seminar again next year?

Suppose a seminar on "planet formation" is offered each summer semester. The students choose from a set of recent papers, and present these during the seminar. Because this set of recent papers is updated each year, some students argue that this makes the seminar "planet formation" different each year, and they ask us if they can get new credit points if they participate next year. The answer is: No. While the Prüfungsausschuss acknowledges the argument that the papers are not identical each year, it is of the opinion that students can only have multiple seminars acknowledged if they are topically different seminars. However, if you did a Bachelor PSEM seminar on "planet formation", and during your Masters a Master MVSem seminar on "planet formation" is offered, that is ok, because these are officially different seminars (one is PSEM for Bachelor, the other is MVSem for Master). Also, as in all cases with modules: there is no rule that forbids you from participating. It is just that we can acknowledge only the credit points of one of the seminars.

Which modules can be moved between catagories (Pflicht/ Wahlpflicht/ Wahl/ Kern/ Vertiefung/ Options/ UK)?

What is the logic of what can be shifted where?

Modules can be shifted from "higher-valued" catagories to "lower-valued" catagories, but not the other way around. In particular:

Bachelor Catagories, in order of decreasing "value":
Pflichtmodule (PTPx, PEPx, PMx, PAPx, PFPx), Wahlpflichtmodule Physik (WP), and Wahlmodule aus Nachbarbereichen der Physik (W). For Überfachliche Kompetenzen (UK), see below (special catagory). Most P-modules are compulsory, so they cannot be shifted. But a second PSem (Seminar) can be shifted into the WP or W areas. Likewise, if you do e.g. PMA2 although you have already completed your math courses PMP2+PMP3, then this can also be shifted to WP or W, although for math courses we usually shift them to UK (see UK below). Any WP-module can be shifted into W. But the other way around is ruled out.

Master Catagories, in order of decreasing "value":
Core modules (Kernmodule) (MKx), Specialization (Vertiefung) (MV), and Options. For Überfachliche Kompetenzen (UK), see below (special catagory). Any MK-module can be shifted into MV or Options. Any MV-module can be shifted into Options. But the other way around is ruled out.

Überfachliche Kompetenzen (UK): A special case
The UK-Bereich is valid for Bachelor as well as Master. It is a special catagory in which one has to have at least 19 credit points in Bachelor (in Master, UK is part of Options, and there is no lower limit). The main idea of this catagory is: to learn things that can be used, not only for physics, but in a much broader context. For instance: learning to write computer programs or how to present things. Many such courses are listed in the Modulhandbuch of Bachelor of Physics (also useable for Master students). In addition to these listed courses, the following kind of courses can also be put into the UK-Bereich (even if they are not explicitly listed):

  • Mathematics courses of any kind, as long as they are either for math-students and/or for physics students. A math course specially for the social sciences (for instance) is excluded.
  • Language courses, but at most up to 2 CP per semester.
  • Courses in business/entrepeneurship/economics/law, if (and only if) they are of practical use for running a business.
  • Programming courses of any kind, including numerical simulation/computation.
  • Data analysis or statistical analysis courses of any kind.

In addition to this, some introductory courses of other fields are included in the UK-Bereich, but only those specific courses that are listed in the Modulhandbuch under "Fachspezifische Zusatzqualifikationen". Example: For chemistry there is UKAChe and UKACheP which can be included in UK. Any other module from Chemisty must go into the Wahlbereich.

I still need points in UK in Bachelor: Can I shift module X into UK?

Only in very special cases can you shift a Wahlmodul or Wahlpflichtmodul into UK: They have to fulfill the criteria of UK, which are described above (to be precise: here). In all other cases the answer is: no.

I still need points in Wahlpflicht in Bachelor: Can I shift module X into WP?

Any Master Vertiefung course can be used as Wahlpflicht in Bachelor. Most UK modules can not be moved into Wahlpflicht, with the exception of UK modules that are strongly physics-based, such as UKWR2 ("Einführung in die Computerphysik"). Courses from Wahlbereich cannot be moved to Wahlplficht.

Is there a maximum to the CPs in UK?

No.

Is there a maximum to the CPs in Wahlpflicht?

No.

Is there a maximum to the CPs in Master Vertiefung?

No.

Bachelor to Master transition

Do I automatically go from Bachelor into Master?

No! You have to actively apply for the Master program. Please consult this website and apply. Please note the deadline for the application!. Please also note that this procedure goes in two phases: first the application and (hopefully) admission, and after that the registration (for which you need your admission certificate and your Bachelor Diploma).
IMPORTANT: You can request that your Bachelor exam counts as entry exam to the Master program. To request this, please download this form, fill it out and submit it along with your other documents for the application to the Master program.

Is my 'Zulassung' also valid for a later semester?

No. The acceptance (Zulassung) is valid only for the semester you applied for. This has complicated administrative reasons. However, if you have a Zulassung, then you have received this on a formal document. If you wish to re-apply for Zulassung in a later semester, simply make a copy of your Zulassung-Document and enclose this copy in your application documents. It is then highly likely that you will be accepted for that new semester too.

How can I transfer unused credits from Bachelor into Master?

First of all: you can only "take along" credits from Bachelor into Master if (a) these credits were listed in the "freiwillige Zusatzleistung" (i.e. that they were not "used" for your Bachelor diploma), and (b) if these lectures have Master level (for physics courses). If these conditions are met, these credits can be transferred. The transfer process itself can only be started after the first Master lecture has been booked into the database (this is simply an organizatorial issue). Once this is done, you can download (from the "Übungsgruppenverwaltungsystem") the transfer form. You can print out this PDF, sign it and bring it along to the examination office. They can then transfer these credits into your Master programme. Note: if some some modules do not appear on the form, do not worry: write them on the form yourself.

Change of University during Bachelor-Master Transition

Many student like to take the opportunity to change to another university during the Bachelor-Master transition. That is perfectly OK. But be careful: If you already move to the other city and/or immatriculate to that other university before you have your Bachelor-Zeugnis in your hand, you take a large risk! It is best to plan in such a way that you have your bachelor Zeugnis in your hand before you immatriculate in the new university. If that is not possible for time constraint reasons, then make absolutely sure that you have all your requirements fulfilled (enough credit points in UK and Wahlpflicht, enough credit points in general, all your Pflichtmodule, your bachelor thesis etc etc). Discuss this with the student secretariate to minimize the risk of something going wrong.

Klausur / Nachklausur / Versuch / Joker: What is what?

First attempt: Klausur and Nachklausur (Exam and re-Exam)

Each lecture module has an exam (Klausur). If you fail this exam (or if you have medical or other plausible reasons for which you could not attend the Klausur and you inform your teacher or tutor promptly), you can do the re-exam (Nachklausur). If you fail that re-exam, you get a grade 5,0 (Nicht bestanden), meaning that you have failed this first attempt (Versuch). So: one attempt (ein Versuch) is Klausur + Nachklausur.

Sickness

If you are sick for the re-exam (with medical attestation) please talk to your teacher, to see if he/she is willing to give an oral re-re-exam. If not, please come to the consultation hour of the chairperson of the examination committee.

Second attempt: Klausur and Nachklausur (Exam and re-Exam)

You can do, for this module, a second attempt: this will typically be the next year when the course is given again. Also this second attempt is Klausur+Nachklausur. The same rules. Failing those two, you have failed your second attempt (zweite Versuch).

Failure of second attempt

If you failed this second attempt (zweite Versuch) normally (but see below) this means that you have permanently failed this lecture module and you can no longer do this module. If this module is a Pflichtmodule (for instance one of the PTP*, PEP*, LA1, PAP* or PFP* modules or the Bachelor thesis in Bachelor) that would normally mean that your study of physics has terminated. But see "Joker" below.

"Joker" rule for the Bachelor

However: For those Pflichtmodules (except PEP1) you have two "Joker". You can use a "Joker" to do a twice-failed Pflichtmodule a third time (again Klausur + Nachklausur). You can not use two Jokers for the same module. If you fail a Pflichtmodule with Joker a third time (that is: three Klausurs and three Nachklausurs) your study of physics will be terminated. But see Härtefallantrag. Note that for most Physics Pflichtmodule (not for Mathematics) it holds that if you use a Joker and failed your Joker-Klausur, then instead of a final Joker-Nachklausur you should get an oral Nachklausur with two professors (see Modulhandbuch description of these Pflichtmodules).

PEP1 = Orientierungsprüfung

The Joker rule does not apply to PEP1, because that is the Orientierungsprüfung. The Orientierungsprüfung has to be passed at the latest in the 3rd semester.

Streichnoten

In the Bachelorprogramme all the modules are graded. We understand, however, that even those who normally have excellent grades can sometimes have a bad day. So you can choose two grades to not be included.

Can I redo an exam to improve my grade?

No. Once you pass an exam, the grade is fixed.

Can I skip the Klausur and only do the Nachklausur?

That is decided by the lecturer. Note that if you have a clear conflict of two Klausuren (both Klausuren on the same day and overlapping time) then you might want to discuss this problem with the chairperson of the examination board beforehand. Maybe a solution can be found.

What is a Klausurzulassung?

Usually you can only participate in the Klausur and Nachklausur if you participate in the exercise classes (if they exist). Typically you have to achieve a certain minimum number of points to be allowed to participate in the Klausur / Nachklausur. If you achieve this, you have the Klausurzulassung.

If I get Klausurzulassung, am I automatically registered to the Klausur?

This depends on the lecturer / Obertutor. Please ask him/her/them.

If I have Klausurzulassung and do not show up for the Klausur: is that a fail (a 5,0)?

This depends on the lecturer / Obertutor. Please ask him/her/them.

If I get Klausurzulassung, does it remain valid for the second try (one year later)?

That is decided by the lecturer. But we strongly recommend to do the exercise classes all over again. Note that the lecturer may vary from year to year!

Getting your "Zeugnis" (Eng: Diploma)

Bachelorzeugnis

When all modules have been booked (which you can see online on the LSF or the "Übungsgruppenverwaltungssystem"), you need to login to the "Übungsgruppenverwaltungssystem" to look at your list of modules. There you can shift modules into the different areas (Pflicht, UK, Wahlpflicht, Wahl, freiwillige Zusatzleistung). Once this is done, you print this out. This is often called the "Streichliste". If some modules could not be shifted into the area you wish, please ask the Studentensekretariat. Once this is clarified, make these corrections on the printed-out form by hand (using a pen). Sign the document. Bring the document to the Studentensekretariat. Note that once you handed in this signed form, it is binding! You can not change this anymore. So please be sure that this "Streichliste" that you sign and bring to the Studentensekretariat represents exactly how you wish to have your modules organized in the Zeugnis (diploma).

Masterzeugnis

As soon as you see that your Masterarbeit has been booked in the database, please check if all other modules have also been booked (and correctly booked). Once you have convinced yourself that everything is correctly booked, please go to the Studentensekretariat and inform them that you give the go-ahead for the creation of the Zeugnis. If you have questions, you can also discuss these with the Studentensekretariat.

Duration

Please wait 2 weeks. Then you can come back to the Studentensekretariat to collect your Zeugnis.

When does an exam fail lead to abortion of study?

When does an exam fail lead to abortion of study?

In your Bachelor or Master study there are a few critical points where a failure could lead to the abortion (failure) of your study. It is important to know these. Here is a list of these "critical points". Though please note that this list here is only advice and may be incomplete. For the legally valid text see the Prüfungsordnung for Bachelor or Master. NOTE: Please read also the section on Klausur / Nachklausur / Versuch / Joker.

  • Bachelor:
    • All the physics "Pflichtmodule" (the PTPx and PEPx courses, the PAPx and PFPx practicals) must be passed. There are no alternatives. But please note the Joker-rules (see above).
    • Note that the PEP1 (Experimentalphysik 1) is the Orientierungsprüfung for which extra strict rules apply (see above).
    • The Lineare Algebra 1 course must be passed. There is no alternative. Also here the Joker rule applies.
    • The two other math courses, either HoeMa2+HoeMa3 or Ana2+Ana3, must also be passed (official acronyms are: PMP2+PMP3 or PMA2+PMA3, see acronym explanation below). But if you permanently fail, for instance, HoeMa3 you still have the alternative to change to the Ana2+Ana3 courses.
    • The Bachelor thesis (and the corresponding "colloquium") must also be passed. You have at most two tries.
    The Pflichtseminar must of course also be passed, but failing one, you can always choose another.
  • Master:
    • The MVMod exam must be passed in at most 2 tries. Each try is only a single oral exam.
    • The Master thesis must also be passed. You have at most two tries.
    Each core course can, like any other course, be tried at most twice (each try = Klausur + Nachklausur). In Master there is no Joker rule. However, if you fail, for instance, MKTP1 permanently, then you can simply try another core module - as long as in the end you have two core modules passed.

In all these rules please also note that in exceptional circumstances you can hand in a hardship application. Note that if your study of physics has failed ("endgültig nicht bestanden"), other Universities in Germany typically do not allow you to restart the same study there. So the failure is permanent (at least across Germany). Of course, however, you could then still start another study if you wish.

Changing your study course to physics (Studiengangwechsel)

Procedure

If you currently study something else (e.g. mathematics or chemistry) and you would like to change in the next semester to physics, you need to do the following procedure:

  • Be aware of the following: If you have not yet passed the PEP1 (Experimentalphysik 1) course, you will have to start in the first semester. Then you would simply have to apply for the study of physics as normal (the rest of this section is then irrelevant for you). If you do have PEP1, then continue to read:
  • Download the Studienzeitanrechnungsbescheinigung form.
  • Fill it out with your data
  • Make sure to have your current transcript from your current study
  • Bring both forms (transkript and Studienzeitanrechnungsbescheinigung) with you into the consultation hour of the chairperson of the examination board.
  • The chairperson will assign you into an appropriate semester, and the form will be signed by him.
  • Take this form to the student office of the central university administration (ZUV) in the Seminarstrasse 2. They will then change your study to physics.
  • Warning: Please be aware of the deadlines!

Changing University to Heidelberg University (Hochschulwechsel)

Procedure

Your immatriculation has to be done through the central student administration. In all likelihood they will ask you to fill out a Studienzeitanrechnungsbescheinigung. This procedure is the same as the item above.

Hardship application (Härtefallantrag)

If you experienced severe personal hardships / problems during your study at our faculty, you can apply for exemption of certain rules. For instance, if you had serious health problems and for that reason failed an exam twice and you have no further "Joker" available, you might apply for a third chance.

Procedure

Here is the procedure:

  • Do not wait: as soon as a serious problem arises for which a hardship application might be necessary, immediately contact the examination office. In case the problem is related to medical issues, always make sure to obtain a medical attestation (ärztliches Attest).
  • If, after consultation by the examination office, you decide to write a hardship application, first come to the consultation hour of the chairperson of the examination committee to discuss the matter. He/she might be able to give advice on this matter.
  • Then write an official letter to the examination committee where you explain your case, and hand this letter in at the student secretariate. The letter will then be distributed to the members of the examination committee and a decision is made by them. If you do not hear back in about 1 week, please ask the examination office about the status.
  • In case of medical issues involved, hand in the medical attestation (see above) to the examination office. If the tutor or teacher of a lecture also wants a medical attestation, make sure to make a copy and give the copy to the teacher and the original to the examination office.
  • Note that medical issues also can include psychological issues (but only if attested by an official therapist, medical doctor or psychiatrist), or medical issues of a family member for which you have primary duty of care, e.g. your child (also only with medical attestation).

Various

What is the meaning of all these acronyms?

The codes MVxx, WPxx etc are not random; they have a meaning, albeit not always strictly adhered to. But understanding them may make it easier to understand the structure of the study. For the Bachelor they are:

  • PEPx means Pflichtmodul Experimentalphysik number x (where x ranges from 1 to 5), meaning compulsory experimental physics. Often another acronym is used as well: PEPx=Expx.
  • PTPx means Pflichtmodul Theoretische Physik number x (where x ranges from 1 to 4), meaning compulsory theoretical physics. Often another acronym is used as well: PTPx=Theox.
  • PAPx means Pflichtmodul Anfängerpraktikum number x (where x ranges from 1 to 2), meaning compulsory practical physics for beginners. Often another acronym is used as well: PAPx=APx.
  • PFPx means Pflichtmodul Fortgeschrittenenpraktikum number x (where x ranges from 1 to 2), meaning compulsory practical physics for advanded students. Often another acronym is used as well: PFPx=FPx.
  • PSEM means Pflichtmodul Seminar, meaning compulsory practical physics seminar for bachelor students.
  • PBA means Pflichtmodul Bachelorarbeit, meaning the bachelor thesis.
  • PMAx means Pflichtmodul Mathematik Analysis nr x, but it should be noted that PMA1 is actually not analysis 1 but linear algebra 1 (historic reasons). Often other acronyms are used as well: PMA2=Ana2, PMA3=Ana3.
  • PMPx means Pflichtmodul höhere Mathematik für Physiker nr x, where x is either 2 or 3. Often other acronyms are used as well: PMP2=HoeMa2, PMP3=HoeMa3.
  • UKxxx means Übergreifende Kompetenzen (or Überfachliche Kompetenzen), meaning abilities that can be used across disciplines.
  • WPxxx means Wahlpflichtmodule Physik (modules that can be chosen from a given set of physics modules; see Modulhandbuch).
  • Wxxx means Wahlmodule (optional modules).

For the Master they are:

  • MKEPx means Master Kernkurs Experimentalphysik, course x, meaning Master core course in experimental physics.
  • MKTPx means Master Kernkurs Theoretische Physik, course x, meaning Master core course in theoretical physics.
  • MVxxx means Master Vertiefungsmodul, meaning Master specialization module. These can be part of the MVMod (see below), but you can also put them into the options catagory.
  • MVSem means Master Vertiefung Seminar, which is the compulsory Master seminar.
  • MVMod means Master Vertiefungsmodul, which is a bit of a confusing name: it actually refers to the entire package of lectures plus seminar plus oral examination (MVMod examination) that is packed together into a single big module. The MVxxx lectures are (or can be) part of this.
  • MFS means Master Forschung Specialization, which is a german/english combination of words. This is the first three months of the research phase (Forschung = research) where you are supposed to get a feeling for the field in which you will do your Master thesis. The research phase consistitutes the full second (=final) year of the Master.
  • MFP means Master Forschung Projektplanung, meaning: this second 3 month part of the research phase is your project planning phase: you already know now what your Master thesis is going to be about and now you start planning and getting up to speed with the work.
  • MFA means Master Forschung Arbeit, meaning that this final 6 months phase is the actual Master thesis phase. In practice, however, MFS, MFP and MFA are part of a single package: your Master thesis work under supervision of your thesis advisor.
If I register for a tutorial/lecture in the Übungsgruppenverwaltung: Is this binding?

Yes. The Übungsgruppenverwaltung system is a system by which you can register for tutorials and/or lectures. For reasons of organization it is important that we know who participates. Not all lectures use this system, and not all lectures require registration. But many do. If you register for such a tutorial/lecture, then your registration is binding! If you then do not show up (for the tutorial and/or for the Klausur belonging to that), then you will find an NB ("Nicht Bestanden") in your transcript of records, which is something you certainly want to avoid. So be sure to unregister in time if you decide to not participate. We do this not to annoy students, but to make sure that we have a realistic estimate of the number of participants, so that we do not waste resources (e.g. teacher hours).

Can I get credit points for sub-modules?

No. Some modules may contain submodules (e.g. Einführung in die Astronomie WPAstro) and many students wonder if they can also get the credit points of one or two of the submodules without doing the other submodules. The answer is: no. Only if all submodules of a given module are done you can get the credit points. The only exception is if you are a student from another university doing one or two semesters at our university (exchange program): we can then put these submodules on the transcript, so that they can be used upon return to the sending university.

Can I see my grades online?

Yes. Both from the LSF and from the physics Übungsgruppenverwaltungsystem. Perhaps it is easiest to ask your fellow students how to do this.

Is there an official regulation for maternity leave (Mutterschutz)?

Yes, there is here.

UKWR2 "Einführung in die Computerphysik": what are the regulations for this module?

The Bachelor lecture "Einführung in die Computerphysik" is a bit of a special case. It is in the UK-Bereich, but given the strong role of the physics applications we can also acknowledge it in Wahlpflichtbereich (or Wahlbereich for that matter). Given that the course has quite a high level, and given that it is in the UK-Bereich, Master students can also take part, which then means that it will be acknowledged in their Master Options. UKWR2 can not be used in the Master Vertiefung and/or MVMod! But there is a transitional period for those students who did their UKWR2 in SS18 or before.

Why are UK modules denoted as "Wahlpflichtmodul" in the Modulhandbuch?

There is sometimes confusion as to what constitutes a "Wahlpflichtmodul". According to the official definitions we have Wahlpflichtmodule Überfachliche Kompetenzen (Chapter 2 of the Modulhandbuch Bachelor) and Wahlpflichtmodule Physik (Chapter 3 of the Modulhandbuch Bachelor). In practice we usually call the first the UK-Bereich and the second Wahlpflicht-Bereich. So usually when we speak about Wahlpflicht, we mean Wahlpflicht Physik. But in the Modulhandbuch, in the descriptions of the UK modules, under "Art des Moduls" it says "Wahlpflichtmodul". That can be confusing. Consider it "Wahlpflichtmodul Überfachliche Kompetenzen", or in short "UK Modul". It does not mean that UK modules can be used as modules of the Wahlpflichtbereich Physik. Or in other words: UK Modules are only for UK, and Wahlpflicht-Physik-Modules are only for Wahlpflicht Physik, just as you would intuitively expect them to be.

Acknowledgement of credits from other universities: some remarks

  • You do not have to let your modules from another university be acknowledged. Letting credits be acknowledged is on a voluntary basis. So if you go abroad and obtain a bad grade for some module, this does not necessarily enter into your Heidelberg transcript if you do not want that.
  • If you passed a module in Heidelberg, that grade is fixed. You cannot have it replaced with a similar module from abroad.