Glossary

 

Glossary

Recognition

(see also: Degree Program Change, Study Plan Change)

You can make a request for recognition of exams that you successfully completed in a previous degree program. For this you need a stamped unmodified transcript of records (containing your failed exam attempts) as well as the respective module descriptions. After the formal pre-check, you have to contact the respective lecturers who will check the content. You can send the request to our faculty either by post or by fax or put it directly into the red letter box (Kackertstraße 9, 52072 Aachen, 2nd floor). Recognition of study achievements may involve a placement in a higher semester, depending on the amount of accredited study components. We cannot accept requests by email.

All exams that are being taken as part of a stay abroad need to be granted beforehand by means of a study plan change request. After your stay abroad you simply need to show your transcript of records as well as the completed last page of the study plan change form to a study adviser during the consultation hours of the study advice service or the study abroad advice service.

 

Request to the Examination Board

(see also: Examination Board)

If you have a request that concerns the regulations of your degree program, such as the extension for the deadline of a scientific work, you can make a request to the respective examination board. There are specific forms for standard requests in the download area. Otherwise you can make a free text request using our online input mask.

Please note that reasons need to be provided for requests and that requests need to be supported by documents to be successful. If a request lacks reasons or if it discriminates other students, it cannot be granted. A request always has to be signed by you in order to be further processed.

Requests need to be handed in at least seven (Mechanical Engineering and Computational Engineering Science) or at least eight days (Business Administration and Engineering) before the next examination board meeting. Otherwise the request will be dealt with in the following meeting.

Please put the completed and signed request form directly into the red letter box or send it to the address below by post.

Mailing Address
RWTH Aachen University
Faculty of Mechanical Engineering
Examination Board [add Mechanical Engineering/Business Administration and Engineering/CES]
52056 Aachen

Address
RWTH Aachen University
Faculty of Mechanical Engineering
Examination Board [add Mechanical Engineering/Business Administration and Engineering/CES]
Kackertstraße 9
52072 Aachen

Medical Certificates

(see also: Illness, Exam Regulations)

If, due to illness, you do not take part in an exam that you registered for, you have to hand in a medical certificate in order for the exam attempt not to be counted. You need to get this medical certificate immediately and hand it in to the Central Examination Office (ZPA) within three working days.

This medical certificate needs to fulfil certain conditions with respect to content and form, which are described in the handout about medical certificates. If the certificate does not fulfil the requirements or is handed in late, it will be forwarded to the respective examination board which will then decide whether or not it is accepted
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Therefore, please carefully read the handout and inform your doctor about the requirements.

Additional Requirements (“Auflagen”)

(See also: Application, Exam Regulations, Central Examination Office (ZPA)

If you are applying for a restricted Master degree course with a limited amount of places at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, your qualification will be evaluated by the respective examination board. As part of this evaluation, based on the access requirements of the respective Master regulations, additional requirements (“Auflagen”) can be determined in case of a deficit regarding the required basic knowledge (“Grundlagen”). This means that for completion of the Master degree program, the respective exams will have to be passed in addition to the regular Master exams. If too many “Auflagen” would be required, the application is rejected. “Auflagen” will not be listed on the final transcript but must be completed before the Master thesis can be registered. “Auflagen” subjects cannot be replaced by subjects that were already taken into account during the evaluation process of the Master application.

Registration for “Auflagen” exams is done during the personal exam registration phase, directly at the Central Examination Office (ZPA), where you need to show your admission letter. This phase is usually during June or December and is announced on the website of the Central Examination Office at the beginning of the semester.

Bachelor thesis

(see also: Record Sheet, Examination Board, Exam Regulations)

The bachelor thesis is a written work at the end of your bachelor studies. In this work you show that you are capable of independently working on a topic taken from the respective degree program.

For the degree programs Mechanical Engineering and Business Administration with Mechanical Engineering, there is a time limit of ten weeks for completing the thesis, whereas for Computational Engineering it is twelve weeks. The earliest submission date is after eight weeks. The deadline can be extended informally by two weeks in the Central Examination Office (ZPA). Further extension by no more than two weeks needs to be plausibly justified and backed by your supervisor in a request to the Examination Board. Further information regarding the bachelor thesis can be found in your respective examination regulations.

If you plan on writing an external bachelor thesis, you need to find a supervisor, i.e. a point of contact at the company/institution where you are planning to write your thesis who will support you and keeps track of your progress. This person needs to hold an academic title of at least the title you are pursuing, e.g. a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.). Dipl.-Ing. or Dr. Ing. are suitable alternatives.

The bachelor thesis can be registered using the respective record sheet.

BAfoeG

(see also: Standard Period of Study)

The Federal Training Assistance Act (Bundesausbildungsförderungsgesetz, short Bafoeg) governs financial support of students by the government. Support is dependent on the parent's or the spouse's income or on the amount of personal assets. The maximum period of support is the standard period of study of a given course. Bachelor and Master degrees are considered separate courses. Half of the amount of support is a subsidy, the other half is awarded as an interest-free student loan. Further information can be found at the Department for Training Assistance of the Studierendenwerk.

Advice Services

In order to bundle the large number of different enquiries, the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering provides various advice services with the focus on:

  • Study advice
  • Study abroad advice
  • Organisation of Academic Matters
  • Advancement of women
  • Internship Office
  • Mentoring
  • Psychological counselling
  • Ombudsman for academic affairs

All advice services are free of charge.

Further information can be found here.

Occupational Field

(see also: Occupational Field Mentoring and Master Program Coordination, Specialization)

The occupational field is a specialization within the Bachelor degree in Mechanical Engineering, Business Administration and Mechanical Engineering or Computational Engineering Science that can be chosen in the fifth semester. There are several occupational fields that need to be registered for in CAMPUS Office as you would for an exam.

By choosing an occupational field, you can acquire an in-depth-knowledge of a mechanical engineering subject according to your personal interests. This specialization can usually be pursued further as part of a master degree course. Some occupational fields as well as several master courses allow for further specialization. A specialization as part of a master degree course also needs to be registered in CAMPUS Office.

Each occupational field or master course is supervised by a professor, a so-called occupational field mentor or master course supervisor. They are responsible for approvals within the various occupational fields or master courses.
You can change your occupational field or master course specialization only once by request to the examination board.

List of Decisions

(see also: Exam Regulations, Examination Board)

In addition to the exam regulations, for each degree program there is a list of decisions taken by the respective examination board. It contains general decisions that supplement and extend the exam regulations. These decisions are as binding as the exam regulations as such, and it is therefore the students' duty to read all regulations concerning their study program, both in the exam regulations and in the list of decisions.

The lists of decisions can also be found in the download area of the homepage of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering.

Application

(See also: Registrar's Office, Exam Regulations)

The study programs of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering all have specific admission requirements and partly have restricted admission, which means that you need to apply in order to be able to enroll. You can find further information, e.g. about the required documents for your application and enrollment can be found in the descriptions of the individual study programs and on the pages of the Registrar' Office. If your application was successful, you will receive an admission letter, which you need to enroll. All applications need to reach the Registrar's Office within the specified deadlines.

Applications to the Master degree programs with specific admission requirements are forwarded to the respective examination board for evaluation of whether the prerequisites are met. Processing of these applications takes place in the two months following the deadline. You will be informed about the result of this evaluation process by an admission or a rejection letter.

CAMPUS Office

CAMPUS Office is the online tool for planning your studies provided by the Campus information system of RWTH Aachen. You use it to register for exams, lectures and exercises. You can also create your personal time table. Another part of CAMPUS Office is the Virtual Central Examination Office (VZPA), which allows you to see your registered exams after the end of the exam registration phase. Note that registration does not take place in VZPA.

Downloads

All important documents such as request forms, study plans and exam regulations can be found in the download area of the Faculty's homepage.

ECTS

(see also: Recognition)

The European Credit Transfer System serves to make your academic achievements comparable within the European Higher Education Area and to allow for recognition in case of a (cross-border) change from one university to another.

Orientation Week

Every semester an orientation week is offered for the new first-year students comprising various events and information for the so-called “Erstis”. It aims to facilitate the initial phase at university and provides an opportunity to make contacts.

The week usually starts with a welcoming event by the rector and the student councils, followed by presentations about the different degree programs as well as a city rally. In addition, smaller groups are formed that are accompanied by a tutor to the week's events. Tutors are also available for questions. Many institutes offer public tours.

Further information about the orientation week can be found on RWTH Aachen University’s homepage.

Enrollment

(see also: Registrar's Office, Placement Certificate and Certificate of Good Standing)

On enrollment, also known as matriculation, you become a member of the university with all rights and obligations. Enrollment usually takes place in person and at specified times in the Registrar’s Office.

If you have previously undertaken studies, you have to proof your good standing with regard to exam regulations, i.e. that you have not accumulated three fails in a relevant exam which would cause you to lose the right to take further examinations in the desired degree program. To proof this you need to request a Placement Certificate and Certificate of Good Standing.

Placement Certificate and Certificate of Good Standing (“Einstufung und Unbedenklichkeit”)

(see also: Enrollment, Degree Program Change, Higher Semester, Accreditation)

If you are coming from a different university/faculty and transferring to the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, you need to present a Placement Certificate and Certificate of Good Standing to the Registrar’s Office. It is also required if you are transferring within the Faculty. The respective request needs to be made to the examination board before enrollment. The board then checks that you have not previously lost the right to take further examinations in the desired degree program and states whether you can enroll in a higher semester.

In the request form you have to enter all your previously taken exams including the number of exam attempts. The form needs to be accompanied by an original (not copied) stamped unmodified (i.e. containing all failed attempts) transcript of records for all your previously undertaken degree programs. Note that the placement is not a guarantee that the courses will eventually be recognized. Recognition is a separate process that can be initiated after enrollment.

If you are planning to change to a Master degree program, we will also check whether you meet the entry requirements, i.e. whether you meet the technical requirements in the Master exam regulations.

We recommend to hand in the documents well in time, as the process may take several working days, especially during the enrollment phase.

You can send the request to our faculty either by post or by fax or put it directly into the red letter box (Kackertstraße 9, 52072 Aachen, 2nd floor).We cannot accept requests by email.

Record Sheet

(see also: Project Work, Bachelor Thesis, Master Thesis)

The record sheet is required to register a project work or your thesis work. Signatures need to be collected in the order specified on the sheet. If you are writing you project/thesis work externally, you need the approval of the examination board. This can be done anytime, independently of the examination board meetings. For this you need a fully completed (i.e. each designated field needs to have been signed by the respective designated person) record sheet. The record sheet can be found in the download area of our faculty’s website. It needs to be signed by the study advisors. You may also authorize another student to do this (authorization letter, copy of blue card or copy of ID card) for you or send the sheet in by post. The time for completion of you project/thesis work starts to count as soon as the fully completed record sheet has been received by the Central Examination Board.

Student Council

The student council comprises all students belonging to a faculty. However, a lot of the time the word student council also refers to the staff members of the student council who represent all students in university committees and organize information events and free time activities such as the city rally for first-year students or the summer festival. Approximately 100 out of the 13000 students of the faculty are involved in representing student interests in committees, providing study advice and organizing events.

The student council is divided up into a student representative body called “Fachschaftsvertretung, the highest decision-making committee within the student council, and the “Fachschaftsrat”, which deals with day-to-day business.

Study Advice Service

(see also: Advice Service, Record Sheet, Authorization)

The study advice service of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering offers you support and advice in all formal matters regarding your studies and that cannot be answered by reading this glossary and/or your exam regulations. You can easily book a ticket online for one of the three consultation periods offered every week. In addition, you can use such an appointment to have your external scientific work approved by the examination board on the spot and take the record sheet back home immediately. If you cannot turn up to an appointment in person, you can authorize another person to arrange affairs for you.
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Please note that without a ticket and in case of high demand we cannot guarantee a slot during the consultation hours and you may have to face long waiting times. We therefore recommend to book a ticket beforehand.

Higher Semester

(see also: Placement Certificate and Certificate of Good Standing, Enrollment)

If you were enrolled at another university/faculty/degree program before studying at the faculty of Mechanical Engineering, it may be possible for you to enroll in a higher semester provided that there are places available (to be asked at the Registrar's Office) and that you have successfully completed relevant exams. To be eligible for enrollment in a higher semester, you need to make a request for a Certificate of Good Standing which then needs to be handed in to the Registrar’s Office.

If you are planning to change to a Master degree program, we will also check whether you meet the entry requirements, i.e. whether you meet the technical requirements in the Master exam regulations.

Matriculation

(see also: Registrar's Office, Enrollment)

Kontoauszug

Illness

(see also: Medical Certificate and Assessment Accomodations)

If you are ill and therefore cannot take part in an exam, you immediately need to get a medical certificate and take it to the central examination office.
See Medical Certificates

If you are suffering from a chronic disease or a disability that may affect you when writing an exam, you have the possibility to make a request for assessment accommodations to the examination board.
See Assessment Accomodations

L²P

L²P is the learning and teaching platform of RWTH Aachen. In L²P lecturers can offer virtual learning rooms for each of their CAMPUS events. A learning room contains learning materials and relevant information about the lecture or exercise. If you have not been given access to the learning room, contact the chair’s responsible assistant.

Master Thesis

(see also: Record Sheet, Examination Board, Exam Regulations)

The Master thesis is a written work at the end of the Master studies in which you show that you are capable of independently working on a topic taken from the respective degree program by respecting a certain time limit and scientific methods.

The normal time limit for working on this thesis is 22 weeks, the earliest date for submission being after 18 weeks. An extension of 2 weeks can be requested informally at the Central Examination Board. A further extension by a maximum of 4 weeks needs to be requested at the respective examination board, providing a good reason and an approval from you supervisor. Further important information regarding your Master thesis can be found in your respective exam regulations.

If you wish to write your Master thesis externally, you have to look for an external supervisor, i.e. a person in the company/organization where you are writing your thesis, who supports you and monitors your progress. This person needs to have at least the academic title that you are aiming to achieve, i.e. a Master of Science (M.Sc.). Alternative titles would be Dipl.-Ing. or Dr. Ing. The Master thesis needs to be registered using the respective record sheet.

Early Master’s Work

(see also: Study Plan, Personal Exam Registration Period)

Modules that are part of one of the consecutive Master programs of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering can be pre-scheduled after completion of 120 CP (normally). These courses cannot be registered online in CAMPUS Office but must be registered in the personal exam registration period in the Central Examination Office (ZPA). You can find the registration period on the homepage of the Central Examination Office.

Please note that you can only pre-schedule modules that are part of the regular module catalogue of your desired Master program.

Students aiming for either M.Sc. General Mechanical Engineering or M.Sc. Computational Engineering Science have to hand in a study plan approved by their Master program coordinator.

Ministerversuch

(see also: Exam Regulations)

A “Ministerversuch” (or often short “Minister”) refers to the last possible exam attempt before the exam is considered as irrevocably failed (“endgültig nicht bestanden”).

According to the current exam regulations, three exam attempts per module are allowed, including an oral supplemental exam in case of a failed third attempt. Thus, the “Ministerversuch” refers to the third written exam attempt including an oral supplemental exam if needed.

If the “Ministerversuch” is failed, the respective exam – and consequently the entire study program - is considered as irrevocably failed. So this final attempt is of great importance.

If you are facing a “Ministerversuch”, we strongly recommend to make use of our advice services, e.g. consultation hours with lecturers or psychological counseling offered by the faculty (e.g. regarding exam nerves). Quite often, the different chairs offer so-called minister seminars or workshops to prepare you for a “Ministerversuch”. Consulting the student council may also be useful.

Duty to Cooperate

(see also: Exam Registration, Exam Participation Subject to Approval of the Examination Board)

According to article 13, paragraph 3 of the matriculation regulations, students have a duty to cooperate. This duty mainly applies to the automatic business processes used within the university, such as registration for lectures and exams. Actively making use of the code each student receives at the time of enrollment and the subsequent activation of an e-mail address forms the basis for this cooperation duty.

For instance, essential information from your study advice service and the central examination office is regularly sent to your RWTH e-mail address, which means that downloading and reading these e-mails is very important for your studies.

If you do not wish to use your RWTH e-mail address for private purposes, we strongly recommend to activate the address anyway and configure automatic forwarding of all incoming e-mails to your regular e-mail account. Otherwise you risk to miss relevant information for your studies.

Please also note that in addition, it is also your duty to inform yourself about regulations, processes and deadlines.

Oral Supplemental Exam

(see also: Exam Regulations)

After the second repeat exam, i.e. the third written exam attempt (“Ministerversuch”), you have the right to an oral supplemental exam. In case of exams that are supervised by teaching staff of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, this right also applies to the first repeat exam, i.e. the second written exam attempt.

You need to specify the date for the oral supplemental exam during the post-exam review. If you cannot attend this review, you can authorize someone to replace you.

The oral supplemental exam will then take place within the six weeks following the post-exam review.
If you have to cancel the oral supplemental exam, you can arrange a new date within the six weeks following the post-exam review, as long as this can be managed/organized by the chair. You will be informed about this date by the examination board and not by the chair. You then have to keep the appointment for that exam. If you do not attend, you do not have a right to receive an alternative appointment for the oral exam.

In case of oral supplemental exams, marking can be carried out by just one examiner. You can find further information in your exam regulations and your subject-specific and your general exam regulations.

Assessment Accommodations

(see also: Request to the Examination Board)

Students that can proof that they are negatively affected by a long-term or permanent chronic disease or disability, have the possibility to make a request for assessment accommodations to the examination board.

Such accommodations can only be granted if the student has a medical certificate that explicitly states the kind and extent of the required accommodations (e.g. increase of time in exams by 20 % or a separate examination room”).

You can find detailed information about accommodations here.

Worst Module Grade

(see also: Standard Study Period)

If all exams have been passed within the standard study period, the worst of all weighted module grades is not counted – with exception of project or thesis work. If several of these weighted exams have the same weighted module grade, you need to tell the Central Examination Office which module should not be counted using a request form. You can receive the request form in the Central Examination Office.

Your subject-specific exam regulations provide information about this process.

Transcript of Records

(see also: CAMPUS Office)

The transcript of records gives you an overview of all passed exams. You can print it yourself on CAMPUS Office or get a signed version at the Central Examination Office (ZPA).

A so-called unmodified transcript of records also contains your failed exam attempts. You can get this transcript only at the Central Examination Office.

De-Registration in the Orientation Phase

The orientation phase is a phase after the exam registration period during which you have the right to fully withdraw from an exam registration.

If you are no longer registered for an exam in CAMPUS Office at the end of the orientation phase, the exam registration will not be taken into account by the Central Examination Office (ZPA). The orientation phase ends simultaneously with the de-registration phase for the modular registration process in CAMPUS Office (usually the orientation phase ends one week after the end of the registration phase).

Tutoring Group Program

The tutoring group program is a networking opportunity for first-year students offered by the faculty to facilitate the start of your studies. Each professor takes on a group of students as tutor, arranging a monthly meeting with them in a casual atmosphere. This provides students with an opportunity to meet lecturers and their chairs as well as other students from higher semesters in order to learn more about the studies and the university and to receive useful information for the time at RWTH and thereafter.

Personal Exam Registration Phase

(see also: Exam Registration, Duty to Cooperate, Additional Requirements (“Auflagen”), Early Master’s Work)

Certain exam registrations cannot be done in CAMPUS Office, but instead need to be done in person in the Central Examination Office (ZPA). For this, each semester, there is a personal exam registration phase.

The deadline of the personal registration phase (as well as all other registration deadlines) are announced in an information e-mail each semester by the Central Examination Office. In addition, the information can be found on the Central Examination Office’s homepage
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Within our faculty, the personal registration phase mainly matters with regard to the registration for exams that are subject of a request for a study plan change, for “Auflagen” exams (additional requirements for Master admission) and for early Master’s work. All of these can only be registered in the Central Examination Office.

Internship Office

(see also: Internship)
The Internship Office of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering is responsible for the recognition of compulsory internships of all degree programs of the Faculty.

Exception: In the degree program Business Administration and Mechanical Engineering, the supervisors for internships at the Faculty of Business and Economics are responsible for the recognition of internships in the field of business administration. Reports about internships in the field of business administration may be submitted to them directly.

Internship

(see also: Internship Office, Bachelor Thesis)

One or several internships, comprising a total of 20 weeks, form part of the degree programs B.Sc. Mechanical Engineering or B.Sc. Business Administration and Engineering (Mechanical Engineering), according to the internship regulations of the respective study program. In general, 6 of the 20 weeks are carried out before your studies, i.e. as a pre-study internship. The remaining 14 weeks are done as part of the technical internship later during your studies. For accreditation of the internship, an internship report needs to be written and handed in at the internship office. The Bachelor thesis can only be registered when the 20 weeks have been fully accredited. In addition, a presentation needs to be held for one of the professors of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, or The Faculty of Business and Economics in case you study Business Administration and Engineering (Mechanical Engineering).

Project Work

(see also: Record Sheet)

The project work is a mandatory component of the B.Sc. Mechanical Engineering and consists in working independently on a specific scientific problem and a written documentation of the results in a report. The aim of the project work is to show ability to select and utilize task-specific project management tools, to practice ability to work in a team, self-organization and group organization. In addition, technical knowledge is to be put into practice. The project work is done in groups of 2 to 5 persons, except if it is done abroad (in which case it may also be done alone).

The project work needs to be registered using the respective record sheet.

Conditional Exam Participation

(see also: Exam Registration, Duty to Cooperate)

For participation in an exam, a registration in due form is required. Without such a registration you are not allowed to take the exam.

If, at the beginning of an exam, you realize that you do not have a valid exam registration (e.g. because your name does not appear on the registration list), you may be allowed to take the exam subject to approval of the examination board. In this case you need to sign a so-called “Declaration on Conditional Exam Participation and Application for Late Registration”, which then forms the request to the examination board to retroactively register and count the exam. At the same time it is your duty to hand in relevant additional justifications and documents to this request within one week after the exam to the respective examination board. Please use the email addresses provided by your study advice service.

Note that an exam will not be counted if the non-registration of an exam was your own fault.

Please, always check all your exam registrations at the end of the registration period, when you received the information e-mail from the central Examination Office. If you notice a mistake or if something is unclear, please contact your study advice service immediately.

Exam Registration

(see also: Orientation Phase De-Registration, Withdrawal, Personal Exam Registration Phase, Duty to Cooperate, Conditional Exam Participation)

For participation in an exam, a registration in due form is required. Without such a registration you are not allowed to take the exam. Without such a registration you are not allowed to take the exam. Therefore, you should out in due time when and how to register your exams.

The following text describes the most common types of registration. If you are unsure of how to register for a specific exam, please contact your study advice service in due time. We also recommend to carefully read the information e-mail regarding exam registration sent out by the Central Examination Office (ZPA) every semester.

Normal procedure: Registration via CAMPUS Office

Normally, registration is carried out via CAMPUS Office. Your registration is then transmitted to the exam administration system of the Central Examination Office on a certain date. Only after that date you are duly registered for the exam.

If you de-register the exam in CAMPUS Office before the transmission date (orientation phase de-registration), you will not be registered for the exam.

Special case: Registration in the Central Examination Office during the personal exam registration period

Modules that have been approved in a study plan change as well as early Master’s work and “Auflagen” exams (additional requirements for Master admission) are to be registered in the Central Examination Office during the personal exam registration period.

Special case: Exchange students

Exchange students studying at the Faculty (Incomings), use the incomings platform FB4 for registration. In case of questions, please write to .

Examination Board

(see also: Request to the Examination Board)

The examination board consist of professors, scientific assistants and students.

It is the examination board’s task to make sure that the examination regulations are complied with and that exams are held according to the rules. In particular, it also deals with objections to its decisions. The board meetings are not open to the public.

Exam Regulations

(see also: List of Decisions, Examination Board)

There are individual exam regulations for each degree program that have been specified by the faculty council. They contain all regulations regarding the respective degree program.

By enrolling, you commit yourself to comply with the exam regulations and they should therefore be your first source of information in case of uncertainties.

You will find the currently valid exam regulations in the download area of the Faculty’s homepage as well as in the list of official announcements of RWTH.

Note that the list of announcements contains additional binding regulations that supplement the exam regulations.

Psychological Counseling

(see also: Advice Services)

The psychological counseling at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering offers assistance to all students of the faculty who for various reasons have problems achieving their study goals.

The reasons may be learning difficulties, examination nerves, fear of speaking, time management difficulties, but also burdening circumstances in the personal surroundings.

In a confidential conversation the situation will be analyzed and solution ideas will be developed together. The counseling is free of charge.

Standard Period of Study

(see also BaföG, Additional Requirements („Auflagen“))

The standard period of study describes the time period it should ideally take to complete a degree program. Consequently, this period depends on the study program.

Comparative Ranking

A ranking is a document that ranks you and your exam performance in comparison to your fellow students, allowing for an estimation of your study results. Such a document is often needed when applying for scholarships and can usually be requested 4 to 6 weeks after the start of the semester by writing to .

Withdrawal

(see also: Exam Registration, Orientation Phase De-Registration, Duty to Cooperate, Medical Certificates, CAMPUS Office)

The Central Examination Office differentiates between regular exam cancellation and withdrawal due to illness.

Regular exam cancellation:
According to exam regulations there is no limit to the number of times students may cancel an exam without giving reasons. However, such an exam cancellation without giving reasons needs to be done at least three days before the day of the exam and is done online via the VZPA within CAMPUS Office.
If you do not keep this deadline and do not take part in the exam, the exam attempt will be counted as 5.0 due to absence.

Withdrawal due to illness:
If you fall ill, you may withdraw from an exam due to illness. For this you need to hand in a medical certificate. Please note the handout about medical certificates which specifies the requirements for a medical certificate and the deadlines which are to be met.

If you do not keep this deadline and do not take part in the exam, the exam attempt will be counted as 5.0 due to absence.

Degree Program Change

(see also: Application, Placement Certificate and Certificate of Good Standing)

If you are coming from a different university/faculty and cannot be enrolled in a higher semester, you need to apply for a place in the first semester at the registrar’s office.

If you have successfully completed relevant exams and if places are available, you may be eligible for enrollment in a higher semester of your desired degree program. To do this, you need a Placement Certificate and Certificate of Good Standing from the examination board in order to enroll at the registrar’s office. This document proves that you have not lost the right to take further examinations in the desired degree program and states whether you can enroll in a higher semester.

If you are planning to change to a Master degree program, we will also check whether you meet the entry requirements, i.e. whether you meet the technical requirements in the Master exam regulations.

Study Plan

(see also: Study Plan Change)

The study plan is an overview of the modules in a study program. They are listed by semesters with their number of lectures and exercises (contact hours per week per semester, SWS) and with their credit points (CP). In Bachelor degree programs you will usually find the basic subjects in the first four semesters. They form part of the overall core subject section. From semester five onwards, you will see placeholders for the occupational fields. Within this sections you have the option to select both compulsory subjects from the occupational field and one or two compulsory elective courses. The latter can be chosen from the entire overall compulsory electives section, including from outside the recommended sections. For this selection you do not need to make a request for a study plan change. The Master degree programs are also divided into overall compulsory subjects and electives. Some Master degree programs also have additional compulsory subjects for each specialization.

If you study B.Sc. CES, M.Sc. CES or M.Sc. General Mechanical Engineering you need to create an individual study plan from the provided course catalogs in semester 5 (for the B.Sc. CES) of at the beginning of your Master studies. Before doing an exam in the occupational field (in case of the B.Sc. CES) or in the respective Master program, an approved study plan is required. This also holds true for early Master’s work.

Changes to these study plans may be approved by the occupational field mentors or the Master program coordinator on an individual basis, provided that a study plan change has been requested.

Study Plan Change

(see also: Personal Exam Registration Phase)

A study plan change serves to integrate subjects that are not foreseen in your curriculum/study plan. This allows you to integrate e.g. subjects taken abroad or subjects from other degree programs.

Please carefully read the information sheet provided with the request form, which you can find in the download area of our homepage.

You can send the request to our faculty either by post or by fax or put it directly into the red letter box (Kackertstraße 9, 52072 Aachen, 2nd floor). We cannot accept requests by email.

Study plan changes are usually not dealt with in the examination board meetings and are therefore not bound to the meeting dates of the examination board. However, please note that a decision normally takes two to three weeks, but may also take longer in certain cases, depending on work load. Please refrain from inquiries regarding the status of your request. The decision letter will be sent to you by post to the address you provided on the request form.

A (partly) approved study plan change does not mean that you are automatically registered for the exam. You need to register the exam at ZPA in the personal exam registration phase and show them your (partly) approved study plan change. You are not obliged to register for all exams that have been approved as part of the study plan change. It is up to you to decide which ones you wish to register.

The form will be send back to your provided address after processing. In urgent cases or if for any reason you wish to collect the decision letter personally, please let us know on a separate note to be handed in with your request. You will be notified as soon as the documents are ready for collection.

It is also possible to authorize someone to collect the decision letter and to do the exam registration (authorization letter, copy of ID card or copy of Blue Card required).

Academic Progress Certificate

International students, who received a visa to study in Germany, are required by the Foreigners' Office in the Aachen City Region to submit an academic progress certificate after the typical length of studies has passed. On the academic progress certificate, the university confirms that the student is completing studies as scheduled and provides a prognosis on the expected academic degree. Please write to  to get an academic progress certificate.

Registrar’s Office

(see also: Degree Program Change, Higher Semester, Matriculation, Enrollment)

The Registrar’s Office is responsible for enrollments and degree program changes as well as re-enrollment, leave of absence and termination of enrollment.

Furthermore, the division is responsible for the admission and enrollment of German students and international students with a German secondary education certificate. The Registrar's Office is also responsible for the admission and enrollment of applicants from other European Union member states or members of European Economic Area, EEA, in degree programs with restricted admission.(see also: Degree Program Change, Higher Semester, Matriculation, Enrollment)

The respective applications for degree programs of restricted admission are therefore to be sent to the Registrar’s office.

Certificate of Good Standing

(see also: Placement Certificate and Certificate of Good Standing)

This document proves that you have not lost the right to take further examinations in the desired degree program. The document can be requested from the examination board.

Leave of Absence

(see also: Registrar’s Office)

Applications for a leave of absence can be submitted to the Registrar's Office during the re-enrollment period if you wish to interrupt your studies and resume them later. During a leave of absence the number of semesters does not increase. However, you are nevertheless allowed to take exams.

Specialization

(see also: Occupational Field)

A specialization can either refer to a sub-specialization within an occupational field of a Bachelor degree program, or to a specialization within some of the Master degree programs.

Letter of Authorization

(see also: Exam Registration, Project Work, Bachelor Thesis, Master Thesis)

A letter of authorization authorizes a specific person to do something on your behalf. This may concern personal exam registration, getting approval for an externally written scientific work or the collection of documents. If, for instance, you cannot do these things in person due to illness or e.g. a stay abroad, you may write an authorization letter (no official form required) stating the name and matriculation number of the person who will do them on your behalf. Please sign the letter and attach a copy of your ID card. In exceptional cases a printed scan of the authorization letter may be sufficient, provided that the signature on authorization letter and on your ID card are clearly visible. The authorized person will also need to present their Blue Card or ID card in addition to the authorization letter.

Elective Courses

(see also: Study Plan)

Study plans of the various degree programs are divided up into overall (compulsory) core subjects and overall compulsory core electives as well as the core subjects of the respective occupational field (if applicable). A certain number of CPs/exams need to be obtained in order to successfully complete the degree program. Shifting of CPs amongst the different categories in not authorized.

Central Examination Office (ZPA)

(see also: Medical Certificate, Additional Requirements (“Auflagen”), Occupational Field, CAMPUS Office, Early Master’s Work, Transcript of Records, Personal Exam Registration Period, Exam Registration, Study Plan Change)

The Central Examination Office (ZPA) of RWTH Aachen University is responsible for the administration of exam registrations and the recording of exam grades for all degree programs. Medical certificates for withdrawals from exams due to illness have to be handed in to the Central Examination Office within three working days. Transcripts of record are also generated by the Central Examination Office. Registration of regular exams is done via CAMPUS Office in the first weeks of each semester (usually the last but one Friday of the month of May/November). The data are then transferred to the Central Examination Office and no further registrations are then possible. A regular exam cancellation without submitting any reasons can be done up to three business days before the exam date via the online functionalities of the Virtual Central Examination Office (VZPA), which can be found within CAMPUS Office.

Modules that have been approved in a study plan change (i.e. that do not form part of your regular study plan) as well as early Master’s work and “Auflagen” exams (additional requirements for Master admission) are to be registered in Central Examination Office (ZPA) during the personal exam registration period where you need to present your admission letter or your approved study plan change.

You can contact the Central Examination Office during the official opening hours. Please note, however, that late registrations for exams are not carried out by the Central Examination Office but instead have to be decided upon by the examination boards. Late registration is only possible in very rare, well-justified exceptional cases.

Supplementary Courses

(See also: Study Plan, Recognition, Study Plan Change)

Registration of supplementary courses at RWTH is usually done directly with the lecturer, who will inform you about the exam result in writing. For this course to be added to your transcript of records, you can then hand in this document to ZPA accompanied by a request form that you will also get at ZPA. If you are doing these subjects to prepare for a possible transfer to a different degree program or to apply for a Master program, you can add the document you received from the lecturer (confirmation of participation) to your request for recognition or to your Master application, so that these courses can be counted.

If you want to do a supplementary course externally, e.g. when spending a semester abroad, you need to make a formal request for a study plan change.