Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) to the Examination Committee

We regularly get questions that can be easily answered. 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 Masters) 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.



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:

Practical Internship (Projektpraktikum)

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

Bachelor Thesis

Master Thesis

Bachelor 50%/50% (Lehramt)

(Note: this information is still tentative!)
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. They do such a two-tier Bachelor, followed by a Master of Education (instead of the 'normal' route of Master of Science). This 50%/50% scheme is relatively new, and not everything has settled into equilibrium yet. Here are a few FAQs.

Auslandsemester (semesters abroad) including Erasmus

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:

Master oral exam (MVMod)

Acknowedging modules from other faculties in Wahl / UK / Options

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

Bachelor to Master transition

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

Getting your "Zeugnis" (Eng: Diploma)

When does an exam fail lead to abortion of study?

In your Bachelor or Masters 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 Masters. NOTE: Please read also the section on Klausur / Nachklausur / Versuch / Joker. 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)

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:

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. Here is the procedure:

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: For the Masters they are: