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 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.



Special regulations during the Covid-19 crisis

Update: 09.04.2021

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%

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: *** 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%/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%/50% Bachelor part. Here are a few FAQs:

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%").

Auslandsemester (semesters 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.

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.

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

PSEM, MVSEM and other seminars

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 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. 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:

Changing University to Heidelberg University (Hochschulwechsel)

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. 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 Master they are: