Beginning of studies and orientation week
Beginning of studies and orientation week
You want to get to know the campus and take a first look without time pressure? The best opportunity to do this is our orientation week (also shortly known as "O-Woche" in German).
The length and schedule of the orientation week(s) differs between winter and summer semesters. A detailed schedule is usually published on the website of our faculty just before the beginning. You can find the latest slides of for the orientation week of the summer semester 2019 here.
For the beginning of the winter semester, the orientation week (despite its name) actually covers the last two weeks before the beginning of the semester. It mainly aims to provide an overview of the university campus, encourage the new students to get to know each other and clarify possible issues.
The core part of this programme is the introductory course consisting of a tutorial in mathematical basics and a hands-on introduction into Linux-based computer systems and the special features of our faculty's computer workstations.
For the beginning of the summer semester, a shortened version of this programme without the mathematics tutorial is offered. Students starting at this time are encouraged to attend the mathematics tutorial of the following winter semester to recall the basics previously learned at school.
To also have some fun, we offer additional events such as a puzzlehunt to get to know the campus, and a bar-hopping evening to get to know your fellow students.
Additionally we offer the QuiX-Guide, a brochure dedicated to new students of our faculty that contains lots of essential information regarding typical questions of newbies, the planning of your individual schedule and courses as well as our faculty and the university in general.
The guide (currently only printed in German due to resource constraints) is available during the kick-off event of each orientation week, and at our office throughout the semester.
We maintain an archive of past exam papers to help students to prepare for future exams. These papers are usually summaries of the exam task sheets, written down from memory and sent in by students like you.
If you need summaries for your upcoming exams or would like to contribute new ones, please email us at email@example.com.
Please also send in your own summaries afterwards to help future students the same way your predecessors have helped you.
Projects during your studies
The exam regulations of our faculty allow to complete an optional internship at a company of your choice and include it in your curriculum in module group "key competences" (for all current bachelor degree programmes) or in the "general focus area" (for the master degree programme Computer Science).
The current module catalogue requires the internship to last at least 240 hours in total (e.g. six weeks of 40 hours of work per week). At least half of them (120 hours) must consist of tasks relevant to the topic of your studies. This requirement is also used to calculate the number of ECTS credits awarded: you will receive four ECTS credits (one ECTS credit per 30 hours of work being relevant to your topic of studies).
Before the beginning of the internship, you will need to find a professor of our faculty to act as an in-university supervisor during your work experience at the company. Note: The internship will not be graded, but you will have to submit multiple intermediate reports during the internship period as well as a final report. Furthermore, a dialogue session with your supervisor after the internship is mandatory.
The Software Engineering Practical (SEP) for the bachelor degree programme Computer Science as well as the Engineering Practical ("Entwicklungspraktikum", EP) for Internet Computing make up an important part of the respective studies. Unfortunately there is no such practical provided for the bachelor degree programme Mathematics.
As part of one of these practicals a team of three to six students works on a medium-sized software project for a period of one semester. In the SEP five stages of development are achieved in total: Creation of a functional specification document, design, specification, implementation and validation. The work packages of the EP are analogously called analysis, design, implementation and validation.
For the SEP the courses "Software Engineering", "Programmierung II" as well as "Algorithmen und Datenstrukturen" are mandatory prerequisites. The EP additionally requires the modules "Grundlagen von Datenbanken" and "Web und Data Engineering".
Typically the practicals are scheduled in the fourth or fifth semester of the bachelor degree programme. From experience we can say that the effort may be significant, which should be taken into account when planning the other courses in the semester of the practical. At any time you can get support and help by the student committee.
During the practical one gains a lot of experience not only in software development and administration, but also in the scopes of time management, team building and communication.
At the end of the semester, there will be a final meeting where the results of all projects of the current term are presented. We advise you to attend this event in the semester before your own practical semester.
Additionally there is an important and mandatory opening event for the EP and SEP, which usually also takes place at the end of the previous semester. In order to be allowed to absolve the practical, you may not miss this event. The dates of the events will be announced by posters in the FIM as well as on the social media channels of the student council.
Languages and semester abroad
English, French and Russian may be credited as key competences for the Bachelor degree programmes Informatik and Internet Computing. In addition, a so-called UNIcert certificate can be purchased for a fee. In order to join a language course with previous knowledge, usually assessment tests are required. Students of our faculty take the test for International Cultural and Business Studies. Afterwards, you can register for one of the courses according to the level via Stud.IP. If you want to learn a language from scratch, it is sufficient to enroll in a basic-level course (Grundstufe 1.1). We recommend that you attend a course even if it is overcrowded, you are on a waiting list or if the seats in the classroom are not enough. Experience has shown that you might still get a place if you attend the course regularly.
In order to broaden your language skills and gain relevant experience, a stay abroad is also an ideal option, for example a semester or an internship abroad. Various institutions and organisations such as the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the EU's ERASMUS+ programme provide fundings for this. The International Office provides advice on organisational matters and financing.
Independently from our official partner universities, you can apply as a freemover at a foreign university on your own, but usually with increased work and organisational effort. Therefore, free placement agencies such as IEC or College Contact are available. In any case, you should start planning as early as possible (about two semesters before)!
If you are planning to take courses at the foreign university, you should check in advance whether you will be able to count those courses towards your local curriculum. For this, an equivalent course needs to exist in the module catalogue for your course of studies. Questions about credit transfers and course equivalencies can usually be answered by the programme convenor.
Scholarships are for nerds? You'd be wrong! Obtaining a scholarship is far easier than you might believe. In many cases, application is possible before or shortly after getting your graduation diploma.
Permanent scholarships with financial and ideational encouragement can be found at 13 organizations for promoting gifted students working with the Federal Ministry of Education and Science. When considering an application, you should make sure that the foundation's profile matches your own. A suitable personality profile increases the probability of acceptance significantly. The award holders of many foundations are organizing themselves in student societies at the University of Passau and will assist you with an application.
Google offers the annual Women Techmakers Scholars Program dedicated to women in IT. Despite the slim chances of success, you should not hesitate to apply if you qualify.
Furthermore, the university offers the "Deutschlandstipendium". It supports students with 300€ per month regardless of income. The scholarship is financed half by private sponsors and half by state benefits. An application is especially worthwile if you can show an excellent overall average grade, which is the first criterion for exclusion.
The university's AlumniClub awards one or more scholarships of major partners every year. The chances for STEM students are very promising.
Students in their second or higher semester who qualify for the German BAföG benefits programme have good chances of obtaining the Oskar-Karl-Forster Scholarship which provides a one-time bonus of 500€ for learning supplies like books or notebooks.
Here you can find our recommendations for your course schedules, i.e. the study plans. They give an idea about which lectures should be taken in the first, second, third, ... semester. The timetable is different each semester, depending on where and when each event takes place.
Caution: Please be aware that the following study plans may deviate from the officially recommended plans since they were adapted based on our personal experience.
- Start of studies in the winter semester
- Start of studies in the summer semester
As soon as the bachelor's degree course comes to an end, most of the students at the FIM wonder: Where do I get a supervisor and a topic for my bachelor's thesis (BT) from?
Unfortunately, there is no universal solution to this question, since every chair handles this in an individual way. However, the following text gives you some auxiliary hints and guidelines in order to pass your BT successfully.
First, you should be aware of the overall field you are interested in (programming, software engineering, networks, deep learning, etc.). Then you should make contact with the chair or chairs that represent your field of interest best. Therefore, there are basically two possibilities:
On the one hand, many chairs provide their topics online on their websites (or you can request them).
On the other hand, you can also present a custom topic to the chair. In this case, however, there is no guarantee that this topic is accepted for your thesis, as the chairs itself have a big interest in the results of those theses. For most of the chairs you can simply write an email to the professor, in some cases it is also sufficient to have a tentative talk with an employee of the chair in order to find out about possible topics.
Everything else with respect to scope, extent and time frame is then arranged together with your supervisor.
One additional hint: Sometimes thesis topics are also offered at the end of a seminar or the like, e.g. as a continuation of a chosen topic. Furthermore, some faculty events like our annual BBQ bring great occasions to get in touch with the regarding persons.
In general, it is advisable to think about your thesis at an early state in order to avoid conflicts (e.g. with the begin of a consecutive master degree course).
No need to stick to consultation hours
Most of the tutors at the FIM have an open-door policy which means that you can come at any time and you might find their doors open allowing you to ask questions. Even if the doors are closed most of the tutors will answer any questions anytime - just knock. The same holds for our office, just come by. Professors will also help you with an informal counseling interview to spot potential difficulties in your studies. Also, you should check the Stud.IP forums regularly. Questions asked and answered there will help all students in the course.
You may park in the underground parking lot for students (below the mensa, WiWi building and central library) if you are living outside of the Passau central area but no more than 90km away from Passau. You can claim access to the parking lot for your CampusCard in room JUR 017. The parking ticket which you can download via HISQIS must be placed inside your car behind the windshield where it is easily visible. Opening hours for the parking lots can be found at their entrances or here.
Registration periods for the exams
If no deviating information is provided, you need to register for all exams via HISQIS, but registration periods vary from faculty to faculty. For example, the registration period for exams of the Faculty of Business, Econonimcs and Information Systems usually starts and ends one month before exams at our faculty. Depending on your subjects you may have different registration periods for your exams! The exact times will be announced in the lectures, on Stud.IP, in HISQIS and via social media. After the official period, you can no longer register for the exam and need to wait for the next date. Speaking of the next date - usually there are two dates for exams at the FIM. The first date is right after the lectures and the second date is right before the next semester starts. Double-check whether you registered for the first or second date and bring the printout of your registered exams to the exam itself in case something goes wrong.
You may fail an exam twice but you must repeat the exam within one year after your last try. You cannot repeat an exam after you passed it. There is no way to improve your grade. Some courses have oral exams, especially when the course has few participants. Remember to prepare differently for those exams: meet up with you fellow students and ask each other questions to make sure that you can explain the concepts.
Check the grading of exams
After an exam has been graded you have the right to get an explanation of your grade. For this you need to go to the post-exam reviews. Sometimes you have to register for them - sometimes not. All the details are explained on the Stud.IP page of the course after the grades have been assigned. During these reviews you can not only check for errors in the marking but you can also learn from your own mistakes.
You should keep one semester free for your bachelor's thesis. Ask early and autonomously at a chair of your choice for a suitable thesis. After the thesis is registered, you have three months until you have to submit your thesis for the bachelor's programmes and six months for the master's programme. Please note that for master's applications to other universities you may need a final grade for the bachelor's thesis, for which chairs have up to three months time.
In the FIM library you can find up-to-date specialist literature as well as many issues of magazines. Additionally, there is a stapler and scanner for books where you can scan for free. If you have a group project you can reserve a room there if it is not already occupied.
Using the German "Du"
If you want to improve your German skills you should talk German! Germans differentiate between the informal "Du" and the formal "Sie". At the FIM all students use "Du" to address each other. This also holds for most tutors. You only need the "Sie" for professors and secretaries.
Illness during or right before exams
If you fall ill right before an exam you need to bring an attestation for this illness issued by a doctor. If you get sick during an exam you need to inform the supervisors and bring the attestation afterwards. Check the website of the Examinations Office for more details.
Electives vs. Required (Compulsory) Electives
In every bachelor's degree programme you have to choose a subject area in which you can hear additional lectures outside your own field of study — the elective. During the bachelor's degree programme, a fixed number of ECTS credits must be obtained in the elective field, which you choose retroactively when requesting your graduation certificate at the end of the degree programme.
Compulsory electives, on the other hand, are advanced courses offered at the FIM and can be chosen from a list of eligible courses independently from the elective field — there is only a certain number of ECTS credits that must be achieved. How many points each bachelor's programme requires is shown in the study plans. Which courses are eligible for credit depends on the degree programme and can be looked up in the respective module catalogue, which you can find on the university website.
The so-called key competences are usually block seminars held on a weekend. Students enrolled in the bachelor's degree programme Computer Science and Internet Computing can collect up to three ECTS credits in such seminars of the Centre for Careers and Competencies (ZKK) or in suitable language courses. In the bachelor's programme Computer Science you need a minimum of 18 ECTS credits of compulsary electives and key competences, in the bachelor's programme Internet Computing 16 credits. For the bachelor's programme of Mathematics you need three ECTS credits. The registration for these courses is meant to be done via Stud.IP in most cases and is only possible for a certain period, beginning roughly at the start of the semester. If you cannot attend a seminar you registered for, remember to cancel your registration in time as you may be treated with lower priority in the next semester otherwise. Note that not all offered seminars may be credited in your degree programme and that you need a grade in order to do so (you may need to remind the lecturer of that before you begin the course). If you are interested in further seminars that are not creditable, you can still apply for them for personal education.
Counting ECTS credit points
Keep in mind that your enrollment may be terminated if you don't achieve certain credit point thresholds within the specified amount of time or exceed the maximum duration of study of the respective degree programme.
The following table gives an overview of the ECTS credits to be achieved in order to continue studying or receive student loans in accordance with the German BAföG.
|Bachelor (all)||>= 30 after 3 Sem.|
oder >= 40 after 4 Sem.
|Master (all)||>= 20 after 1 Sem.|
oder >= 30 after 3 Sem.
Tips for the teacher training courses
Do not postpone lectures
At the end of your studies you will have to take the very time-consuming state examination, but the curriculum in the last semester usually also includes 30 ECTS credits worth of coursework. Therefore, it is advisable to take some of these courses in earlier semesters. In addition, you can also take a part of the state examination (the so-called EWS exam) prematurely, so you will "only" have to take the examinations in your two subjects and didactics at the end of your studies. So you'd be better off doing a little bit more at the beginning of your studies in order to have enough time for studying towards the end. In addition, you should consider further requirements that are necessary for enrolling in the exam (e.g. school and company internships or admission papers) which usually don't appear in the module catalogues or study plans.
Take notes (diligently!)
Of course, documents and notes should never be thrown away in any course. This is especially true for the teacher training courses: since at the end of their studies, students are required to pass the state examination, it is particularly important for them to write and retain detailed summaries - this pays off during your exam preparation.
Studying for two degrees
In order to open up further career prospects in addition to the teaching profession, a bachelor degree can be obtained in addition to the state examination (in the context of a so-called double degree programme). The additional effort required for this is usually within reason; we recommend that you inform yourself beforehand about which courses can be credited for both degree programmes and to plan them well.