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Educational organisationThe programme's curriculum covers the areas of theoretical computer science, communication, data and information management, applied computer science, and software engineering. Students may take courses of no more than 35 credits in each of these areas, but are required to take courses of at least twelve credits in theoretical computer science as well as at least 16 credits in software engineering. In addition, a mandatory course on the management of large software system engineering projects is also required. During the programme, students must take two further seminars and a lab course.
The course contents will be structured according to the ECTS (European Credit Transfer System). Each student will be assigned a professor from the Computer Science Department as a personal mentor.
Forms of assessmentThe Master's examination consists of course-related exams, the two seminars, the lab course, an oral core exam on courses of 12 to 18 credits, and the Master's thesis. The thesis is typically undertaken in the final six months of the programme and can be written in cooperation with industry or at the university.
Course objectivesWhilst a Bachelor's degree in computer science typically qualifies a person to participate in large-scale software projects, the Master's degree provides the skills needed for leadership. Graduates of the Software Systems Engineering programme are expected to be technically innovative, to work as systems architects, and to manage large projects. Graduates will also have the necessary qualifications to pursue a doctoral degree.
Language requirementsCandidates must be able to speak and write fluently in English (TOEFL iBT >90 points or IELTS 5.5). English-speaking students attend a basic German language course that will start in August, two months prior to the beginning of the Master's programme.
Academic requirementsFirst degree (Bachelor of Sciences or Engineering) in computer science, computer engineering, informatics, or any other closely related discipline, awarded by an internationally recognised university-level institution
Candidates should have performed above average in their undergraduate studies.
Candidates should have a substantial background in computer science and mathematics. Typically, this would include courses in the following areas: calculus, linear algebra, discrete mathematics and logic, probability theory, fundamentals of computer programming, computer architecture, data structures, analysis of algorithms, programming languages, computability and complexity theory. In addition, applicants should have taken at least two advanced undergraduate courses on specialised topics such as distributed systems, information systems, operating systems, or compilers.
The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is strongly recommended.
Enrolment feesAll students are subject to a student service fee of currently approx. 230 EUR per semester.
Costs of livingThe average cost of living and studying, including food, accommodation, personal and social expenses, and study-related costs, is estimated to be 700-900 EUR per month.
Job opportunitiesInternational students have very limited options of working while studying. Therefore, it is not possible to finance your entire studies by working. There are teaching and research assistant positions available, which are, however, normally first awarded to students who have already started their academic studies in a programme. Students working as teaching or research assistants may work a maximum of 19 hours a week. By law, a student from outside the EU is permitted to work either 120 full days or 240 half days per calendar year. We do caution students to be careful about taking on outside work commitments, as completing a Master's degree within the designated two years will be difficult if a student spends too much time away from his or her studies.
Funding opportunities within the universityA limited number of scholarships from various organisations is available to help students finance their studies. Please see the following website for a list of exchange programmes, scholarships, and grants, together with their specific application requirements and conditions, and/or contact the International Office directly for advice and assistance.
Arrival supportThe International Office's Info Service Centre (ISC) provides information and services for international students and visiting scientists at RWTH Aachen University upon their arrival in Aachen. RWTH Aachen University considers the integration of international visiting scientists and students an important task and, in order to reach this goal, offers the following assistance to international students and scientists:
- accommodation information
- assisting students during admission procedures
- registering your address with local authorities
- opening a bank account
- insurance matters
- locating pertinent university and city offices
- tips for finding a job in Aachen
Services and support for international studentsGerman language course (starting in August); intensive course guidance and counselling; sports and social activities. See "arrival support".
AccommodationRWTH Aachen University has a limited number of dorm rooms and studio apartments. However, there are usually waiting lists for these rooms, and students will probably need to find private accommodation first. There are a number of options for finding private accommodation in and around Aachen, and the International Office can provide students with information beforehand or upon their arrival.
For a furnished room, the average rent per month is about 200 EUR to 250 EUR, and for a two-three room flat, the average rent per month starts at 300 EUR. Please note that there are only a very limited number of family apartments in the university dorms, which is why students who bring their spouses or families with them will most likely need to find private accommodation.
For short-term accommodation, there are many hotels and a youth hostel.