Frequently asked questions
We collected questions asked frequently by our master students and answer them here. We appreciate if you consult the FAQs before contacting the student advisory.
Note: If you submit a form as email attachment, please send us scans in PDF format. There are various apps you can use for that. For example, Dropbox has an option scan document. Thank you.
Navigating the University
I am confused by the different online portals. Where do I find what?
StudOn: think of StudOn as a personalized storage room for all your courses. On StudOn, the instructors upload lecture material and information, you can upload assignments and communicate with your peers / fellow students. You can join groups for all your courses there (some are password restricted, you will get the password in the first lecture). It is also where the instructors post all updates and news relevant to the course.
Important: for seminars and tutorials, you can join the StudOn course only in a limited timeframe. This is because the number of participants is limited, so make sure to be quick!
Campo: think of this as an administration office. This is where you can get all official documents, certificates and grades. It is also where you register for an exam and find information on its date and status. Also it is a public catalogue for courses. This is where you can see all courses offered with the relevant information, and create your timetable.
Where are the class rooms of our Institute?
All courses will be held in the building complex Kochstraße / Bismarckstraße. In the course description on UniVis, you can click on the hyperlink with the room number and it will pop up exact GPS coordinates you can use on your phone. Most lectures are held in room 05.054, on the top floor (5th) of Kochstraße 4 (German: Seminargebäude). Some lectures might be taught in room A 401, which is at Bismarckstraße 1, in the Annex A of Audimax (north tower). Most seminars are held in room 01.055, on the second floor of Kochstraße 4. See the map here for reference.
All members of our staff have their offices on the first floor of Kochstraße 4 (see “Seminargebäude” on this map. If you want to see a staff member, please check their office hours beforehand. We are happy to make time for you. On the same floor, there is also a study room for everyone in our programme with computers you can use.
Where can I find more information to get started here at FAU?
- Information about and from the Institute
- Information for International Students
- Facebook Group for DEIS Master
- City of Erlangen Administration (German: Rathaus)
Whom can I contact if I have study-related questions?
You can contact the student representatives (email@example.com)
How do I set up my class schedule?
There is no pre-set class schedule, you are free to put together your own schedule. For guidance, we recommend you start with the curriculum posted on our website. You do not have to stick to this exact outline, but it is your responsibility to make sure you complete all requirements of your MA DEIS study programme. We highly recommend you take the Compulsory Modules for each semester as outlined in the curriculum. For the other courses, you have more freedom, see below.
Where do I find the offered courses?
All courses offered by our Institute can be found on Campo. In the Course catalogue under Faculty of Humanities you can then find Development Economics.
Note that you can select the semester in the top rightleft-hand corner. In Campo, you can also find courses from all other Departments and Faculties. In the search bar at the top, you can use the drop-down menu to search by instructor, title or topic, please see the next question for more information on courses offered by other Institutes, Departments or Faculties. If you use “Search for a lecture”, you can use the option “show all possible search criteria”. This option allows you to find all courses taught in English.
How many courses or credits can I take / should I take?
We recommend you to do 30 ECTS each semester as indicated in the curriculum. However, you are free to take more courses if you wish. You may also register for more than 30 ECTS and decide to drop some of the workload before exams if it proves too much (see the topic on Exams). If you decide to take fewer courses, please be mindful to stay on track to graduate within 4 (5) semesters.
Most courses offered by our Institute have 5 ECTS. The number of ECTS for each course is always indicated in the course description in Univis, it can be less or more than 5 ECTS.
How do I sign up for courses?
For most courses (especially taught courses) from our Institute, you do not need to sign up before attending. You can just show up on the first day at the classroom given in Univis. In the first class, the instructor will tell you everything else you need to do for that specific course. Attending a class does not obligate you to take the exam, but also does not mean you are automatically registered. This is a separate process, see topic on Exams.
Exceptions: a) some courses (especially seminars) require registration before the start of the semester. If that is the case, then you would find this information on Univis. In this case, you can register for the respective course on mein Campus (Veranstaltungen > Veranstaltungen der gesamten Universität > respective semester) b) language courses have a separate sign-up procedure and may require a placement test, please refer to the language center (German: Sprachenzentrum) c) courses not offered by our Institute may differ; again check Univis, and see the question below.
What courses count as Regional, Elective or Elective Complementary Modules?
Regional Modules have to be a) at the Master’s Level b) related to the topics of the DEIS and c) specifically related to one geographical area, e.g. Latin America, China, MENA, etc.
Elective Modules do not focus on a specific geographical area but have to be a) taught at the Master’s level and b) related to the topics of DEIS. Especially for the subject area of International Studies, there may be suitable offers from other Institutes of the Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Theology, or by the Faculty of Business, Economics, and Law.
Elective Complementary Modules are always non-graded (they do not count towards the overall grade). They serve to broaden the scope of your studies, including language studies, courses from other fields, supplementary courses such as the statistics refresher course, and even internship credit.
In general, the courses follow a hierarchy, with Regional Modules having the tightest requirements. Therefore, any course that counts as a Regional Module can also be chosen as an Elective Module or Elective Complementary Module. Any course that counts as an Elective Module, can also be chosen as an Elective Complementary Module.
Can I take courses that are not offered by the Institute?
Yes, you may take other courses. The courses we offer in Univis are the safe choice but it is up to you to select courses from other faculties, departments or institutes.
Elective Complementary Modules (non-graded) can be any course from the university, including but not limited to language courses, and can be any number of ECTS. Also internships can be considered as elective complementary modules.
Elective Modules or Regional Modules (graded) can only be used if the course is a) taught at the Master’s level and b) related to the topics of DEIS. To be on the safe side, please check with Mr. Prof. Dr. Landmann and send a link of the course from Campo before you finalize your schedule. Also, you will have to indicate all external courses on the excel spreadsheet we send to you before exam registration.
In general, it is your responsibility to make sure the instructor allows students from other departments to enroll on the course, and to follow the registration procedure. Courses from the Master of Human Rights are not open to DEIS students, and courses at the Wiso Business School in Nürnberg often require registration via StudOn.
Can I get credits for internships?
Yes, you can get up to 10 credits for internship work, but only as Elective Complementary Modules. Per 30 hours of work, you receive 1 ECTS, so the maximum you can get credit for is 300 hours of work for 10 ECTS. To get the credit, you will have to:
- fill out the form here: see here.
- write a short summary on how the work relates to our program (no template available)
- get a confirmation from your employer including the hours you worked and the job description.
Please send all documents to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note: If you do an internship inside the EU (but outside Germany) and if the internship is no longer than 60 days, you can apply for an Erasmus SMP scholarship. In this case, please hand in the following application form: https://www.fau.de/international/wege-ins-ausland/praxisaufenthalt-im-ausland/erasmus-praktika/
Word of Caution: We do realize that the German exam process can be stressful and confusing for students from other education systems. Please read the following information carefully and be sure to clarify any specific situation before the exams to avoid conflict. Re-taking failed exams and dropping courses is relatively common in Germany but the formal process allows very few exceptions, so please make sure you are aware of your options and obligations.
Disclaimer: The statements made here are not legally binding. The binding rules and regulations can be found here. Only the official Examination Rules (German: Prüfungsordnung) count.
When do exams take place?
Regular exams are held in the last two weeks of the lecture period or the first two weeks of the lecture- free period (“semester holidays”). Re-sit examinations are held in the last two weeks of the lecture-free period or the first two weeks of the lecture period of the next semester. You can see the exact dates of exams on our website (https://www.economics.phil.fau.eu/study/examinations/) or on MeinCampus > Prüfungen.
How do I register for exams?
Exam registration opens halfway through the semester, and we will send you an email notification to remind you. You have to go to MeinCampus > Prüfungen and register all your planned exams before the deadline. For each course, you have to decide what examination number you want to use. You can use each examination number only once. When in doubt, double check your current grade overview in MeinCampus, it shows the numbers you already used. Under “Angemeldete Prüfungen” you can check which exams you registered for.
Can I make changes after the deadline?
No, you cannot make changes after the deadline, so please be mindful when you complete your exam registration. You cannot change a module from graded to non-graded or vice versa. You cannot change the number under which you registered a course, and you cannot add courses. However, you may still drop a course until 3 working days before the exam without any consequence or penalty (see De-registering below)
How does the German grading system work?
Please refer to the University’s guideline on German grading and the ECTS grading system: https://www.fau.eu/international/international-applicants/semester-abroad-at-fau/starting-your-studies/ects-and-german-university-grades/. In general, 1.0 constitutes a perfect grade, and 4.0 is the minimum grade you need to pass a course. The exact grading key for each course is set by the instructor at his or her discretion.
What happens when I pass, fail or drop an exam?
De-register: you may drop a course until 3 working days before the exam without any consequence, it will be as if you never took the course. Please note that you are not allowed to take the re-sit exam in this case.
Pass: if you get a passing grade (4.0 or better), you can see the grade and ECTS gained on MeinCampus. Please note that you cannot re-take the exam to improve your grade. You can also not take a different course and substitute, each module number can only be used once.
Fail: if you do not pass the exam (worse than 4.0, no show, or turning in blank paper), you have to retake the exam at the earliest possible date (usually re-sit exam or second submission in the case of a seminar). If you fail the re-sit, you get a third and final try. If you fail the third time, you completely failed the MA and you cannot get the degree. For seminars with papers, see below.
Note that the date of the third attempt can be as late as a full year later if, as usual, the course is offered annually: you may take your final try together with next year’s students and may benefit from attending lectures again to prepare adequately.
No-Show and Blank Exams: if you do not show up for an exam that you registered for, or you show up but turn in a blank paper, this counts as an automatic fail. For all further procedures, see the paragraph on “Fail” above. Contrary to popular belief, the only exception to this rule is medical certificates, see below.
Doctor’s Note (Notification of Sickness): if you do not show up, but can present a medical certificate of sickness (German: Attest) for the date of the exam, you are excused from the exam, it does not count as an attempt. Please fill out the notification of sickness (https://www.fau.de/files/2015/08/Krankmeldung.pdf) and send it – along with the medical certificate – to the Examinations Office within three days after the exam. In the case of sickness, you can take the exam on the date of the re-sit and this will be your first attempt. If you fail this first attempt, you can then try two more times (see above). Please communicate with your instructor in advance if you have a medical certificate.
What happens if I fail a seminar paper?
In this case, it is up to your instructor to set up the process for you to re-do the work. Normally, you get a new topic and have to write a new paper by the deadline your instructor gives you, so please communicate individually. In any case, you get a fresh start, so the result of the “failed” paper does not impact the grade on your second attempt.
MeinCampus is not showing all my grades. Do I need to do anything?
No, you do not need to worry. For Elective Modules and Elective Complementary Modules, the system does not incorporate all grades until you have finished all courses in that category. In general, examiners are asked to publish grades within 6 weeks, but the rule is not binding. Due to administrative issues, it is not unusual for grades to be delayed, there is no need to worry.
Can I review how the instructor graded my exam?
Yes, there is an official exam review session for each course. The dates are listed next to the exam date in MeinCampus > Prüfungen and are also published on our website.
Can I change elective modules if I realize that I want to a different elective module?
Students can change the course within a regional or an elective module (e.g. from China’s Economic Development to Business & Society in Latin America). However, the number of failed attempts with that module number is not reduced to zero. If you failed an elective module A and then switch to another elective module B, then the first exam of elective module B will be your second attempt. You have a total of three attempts.
How can I contact the Examination Office and where do I find the forms?
Please go to this website.
What is the process for studying abroad?
We do not require academic studies abroad but we encourage students to consider spending a semester abroad, preferably the third one. We will hold an information session on studying abroad in December and explain the procedures in detail. The application deadlines for the exchange programmes of our Institute can be found here. Please note that for other exchange programmes (e.g. from other faculties or university-wide exchange programmes) different application deadlines apply.
How do I take care of Compulsory Courses while I am abroad?
You will need to find equivalent courses to satisfy those requirements and confirm this on a case-by-case basis with the instructors (currently Prof. Kähler and Prof. Dr. Fifka). We are generally flexible and will work with you to find a good solution. We ask you to research the course options at your host university beforehand, so we can make an informed judgement.
How do I transfer credits from a university abroad?
Before the start of your stay abroad:
First of all, you should inform yourself thoroughly about the courses offered by your host university abroad. Think about which achievements you would like to have recognized for at the FAU. Find the relevant course instructor at FAU to show him or her the syllabus of the course to be credited. Once he or she has agreed, you can fill out the Learning Agreement and have it signed by Mrs. Prof. Dr. Binzel.
During your stay abroad:
The Learning Agreement may be changed during your stay abroad. However, this is only possible in consultation with Mrs. Prof. Dr. Binzel. You should receive an official confirmation of the completed courses (Transcript of Records) before your return. If necessary, you should contact the host university to find out how and by when this will happen.
After your stay abroad:
Submit an application for recognition (Antrag auf Anerkennung) and the Transcript of Records to Mrs. Prof. Dr. Binzel. She will check the documents and sign the application for recognition. You should send the signed application for recognition to the examination office, which accredits the achievements.
In the case of an Erasmus+ partnership, you also have to fill out the Erasmus+ learning agreement. See the question below for help on this form. The Erasmus+ Learning Agreement must be signed by the Erasmus coordinator for the subject in which you have been awarded for the Erasmus study place. After completing your time abroad as an Erasmus+ student, all participants are required to fill out a final report online (EU Online Survey). Documents and further information can be found here.
In general, it is not possible to take Bachelor’s courses for graded Modules (Regional or Elective Modules).
How are foreign grades and credits converted to the German grading system?
The grade conversion depends on the country, please see the following document for more detailed information: https://www.phil.fau.de/files/2016/01/Umrechnung-ausl%C3%A4ndischer-Noten.pdf
We offer an information session for the master thesis at our institute (usually in January). You will receive an invitation for this session by e-mail.
For all official information on writing a thesis at FAU, please see the documents below, the most relevant articles are §31, §32 and §38.
- English: https://www.doc.zuv.fau.de//L1/PO/Phil/APO_Bachelor_Master/englisch/Allg_StuO_PrO_%20BA-MA_%20Phil_ABMStPO_Phil_20070927_idF_20180801_en.pdf
Can I change my thesis title after registration?
In general, it is not possible to change subjects more than two weeks after formally registering the topic. You should discuss this issue with the Examination Office and your supervisor(s). This is based on § 32 BA Thesis, as quoted below:
“(5)1 The subject of the Bachelor’s [here Master’s] thesis may be modified during the thesis work period upon request and with the permission of the person who allocated the subject.”
Where do I find the form for the sworn declaration?
There is no pre-set form, you may use page 5 of this form for guidance.
What media can I use for the electronic version?
It can be on a CD, DVD or USB, please double-check for readability. Please note that you have to certify that the electronic version and the printed version match exactly.
Registration for the semester after finishing the MA thesis
It is up to you whether you want to be registered for the following semester. You have to be enrolled on the day on which you submit your Master thesis. On the very next day, you can exmatriculate yourself. For this, you have to hand in the exmatriculation form at the Student Records Office.
If you do not pay the semester fee for the following semester, you will automatically be exmatriculated. If you register for the following semester, then you are officially a student until the end of the following semester. You will automatically be ex-matriculated at the end of the semester in which you finished the MA.
You might want to discuss this with the Aliens Department (“Ausländerbehörde”) as your visa status might depend on your student status. It is also true that for some internships you need a student status. You should consider this when you decide whether you want to register for the following semester or not.
Please note that registering for the next semester does not affect the submission deadline for your MA thesis if you are currently in your fifth semester.
When do I get ex-matriculated?
You will automatically be ex-matriculated at the end of the semester in which you finished the MA. You can ex-matriculate yourself after you submitted your MA thesis but you do not have to.