Department of Mathematics

This is not a translation of the German webpage. Here you find only information which is relevant for the students in our international study programmes taught in English. Please visit our German webpage for complete information (including Bachelor's programmes and teacher training programmes in Mathematics).

Important notice: The answers in this FAQ refer only to the Master's programmes of the Department of Mathematics. They merely represent a non-binding orientation guide to the examination regulations; a legal guarantee for their correctness and completeness is therefore excluded. The respective applicable examination regulations are legally binding and can be found on the page of the respective study programme.

Studying and Examinations

The Bachelor's and Master's degree programmes are divided into modules. A module consists of one or more self-contained classes which are coordinated with regard to their subject matter and timing (e.g. lectures, example classes, seminars etc.) and include periods of private study. In general, modules are completed by a module examination. In Mathematics, usually, module examinations are given as oral examinations.

For every passed module, credit points (CP) are awarded which correspond to the approximate amount of time that the students generally require for successfully completing the module (incl. attendance of the module's classes, the preparation and follow-up of the teaching content, the completion of coursework which may be necessary, the preparation for examinations, and the sitting of the module examination). The benchmarks for the allocation of credit points shall comply with the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS). One credit point (CP) corresponds to work that requires a workload of approximately 30 hours, allowing for a workload of 900 hours on average per semester. To complete one of our M.Sc. programmes, at least 120 CP are required.

An oral exam lasts between 20 and 45 minutes depending on the number of credit points to be earned. There are usually three people present in the exam: the student, the examiner and an observer (Beisitzer), who writes a protocol. Usually, examiners are the lecturers of the lectures that are subject of the examination. After the exam, the student is asked to wait outside of the room so that the examiner can fix a grade (if necessary, after hearing the observer). This grade will be communicated to the student immediately. The following grades are possible: 1.0, 1.3, 1.7, 2.0, 2.3, 2.7, 3.0, 3.3, 3.7, 4.0, and 5.0. The grade 5.0 means that the examination is not passed.

As a rule, oral examinations can only be taken in predetermined periods, which extend from the end of the lecture period until the beginning of the following lecture period. At least three weeks before the start of the lecture-free period, each lecturer will set some dates at which she or he will offer oral examinations. These days will be visible in the Examinations Administration System (PVS) of the Department of Mathematics.

After the third Master's semester or in particular cases (e.g. in connection with studying abroad) oral examinations can also be taken during the lecture period.

The application procedure is explained in detail on the info page of the Mathematics' Examinations Office.

Passed examinations cannot be repeated!

Failed module examinations may be repeated twice, whereby the first resit must be taken within two and the second resit within four consecutive examination periods.

A list of the seminars offered for the Master's programmes can be found in the KIS system. The seminars for the next following semester are typically visible at the end of the lecture period of the current semester. A short presentation of the seminars usually takes place as part of the information events of the respective areas of specialization ("Infoveranstaltungen der Lehr- und Forschungsschwerpunkte") in the last two weeks of the lecture period. The registration modalities are announced in good time either in KIS, on the notice board or on the homepage of the lecturers. The mentor for your area of specialization can help you to select suitable seminars.

Example Classes / Tutorials

Mathematics is to a large extent learned by independent dealing with exercises. Therefore, exercises are offered for almost all lectures at the department. Typically, there is an exercise sheet weekly or biweekly for the students to work on in small groups of usually 2-3 persons. After handing in the solutions, these will be corrected, returned, and discussed in the following week's example class / tutorial. For specialized lectures in the Master's programme, also other types of exercise sheets or example classes / tutorials are possible (e.g. depending on the number of participants). 

This is not uniformly regulated and will be explained in the first lecture of a course. Most of the courses use the URM system. Once you have registered to get an account in the URM system (and the course is available in the system), you can select at each available time slot how it suits you. The definitive scheduling (and grouping) for the example classes / tutorials in small groups takes place at the end of the first week of lectures and is optimized so that as few people as possible get inaccurate appointments. In particular, it has no effect on the scheduling / grouping if you register as early or as quickly as possible.

You can try to find out if the problem is caused by your local settings by trying a different browser (or computer). If not, you can also contact urm[at]

Computer and Printing

At the Department of Mathematics, every student can print 150 pages per quarter. To display the print quota and the pages that have already been used, enter the printquota command in a terminal.

In the RHRK, you also get  a monthly quota for print outs, see the respective Information Page. You can see your consumption after Login in the RHRK's Serviceportal. Further information can be found on the website of the RHRK.

You can change your password for the CIP cluster at the Department of Mathematics with the program "Mate-Terminal" that you can find on the Desktop, with the command "passwd".

A terminal (or command line) allows direct commands to the computer. On the computers of the CIP-cluster in the computer rooms of the Department of Mathematics are e.g. the programmes console and gnome terminal available. Commands must be typed in and confirmed with Enter.

Most programs (Firefox, LibreOffice, etc.) offer a corresponding option in the print dialog.


In addition to the central library (building 32), each department has its own departmental library. The Departmental Library of Mathematics and Physics is located on the 3rd floor of building 48.

As library card serves the chip card (student ID), which you receive at the beginning of your studies.

The library catalog is online along with a search function. This website is also available on the computers in the library.

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