Glossary

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  • Language Skills
    German: Sprachkenntnisse

    Students in teacher training subjects must learn two subjects in order to be admitted to preparatory service. Documentation of their language skills is typically fulfilled by the university entrance qualification certificate. English skills are indispensable for all courses of study, sense technical literature is usually published in English.

  • Leave of Absence
    German: Beurlaubung

    In accordance with the enrollment regulation, a leave of absence can be granted upon documentation of an important reason. Applications for a leave of absence are submitted during the re-enrollment period. The RWTH Aachen Registrar's Office can provide additional information about this.


    Further Information

  • Lecture
    German: Vorlesung

    A crucial form of teacing at the university. A lecturer presents a topic, and students write down the most important information or listen. Lectures are often supllmented by additional aids such as slides, maps, transparencies, or projectors.

  • Lecture Directory
    German: Vorlesungsverzeichnis

    A directory of all the courses offered at the university during a semester. It contains information about the course time, location such as lecture hall, seminar room, or lab, and the name of the lecturer. The lecture directory is also available online in Campus.

  • M.Sc., M.A., M.Ed., or Master
    German: M.Sc., M.A., M.Ed. oder Master

    Master courses of study require an initial academic degree such as Bachelor, Magister, Diplom, or Staatsexamen. Depending on the course of study, the academic degrees Master of Science or M.Sc., Master of Arts, M.A., or Master of Education, M.Ed. are awarded.

  • Magister or Magister Artium
    German: Magister oder Magister Artium

    The academic degree Magister Artium was common for philosophical, linguistic, cultural, or historical subjects. It is no longer possible to begin or enroll in Magister courses of study at RWTH Aachen.

  • Mandatory Modules
    German: Pflichtbereich

    The mandatory modules encompass all courses that are already determined and which all students must take.

  • Medical Licensing
    German: Approbation

    The Staatsexamen in medical courses of study is a state finishing exam based on a unified exam regulation. THe medical courses of study are completed by the so called Medical Exam or Dental Exam. Medical licensing allows a doctor or dentist to practice medicine or dentistry.

  • Mentoring Program
    German: Mentoring-Programm

    A mentoring program was created as part of the RWTH-wide initiative Excellent Teaching institutional strategy to improve study conditions. The goal of the program is to individually support and promote them. The service expands and supplements the services of the departmental student advising and student representative council to include personal and individual accompaniment throughout studies.

  • Module
    German: Modul

    Modules are a collection of courses that are focused on a certain thematic or content-related focus. A module is teaching and learning unit that is over both content-wide and temporally. This unit is made up of different courses.

  • Module Handbook
    German: Modulhandbuch

    The module handbook describes the individual modules including information about the core semester, content, duration, learning goals, SWS, prerequisites, frequency, grading, rotation, examinations, and language.

  • Numerus Clausus or NC
    German: Numerus Clausus oder NC

    Numerus clausus, abbreviated as NC, is the restriction of admission to universities. The term comes from the Latin numerus for number and clausus for closed, and means a limited number, that is the the capacity for admission in certain courses of study.

  • Oral Supplementary Exam
    German: Mündliche Ergänzungsprüfung

    If someone fails the second retake of an exam and receives a grade of insufficient or 5.0, the student has the opportunity to take an oral supplementary exam. Depending on the oral supplementary exam, a student will either receive a sufficient or 4.0 or an insufficient or 5.0.

  • Orientation Period
    German: Orientierungsphase

    The orientation period is the first five weeks after lectures begin.

  • Orientation Week
    German: Einführungswoche

    First-year students in Bachelor and Staatsexamen courses of study are welcomed at the beginning of the semester with the orientation week. The week is organized primarily by the student representative councils and begins with the orientation events on the first day of the semester. Then, smaller groups are formed that are accompanied by a tutor to the week's events. Some Master's courses of study offer orientation events as well. Additional information is available at the link below.


    Further Information

  • Post-Examination Review
    German: Prüfungseinsich

    After grades are announced students can view their corrected exam or examination paper.

  • Practical Elements (Teacher Training)
    German: Praxiselemente (Lehramt)

    Bachelor studies encompass an at least four week love extracurricular or school internship. This career field internship should open up professional perspectives for students within or outside of school teaching.

    The so called suitability internship lasts at least 20 days and must be completed before beginning studies. It serves to help students reflect on their choice of studies and career. Proof of the suitability internship is an admissions requirement for preparatory service.

    Bachelor studies also encompass an at least one month long educational orientation internship, that focuses on the critical-analytic understanding of school practice and the development of a profession-oriented perspective for further studies. All are practical elements must be documented in a portfolio and are required for admission to preparatory service.

    Master's studies include an educational and subject-didactic practical semester in  teaching training corresponding to the grades and subjects.

  • Preparatory Service
    German: Vorbereitungsdienst

    Preparatory service, formerly called Refendariat, is teaching training completed at schools and state centers for practical teacher education. It lasts at least twelve months and is completed in the subject, in which a student has studied and wishes to teach.

  • Proof of Performance
    German: Leistungsnachweise

    The transcript of records offers an overview of your proof of performance. You can print out your transcript of grades yourself on Campus Office.

  • PuL
    German: PuL

     The project "Reorganization of Processes Surrounding Exam and Course Management including the Introduction of an Integrated Software Solution" or PuL for short, aims at improving the related processes, including introducing corresponding IT support. The project is hosted and coordinated by the Department of Academic Affairs and Registrar's Office. The link below provides additional information.


    Further Information

  • Reenrollment
    German: Rückmeldung

    Studients, who wish to continue their studies at RWTH Aachen, must reenroll before the start of every semester in order to continue studying. You are reenrolled as soon as you have paid the full student body and social contribution fee before the reenrollment deadline.

  • Retirement of a Professor
    German: Emeritierung

    This is retirement of a professor due to old age. The professor can voluntarily continue to hold classes and events though.

  • Schein or Slip
    German: Schein

    A casual term for proof of performance

  • Self Assessment
    German: SelfAssessment

    A self assessment is, simply put, an orientation test.  It serves to help you to realistically assess your own abilities. The individual test results offer you an opportunity to orient yourself when choosing your subject. Our Self Assessments help you get to know not only your own aptitudes and tendencies but also the demands of certain fields of study, since the tests were created in close collaboration with representatives from the individual subjects.

  • Semester
    German: Semester

    The semester indicates the academic half-year of a six month period. An academic year is broken down into a winter and summer semester. The summer semester lasts from April 1 to September 30, and the winter semester is from October 1 to March 31.

  • Semester Ticket
    German: Semesterticket

    The Semesterticket is a ticket for all public transportation in Aachen and North-Rhine Westphalia. It is valid for one semester.

  • Semester Week Hours or SWS
    German: Semesterwochenstunden oder SWS

    The semester week hours or SWS are a unit of measure for the time extent of studies. A semester week hour corresponds to 45 minutes. A SWS number is given in the exam regulations for the entire length of studies. Example: 160 SWS for a typical length of study of eight semesters means that, on average a student will have 20 hours of lectures, seminars, and exercises a week during the semester.

  • Seminar
    German: Seminar

    Courses with a smaller group of students. Selected topics are discussed and discussions are led by a seminar leader. Students often have to give a presentation or present how they worked something out.

  • Social Contribution Fee
    German: Sozialbeitrag

    Students pay a fee each semester, which finances different student institutions, Student Services, and the semester ticket, among other things.

  • Staatsexamen
    German: Staatsexamen

    Some university courses of study are not completed with an exam by the university but rather an exam in front of a state exam office, the so-called Staatsexamen. RWTH Aachen has Staatsexamen in its teacher training subjects, which are being phased out and replaced by the Bachelor and Master, and human medicine and dentistry.

  • Start of Studies
    German: Studienbeginn

    Many RWTH Aachen courses of study begin in both summer and winter semester. However some only start in the winter semester. Students interested in teacher training courses of study are recommended to start their studies in the winter semester. Prospective students should visit academic advising before beginning studies in the summer semester.

  • Stay Abroad
    German: Auslandsaufenthalt

    Students are recommend to complete a stay abroad to expand their horizons, expand their social skills, for intercultural experience, improve foreign language skills, expand technical qualifications, and build up a network. Below are possibilities for going abroad:

    • Exchange program through a university partnership
    • Application for a scholarship from the DAAD or another organization
    • Independent and individual planning for a stay abroad (independent planning, application, financing as a "free mover")

    Additional information can be found at the link below.


    Further Information

  • STEM
    German: MINT

    STEM is short for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. RWTH Aachen has begun various projects to awaken and promote school students' interests in studies in one of these areas. The link belows provides additional information.


    Further Information

  • STOEHn
    German: STOEHn

    STOEHn is the Student Online Workload Assessment. Here students enter their workload for modules online. This helps determine whether or not courses of study can be successfully completed in the scheduled time. This is joint project from all of the Aachen universities. Additional information is available at the link below.


    Further Information

  • Student Course Evaluation
    German: Studentische Lehrveranstaltungsbewertung

    Student course evaluations serve to ensure and improve the quality and efficiency of individual courses. Its primary goal is to consistently review the teaching and learning methods practiced and to give teachers constructive feedback about the courses from students' perspectives. Teachers thus receive tips and estimations, on the basis of which they can implement short-term modifications. Student course evaluations are conducted once a semester. The link below provides additional information.


    Further Information

  • Student ID
    German: Studierendenausweis

    After enrolling all RWTH Aachen students receive a student ID that services as a multifunctional chip card. This is the RWTH University BlueCard. The link below provides additional information.


    Further Information

  • Student Representative Council
    German: Fachschaft

    A student representative council is a student administrative institution that represents students' interests at RWTH Aachen. Additional information is available at the link below.


    Further Information

  • Student Services
    German: Studierendenwerk

    Student Services is a service provider for students that is responsible for the cafeterias, the different dormitories, and questions about the Federal Training Assistance Act.

  • TBA or TBD
    German: N.N.

    This stands for "to be announced" or "to be determined" when a name has not yet been provided or determined.

  • Teacher Training Center
    German: Lehrerbildungszentrum

    The RWTH Aachen Teacher Training Center or Lehrerbildungszentrum, LBZ, is a central academic institution and is not part of any of the faculties. It was founded in October 1999 with an integrated internship office and was restructured in 2010 due to law reforming teaching training from May 12, 2009 (Article 2). It then became the center of teacher training within the university.

  • Teacher Traning Subjects
    German: Lehramtsfächer

    Teaching training subjects are subjects chosen within the framework of teacher training studies. Depending on the grade level, one instructional subject, a vocational subject , a small vocational subject, or a big vocational subject. The combinations possible are legally set.

  • Termination of Enrollment
    German: Exmatrikulation

    All students who are ending studies or are switching to another university must terminate their enrollment. This means, they are no longer listed among students. Students who did not pay the semester fee on time or do not pass their course of study due to three fails also have their enrollment terminated after being previously notified.

  • Testat
    German: Testat

    Proof of an exam you have passed or successful participation in an internship or practical experience day.

  • Transcript of Records
    German: Notenspiegel oder Transcript of Records

    The transcript of records offers an overview of your proof of performance. You can print out your transcript of grades yourself on Campus Office.

  • Transfer Students
    German: Hochschulortswechsel

    If you have begun studies at another German university and wish to continue them at RWTH Aachen, you need recognition of your academic and exam performance as well as placement into a higher core semester of the chosen course of study. You can request recognition of past academic and exam work as well as placement into a higher core semester from the responsible examination board. The examination board must also issue a certificate of good standing in order for you to continue your studies. Please make sure you have information about the process, how long the process takes, and possible forms you need to submit.
    If there is no restricted admission for the higher core semesters, you can enroll with just the placement certificate and certificate of good standing. If the higher core semesters have restricted admission, a selection process takes place. You can only enroll after you have been admitted.

  • Transfer Students with New Course of Study
    German: Quereinstieg

    Changing subjects or courses of subject is always recognized as a Quereinstieg. To transfer with a new course of study you need recognition for your past academics and exams as well as placement in a higher core semester of the desired course of study. You must send a request to the responsible examination board to have your past academics and exams recognized and to be placed in a higher core semester. Please make sure you have all the necessary information about the process, the processing duration, and posisble necessary forms. If the higher core semester has open admission, you can enroll with the placement certificate. If it does have restricted admission and there is a selection process, applicants from this group are selected via a lottery.

  • Tuition Fees
    German: Studienbeiträge

    Tuition fees were discontinued in North Rhine-Westphalia, NRW, after winter semester 2010/2011. The tuition or study fees, were fees collected by the university from students to pay for teaching.

  • Tutor
    German: Tutorin oder Tutor

    Tutors are mostly student assistants who volunteer or get paid to lead exercises and practical experiences. There are also tutors in the student self-administration or the student dorms, who take care of newly enrolled students for example.

  • Typical Length of Study
    German: Regelstudienzeit

    The typical length of study is the time period in which studies should be completed. It can depend on the course of study and academic degree.

  • WiHi
    German: WiHi

    Wissenschaftliche Hilfskraft, a research assistant who is temporarily employed after final exams to assist wtih teaching and research