Key Words Concerning your Studies
APSO, FPSO, ECTS? These are just some of the acronyms and key words you will encounter throughout your studies. Below we have provided brief explanations of some of the most important terms to help ease the transition to university life.
Are you looking for more information on the documents required for application or admission? Visit our Glossary of Documents.
- APSO (General Academic and Examination Regulations)
- ASTA (Student Council Executive Committee)
- BAföG (German Federal Education and Training Assistance Act)
- Bologna Process
- ECTS (Credits)
- Aptitude Test
- Student Council
- Departments and Schools
- FPSO (Examination and Academic Regulations for your degree program)
- Leistungspunkte (Credits)
- Examination Certificate
APSO (General Academic and Examination Regulations)
The General Academic and Examination Regulations (APSO) for the bachelor’s and master’s degree programs at the Technische Universität München detail the binding procedural regulations for all degree programs at TUM with regard to:
- duration of studies
- program structure
- sequence of courses
- form of module examinations (e.g. type and date of exam)
- exam administration (e.g. registration, grading, cheating, repeat exams)
- auditing bodies and examination office
We recommend that you familiarize yourself with the APSO as failure to comply with regulations may have negative consequences for your studies, including final failure to complete the degree program.
The Examination and Academic Regulations (FPSO) for individual degree programs at TUM detail the requirements specific to those programs regarding admission to examinations, examination requirements, and the course of studies.
The acronym AStA stands for Allgemeiner Studierendenausschuss, or Student Council Executive Committee. The chair, advisors, and representatives of the AStA are elected by the student council, a university-wide body consisting of representatives from each of the colleges and schools. For more information about the council members, the duties and activities of the AStA, and how to get involved, click here.
The bachelor’s degree is the first qualifying degree, awarded after 6 to 8 semesters of study. Depending on the degree program in which students complete their studies, they are awarded one of three academic titles: the Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Education (BEd) or Bachelor of Science (BSc). Students holding a bachelor’s degree may continue their studies toward a master’s degree directly upon completion of the bachelor’s or after gaining professional experience in their field.
You can find more information about bachelor’s degree programs currently offered at TUM here and on the websites of the individual colleges and schools.
BAföG stands for Bundesausbildungsförderungsgesetz, or the German Federal Education and Training Assistance Act. This law regulates educational support measures for post-secondary school students, university students and those pursuing vocational certification as Master. The acronym BAföG is also used to refer to the financial grant awarded within the parameters of this legislation. The federal government makes these grants available to students when neither their parents’, spouse’s, nor their own financial means are able to cover the costs of living and study.
Applications for the BAföG can be submitted only to the Financial Aid Office at the Studentenwerk München. The office also offers advising and support services to students regarding application procedures.
In a joint statement issued on 19 June, 1999, in Bologna, 29 European countries agreed to create a European Higher Education Area. This statement marked the beginning of the so-called “Bologna Process,” whose three main goals constitute fostering mobility, boosting international competitiveness and increasing employability.
The time line for the implementation of this agreement was set for 2010 and there have been 5 subsequent conferences since Bologna in Prague, Berlin, Bergen, London, and Leuven. In the meantime, some 47 countries are taking part in the Process.
Credits represent points awarded for work completed successfully in a given modul (Credits are commonly referred to as credit points, ECTS points, CP or ECTS credit points).
The greater the total student workload required to complete a module, the higher the number of credits the module is assigned. The rule is: 1 Credit ≙ 30 hrs student workload.
In a module awarding 5 credits, students are expected to invest 150 hours of work time, or (5 x 30h). The determination of workload is based on a variety of variables, including contact hours (e.g. time spent in lectures, exercise courses, seminars, etc.) and independent study (e.g. time spent for preparation and review of course content, the completion of homework and exercise course materials, and time spent preparing for exams).
Credits are not awarded for merely attending the module, but only after verification of successful completion of the module exam.
There is a dean for each department at TUM. He or she represents the department within the university and to the general public. You can find out here who holds this position at your college or school.
Aptitude Test (EFV)
In addition to their qualification through the allgemeine Hochschulreife (high school diploma, A-levels), students applying to most bachelor’s degree programs at TUM are required to complete an aptitude test for their desired course of study. The aptitude test is administered according to the regulations spelled out in Art. 44 Para. 4 of the Bavarian Higher Education Act (BayHSchG), stating that the student’s final grade point average on the Abitur (HS diploma, A-levels) is to be weighed at least equal to criteria including the personal interview, aptitude test, grades in individual courses pertinent for the desired course of study, as well as relevant work experience or other vocational activities. You can find out on the homepage of your college or school if an aptitude test is required for your degree program.
The student council is made up of student representatives from each college and school, who represent the interests of students to the heads of faculty of their college or school, the university president and board of management. Select members of the student council serve on the faculty and university councils, where they represent students concerning matters such as the use of tuition fees or the selection of professors. The student council organizes an orientation for first-semester students or events in the semester break and serves as an important source of information for questions and concerns regarding all aspects of your study.
To find out who your student representatives are, what kind of activities they organize, and how you can get involved, visit the homepage of your college or school.
A group of related disciplines forms a university department or school. There are 11 departments and schools at TUM. Please consult the degree program descriptions to find out to which of the departments and schools your degree program belongs.
TUM provides all students, potential students, employees and alumni the opportunity to participate actively in the improvement of the university. Suggestions, ideas, and complaints regarding all aspects of study and work at TUM can be submitted using our online form.
FPSO (Examination and Academic Regulations)
The Examination and Academic Regulations (FPSO) for your degree program spell out the requirements for admission to examinations, the exam requirements, and the sequence of courses in the program’s degree plan.
We recommend that you familiarize yourself with the FPSO for your degree program, as failure to comply with regulations may have negative consequences for your studies, including final failure to complete the degree program.
You can find the FPSO for your program in your program description under the key word “FPSO”.
The examination certificate provides an overview of the examinations you have passed. You can view and print your examination certificate at the TUMonline portal.
Admittance to a master’s degree program requires that students have attained an initial degree such as a Bachelor’s, Master’s, Diploma or State Exam. Master’s programs can be completed in 1 to 2 years of full-time study. One of the following academic titles will be awarded respective to the individual degree program: Master of Science (MSc), Master of Arts (MA), Master of Education (MEd).
More information on master’s programs currently offered at TUM is available here here and on the homepages of the individual departments.
Modules are the building blocks of the bachelor’s and master’s degree programs. A module consists of one or more courses whose content and scheduling are coordinated with one another. A module may consist of various forms of teaching and learning methods, such as lectures, exercise courses, seminars, project seminars, independent study, project work, homework, e-learning units, etc.
As a rule, most modules require an examination, usually administered at the end of the semester. Students earn credits for the successful completion of a module. Each module has a “module description” describing the course content and learning objectives.
- required module: These courses are compulsory (i.e. students must attend and pass) for all students enrolled in the respective degree program.
- required elective modules: Students may choose from among a limited range of compulsory (i.e. students must attend and pass) courses amounting to X credits.
- elective module: These courses may be freely selected (as a rule, from within a specific module catalogue) by students. If students do not pass an elective module, they may replace it with another elective module.
Modules required for your degree program are listed in your program’s FPSO.
The Examination Committee is responsible for the administration of exams. It makes decisions regarding the content and interpretation of examination regulations and deals with all matters which may arise concerning exams but which are not explicitly detailed in those regulations. More information about the Examination Committee can be found in § 29 of the APSO.
Standard Duration of Study
“Standard duration of study” refers to the time required to complete the requirements of a course of study. The timeframe for completion of your studies varies according to the specific degree program and academic qualification being pursued.
Students intending to continue their studies at TUM must re-enroll at the beginning of each semester. Official re-enrollment coincides with receipt of full tuition payment within the official re-enrollment period.
Students who do not re-enroll within the period stipulated and according to the regulations defined in §9 of the statues governing enrollment, re-enrollment, leaves of absence and withdrawal will be automatically withdrawn from the university. More
TUM extends across three different locations in Bavaria: Munich, Garching and Weihenstephan. These campuses are home to the 11 departments of TUM, as well as its major research centers. Locations of TUM
Student union fees
Student union fees consist of the amount for the basic student union fee and the fees for the basic semester ticket. More information on student union fees
Dean of Studies
The dean and the dean of studies of a department form the administrative head of the department. The dean of studies is responsible for all matters concerning study and teaching. To find out who holds this position in your college or school, refer to the college’s calling card at TUMonline.
The Student Advising Office at TUM answers questions about the degree programs offered at TUM, as well as a range of other matters related to your study, including application and admission, admission without the Abitur (high school diploma, A-levels), advancing from bachelor’s to master’s programs, changing your major, terminating your studies, or pursuing a double degree. More information on the range of services offered by the student advising office is available here.
For questions relating directly to your course of study, please consult your Departmental Student Advising Office.
Departmental Student Advising
Every degree program offers departmental student advising on questions and concerns related directly to the content and course of your studies, as well as to your future career field. Here you can find out who holds this position in your program.
Schedule of Courses
To see an overview of the courses offered in your degree program in the current semester, including dates, times, and places of group meetings, go to the “study status/curriculum” tab of your calling card on TUMonline, then to “semester plan” and click, then, on the calendar symbol. For more information refer to the website for TUMonline instructions.
Thesis (final work of the respective degree programs)
The bachelor’s or master’s thesis is the final work of the respective degree programs. The thesis is compulsory for all bachelor’s and master’s programs. It represents an opportunity for the student to demonstrate his or her ability to perform scholarly work independently, using scientific methods.
Six to 12 credits (the equivalent of 180 to 360 workload hours) are awarded for the bachelor’s thesis; for the master’s thesis 30 credits (900 workload hours) are awarded. More
TUMonline is the Campus Management System for all colleges and schools at TUM. You are likely to have familiarized yourself to some degree with TUMonline during the admissions process. You will use the management system throughout your studies for a variety of administrative tasks, such as registering for classes and exams, downloading test scores, and much more, so it is best that you familiarize yourself with it as soon as possible. An introduction to the management system is available here.
Workload is expressed in hours and constitutes the basis of assigning the number of credits to modules. The rule is: 1 credit ≙ 30 h of student workload.
A variety of factors in addition to time spent in the classroom (contact time) are taken into consideration when calculating student workload, including independent study. The latter accounts for preparation and review times for lecture material, exam preparation time, as well as time required to prepare reports, homework, project assignments, and e-learning units.
Expressing workload in terms of credits serves to make transparent for students, teachers and administrators the amount of work required to successfully complete a given degree program and that the program’s objectives can realistically be achieved in the specified number of semesters. The target of 30 credits per semester is, thus, equivalent to a total of 900 working hours per semester. Based on a 46 week course of study, with 6 weeks of vacation per year, this is equivalent on average to a 39 hour work week.