Mathematikon 2

Socrates - Erasmus for incoming students at the Institute of Computer Science

Welcome to the webpage of the Institute of Computer Science for incoming students of the Erasmus program.

Begun in 1987, ERASMUS is the mobility program of the European Union (EU). The aim of this program is to enhance both the collaboration of universities within the EU and other European countries (EU accession countries, Switzerland, Norway, Turkey), and the mobility of students and lecturers. The programm has now reached a second phase called 'Erasmus+' or 'Erasmus Plus', which is running from 2014 to 2020.
  • Tuition fee waiver at host university
  • Transfer of credit points for the study accomplishments
  • Support and guidance at the host university
  • Financial aid for studying abroad
You find courses of study in computer science at a lot of universities. Studying in Heidelberg means a solid application-oriented training in computer science with focus on applications in science and technology, but also arts. The aim of the program is to give students a solid fundamental knowledge in computer science with its theoretical and mathematical basis, and to train them in typical computer science methods with application in practice. This basic knowledge and these abilities enable graduates to react with flexibility to the quickly changing job profile of computer scientists. Multidisciplinary endeavours and research orientation give the course a special profile.
The bachelor course provides a broad foundational knowledge which students can apply to complex problems. This includes the handling of data (e.g. efficient data structures and data bases), the development of automatic processes (e.g. efficient algorithms and simulation), the handling of complex computer structures (e.g. parallel computing), and the handling of complex development processes (e.g. project organization and software engineering tools). Concepts of theoretical computer science and applied mathematics are indispensable. The bachelor course offers a first examination which qualifies one for a job after only 6 semesters.
The master course is based on the bachelor examination. It enables students to gain more thorough knowledge of computer science applications. In particular, the course profits from the close cooperation with the Interdisciplinary Centre of Scientific Computing especially with regard to optimization and simulation of complex phenomena in science and technology. The master course comprises another 4 semesters. After this course the wide research spectrum of the university offers a great variety of possibilities for a doctorate.
Heidelberg is a students' town with a lot of facilities for students and a high percentage of students from abroad. Renowned and involved professors work at the institute of computer science. We offer intense personal care during the course of studies. An early integration into our research activities is offered to interested students. We keep in touch with a lot of partners in industry in our region. Just as important are our international co-operations. For practical training and stays abroad we place our students in interesting positions.
The theoretical and practical knowledge are mediated by lectures, tutorials, seminars and practical work ('internships' at the university). Classes take place regularly during the semester. Exceptions might occur, so internships might be attendable during semester breaks.

Lecture (Vorlesung)
In lectures the teaching topics are presented regularly by lecturers. The weekly sessions vary depending on the lecture. Usually a lecture takes place once or twice a week and each session last 2 SWS (SemesterWochenStunden - 1 SWS corresponds to 45 minutes of readings). Based on the number of SWS and workload, the ECTS credits are determined.

Tutorials (Übung)
Active and independent discussion of the lectures' topics is an essential part of scientific study; hence tutorials are offered with various lectures. Usually those comprise of exercises, which have to be completed at home ('take-home exercises') and whose solutions eventually have to be presented by the student and discussed during the tutorial session. The tutorials also provide an opportunity to clarify general problems about lecture topics. The exercises often contain programming exercises.

Introductory seminar course (Proseminar)
As a rule an introductory seminar course should be attended from the beginning of the second semester of studies on. The purpose is the qualification of the participants to work on a mathematical or computer scientific problem and to give a 60-minute talk on that topic. Usually the basis of the topic is a simple text or paper, which can be understood with the level of knowledge obtained from basis lectures. Attendance is obligatory in all the introductory seminar course sessions. Normally a report on the topic in written form has to be handed in as well. 3 ECTS are normally granted for Proseminare.

Seminar course (Seminar)
Usually a seminar can be attended from the 4th semester on. Each participant elaborates a specific topic and gives a 90-minutes talk. Normally a report on the topic in written form has to be handed in as well. The referenced topics require well-grounded knowledge that is specified in detail in the announcement of the seminar course. Seminar courses are meant to enhance the functional independency, the understanding of computer-scientific issues and articulateness. Further research on a seminar topic might lead to a thesis topic. The attendance in all seminar courses is mandatory. 4 ECTS are granted for Seminare.

Internships at the university (Software-Praktikum)
An essential part of the studies is the practical education on the computer. That is, the development of algorithms and the implementation of software. This education is primarily provided by internships at the university. Internships can have a varying level of difficulty. This might imply the process of several connected tasks (during basic studies) or the process of a more comprehensive project ('Fortgeschrittenenpraktikum' - Advanced internship at the university during the main studies). The internship consists not only of the implementation of software but also the extensive documentation and the presentation of the results in the form of a short talk.
Further explanations: ask the lecturer under whose guidance you are doing the internship.

The course catalog ('Vorlesungsverzeichnis') is only available online. Course contents can be found either in the 'Modulhandbuch' or on the webpage of the lecturer, or under the 'Skriptsammlung' of the 'Fachschaft', the elected students representing all the students of the Department who collect all notes and texts given by lecturers and concerning their courses.
How to find courses in Computer Science and Mathematics
The 'Vorlesungsverzeichnis' for the Department - the course catalog - can be found online (LSF and Faculty's page) in March for summersemester, September for winter semester.
Some information such as room may not have been set by the time of the printing, so always check also the information online.
You find information about current courses in Computer Science here.
Information about course content and number of ECTS-points granted are to be found in the Modul handbooks for Computer Science as for Mathematics. Please always use the latest Module handbooks.For the different types of courses see paragraph 'What kinds of classes exist?'
For some courses you have to register beforehand. See the information given on LSF or on the webpage of the lecturer.

Should you wish other courses, have also a look on the courses offered by the ZITI Institute in Mannheim. Contact the head of the Department or the person giving the course you would like to participate in.

How to find German courses
Please see about German information on the Institutional Coordinator's page.
In the documents and emails sent by the Institutional Coordinator, you will receive information and application forms for German courses.
We presume that you have already reached level A2/B1 in German.

How to find a 'free elective course'
By free elective course we mean
  1. an amusing course such as sports
    See Hochschulsport for the offer
  2. a series of conferences/talks offered to students of all Faculties ('Studium Generale' for instance)
  3. a course offered by a Faculty to students of other Faculties with appropriate level
  4. courses to learn computer languages such as C, C++, Java ...
For 1. and 2. sports and conferences, the university of Heidelberg does not grant ECTS.
For 3. some courses have ECTS, others not => see in LSF or the print course catalog for 'Veranstaltungen für Hörer aller Fakultäten' for more details
For 4. see the programming courses related to the basis lecture 'Einführung' in die Praktische Informatik (with ECTS) of our Faculty (only in WS!) or proposed as one or two-weeks crash courses(C++, Python) taking place just before the lecture period begins. These courses are to be found in the category 'Praktika and Kurse'.
Think also about the courses offered by the URZ (Universitätsrechenzentrum). These last courses have NO ECTS.

Where do the courses take place?
Here you find an useful map, taken from page 88 of the 'Ersti_Info' (Summer 2016), the guide realized by the elected student representants of the Faculty (the Fachschaft) for student beginners.

What about ECTS?
In principle ECTS are granted only for courses you have participated in and you have taken the final exam.
Depending on the number of hours /week (SWS: Semesterwochenstunde) and the difficulty of the course, a certain number of ECTS are granted. The number of ECTS points granted is indicated in the 'Modulhandbuch'.
Generally 2h week course means 3-4 ECTS (Seminar, Übung), 4 h: 6 ECTS (Spezialvorlesung), 6h: (4 h Vorlesung + 2 h Übung): 8 ECTS. Some courses can have up to 12 ECTS. These values are slightly different from one Faculty to another. Please use always the most recent course catalogue.
Courses without ECTS can by request be sanctioned by a 'Teilnahmebescheinigung' (certificate of participation). [Inform you about the requisite to obtain it]. By presentation of the certificate, the course will appear on your Transcript of Records (TR) but with no ECTS and no grade.
Later, your university can still decide to grant you ECTS afterwards.
Before leaving Heidelberg, think about bringing the 'Scheine' acquired for German courses AND courses from other faculties than the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science to Ms. Proux-Wieland.
Only for courses of the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science, your note will be automatically forwarded by the lecturers' office to the Examining Office (Ms. Sopka) who will inform the Erasmus Coordinator's office (Ms. Proux-Wieland). The TR, once issued, will be scanned and mail to you and your Coordinator/central office before sending of the hard copy to your central office.
For exmatriculating turn to the central office in the old town which is also in charge of the signing of the 'certificate of host university'. You have the posibility to check your notes by logging in LSF/HISPOS with your Heidelberg university ID.

Application process for incoming students

Institutional Coordinator of the host university (AAA)
  • German language courses (intensive courses before lecture time and German courses during the lecture time)
  • Room in a student residence hall
  • Help with room hunting
  • Help with issues at the public authorities
  • Enrollment as a student (Enrollment/Exmatriculation, Certificate of Host University)
  • Contact information
    • Address: AAA Erasmus Abteilung, Incoming-Bereich, Seminarstr. 2, D-69117 Heidelberg
    • Phone: +49 (0)6221 / 54 12744
    • E-Mail:

Departmental Coordinator of the host university (Heidelberg)
  • Learning Agreement (LA)
  • Changes to LA after confirmation of home university
  • Issues and sends Transcript of Records (TR) to Departmental coordinator or Institutional Coordinator of the home university by presentation of the 'Scheine' (certificates)
  • Support in terms of teaching related issues
  • ECTS credits ('Scheine')
  • Mentoring

Institutional Coordinator of the home university
  • Application processing
  • General support

Departmental Coordinator of the home university
  • Application processing
  • General support
  • Suscribe the mailing lists of the Institute to get recent information
  • There is a special mailing list for female students
  • Overview of the search groups at the Institute for Computer Science:
  • For job offers external or internal to universtiy and for internships you can suscribe our mailing list INF-STELLEN
  • For further course-related questions the lecturers offer weekly consultation-hours ('Sprechstunde'). The Sprechstunde can either be found on the lecturers's webpage or will be announced in the beginning of the semester during the course
  • The University of Heidelberg offers a sports program for students. Most of the courses can be attended free of charge. For more information visit

Seitenbearbeiterin: Catherine Proux-Wieland
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