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Which university is the right one for me?

What defines a university?

Universities are schools of higher education, which completely represent the sciences. That means that you find a wide range of courses that covers the natural and engineering sciences, the social sciences, humanities, law and economics, and so on. The offers of universities are standing on two columns: research and education. The research is mainly orientated on basic sciences and is about the mediation of general and deepened knowledge and the learning of methods of autonomous working. That's why this kind of study demands a great deal of self-organisation.

There are also pedagogical and technical universities, universities of physical education, religious universities and the military universities. Graduations are only possible at these universities.

In what does the university distinguish itself from a university of applied sciences (UAS)?

The name already explains it: a university of applied sciences offers courses which are application-orientated. The offer of courses is - as at a normal university -  widely ranged and classified into natural, social, economical, technical and artistic sciences. Only the humanities are reserved for universities.
Based on scientific knowledge the intention of studies at a UAS is mainly the practical reference. This is achieved by the learning-programme, which is in general structured tightly, and by prescribed internships, which have the intention to give you first impressions of the professional world from the beginning of your studies on. Many UAS' also have technological transfer centers, which tighten the bond to the economy.

How can attend a university with an advanced technical college entrance qualification?

Simplest is in Hessen. Here students are able to attend bachelor-courses at universities with their advanced technical college entrance qualification. That means that both the degrees are practically on equal terms in this province. It is also simple at universities who have merged with an UAS (e.g. the university of Lüneburg). Here you can attend some courses with your UAS-entrance qualification. In some provinces there is the possibility to change to a university after having passed the intermediate exams; but you have to stay in the same faculty. Further on everyone who has received his bachelor degree can attend a master's study at a university, because he has his first business-qualifying degree.

Can I do a doctor's degree with the master's degree of an UAS?

A general answer is not possible here. The universities can handle the choice of their students by their own. Right now many universities are willing to make it possible for UAS’ graduates to do their doctor's degree - if certain qualifications are given.

How can I apply for an art academy or a conservatory?

During the winter-term 2005/06 only 2% of all students were attending an artistic school of higher education. Who wants to apply for an art academy or a conservatory has to provide a special qualification. The qualifying examination is passed at the university itself and demands from the applicant to prove his talent. For a building or a creative course the first big step to take is your portfolio. That means, only who can persuade with his work samples is invited to pass the qualifying exams.

Do I need a high-school diploma to attend an artistic school of higher education?

Some universities accept students who don't have a high-school diploma but who dispose of outstanding artistic talent. But don't underestimate the term "outstanding artistic talent".

Shall I rather attend a big or a small university?

From the number of students you almost can suggest the contact to the professors and lecturers. Bigger universities are mass-institutions in which the individual quickly gets lost. In smaller universities the classes are not that packed, but smaller university also means smaller library and smaller range of programmes of study. If you can't make a decision visit the universities you are interested in. And don't forget: no university in Germany is so bad that you can't study there, and no locality has only disadvantages.

If there still should be questions ask us - we'll try to help.

, Editor in Chief
hartmann@no-spamstudieren.de