Student Representatives of Materials Science

Information for First Year Students

You just started studying in Stuttgart? You will find a bunch of useful information here to make your start easier! Important dates, contact addresses and FAQ compiled in one place.

Welcome Events and Introductory Meetings

Welcome to our master's program at the University of Stuttgart! The first week of the winter semester 2020/21, October 26.-30. is an introduction week that should give you the chance to get to know the campus and your fellow students. You will also have time to familiarize yourself with the university's online platforms C@mpus and ILIAS.

Some events have been organized by stuvus, the joint representation of student reps of all programs at the university. Though most of them will be in German, this will be the ideal chance for you to improve if you are already learning some.

Find all meetings specific to our program below.


Date Time Place What?
Monday, 26.10. 15:00 Webex Welcome Meeting by the Student Reps1
Tuesday, 27.10.  14:00 Webex Official Introduction Meeting M.Sc. Materials Science: All Important Information2
Wednesday, 28.10. 10:00 Webex Official Introduction Meeting B.Sc. Materialwissenschaft: Wichtiges zum Studienbeginn
Friday, 30.10. 20:00 Discord Online Games-Night - Get to know fellow students and the student reps!
Not yet decided    

! Has to be delayed !

Campus tour with the student reps3

Wednesday, 24.11. TBD MPI Welcome Meeting: The professors and student reps introduce themselves, meet fellow students4

[1] A brief welcome event where we will introduce ourselves and talk a bit about how things work. Of course we will also answer any questions. Please let us know your preferred language if you'd like to take part so we can set up a separate Masters group. Otherwise we'll join the German speaking masters students with the bachelors.

[2] For all general information, an overview of the most important rules, how to register for exams and much more. You should have received an invitation, already. We strongly advise you attend this meeting.

[3] We will offer this campus tour in small groups during which we will show you the most important facilities on campus so you can find your way around once everything returns to normal. Please note that we have to wear masks on the whole university campus. Meet us outside the S-Bahn station Universität (the exit with the large round glass roof).

[4] In accordance with current regulations, here the professors of the Institute of Materials Science will introduce themselves and you get a chance to meet fellow students in person (even though with a mask and distancing). You will also get a chance to see the secon campus of the Max-Planck-Institutes.

Online lectures and all that's changed through Corona...

You can always find the university's up to date regulations here:
In addition, note the current directive of the Land Baden-Württemberg (in case the link is unavailable scroll to the bottom of the web page to find the PDF with the English version):
PDF Version
Web Version

The majority of teaching will be conducted online during the winter semester 2020/21. Some classes like lab courses however will take place in the labs in accordance with the regulations in place at that time. In addition, some seminars and tutorial sessions in smaller groups may also be offered for attendance in person. However that all depends on the type and size of the class and and current regulations. Therefore, please check for each lecture and class individually and contact the professor if you have any questions or doubts.

For studying, meeting with your colleagues or asking questions to us, we set up a Discord server together with the chemistry student reps.  We know that all the group descriptions are in German, and you will see quite a lot of Germans hanging out there (also from the bachelor's and chemistry degrees). But fear not: you can use the #master or #Materialwissenschaft channel and we will happily answer in English =)

You can join via the following link:
You will have to assign yourself a rank by writing „?rank Materialwissenschaft“ into the chat #rollenauswahl (without the quotation marks).

Starting from 04. November on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 19 to 21:00  at least one of us will be online and specifically available to answer questions. But of couse you can check at any other time to see if someone is available or just post a question in one of the text channels and you will quickly get an answer. 

What is Discord?

Discord is a simple way to communicate with people via text, voice or video calls. You can download the app on mobile devices or computers or simply access from your browser. Find all details on their web site.


Find all the up to date information concerning the university's regulations here. Please note that the Max-Planck-Institute has its own regulations in place.

The University of Stuttgart uses Cisco Webex Meetings as the conference tool of choice. You can join a meeting from the mobile or dektop apps or, without installing anything from the web browser. The university automatically set up an account for you with your student's e-mail address.

You can download the app here:

Log into your account in the app or on the web site HERE using your student's e-mail address ( first. This will take you to a new page where you need to enter your C@mpus ID (st123456) and password.

Some more help, resources and FAQ:

Winter and summer semester are always termed from 01. October to 31. March and from 01. Apil to 30. September, respectively. The lecture period usually starts around two weeks after the begin of the semester and ends two months early to allow time to study for examinations. The actual dates may shift a few days depending on the day of week. You will find all the dates including holidays and lecture free periods around Christmas and Easter on the page linked below. (They don't call it winter and spring break because you're supposed to study... how nice!)

Important: If you are to continue studying in the following semester you have to re-register by transferring the tuition fee, usually at least one and a half months prior to the start of the new semester. You will be reminded by an automatic e-mail to your student's address but you can also find all details here: 

Dates and Deadlines
Most examinations, written or oral are conducted in the lecture free periods at the end of each semester. Most written exams are centrally organized by the examination office although some of them and most oral exams are organized by the institute or professor in charge of the lecture. To take part in any examination you must register with the examination office! To do that, register for each exam separately during the registration period. Find the deadlines and information on centrally organized exams on the pages of the examination office:

Rules for Registration
You can register to as many exams as you like and you can withdraw your registration without explanation until one week before the exam. A withdrawal at a later stage requires a medical attestation from a doctor. A registration outside the registration period or re-registration after withdrawing is not possible. We recommend that you register for all exams that you might like to take during the semester. Then, when it becomes clear that you will not be able to take all of them you can later (but one week before the date) withdraw. During the Corona-pandemic, additional or different rules may be put in place at any time. Find possible changes also by following the above link.

Exams that are no exams (or are they?)
While not all modules will have an examination, the professor or teacher responsible always has to enter some kind of remark into the system that tells that you passed. That is the case for example in the Advanced Science Seminar or the Advanced Materials Science Lab Class. In order for them to be able to enter that passing remark you need to register for the exam (even though there is no exam). It works exactly as with a regular lecture, the process is described below. If you are not sure about it, just ask the organizer of the lab class or seminar, and they will tell you what to do.

How to Register for an Exam
Registration to an exam is done in C@mpus just like the registration for lectures (see in Lecture section below). Choose My Degree Programme from your start page, select a module and expand it. Lectures and tutorials are marked by a blue (Lv), exams are marked by a red (P). If the registration for exams is open (registration period) there is a green arrow next to the examination that will take you to the registration form.

Find a schematic of our program structure HERE. This is a recommendation but you may want to switch the lectures around a bit depending on your specializations. More on that in the next section Which Lectures to Choose, How to Build your Schedule.

A module may include lectures, tutorials, seminars or lab classes or a combination of several of the above. A module will result in a single grade or "passed" mark for all associated activities. A common example would be a lecture with an accompanying excercise/tutorial session. Turning in a set percentage of excercises may be a requirement to take the examination. This is called Schein (ticket). For every module you are awarded a number of credit points (CP) depending on the typical time consumed by all activities associated with the module. They come in multiples of three and are also called ECTS credits or Leistungspunkte (LP) in German.

There are compulsory modules, which every student has to take (shown in dark blue). They are offered once a year, either in summer (SS) or winter (WS). The seminar may be offered in summer and winter depending on the number of students and professors interested. The compulsory modules are:
Synthesis and Properties of Inorganic Materials (WS)
Advanced Materials Science Laboratory (WS)
Atomic Transport and Phase Transformations (SS)
Polymer Materials Science (SS)
Advanced Science Seminar (WS)

You can choose two out of our eight specialization subjects. Find all information concerning the specializations HERE. Some general remarks:

  • You can split the credit points among the two specializations 12:18 or 15:15 as you like. You don't have to decide beforehand, you can make it up as you go along, but do put some thought into which outs you will have in the end.
  • You cannot have more than 30 CP combined. That means if you already have 15 CP in one of your specializations and 12 CP in the other you cannot take another 6 CP module in either. If there is an additional lecture you would like to hear you can likely credit it in the optional courses (see below)
  • Some specializations have compulsory modules of their own. For example, if you choose the Inorganic Materials Chemistry specialization you must take the Inorganic Materials Chemistry for Material Scientists lecture, then may choose an additional one to hear.
  • Not all modules are offered in English, especially in the Plastics Engineering and Metals and Structural Materials specialization. However you can complete all specializations except Plastics Engineering with English lectures. If the title is English but teaching starts in German, be sure to tell your professor right away! Usually they will switch to English without giving it a second thought, they just forget to ask in the beginning.

In the section Optional Courses pretty much anything is possible. Therefore you can choose an additional module from your specialization, a module from a different specialization subject, from an entirely different course of study (chemistry, engineering, architecture, whatever) or one of the designated key qualifications modules (which you will find in this section in C@mpus). Lectures that are also available outside the key qualifications, for example everything listed in the tab [related to the subject] are treated like all other lectures as mentioned above. For more detailed information refer to the section Optional Courses, Key Qualifications, Registration for Key Qualifications below.

The module Practical Skills and Project Planning is supposed to prepare you for your master's thesis. You can use the time (one semester half time or three months full time) to get to know the group, learn the techniques necessary for your thesis and do some preliminary work. If you notice that your topic was completely the wrong choice, theoretically you can still change it after the module. The module was originally created because some analytical methods like TEM or atom probe tomography take very long to learn.

The Masters Thesis - the cherry on the cake! By default you can do it with any professor that offers any module in our program, specialization or not. Otherwise there is not much to say about it - it's a thesis like anywhere else.
If you want to do your thesis in another group outside those or with a company you still need one of these professors as your first corrector and supervisor. In that case, talk to Prof. Bill, Head of the Examionation Board, for permission and necessary arrangements.

For a detailed explanation what types of modules exist in our program and some regulations, please refer to the above section. The following guide is not official, however, from experience it can save you a lot of trouble later on or at least give you some rough guidelines.

When planning your schedule you have to take into account that
1) most modules are offered once per year (i.e. only in winter or summer) some even only every two years.
2) there are some compulsory modules you have to take and some less important things that you can swap out later, should you need to.
Therefore, the following guide aims to help you prioritize the modules and then select the best order to study all modules that you want. The weekdays and times one specific lecture is held is *usually* kept constant from one year to the next but it may still change. As a thumb rule, changes become less likely the more students attend a lecture and the more programs are involved. In very small specialization modules you might be able to talk to the professor and find a time that suits everyone. With a lot of choice comes a lot of responsibility: It is difficult to plan the whole schedule before the first semester and never change it before you receive your degree, but it helps a lot if you have a good idea of what you want to do and then only swap out a few components in your plan.

  1. Choose your specializations. Pick the two that you like the most, keep a third priority in mind. Note that Plastics Engineering is all German and other specializations may contain some German lectures as well so you won't have as many choices to pick from. Ask if you are not sure.
  2. From the specializations you chose, check if there are compulsory modules inside. Prioritize the other modules so you have a second choice in case something clashes. Note that you have to fill the specializations with exactly 30 CP (15+15 or 12+18, as explained in the above section).
  3. For each module, find out whether it is offered every semester (rarely the case), in summer or winter, or only every two years (also rarely, but this can lead to trouble). If you cannot find the information on the module's C@mpus page you can search the Module Catalog and check if it was offered in regular intervals in the past  (set the term in the top left).
  4. If you found any module you would like to take that is offered every two years, set that first. Note the term it will come up in, check what days of the week it will be on (they usually keep that constant) and keep that spot clear. If that time slot is also occupied by one of the compulsory modules you will have to move that to the other year and keep the time slot free for that as well.
  5. Note clashes between the other modules from your specialization subjects and compulsory modules. Plan out in which semester you will attend the compulsory modules and fill the gaps with your choice of modules from the specializations. If you move them around a bit, hopefully, everything will fit. Otherwise revert to the lower priorities. Keep the 30 CP limit in mind.
  6. If there is any module you could not fit you can still put it in the optional courses. It may not be listed there in C@mpus, but if you talk to our program manager Dr. Ralf Schacherl he will confirm if it is possible and tell you how to get it.
  7. Fill the remaining open CP in the optional courses with key qualifications related or unrelated to the subject or a combination of the two. Note that you can only be allowed two designated key qualifications modules per semester. For details refer to the Optional Courses section below.

While it is technically not necessary to register for lectures, registration will allow you access to the respective ILIAS group and with that to all online resources, downloads, etc. That is especially important at the moment as most teaching happens online anyways and the ILIAS group will be used to share information, excercise sheets, videos and everything else.
Since registration is not mandatory you can generally join lectures at any time in the semester. However, this might be different for lab classes or tutorials as smaller groups may be set up in the beginning or you might be required to attend all or a certain percentage of meetings.

To register for a lecture/ tutorial/ ...

  • Log on to your C@mpus account and open My Degree Programme
  • Select a Module from the list and expand it with (+). In most cases you will find an examination marked with a red (P) and classes marked with a blue (Lv).
  • If there is a green (T) next to the name of the class on the right side, you can register. If there is no T the lecture probably is not offered in that semester (or registration is closed for some other reason). Click on the green arrow to get to the registration form.
  • The correct Container should already be selected (something like Materials Science → Compulsory Modules → <selected module>) so you can continue.
  • On the next page you can register by clicking the respective button.
  • A link on the module's C@mpus page should take you to the respective ILIAS group or you can directly search for the lecture's name in ILIAS.

Please note that you have to register separately for the exam!

Everything concerning the Optional Courses (9 CP) sometimes also referred to as soft skills or key qualification modules...

Here, you can choose pretty much any lecture available at the university. Therefore you can choose a lecture from a different specialization subject, from an entirely different program (chemistry, engineering, architecture, whatever) or one of the designated key qualifications modules (which you will find in the section named accordingly in C@mpus). Lectures that are also available outside the key qualifications, for example everything listed in the tab [related to the subject] are treated like all other lectures as discussed above.

The designated key qualifications modules [unrelated to the subject] are all 3 credits and mostly in German. You will find some in English though, so it is worth a look and you can also learn a new language here. Some are offered every semester others only in winter or summer. The number of participants is limited in most cases since everyboy in the whole university can apply. Therefore there are two registration phases. After the first registration phase (Registrierphase) there is a short assignment phase (Vergabephase) during which applicants will be notified which courses they got into. A second registration phase will then start to give you the chance to apply for more courses or try again if you did not get in. You can apply for several courses at once and prioritize your applications in Campus but you can only be allowed into two courses per semester. On these courses there may be a waiting list.

Keep in mind these are completely separate from the regular lectures, so you can fill the Optional Courses container with a 6 credit regular lecture (that includes "Key qualifications related to the subject") and one 3 credit key qualification (unrelated) or any other combination as long as the sum is 9 credits and no more.

In C@mpus in My Certificates you can print all documents related to studying. That includes the validation for your student ID (ECUS stamp), confirmation of enrollment (sometimes called matriculation certificate or Immatrikulationsbescheinigung in German), an overview of all modules and grades and the receipt for paying the tuition fee.

Need to fly home due to family matters? Struggling a lot with how things work here? The person called Studienlotse (loosely translates to student's pilot) is the one to turn to if something goes haywire and you don't know what to do. While we can help you with everyday questions, they are trained professionals that will confidentially deal with your personal affairs if there is something that you are not comfortable to disclose. They will work with you to solve your problem and certainly know all the right people to talk to.

Our Lotse:


This picture showsFachgruppe Materialwissenschaft

Fachgruppe Materialwissenschaft

Student Representatives of the Materials Science


Postanschrift Fachgruppe Materialwissenschaft

Heisenbergstraße 3, 70569 Stuttgart, Institut für Materialwissenschaft, Lehrstuhl Materialphysik

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