Master Software Systems Engineering

Frequently Asked Questions

Table of Contents

For students interested in studying SSE

What are the tuition fees / costs for studying SSE?

There are no tuition fees for studying the SSE master program, but there is a unversity fee for a social contribution and the student public transport ticket allowing the usage of parts of the public transport in the city of Aachen and the state of North Rhine-Westphalia at no further cost.

Do non-academic qualifications improve the admission chances?

We do not consider qualifications other than those we explicity require. In other words, other documents or certificiates are not considered for the admission decision. For example, we do not consider:

  • certificates, online courses, and exams obtained from institutions other than recognized universities
  • letters of recommendation
  • professional experience

Can I study SSE online / from abroad?

No, the SSE master program has courses that may require the students‘ in-person attendance and the exams usually require attendance. Note that the respective courses often require a regular attendance, e.g. every week, and the exams are usually spread over weeks such that travelling to Aachen for the mandatory courses and exams is likely no feasible solution.

While for most courses the students‘ presence is not mandatory, we highly recommend to attend the lectures and exercises as this allows students to better follow the courses, to directly enter a dialog when questions arise, and to learn together with other students.

Online studies during COVID-19 pandemic

In an effort to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and to enable students to safely continue their studies, most of RWTH Aachen University’s courses switched to an online format. This applied to all SSE courses, i.e. all SSE courses were online. The exams were done in presence with safety measures in the summer term 2020 and online in the winter term 2021.

As of summer semester 2022, most courses are taught in-presence and exams are done on the campus again.

Please follow the official information provided by RWTH Aachen Unversity.

Why is there no option to apply for (the first semester in) SSE in RWTHonline?

You cannot apply at any time for a first semester start in the SSE master program but only during certain time periods. To apply for the SSE master program you always have to apply via RWTHonline (you first need to register and then you can submit your application(s)). If you cannot select SSE master program in RWTHonline when entering an application for admission, then the application for admission time window is probably not open. If you can select the SSE master program but you cannot select the first semester as entrance semester (you can only select a higher semester), then the application for admission time window for a first semester start in SSE is probably not open.

What is the meaning of "entrance semester" or "first semester start"?

Students that have completed an undergraduate (bachelor) degree and want to study the SSE master program have to apply for admission for the first semester as entrance semester, i.e., if they are accepted they can start their studies in the first semester. Students that have already studied one or more semesters in a master degree that is similar to SSE and want to switch to the SSE master program at RWTH Aachen University can apply for admission with a higher semester as entrance semester. Most of our applicants do not have studied a similar master program before, but apply with an undergraduate (bachelor) degree. Thus, for most students only the application for admission for a first semester start is relevant.

What are the time windows for submitting applications for admissions?

Since the SSE master program only starts in winter terms, applications for admissions for a first semester as entrance semester, can only be submitted during the application for admission time window for winter terms. For a start in summer terms only applications for admissions for higher semesters can be submitted. For the application for admission time periods refer to the Application for Admission page.

For students enrolled to the SSE master program

Is there an introduction to the SSE master program?

Yes, there is a introduction to the SSE master program given by the academic advisory for SSE. It usually takes place at the first day of the semester or shortly before this. Newly enrolled SSE students should receive an email with more information on this event approximately a few weeks before the event. If you do not get this email, contact the academic advisory for SSE.

Information on the introduction event will also be published to the Computer Science Department’s website (see link below).

How to receive important announcements?

Once you enrolled as student of the Software Systems Engineering master program, we highly recommend to register for the mailing list managed by the academic advisory for Software Systems Engineering. Only enrolled SSE students using their RWTH Aachen University email address will be accepted for joining the mailing list. Note that the acceptance is a manual process that may take some time as usually collect and process a batch of requests.

The academic advisory will announce important information via this mailing list. Only the academic advisory can post to this mailing list, i.e. this mailing list is not meant to the SSE students to communicate with each other. We recommend the SSE students to connect with each other using social media or messengers (e.g. directly after after the introduction event for SSE students).

Only students enrolled to the SSE master program can subscribe to this mailing list

How to find lecture halls?

RWTH Aachen University is not a university with only one central campus, but it has multiple campuses and buildings spread across the city of Aachen. Below you find links to websites that can help you find the way.

Where to find the bridge course "Foundations of Informatics"?

Some students are admitted to the SSE master program with the condition to complete the bridge course „Foundations of Informatics“ (see the admission letter). More information is provided on the bridge course’s website.

Note: Do not confuse the bridge course „Foundations of Informatics“ with the bridge course „Computer Science“ (German: „Vorkurs Informatik“).

How to add the German course to my student record?

First, make sure that you register for a German course with at least 4 lecture hours per week (German: Semesterwochenstunden, SWS).

Once you completed the German course, the language center will provide you with a certificate. To add the course to your record, send the certificate to the central examination office’s (German: Zentrales Prüfungsamt, ZPA) contact responsible for Software Systems Engineering.

How to register my master thesis topic?

First, make sure you are allowed to register your master thesis. You need to fulfill at least the following two conditions:

When you are allowed to register your master thesis and you have found a topic, talk to your supervisor about the registration. Often, the thesis topic registration is not done directly, but after you had some time to get familiar with the topic and the research objective. As academic advisory, we recommend that this should not take more than 4-8 weeks as you should not have to spend too much time on the master thesis before the official start.

Once your supervisor and examiner say the thesis is ready for registration, send the following pieces of information to the central examination office’s (German: Zentrales Prüfungsamt, ZPA) contact responsible for Software Systems Engineering:

  • Name
  • Student id
  • Thesis title (in English and, optionally, in German)
  • First examiner (not the supervisor)
The examination office will then provide the registration form, where the first part will already be filled out and signed by the examination office. You and the examiner then need to sign the form as well and forward it to the Computer Science department’s examination board.

I would like to start my bachelor thesis: What to do?

For a successful thesis, the individual steps are listed here.

How to enter applications or inquiries with the examination board?

In some situations, it may be necessary for you to contact the Computer Science department’s examination board. For example, when

  • you want to apply for a transfer of credits (transfers are only possible from prior bachelor studies with more than 3 years or master studies),
  • you need to change the title of an already registered master thesis project, or
  • you want to apply for an extension for your master thesis (requires a reasoning and must be discussed with your thesis supervisor first).

In this case, enter the application or inquiries via the Computer Science department’s examination board’s website.