Studying in Munich: paths to the TUM
You live outside Germany and would like to start a Bachelor or Master degree course at the TUM Faculty of Mathematics? Or you are planning one or two exchange terms at our faculty, in order to extend your intercultural as well as your subject knowledge?
On the following pages, exchange students as well as international full-time students can find all the important Information they need for studying mathematics at the TUM. Individual advice and intensive exchange are important to us, so please don't hesitate to contact us personally with any further questions you may have!
Get together: events for international students
Buddy program and Facebook group
Our departmental buddy program helps you to settle in the new academic environment. Please don't forget to register for this program after the admission.
In our group "International Students and friends at Mathematics TUM" on Facebook you can find out about current events and activities for international students, and ask any questions you may have. Join up now.
The Language Café takes place in the Mathematics and Informatics building every Wednesday. Students offer their native language at several tables and talk to their fellow students in groups of 4 to 8 people. You can just come and meet students from other faculties, practice the German language, or even offer your own language table. There is also a Language Café on Wednesdays on the Munich campus.
Graduating at the TUM: courses of study and how to apply
At the TUM Faculty of Mathematics the emphasis is on applied mathematics and therefore the interaction with physics, chemistry, biotechnology, as well as engineering and economic sciences plays an important role. At the same time, the Faculty also covers the classical areas of pure mathematics, such as algebra, analysis, geometry and probability theory. With this profile, we are one of the leading mathematical centres in Germany and Europe.
Since 2012 our Masters degree courses are taught solely in English. Only a few singular events within the Masters courses are taught in German. The Bachelor degree course however is taught only in German.
Proof of language ability
For both the Bachelor and the Masters degree programs, you must prove sufficient language skills in German and/or English. The TUM accepts different official language certificates as necessary verification.
Applications and deadlines
Please consult the central website of the TUM for details on application procedures and deadlines. Our tip: send your application as early as possible at the beginning of the application period. The sooner we receive your application, the sooner we can send your admission confirmation and you can then - if necessary - apply for your visa in good time.
Special characteristics of the degree courses
We are convinced that our students benefit greatly from early contact with companies or research institutes. Therefore an internship of at least 4 - 6 weeks is compulsory for all Bachelor's and Master's students. Our own Faculty Career Service supports you in finding an suitable internship.
For international students, an internship also offers many advantages: use this opportunity to prepare yourself for a career, to intensify and apply your theoretical knowledge in a practical setting and to attain intercultural experience within a German company. Who knows - you may even meet your future employer!
It is possible, that your theoretical knowledge from your Bachelor degree is not sufficient to successfully start a Master degree course at the TUM. Within your application process, we check whether you will have to take additional foundation courses in order to qualify for our Master's courses.
Maximum of 2 courses in the first year
Whether you must take foundation courses within your first year, and which these must be, can be seen in your admission letter or in your application account in TUMOnline. Please be aware, that under certain circumstances, you may have to visit up to two foundation courses.
Doctorate studies at the Department of Mathematics
Our professors can of course also supervise international graduate students within their doctorate studies. Please contact the Graduate Service of the Department for all relevant information.
Exchange Students: how to organize your studies at the TUM
As the TUM does not accept applications from "freemovers", international exchange students (Erasmus, TUMexchange, bilateral partnerships etc.) must fulfill two requirements in order to participate in an exchange programm of the Faculty of Mathematics:
1st requirement: Exchange agreement
Your home university has an exchange agreement with the Technische Universität München. All our partner universities can be found in the Exchange-Database of the International Center.
2nd requirement: Nomination
Your home university has selected you for exchange studies at the TUM and e-nominated you.
Applications from Exchange Students
As soon as your home university has selected you to study at the TUM for one or two terms, you must compile a learning agreement or study plan for your application to the TUM. Here are some things you need to know:
Where do I find the courses and seminars available?
Generally, all courses and seminars which take place at the TUM can be found in the Campus-Management-System TUMonline. Without prior registration, you can filter out lists of courses in your chosen faculty and then view the module handbook for detailed information on the course content, structure, credits (ECTS), recommended prior knowledge, hours and frequency.
How do I choose the courses for the Learning Agreement?
The courses at the Faculty of Mathematics which will actually take place during your exchange term are generally confirmed only 4-6 weeks prior to the beginning of the term. Therefore you should choose courses for your application, which are offered on a regular basis. Please make use of our Guidline for Choosing Courses, where we also provide a list of regularly offered courses (see right bar).
Please note, that only Masters courses and advanced Bachelor courses (third year) are held in English. The fundamental Bachelor courses (first and second year) and their practice groups are held solely in German.
What do I need to observe when choosing my courses?
A minimum of 60 percent of subject courses must be mathematics courses (preceded by the code MA....). The other 40 percent of your courses can be chosen from the programmes of other faculties. Language courses do not count.
Can I change my choice of courses?
In agreement with your home university, you can change your course choice as soon as the actual course program for your exchange term is published, at the latest however two weeks after the lecture period of your exchange term has started
At the Faculty of Mathematics we differentiate between three types of teaching: lectures, practice units and seminars.
Registering for lectures and practice units
It is sufficient to register at the beginning of the relevant lecture period. Registration is via TUMonline
Registering for seminars
As the number of participants in seminars is often limited, registration generally takes place one semester in advance. Exchange students should therefore contact the relevant lecturer directly, and ask whether places are still available for the desired seminar.
20 to 25 ECTS per semester
The German university system is very different to that of other countries and the teaching is on a very high subject-specific level. We therefore recommend exchange students to limit their work load to 20 - 25 ECTS per semester, language courses excluded.
Compared to most other countries the semester dates in Germany are shifted:
- winter semester: October 1st - March 31st
- summer semester: April 1st - September 30th
Therefore we recommend our incoming exchange students to either come for both semesters or for the summer semester only.
At the Faculty of Mathematics, the regular examinations take place at the end of each lecture period. The exams from the winter semester lectures take place in February; for the summer term, the examinations are at the end of July or beginning of August. The exact semester dates can be found here.
We can only offer extra examination dates to exchange students in exceptional, founded situations.
Transcript of Records
A record of achievement, stating your successfully completed examinations at the TUM, can be downloaded from TUMonline, and printed for your home university. The Transcript of Records is valid without a signature.
In principle, it is possible for exchange students to write their Bachelor or Master's thesis during their stay at the Faculty of Mathematics. Whether this can be achieved depends on numerous factors. Therefore we cannot give a general guarantee, that the supervision of a thesis is possible for exchange students.
Planing a research thesis and finding a supervisor
If you intend to write your Bachelor or Master's thesis during your exchange stay at the Faculty of Mathematics, please contact us well in advance. As with our regular students, you yourself must organise a suitable professor who is willing to supervise your thesis. Our experience is, that this is only possible with much advance planing, and only when you study at the TUM for at least two semesters.
Courses for your Learning Agreement
For your application it is best to choose courses from this list:
Coming to the TUM from abroad: how to organize your stay in Germany
Once you have been accepted for studies at the Faculty of Mathematics, there are some important things you need to do:
International students, who do not come from the European Union or a few other selected countries need a student visa in order to enter the country and stay for studies. The issuing of a visa can often take many weeks or even months. Therefore it is essential, that you inform yourself about the process well in advance: please contact the German Embassy in your country regarding the application process and documents required.
Our tip: apply early!
Send your application documents for a study place at the TUM as early as possible within the relevant application period. The sooner you apply for a place at the Faculty of Mathematics, the sooner you will receive your acceptance letter and can start to apply for a student visa.
Enrolling as a student at the TUM is only possible with proof that you possess valid health insurance cover. Whether the health insurance you have in your home country is sufficient to cover you in Germany, depends upon where you are from.
Countries within the EU
Generally, if you are from a country within the European Union, your health insurance from your home country is sufficient. In this case, you only need to present a waiver certificate, which a German health insurance company issues. Ask the health insurance company for a "Nachweis über die Versicherungsbescheinigung" or a "Befreiung von der Versicherungspflicht"!
If you come from a country outside the EU, you usually will have to take out health insurance with a Germany health insurance company. Information on compulsory health insurance for students can be found on the central website of the TUM - see the right-hand column.
Given Munich's reputation as one of Germany's most attractive cities, accommodations are becoming increasingly scarce and costly, and the search for an affordable place to live can be a genuine challenge. Munich has Germany's highest rental rates and the city's population is growing from year to year.
Student residence halls or private accommodation?
Unlike in other countries, German universities do not operate residence halls. Most are run by the Student Unions. The TUM cannot provide any rooms for students, but we are trying to help with information, tipps and addresses.
Most students in Germany live in privately rented apartments, as there are no sufficient places in student residences. Their inexpensive rooms are popular and the waiting lists correspondingly long. Waiting times are between one and four semesters. Should you nonetheless wish to apply for a room in a student residence, you must contact the Studentenwerk München (Munich Student Union). Unfortunately, exchange students are not eligible to apply for these rooms.
We encourage you to look into private and church-run residence halls also. The private ones are usually more expensive but easy to organize from abroad, the church-run quite often consider social commitment and denominational aspects.
Tips for finding accommodation in Munich and surrounds
Please be aware, that your search for accommodation may take several weeks. Information on which areas of Munich are reasonably priced, and which are more expensive, as well as how to understand accommodation adverts in Germany can be found in the TUM-Guide for finding accommodation. We also have the following tips:
1. Plan plenty of time for your search
Apply to the Studentenwerk and at the same time to private student residences for a room, as soon as you have been accepted as a student. Don't only look in Munich, but also in the neighbouring towns: Garching, Neufahrn, Eching, Oberschleißheim and Unterschleißheim.
2. Start your studies if possible in the summer term
Many more students begin their studies in the autumn, for the winter term, so it is much more difficult to find accommodation from September to December than in spring for the summer term.
3. Be active in your search
Use all available options: websites, facebook groups, word-of-mouth, newspapers, posters in the university canteen etc. Try publishing well-formulated searches as well.
4. Make contact as soon as possible!
Make contact with the landlord as soon as you see an appropriate offer. The sooner you make contact, the more likely you are to be successful. Don't be afraid to call the landlord directly - e-mails often remain unanswered.
5. Make a good impression
Take a CV and proof of your income / ability to pay the bill to any viewing appointment. If possible, take a letter of recommendation along too.
6. Beware of tricksters!
Never transfer money from abroad for rent/deposits for accommodation if you have not seen the accommodation in person beforehand, and only once you have a valid rental contract!
The Master's courses at the Faculty of Mathematics take place almost completely in English. Nonetheless, you should start to learn German - at the latest during your stay! Good German language skills will make your stay much easier and more enjoyable, and are also very important for the compulsory internship as well as any potential job you may wish to pursue after your studies.
Free German courses within the TUM Language Centre
If you have the possibility to take a German language course before coming to Germany, then take advantage of this! Here at the TUM Language Centre there are free German language courses available at different levels. However, due to the high demand, there is no guarantee that you will get a place.
The "German-matters-Program" for full-time students
The German-matters-Program is an offer for international Master's students of the Departments of Mathematics and Informatics, which aims to teach substantial German language skills as fast as possible. Apply for this program before the semester start!
The Faculty for Mathematics is located on the TUM-Campus Garching north of Munich. With Bus, U- or S-Bahn tubes you can reach the campus in about 25 minutes from Munich city center. The Faculty for Informatics is in the same building.
Orientation events at the Faculty for Mathematics
Before both the winter and summer terms the faculty offers orientation weeks in the week before lectures start. As well as semester-introduction-days for all new students, which are offered by the student association, there are also special introductory events for international Master's students and exchange students. Details on these events will be sent to you by email. Please take account for this week when planning your arrival in Munich!
Central orientation events
Centrally organized orientation events for international freshmen are offered every semester (September and March). Furthermore, there's International Campus Life, an orientation and support programme that helps to facilitate the transition process to a new university environment.
Questions on visa issues?
Inform yourself on the website of the German Federal Foreign Office
Questions on health insurance?
The TUM informs you about compulsory health insurance in Germany.
Exchange students can apply for a Service Package of the Studentenwerk München.
Take a virtual trip around the Campus Garching.
Double Degree: your options at the Department of Mathematics
The Department of Mathematics currently has Double-Degree agreements with the EPFL (Switzerland) and the KTH Stockholm (Sweden). If you study mathematics at one of these European partner universities, then you can attain a Master's degree from the Technical University of Munich in addition to that of your home university.
Generally, those taking the double-degree program spend 2-3 semesters at the TUM and 2 semesters at their home university. During this time, they attain further subject-specific and intercultural skills and finally receive two degree certificates acknowledging the achievements at both universities.
Should you be interested in the Double-Degree-Program of the TUM Faculty of Mathematics, please contact the International Office of your home university for further information. In order to apply to the TUM, you must first be selected by your own university.