Accreditation of classes and exams
A change of curriculum is the best option to assure accreditation of subjects which shall be performed during a study abroad. The required form may be found in the download section; a manual is here. If you have any questions, please contact our Exchange Office.
In general, an accreditation of subjects is possible if the (compulsory) courses completed abroad fulfill two criteria: content-related equivalence as well as formal equality (compared with compulsory courses at RWTH Aachen University). The procedure is the following:
- Your study branch or occupational field advisor determines the content-related equivalence with compulsory courses of your study branch resp. occupational field, resp. confirms that compulsory-elective subjects would fit your specialization.
- The instructors of the “core subjects” Fluid Mechanics I/II, Automatic Control, Heat and Mass Transfer and, for Business Administration Engineers, Materials Science I/II, examine the content-related equivalence of these subjects.
- The Examination Board will determine formal equality of the subjects in comparison to the subjects replaced at RWTH Aachen University. The rule is: Per subject and in the total amount of (compulsory) classes, a deviation of one lecture hour per week downward is permitted. The lecture hours per week in Aachen are stated in the curriculum.
Which subjects can be approved by a change of curriculum?
As a principle: All subjects which have not been completed in Aachen may be replaced by courses from abroad through an application for a change of curriculum. Compulsory subjects require a content-related equivalent course abroad; the compulsory-elective subject offers may be complemented with RWTH-external subjects, as long as they basically fit the specialization (exception: compulsory-electives in Business and Economics). You should pay attention to the following specific cases, depending on the degree program:
Specific cases, depending on the degree program
Mechanical Engineering (B.Sc.)
- By means of a change of curriculum, half of the occupational field may be replaced: the compulsory subjects must be replaced by equal subjects. The compulsory-electives may also be replaced by subjects which are not taught at RWTH Aachen University; prior condition is that the occupational field advisor approves. Upon approval of the occupational field advisor, even more than half of the subjects of the occupational field may be completed abroad.
- Only half of the “core subjects” Automatic Control, Fluid Mechanics I & II as well as Heat and Mass Transfer shall be completed abroad.
- Societal fundamentals: Business Engineering, Quality Management, Project Management and Human Resource Management and Communication and Organization Development
- Subjects of the first 4 semesters, excluding Fluid Mechanics I, shall not be completed abroad; a change of curriculum for these subjects therefore is not possible.
- 30 Aachen credit points of the Master program, also prior to reaching the 150 credit points (signature of the study branch coordinator obligatory). Please note regulations for accreditation in the Master program!
- Additional subjects (unlimited according to Framework Regulations 2011; 5 for students of Bachelor Examination Regulations 2008/2007)
Business Administration and Engineering (field Mechanical Engineering) (B.Sc.)
- The whole occupational field may be replaced by subjects from abroad
- The “core subjects” Automatic Control and Materials Science I, II
- Up to 30 Aachen credit points from the Master program, also prior to reaching the 150 credit points (signature of the study branch coordinator obligatory).
- Additional subjects
Mechanical Engineering / Business Administration and Engineering (field Mechanical Engineering) (M.Sc.)
- A maximum amount of 30 (Aachen) credit points may be completed abroad.
- Business Administration: The number of credits may amount to a maximum of 20 credit points in both areas (Business Administration and Mechanical Engineering).
- External Master Thesis (Mechanical Engineering): A Master Thesis which you would like to compile externally (in a company or a research facility) counts as 15 credit points (of the total 30 credit points) as external. Therefore, you are not allowed to have more than 15 credit points accredited from your study abroad because otherwise you would cross the limit set by the Examination Board and your external Master Thesis would be denied!
- External Master Thesis (Business Administration): The Master Thesis counts as 15 credit points external in that area to which it mainly belongs. If, for example, from study abroad, Master subjects to an extent of more than 5 credit points in the economic area have been accredited, you are not allowed to write a Master Thesis in this area.
- Up to 5 additional subject
Mechanical Engineering / Business Administration and Engineering (field Mechanical Engineering) (Diploma):
- Compulsory and compulsory-elective subjects from the advanced studies may be changed
- Up to 5 additional subjects
When do I apply for a change of curriculum?
We recommend that you submit the application for a change of curriculum prior to your departure or during the first semester weeks abroad. In any case, you should have the confirmation of the Examination Board before you take an exam abroad – without this approval, an accreditation of exam performances taken abroad is not guaranteed.
In many cases, due to overlaps, there might be changes to the planned schedule. In this case you should send an additional change of curriculum by e-mail, fax or regular mail to the Exchange Office.
Will my grades from abroad be converted?
Yes! As long as the grading system is linear, grades from abroad will be converted according to the “modified Bavarian formula“.
A conversion table for the individual countries can be provided upon request. If you have any questions, please contact our Exchange Office.
What do I have to do to get my grades accredited at RWTH Aachen University?
After the end of your semester abroad, you will receive an overview of your grades from your host university – the Transcript of Records. To allow your grades to be transferred to the Central Examination Office, please come to the Exchange Office during office hours and bring your Transcript of Records (in the original!). As soon as we have the original Transcript of Records, we will initiate the accreditation procedure – a corresponding letter will be send to both you and the Central Examination Office. You do not have to take care of the grade transfer yourself anymore!
Can I retroactively change courses completed abroad which are already approved in a change of curriculum?
No. In general the following applies: All subjects, whose accreditation the Examination Board approved in the form you applied for (e.g. as a compulsory subject) and which are noted on your transcript of records by your host university, will be accredited. In retrospect, you are not allowed to declare a compulsory subject to an additional subject. Nor can once approved and successfully completed exams from abroad afterwards be deleted from your change of curriculum.
Please also note the regulations concerning external credits in the Master program! You cannot, in retrospect, decrease the number of credits of Master courses completed abroad, in order to not exceed the limit of 15 external credit points for still being permitted to write an external Master Thesis.
What happens if I do not participate in courses abroad after all or if I do not pass?
If you do not participate in a course (e.g. because it is cancelled due to a professor’s illness) contrary to your application for a change of curriculum, or if you do not pass the exam, the part concerning this course is deleted from your change of curriculum. You will neither be registered mandatorily for the original course at RWTH Aachen University which was supposed to be replaced, nor will the failed exam be taken into account as a failed attempt in terms of the local Examination Regulation.
Can I get study performances accredited afterwards?
An application for accreditation in retrospect is only possible for compulsory subjects. Additional as well as compulsory-elective subjects which are not offered at RWTH Aachen University cannot be accredited afterwards! The non-technical compulsory elective (NTW) and the interdisciplinary course 3 (IPF 3) can likewise only be taken abroad after a preceding change of curriculum.
But we strongly recommend using the preceding procedure for a change of curriculum also for compulsory subjects. The reason: If you take examinations without prior approval, you can apply for accreditation after your return, but this is much laborious and the verification of equivalence of content and extent is much stricter than for the integration in advance. Therefore please consider the accreditation in retrospect only as sheet anchor than as a first option.