Medicine Staatsexamen, Model Course of Study
- Start of Studies:
- Winter Semester
- Standard Period of Studies:
- 13 semesters
Abitur or equivalent HZB
What does that mean?
Proficiency in German
--- Mehr Informationen ---
What does that mean?
You must provide documentation of your language skills for the language of instruction at the time of enrollment. The exam regulations stipulate the relevant requirements.
Admission to First Semester
NC for WS 2023
Admission to Higher Semesters
NC for the 2nd-10th Core Semester
from Core Semester 11
Dates and Deadlines
When first studying medicine, students are often frustrated: they find themselves in lecture halls instead of having contact with patients and they wrestle with dry theory rather than experience medicine in practice!
With anatomy, biochemistry and physiology being the typical subjects of the first semesters, the joy of studying medicine and the initial enthusiasm for the medical profession can easily fall by the wayside.
RWTH Aachen has been taking a different track. Since 2003, this innovative approach to medical studies combines preclinic and clinic from the very first semester. Besides students reaching top grades in their exams, there is another nice effect: This type of course work is just more fun - not only for the students, but for the lecturer as well!
Early Patient Contact
Studying medicine in Aachen means "Patient contact from day one" – even if it is first fellow students or the patient "dummies" in the skills lab. The introductory course in first aid, emergency medicine, and hygiene set the tone at the beginning of studies for a study strategy that creates more passion for learning. In the next stages of course work, the combination of preclinic and clinic offers daily opportunities for students to experience medical practices. They accompany and observe their instructors "at sickbeds" and thus are able to implement learned material early on. Students learn to look at facts in a holistic context - a way of thinking that will guide the future doctors in later diagnoses and therapy!
Organ-Centered Teaching Approach
Instead of traditional subject-centered lessons the model course of study in medicine offers an interdisciplinary teaching approach that logically looks at each topic from different subject perspectives. Instead of learning individual facts, students learn about the structure, function, and pathogenetic principles of organs and organ systems. This "multi-perspectivity" trains our students for later problem solving skills in diagnosis and therapy.
Combining Scientific Research and Medical Practice
The medical program creates the prerequisites for working as a doctor by teaching basic scientific principles as well as practical abilities from the very first semester. Moreover, in addition to learning proven facts, students are familiarized with scientific research structures, concepts and methods, which leads to new insights and furthers progress in medical scientific research. Students develop their ability to assess not only chances but also problems and sources of errors in the scientific method of approach. They will then be able to put acquired theoretical knowledge into practice.
The combination of preclinical and clinical subjects is further supported by new forms of teaching and learning. An essential component of medical studies at RWTH are the "problem-oriented learning groups", which are imbedded in the systematicically created courses along with introductory lectures as well as conventional practical training. The Aixtra Skills Lab offers the possibility to practice all practical skills before they applied to patients. More about the forms of teaching
|Study Components||Content and Exams|
|Semesters 1-2||Introductory weeks: basic principles of hygiene, first aid, and of emergency medicine. All students are brought up to the same level of natural science knowledge necessary for medical studies. Introduction to the principles of cell biology which underlie all organ symptoms, introduction to fundamental organ systems, introduction to mental disorders|
Individual organ systems of the human body: structure, function, organ-specific possibilities for the origin of diseases, exemplary discussion of typical and important disease profiles.The interdisciplinary lesson is completed by pre-clinical students, clinical theorists, and clinical students together. Investigative courses
Beginning of elective courses and the setting of individual priorities
|Exam||Basic Medical Examination (First component of the Medical Examination)|
Training of practical, diagnostic, and therapeutic expertise and abilities at the patient's bedside, a rotation schedule of block clinical internships, diagnosis-oriented lectures, examination courses, an elective semester, such as a semester abroad, research,
|Exam||Second component of the Medical Examination (national)|
|Semesters 10-12||Practical Year, four months each of practical training in the departments of Surgery or Internal Medicine, and in an elective from the field of general medicine|
|Exam||Third component of the Medical Examination (Oral examination)|
You can find additional details about the curriculum on the Faculty of Medicine's webpage.
Individual Qualification Profiles
Individual qualification profiles are additional qualifications that students acquire by successfully completing predetermined electives from related areas in terms of subject and content. Aachen‘s model course of study in medicine allows you to choose your own focus of study, depending on your own personal aptitude and ability. Approximately ten percent of the curriculum are filled with electives, which can be chosen from a broad selection of thematically different subject areas.
Qualification possibilities are offered in various subject areas, such as for instance in:
- clinical neuroscience
- physician, patient, society
- palliative care medicine
- sports, aviation and travel medicine
- molecular medicine
- anesthesiology, intensive care and emergency medicine
- medicine and technology
- new media, communication and pedagogy
The individual focus on a subject area can create the basis for further scientific activity and furthermore pave the way for doctoral studies in this specific field.
Study Abroad Offers
The Faculty of Medicine offers a variety of programs to further student mobility and to this end features international partnerships with high ranking universities worldwide. For instance, with the EU-mobility-program ERASMUS+ opportunities for study at over 30 renowned universities all over Europe are on offer. Beyond Europe, partnerships furthermore exist with universities in the USA, Brasil, Chile, Columbia, Mexico and South Korea. As an integral part of the internationalization strategy, students also have the opportunity to complete their clinical traineeship within an international context. There are so called mobility windows built into different sections of the curriculum in order to allow students to complete their nursing service, practical year or clincal traineeship at hospitals within or outside of Europe. The German Medical Students' Association, or bvmd, organizes traineeships for medical students or Public-Health-Exchanges in Europe, in non-European countries as well as in Third World countries, also in the context of humanitarian aid.
The faculty's own study abroad advising supports students with preparations and advises them with regard to recognition of all qualifications completed abroad, scholarships for stays abroad, or application strategies.
In addition, the Dean of Studies Office encourages contact and communication between German and international students at RWTH by organizing regular social gatherings.
Quota for Country Doctors
To ensure medical care in all regions throughout Germany, in particular rural areas, the federal state of North-Rhine Westphalia has established a "country doctor quota". More information (in German) is available at:
A good natural sciences background in biology, chemistry and physics will make for an easier start in the medical school program. Since diseases develop at the cellular level, it is absolutely necessary to have a basic interest in the biological processes taking place in the human body. At RWTH students can refresh their knowledge as they study: Bridge Courses
The prerequisite for enrollment in the course of study is a formal admission to the first semester.
German citizens, citizens of a EU or EEC country, applicants with a German university entrance qualification/Abitur
German citizens and citizens of a EU or EEC country as well as anyone with a German university entrance qualification/Abiturcan apply for admission to Hochschulstart, the Foundation for University Admission – in German Stiftung für Hochschulzulassung.
Further information with regard to the University selection procedure can be found on the Faculty of Medicine website. The current selection criteria for medicine and dentistry are published in the form of individual regulations for each course of study.
Applicants from countries that are not part of the EU or EEA must - if they do not have a German university entrance qualification - must apply directly to RWTH Aachen University. They have to submit a valid TestAS, that is the Test für Ausländische Studierende, for their application. Please note that you need to register in time for TestAS and include the TestAS in your application. You must take the TestAS in German and in addition to the core test it must include the module "Mathematik, Informatik und Naturwissenschaften." TestAS homepage
Just as in the regular course of study, students in the model course of study must provide documentation of having completed 90 days of nursing service. Ideally this is accomplished before studies, but it can be completed during studies as well. Those planning their service should note that at least two months of nursing service must be documented before beginning the second study component, that is before the third semester.
Prior to starting the program or during the semester break a three-month nursing care internship has to be absolved. Doing this internship prior to the program is a good test and allows one to critically evaluate the reasons for studying medicine. During the nursing care internship the goal is to find out whether the desire to become a doctor is really compatible with one’s own skill set and abilities. Even better suited for this decision process would be a longer professional training course in the medical field. Individuals who are uncertain about what to study can thus gather experience. Vocational training is taken into consideration as criteria by other universities when allocating placements. If your interests do not tend to be in the therapeutic field, you can think about other alternatives such as natural sciences, biomedicine, molecular medicine, clinical neurosciences, et cetera.
The professional medical field is very diversified. Primarily doctors are thought of as working in hospitals or in private practice.
However, for those who would rather do less patient-centered work, there are also employment opportunities in the fields of scientific research or teaching, for example with universities or other educational institutions. The pharmaceutical industry also offers related positions, in departments such as drug development or pharmaceutical sales. Finally, there is the option of administrative work with health insurance companies or in public health care as an alternative for doctors who do not want to work in the therapeutic field.
Exam Regulations regulate academic goals and prerequisites, the course of study layout, and exam procedures. The appendix to the regulations contains the description of the modules, from which the course of study is composed.