Frequently Asked Questions – FAQ

Q: Why iCE Master? Why TU Darmstadt?

A: The iCE Master program is a program of excelence founded in 2001, supported and endorsed by the DAAD. It graduated dozens of engineers who followed international careers in companies, universities and research centers all over the world. The program is offered by the Department of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology of TU Darmstadt, which is ranked among the top 3 in Germany by many publications such as Stern and WirtschaftsWoche.

Q: Other universities would admit me without such a complicated selection process and online tests. Why should I bother to do it?

A: The iCE Master curriculum is multi-disciplinary and research-oriented. It is based on the convergence between electronics, computer engineering and communication engineering, aiming to graduate engineers that can bridge the gap between conceptual design and implementation reported by the communication systems industry. Thus, the curriculum requires from the students a solid basis on the fundamentals of electronics, communications and computer engineering. The application procedure and the online test were designed to ensure that all students present such basis. It may require a little more effort from your side, but once you go through it you can enjoy the benefits of attending classes and labs with other students that, just like you, are well-prepared and motivated to succeed in their studies.

Q: Is the quality of the International Master Program as good as its German Program counterpart ?

A: Yes. The professors, facilities, lecture contents, etc. offered by the International Master Program are the same as those offered in the regular German language program, so you can expect the same level of quality.

Q: Is there an accreditation process for the Master programs in Germany? If so, is the iCE Master already going through this process?

A: Yes, there is. The responsible organization is the German Accreditation Council (Akkreditierungsrat – www.akkreditierungsrat.de), and the process is executed by several area-specific agencies. For engineering and informatics programs, the agency is the ZEvA (Zentrale Evaluations- und Akkreditierungsagentur- www.zeva.org).

Each study program is evaluated by the respective agency within the first years of activity, and re-evaluated periodically after that. The study programs are expected to present data about its curricular structure, faculty and research staff, infrastructure, target audience, etc.

Because of its high level of quality and organization, the iCE International Master Program was already analyzed and evaluated – the ZEvA committee visited our university on May 2014 – and the accreditation was granted.

Q: Are there any fees for the iCE Master?

A: Yes. Students must pay a fee per semester to the university. This allows for lower prices in the university restaurant and a free regional ticket for public transportation during the semester.

Q: Is the program starting also in the Summer Semester?

A: No. We offer only one admission per year, starting in September.

Q: When is the deadline for applications?

A: We strongly recommend you to register at iCE website and online test before June 15th. Approved candidates must submit application documents to the Foreign Student's Office (AAA) before July 15th, in order to be considered for enrollment in the same year.

Q: What's the status of my application?

A: Use the Online System interface.

Q: What is the maximum number of students allowed in each admission?

A: We don't restrict the number of students. All the candidates which fulfill the program requirements will be recommended by the Selection Committee to join the program. There is no “Numerus Clausus” (German system for requiring excellent high school grades) entrance restriction.

Q: I have a X degree from Y university. Am I eligible to join the program?

A: If you have a degree in a field related to Information and Communication Engineering, you may be eligible to the program, but this can be confirmed only after the analysis of your application material by the Selection Committee. We recommend you to apply only if you had good foundation in most of the following topics during your studies: mathematics, physics, statistics, semiconductor theory, electronics, electromagnetism, computer organization, software systems and data communications. Check our Requirements page for further information.

Q: I am not yet graduated. Can I apply?

A:Yes. However, you must be able to submit an authenticated copy of your degree certificate by July 15th.

Q: What is a provisional certificate?

A: A provisional certificate is a document issued by some universities and given to the students when they graduate. With this document, they can apply for our program, even when the final degree certificate is not ready.

Q: Can I apply for a scholarship/funding/financial support?

A: There are payed research assistantships available at many of the iCE host institutes (e.g. IES, ES, KOM) but they are only available to students in a higher semester (first semester students are not eligible). Thus, first semester students are expected to support themselves either through personal funds or scholarships.

Q: Is it necessary to have German language skills?

A: No. You only need to be proficient in English to apply. All mandatory lectures and many optional lectures, labs and seminars are in English. However, lectures and seminars in some particular topics are offered in German language only. To make possible to all students to take advantage of the whole range of offerings, the program includes a mandatory German course for those without good German skills. This German course is offered free of charge to all iCE Master Program students and is organized by the Language Center of the TU Darmstadt.

Q: Where can I learn German language before I go to Germany?

A: You can start learning German language in the nearest Goethe Institut (more info in www.goethe.de), other German language schools or in the web. Some addresses:

* http://dw-world.de/

* http://www.goethe.de/dll/mat/enindex.htm

* http://dict.leo.org/

Q: Is TOEFL really necessary? Can I provide other proficiency certificates?

A: It is a decision of the Foreign Student's Office to require an English proficiency certificate from all applicants who are not English native speakers. Even students, who have already done their Bachelor degree in English, need to prepare an English proficiency certificate. We do prefer TOEFL certification, but you can submit your application with other equivalent, well known English proficiency certificates (IELTS, Cambridge). However, keep in mind that in that case the Selection Committee may ask you for further documents, or even ask for an interview before accepting your application.

Q: Can you send me a brochure with information about the program? Can you send me the application form?

A: No. All the information regarding the program is in the website. The application procedure is also done through the website.

Q: I have problems on using the application form in the web! / I don't have digital copies of my certificates! Can I apply via post mail?

A: No. All the application procedure is done through Internet. Look for a good Internet provider or Internet cafe, then you will have no problems.

Q: I failed in the online test. What should I do?

A: If you failed the online test, it probably means that your previous studies don't match the required background we expect from our students. We recommend you to search for a study program which matches your background.

Q: I was approved in the online test but the Selection Commitee did not recommend me for enrollment. Why?

A: The iCE Master is a program of excellence, and only candidates with solid background in information and communication engineering can be accepted. If you weren't recommended for enrollment, it means that the iCE Selection Committee analyzed your application documents (transcripts and degree certificate) and could not find such foundations within your academic experiences. We use the online test as tool to provide us some assessment on your background, but the detailed analysis on your academic profile is done by our Selection Committee. Please refer to our admission requirements page for further information.

Q: Where can I get certified copies of my documents?

A: The International Admission Office (IAO) has detailed information about this issue in their website: https://www.tu-darmstadt.de/international/home/index.en.jsp

Q: I was recommended for enrollment, but now I got a letter from the university stating that my admission was rejected. What is happening?

A: The iCE Master Coordination can only recommend you to enrollment. The enrollment itself is done by the Studentensekretariat (German citizens) or the International Admission Office. The letter you received was probably sent by one of those departments, because they found problems with your documentation. In this case, you should contact them directly, so the problem can be solved. In such case, the recommendation for enrollment that was issued by the iCE Selection Committee is maintained, and the student would be enrolled as soon as the documentation issues are cleared with the corresponding admission department.

Q: I was issued an admission letter, but i cannot start this year because of X or Y reasons. Can my admission be deffered to next year?

A: Contact the person at the International Admission Office who issued you the admission letter and explain why you want your admission to be deffered. If your reasons are tangible, he or she will issue you a new admission letter for next year.

Q: I am a foreign student and my request for a student visa was denied. Can you help me?

A: Unfortunately we can't do anything regarding this matter.

Q: I am a foreign student and I already got my student visa. When should I go to Germany?

A: The technical courses usually begin in the second half of October. However, all iCE students without German language proficiency are expected to arrive in September for the German language intensive course (6 weeks, starting in the first working day of September).

In the first days after your arrival, you should contact the International Admission Office in order to proceed with your registration.

Q: How do I get there?

A: If you are coming by plane, the best way is through Frankfurt Airport. You can take the Airliner to Darmstadt Hauptbahnhof. This is a direct bus from the airport to Darmstadt city center.

Q: When exactly are the classes starting?

A: The German language classes, which are mandatory for all the students without German proficiency, start in the first working day of September. The technical lectures start in the third week of October.

Q: My admission letter states that I need to have health insurance. How can I get it?

A: We recommend you to get your health insurance here in Germany, because you can take advantage on special student fees. After your arrival, you can go to any insurance company and ask for it. You should show them your admission letter in order to get the reduced fees for students. It will cost you then about 80Euro per month.

For further information, you can check the Unilife website (www.unilife.de – for the information in English, click in the option “Insurance guide”).

Q: Can you provide me some information about housing in Darmstadt?

A: You can search by yourself for apartments offered by private owners in online advertisement newpapers such as Sperrmuell (http://sperrmuell.quoka.de/). If you decide to search for an apartment after your arrival, a good option for the first days is the Darmstadt Youth Hostel, which is located circa. 100 m from the university. The German Youth Hostel Association website is http://www.djh.de/.

You will be assisted by our mentorson finding a private-owned apartments. About the price ranges, here you can find some basis:

Apartment Location Monthly rental Furnished

1 room, sharing bathroom 30 minutes from TU 180 Euro

1 room&kitchen, bathroom 5 minutes from TU 350 Euro

2 rooms, kitchen, bathroom 5 minutes from TU 450 Euro

Q: How to apply for the courses?

A: First of all, you have to register in TUCaN. Here you find all courses offered for your study as well as all courses from the whole university. Register for the courses that you would like to attend. Look in the list of courses and lectures, then go to the first meeting and follow the hints of the Professor. You can also take courses from other programs. Check the complete list of courses offered by the university.

Q: How to apply for exams?

A: To be approved in a particular course, you must apply for the exams via TUCaN. The application must be done during the time-slot June respectively December. More information you find here

Q: How will my examination marks be given? What is the minimum mark to be approved?

A: In Germany, the marks are given from a discrete set between 1 and 5. The highest mark is 1 and the lowest is 5. To be approved, you must obtain at least 4.

The meaning of each mark is as follows:

1 – sehr gut (very good)

2 – gut (good)

3 – befriedigend (satisfactory)

4 – ausreichend (sufficient)

5 – ungenügend (insufficient, failed)

Q: What is the best strategy to be approved?

A: It depends. Every individual has its own preferences. Anyway, the following points should always be remembered:

  • attend to the lectures, exercises, labs
  • review the lectures at home
  • the scientific staff of the university (Professors, Assistant lecturers, Researchers) usually dedicate some hours per week to attend students – check on their web pages
  • use the libraries
  • rely on the iCE Master coordinator (masteroffice(at)etit.tu-darmstadt.de) or the faculty Servicezentrum (servicezentrum@etit.tu-darmstadt.de) for help

Q: I need a certificate with my marks/results. Where can I get it?

A: If you need a certificate on your results, ask for it at the examination office.

Q: Can I work during my studies?

A: If you are foreigner living in Germany with a student visa, you may work full time without a work permit for a maximum of three months or 180 half-days per year during semester breaks (“Employment promotion law” § 19) without a work permit. But keep in mind that some of the examinations, projects and your internship will probably take place during the semester break.

Q: Where can I get financial support at the end of my study?

A: One possibility especially at the end of the study you find here.

Q: What is the iCE Master Program situation within the TU Darmstadt organization?

A: The TUD is divided in several faculties/departments (Fachbereiche). The iCE International Master Program is one of the study programs offered by the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology (FB18 – Fachbereich Elektrotechnik und Informationstechnik).

Q: Where can I study/work at the computer/access Internet?

A: You can use the infrastructure provided by the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology. To access the PC pool at the S3|06 building, you should fill in the account registration form, available in the bulletin board in front of the room S3|06/314.

You should as well use the computer rooms, libraries and study rooms offered by your tutor.

Q: Where can I do my internship? How long should it be? What will I be doing?

A: The internship is a period of at least twelve weeks where you will have the opportunity to put into practice some of the knowledge you obtained during your master studies. It can take place in the industry or in one of the research labs of the university (either TU Darmstadt or one of the partner universities). You can expect to learn some of the every day tasks an engineer undertakes, such as using CAD tools, measurement instruments, prototyping platforms, etc. You will also exercise some of your team work skills, because your work would likely be a part of a larger project involving other researchers and engineers.

At the end of your internship, you must provide a report on your tasks which will be evaluated by the ServiceZentrum.

The recommended period for the internship is the semester break between the 3rd and 4th semesters. At that point, you will be finished with all the lectures and will be able to focus completely on the internship. Furthermore, you can also take advantage on the internship and use it as an opportunity to learn the basics for your master thesis. For instance, you can do an internship in a lab or company that use the CAD tools or measurement instruments you intend to use during your master thesis, so that you start working on the thesis you are already proficient on the respective tool or instrument.