Which rules and regulations govern university studies?

The State University Law (LHG) and the Study and Examination Regulations (SPO) govern university studies. The SPO distinguishes between a general section applicable to all students (Allgemeiner Teil) and a special section for each degree programme (Besonderer Teil). All new and current students are urged to read these carefully and to contact the Admissions or Examinations Office if there are any questions.

As a rule, the regulations of the SPO apply along with the resolutions of the Central Examination Board (ZPA), which provides guidance on supplementary regulations as appropriate. Exceptions are made only in extreme cases, and only upon special request with a detailed explanation to the Examinations Office.

When and how do I enrol or re-enrol?

The senate approves an official schedule for each individual semester that includes the dates and deadlines for enrolment or re-enrolment and the deadlines for enrolment for specific courses. Re-enrolment is also required during study abroad semesters, practical study semesters, when registering for thesis preparation, or when taking leave of absence.

Please note: For successful enrolment (first-semester students only), fees must be transferred at latest 10 days before the start of the enrolment period. Re-enrolment for the following semester (applies to all existing HFU students) can only be done online through the Studi-Portal.

Under the heading "My course" you will find another heading "Payment & Re-registration". The fees payable and the transfer data will be shown. If the amount payable shown is not correct, please contact the Student Affairs Department (Studentische Abteilung).

Please transfer the amount payable. Please note that all data given in bold print must be used exactly as they are shown and that the bank transfer can take up to 8 days to be processed.

You cannot re-enrol on Studi-Portal until  the payment has been processed and is registered on our account. At this point you can download and print your new confirmation of enrolment (Studienbescheinigungen) and afterwards you can also validate your student ID card (Studierendenausweis) for the new semester.

How do I re-enrol to repeat a semester?

If you wish, you have the opportunity to repeat a semester (which is then called a "B-semester"). If you receive BAföG student funding (only applicable to German and EU citizens), you should first agree this with the SWFR BAföG representative or the BAföG office, as you might otherwise encounter problems. At re-enrolment, you must first re-enrol online via the Studi-Portal and then contact the Examinations Office (e.g. via email) to apply for the B-semester.

When is an exam considered passed?

A non-graded or graded assessment (e.g. a written exam, presentation, lab work, etc.) is considered successfully completed if a non-graded assessment has been assessed as a "pass" (bestanden), or the graded assessment has been passed with a minimum grade of 4.0. Failed exams are graded with a 5.0. If an exam is withdrawn from without prior notice or a required assignment is not submitted, a grade of 5.0 will be awarded. (For details, see SPO General Section.)

How many times can an exam be repeated?

A graded exam or non-graded assessment may be repeated several times. However, both the prescribed length of the degree programme (i.e. the time allowed for the completion of foundation level studies and advanced level studies) and the maximum limit of penalty (malus) points (for foundation studies = maximum 48 penalty points and for advanced studies = maximum 96 penalty points) must also be taken into consideration. For every failed graded exam or non-graded assessment, penalty points are added to the penalty account. There are no longer any exceptions for hardship cases. (For details, see SPO General Section.)

Do I have to register for all exams myself at the start of the semester?

Re-enrolment for each taught semester (see SPO Special Section) automatically registers you for the relevant required courses for that semester, as well as for any previous compulsory (Pflichtfächer) or compulsory elective courses (Wahlpflichtfächer) that have not been passed. You must register yourself at the Student Administration/Examinations Office (Prüfungsamt) for the following courses during the enrolment period:

  • Compulsory electives (Wahlpflichtfächer)
  • Additional courses (Zusatzfächer)
  • Failed additional courses
  • Compulsory subjects taught in a more advanced semester (requires official approval)

Note 1: You must register online for language courses on the Language Center portal NEO (following an assessment test) and in the Student Administration/Examinations Office.

Note 2: It is not permitted to take an exam for which you have not registered. In such cases, the grade achieved will not be recorded by the Examinations Office.

When are graded and non-graded assessments accredited?

Accreditation of credits for graded (Prüfungsleistungen) and non-graded (Studienleistungen) assessments must normally be carried out at the start of the study programme and within the first three weeks of the lecture period. The completed Application for recognition of exams form must be submitted within the required deadline to the Chairman of the Faculty Examination Board (or the dean of studies). The decision as to whether accreditation can be given or not should be made at latest by the end of the enrolment period of the semester in question. Click here for further Information on recognition of exams. (Please note that the form and information sheet are currently available in German only.)

When can I register for courses?

You can only register for courses (compulsory electives, additional courses, etc.) at the Student Administration/Examinations Office (Prüfungsamt) during the registration period (Belegungzeit) which usually starts after the third week of lectures.

What do I have to know about elective courses?

You can, of course, register for more compulsory elective courses (Wahlpflichtfächer) than is specified in the Special Regulations section of the SPO. However, remember that once you register for an compulsory elective course, it becomes a compulsory course and must be passed. If you have completed more elective courses than required, you will be able to choose which of these should be included in the preparation of your degree certificate. Courses that are not included in the calculation of the degree certificate are simply be shown as "passed", rather than showing a specific grade.

Who can I turn to if I feel I have been unfairly assessed?

Please speak first to the course lecturer who has assessed the written exam or other assignment. If this fails to resolve the matter, you can contact the dean of studies for the programme. Should the situation still remain unresolved, you can submit an appeal to the Faculty Examination Board (Fakultätsprüfungsausschuss). The application will be forwarded to the director of the Examinations Office only after all attempts at resolving the matter have failed to satisfy the student.

Do I have to take a resit exam with the same lecturer?

If a particular non-graded or graded assignment has been assessed as a "fail", you are automatically registered to take the resit exam in the following semester. The required work must then be completed with the lecturer who is teaching the course in that semester – you are not entitled to take an exam with a specific lecturer.

Does withdrawal from an exam or assignment affect my BAföG funding?

It is possible to withdraw voluntarily from the first registration for an official assessment having given official notification (for further information see general section of SPO). Withdrawal from an exam may occur due to illness. In such cases a doctor's note must be submitted to the Examinations Office without delay, i.e. at latest 3 days after the exam date

However: Voluntary withdrawal from an exam does affect BAföG. Therefore please make an appointment to speak with your BAföG coordinator at HFU as soon as possible:

When will I be admitted to advanced level studies (3rd taught semester)?

The following regulations apply to admission to advanced level studies:

  • Admission to advanced level studies is automatic upon achieving 54 bonus points.
  • If you achieve 44-53 bonus points, you can apply to the dean of studies for admission to advanced studies. If you receive this permission, you will be able to start advanced studies.
  • If you achieve 43 or fewer bonus points, you will not be able to start advanced studies and will therefore have to repeat a semester (take a so-called "B-semester"). However, you can still apply to the dean of studies to take certain advanced study modules (with a maximum of 12 ECTS credits). If permission is granted, you must register for these courses at the Examinations Office during the registration period.
  • If at the end of the foundation studies period you have accumulated 24 or more penalty points (Maluspunkte), you will need to attend an advisory meeting with the dean of studies.

You will receive written notification from the Examinations Office about points accumulated and your transcript of records (Notenspiegel).

When and how can I apply for leave of absence?

The State University Act (LHG) § 61, para. 1, regulates the granting of leave of absence: "Upon request and provided there are important reasons, students may be released from the obligation of following the regular course of study (leave of absence). The leave of absence period should not normally exceed two semesters." Deviation from this time limit is only possible under exceptional circumstances, (e.g. illness, the consequences of an accident, etc.). 

The completed application form for leave of absence (Antrag auf Beurlaubung - currently available in German only) must be submitted to the Examinations Office no later than the end of the first week of the lecture period. The dean of studies has the final decision as to whether the application will be granted. (Please see also § 31 SPO General Section.)

What do I have to keep in mind regarding final thesis preparation?

First and foremost, you should observe the general section of the Bachelor's SPO (§§ 24, 25)  or the Master's SPO (§§ 18, 19), as well as supplementary provisions (Ausführungsbestimmungen - currently available in German only) of the faculty. The completed thesis registration form (signed by the supervisor and the dean of studies) must be submitted to the Faculty Office. The thesis itself must also be submitted to the Faculty Office by the relevant submission deadline. Once your thesis has been submitted to the Faculty Office and you have passed all required modules and exams, you must exmatriculate at the Examinations Office. You will also have to clear any final debts (Entlastung) on Studi-Portal.

Is the Semester Ticket available in Furtwangen?

The Semester Ticket, a public transport pass from the regional public transport services (Verkehrsverbund Schwarzwald Baar - VSB) which allows students discounted travel by rail and bus, is also available in the Schwarzwald-Baar district. Further information is available here: www.v-s-b.de.

Discount travel cards (Stammkarten) are only available on board the bus or from the Villingen-Schwenningen branch of the VSB.

What is the Studi-Portal?

Studi-Portal is an online portal for all Furtwangen University students which offers the following services:

  • re-enrolment for the next semester
  • change of postal address
  • print-out of grade sheet
  • confirmation of registration for exams / courses
  • print-out of current certificate of enrolment
  • downloadable forms and applications
  • study and examination regulations (SPO)

Studi-Portal can be accessed with your HFU account information.