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Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg [FAU] [Uni-erlangen]
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zaraki Offline
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Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg [FAU] [Uni-erlangen]
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[Edit: Now that more than a year has passed since the first post. I decided to change some of the text to capture some details that have evoled over time. So the edited part is in blue color]

Here are my observations about the CE program and some aspects that might help you. Remember that these are my personal views and it goes without saying – I do not take responsibility to any of the information that I share here. But I can say that you will most probably feel the same way after coming here. At few places, I have moved from my personal opinion to accommodate general perception.

Computational Engineering

Teaching

After having been to courses at TU Munich and FAU Erlangen, also after listening to video recorded courses of Aachen and Stuttgart, I have come to this following conclusion: The quality of teaching (in english) at German Universities (in general) is a step below to that of the best US universities. In the US universities, the courses have a proper handout and a detailed description of what to expect, what to read and follow, what is covered and what is not, where the course stands with other courses, and basically a feel for where the course is heading and what you can get out of the course. While here at German universities, you have to keep guessing and make your own connections. This is left as a home work, pushing responsibility of course selection onto the students.

Having said that, I am more or less satisfied with teaching here. Every lecture won't be like something you would want to video record but whom so ever I have encountered till now has pretty good knowledge of what he/she is teaching. And with only 42€ per semester fee[semester fee is now 113€], I believe on any given day I would choose FAU over many US university (except in the case when admit from US university comes with complete funding).


Changing TAF

Without changing your TAF it is possible to take courses from other TAFs. Especially if you have got Solid Mechanics & Dynamics and want to take some courses form Thermo & Fluid Dynamics TAF.

In my batch many who initially got Computational Material Science and Mechatronics changed their TAF to Solid Mechanics & Dynamics and Thermo & Fluid Dynamics. There was some discomfort and distrust expressed by adviser and department heads about this. They dint want many students to change their TAF. Changing TAF is not impossible but just remember that you need to have a genuine reason (for some it was very easy because they had work experience in their desired TAF so they could change their TAF easily). Also that they question integrity of the student, why has he/she applied in one and wants another one after the admit.

CMS is a good TAF, you will discover that it's closely linked to EAM (Engineering of Advanced Materials) cluster of excellence. Think twice before you want to change TAF.


Typically, there will be lot of applicants to Solid Mechanics & Dynamics and Thermo & Fluid Daynamics TAFs (comparatively) so one can say it's little difficult to get into these TAFs. Overall, including all TAFs, class strength is around 38. They might increase intake number but not by much. I am pretty confident that intake will be around 40 each year. [Contrary to what I hadwritten here in 2014, in 2015 they took around 50 students in total. The number seems to be the same in 2016, 2017, and 2018.]

All subjects you would need to take are taught in English. Now and then you will find some specific subject you might wanna take which is taught in German. You can give exams either in English or in German. And goes without saying you can finish the degree without taking any subject taught only in German.


Is the course tough?

You will encounter many folks saying course is tough. In my honest opinion it is a bit, its significantly tougher compared to normal M.S course in Mechanical in the USA. This could be due to following reasons:

1. High interdisciplinary course structure. You will have 3 compulsory modules to choose your subjects from - Computer Science, Mathematics and Specific TAF. There is an unusual mandatory abstract mathematics subject you will encounter in the first semester. It can be little difficult to get your head around that one. You will need to pass this subject to complete the degree. But remember that this subject is rewarding and it helps you understand why we do what we do in the subjects you will take later in the course.

2. Unlike in the US universities here the assignments(most probably) don’t contribute to your final grade. In some subjects you will be needed to do assignments to be eligible for the final exam. Unlike in US, there is no mid-term exam (generally). So you have one opportunity to show how much you know the subject --one final exam and that's it.

3. It takes everyone time to get adjusted to the German examination style. The written exam is usually about 1 or 1.5 hours and to each question you are supplied with the amount of time you may spend, so you don't waste precious time. Typically you need about half of maximum marks to pass an exam. After I got to know about the time factor, I personally felt that this time is not sufficient to test a student on a given subject. But after a cycle, I think I can understand why the tests are paced in this fashion. 1.0 is the best grade and 4.0 is fail. Oral exam are possible when the number of students taking the exam is low.

4. You are expected to do double the course work. In the US, you will need about 30 credits to finish your degree. Typically one subject contributes to around 3 or 4 credits. On an average you need to finish 8 subjects before you follow up with thesis. Here, however, you need to finish around 15 or 16 subjects and thesis to gather 120 ECTS (each subject is typically 5 or 7.5 ECTS). So in the US if you have 16 hours of course work per week, expect around 28 to 30 hours of course work here. If you add credits of German language course then you have exactly double the number of course work hours. So if you can manage a part time to support yourself, along with the language course and if you can still get good grades in all 5 or 6 subjects--you're killing it. And I wish you luck so you don't have a burn out?


Part Time Job Scene

Part time research assistant jobs are very much available, but you need to look out for them constantly. Almost everyone who searched for one seriously landed a part time job at least for couple of months. If you have work ex then you definitely have better chances. It's a misnomer that you need to know German for part time jobs. Well, that's not completely true. If you are looking for research assistantship, like a student associate (HiWi, Hilfswissenchaftler) under an English speaking post doc or PhD student, you don't need to speak German. (Most researchers speak English though they might not conduct all their research in English; they often need to present their research in English someplace outside Germany right? or to international researchers). So the general trend is to wait for a semester, get adjusted in course as well as the exam structure, do little research what you want to do VS what is available and then start working for second semester. But some started right from semester 1. It's up to you what suits you best!

There is a thought lingering in here - why take up non-white color jobs(which definitely require you to be good in German) if you can prepare yourself for a HiWi? And people generally do HiWis or they don't do any, but in my opinion earning will give you peace of mind. Remember that you will need to show another 8040€ (this figure might change, this was the figure in October 2013) or prove that you have a part time job contract which will cover your expenses for getting your residence permit extended for another year.

However, there is a chicken and egg situation here, especially if there is some one who can offer you part time job but they ask for your work permit. And to get your residence and work permit you need the part time work contract.



Full Time Job Scene

The situation is the same as in other universities. There is a "Career and Job" group/organization at the University for counselling, job application/resume help and other related tasks. German language proficiency can do miracles. You might get away with just English in some cases but enough has been said already about this. It's interesting to note that most of the researchers in Germany speak English. So if you 're aiming for PhD, you can take German language courses at your own pace and no need to hurry. And I wont be able to answer any questions related to job prospects. I am not yet experienced to give a learned answer or even a personal opinion.


The Elite Program

FAU Erlangen is in Bavaria and so is TU Munich. Elite Network of Bavaria, funded by the Bavarian state government offers an elite program "Bavarian Graduate School for Computational Engineering". Students doing masters in Computational Engineering (CE) at FAU Erlangen, Computational Science and Engineering (CSE) & Computational Mechanics (COME) at TU Munich are eligible to apply for the elite program. You need to score less than 2.0 in your first semester and clear an interview to get into this program. The moto of the program is "do more and get more". In this program you will do 30 more ECTS subjects without any fee. If your ultimate goal is to do a PhD and if you have not yet figured out how to go about it, the elite program can be your starting point. Around 60% of graduates of this program end up doing PhD.

This program doesn't give you any sort of scholarship or monetary support; it already invests enough to offer the elite program at no cost. It's like a feather in your cap kind of thing because you graduate with "Master of Science with Honours". The honours degree will be awarded only if your GPA is less than 2.0 in your regular master's program and in 30 ECTS that you will do in the elite program.

I have heard people saying it's a sure shot way to get selected for a PhD program of your choice (as long as your course work or experience matches with the research). If you are a kind of person who wants to get to the bottom of your subject, I suggest you to take up PhD. Because in future at some point you will feel stagnated in your professional career or your job might cease to be intellectually stimulating.



Best luck to the applicants and those who are planning to come here.

I will be quite busy. Please expect delays in answering your queries and if something was not answered for long bring it to my notice via pm. Also please keep this thread clean for others to read. Do not post any application related queries - for which you may use this thread.

It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.

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(This post was last modified: 10-26-2018 09:28 PM by zaraki.)
04-06-2014 12:49 AM
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RE: Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg [FAU] [Uni-erlangen]
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zaraki

Thank you for this informative thread. I think University specific forum EU will be the right forum for such informative thread on specific universities.

I will post the link of this thread in this year's FAU thread for reference for this year's applicants.

Tagging Dragon_Warrior, please move this thread to University Specific Threads (Europe) forum and info regarding FAU Erlangen shall be shared here.

A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new-Albert Einstein

All you need to know about studying Masters in Germany | German University specific threads with List of Seniors

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Please avoid PMs. Tag me for replies
04-06-2014 01:08 PM
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zaraki Offline
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RE: Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg [FAU] [Uni-erlangen]
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Yeah tried dropping pm to few mods.

Anyways, there is more information I should add to the first post regarding the Elite Program, will do in due course.

It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.

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04-06-2014 01:37 PM
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saravanaiit Offline
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RE: Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg [FAU] [Uni-erlangen]
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zaraki
Great work bro..
ApplauseApplauseApplause
awaiting your post on the elite program..
Having numerous doubts related to it..

zaraki
One quick question..
Is the elite program applicable only for thermo and fluid dynamics TAF?
(This post was last modified: 04-06-2014 02:15 PM by saravanaiit.)
04-06-2014 02:12 PM
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zaraki Offline
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RE: Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg [FAU] [Uni-erlangen]
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Any one enrolled in Master's course in Computational Engineering at FAU can apply.

It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.

MS Application Guide || Evaluating PhD Possibility || FAU Erlangn Thread || Info bank
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04-06-2014 02:26 PM
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RE: Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg [FAU] [Uni-erlangen]
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zaraki

Very informative thread! ApplauseApplauseApplause
We need more such university specific threads in the EU forum.
I will add this thread to the heading in the German university specific index thread.
BTW....What TAF have you chosen?

04-06-2014 05:02 PM
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zaraki Offline
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RE: Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg [FAU] [Uni-erlangen]
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Edit: Added information about The Elite Program.

It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.

MS Application Guide || Evaluating PhD Possibility || FAU Erlangn Thread || Info bank
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04-06-2014 05:02 PM
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zaraki Offline
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RE: Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg [FAU] [Uni-erlangen]
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nimbus_2000

Yeah I am waiting for someone to move this thread to 'University Specific Threads (Europe)'.

My TAF is Solid Mechanics and Dynamics but I am planning to take couple of courses from Thermo- and Fluid Dynamics.

It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.

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04-06-2014 05:16 PM
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RE: Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg [FAU] [Uni-erlangen]
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moved.

Universities(CS)| Doc formats | Prof letting

I will not be doing elaborate evals. Please dont tag me on PE threads, its futile.

I urge you to Tag judiciously. I would love to help you but hate to be redundant.

If you have a SPECIFIC problem or a question drop me a PM.
04-07-2014 02:20 PM
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RE: Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg [FAU] [Uni-erlangen]
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Kindly bear with my queries:
1. Is it true that Thermo & fluid dynamics TAF is difficult to secure as compared to M&D?
2. Also only TAF thermo is allowed for Elite program?

Thanks!
04-25-2014 12:12 PM
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zaraki Offline
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RE: Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg [FAU] [Uni-erlangen]
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dtox194

1. Don't jump into such conclusions. No one really knows which one is tough to get in and rather there is no way to judge if not for number of applicants to that particular TAF. But research in silumation of fluid dynamics is pretty good here.

2. Yes any one who enrolled in CE can apply.

It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.

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05-01-2014 02:33 AM
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RE: Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg [FAU] [Uni-erlangen]
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How is the Informations Systems course and Communication and Media course in FAU? ( parameters are level of subjects and research area after MS and further prospects)

Any Idea? Any seniors,or anybody who has applied?

05-02-2014 07:54 AM
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RE: Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg [FAU] [Uni-erlangen]
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pratik.de

wishlingo will be able to help all the CME aspirants.
Also check out this thread.

(This post was last modified: 05-09-2014 02:57 PM by nimbus_2000.)
05-02-2014 04:38 PM
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RE: Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg [FAU] [Uni-erlangen]
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how good is thermo and fluid stream of cse course in erlangen.
is it as good as the course offered by tu braunschweig or ruhr bochum?
05-09-2014 08:38 AM
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RE: Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg [FAU] [Uni-erlangen]
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ashrulz007

No one is going to reply to your query unless you fill in your Infobank completely.

05-09-2014 02:57 PM
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