Frequently Asked Questions

What is the actual difference between the German and English tracks in the BiBa and a standard German computer science major?

Courses BiBa - German Track BiBa - English Track Magdeburg’s regular BSc in Computer Science
Required courses in computer science and mathematics 100 credits in courses + 20 credits in projects and seminars,
exactly the same in all programs
Courses outside of computer science and mathematics 10 credits English Top-Up 15 credits in courses outside of computer science and math, e.g. for a minor, in civil engineering. Language courses do not count here.
Additional language courses (at least 10, at most 20 credits) German classes as required up to a total of 30 credits
Electives in Computer Science or Mathematics Typically 6 courses of 5 credits each to yield a total of 180 course credits Typically 4 elective courses for a total of 20 credits to yield a total of 180 course credits 9 electives for a total of 45 credits
Thesis and internship 30 credits, exactly the same for all programs. The thesis and internship documentation may be written in English or German (student’s choice).
Total 210 credits, same over all programs

Hence in the BiBa you take some language courses for credit, which you may not in the regular program. In the regular program you can’t take language courses for credit but instead other classes outside of computer science and mathematics, and a couple more electives.

Fridays have no classes with compulsory attendance. Does this mean that attendance from Monday to Thursday is in fact compulsory?

German universities generally do not make class attendance compulsory, except in some laboratory classes. Hence attendance at lectures and most tutorials is generally voluntary. However, experience shows that students much more readily achieve the learning goals set out for a course if you actually attend classes.
Note that some tutorials have an implicit attendance requirement by checking which assignments you solved and would be able to present in class. 

Do I have to certify my knowledge of English?

Yes, you need take an official exam at an institution that has the right to issue such exam results. Alternatively, if your Abitur or other final school transcript states the level of Englisch you achieved, this is also accepted.

If you do not have a certificate which says “B2“ in the “European Language Reference Framework“, you can prove your knowledge of English at the „Upper intermediate“ level by taking any one of a number of exams. You need the upper value of the ranges given, e.g. 6.0 for the IELTS. You can see a list of certificates accepted by the University here. There are many institutions around just about everywhere to take an exam. It typically costs in the range of € 100 to €250 Euros.


In the last term, students are required to do an internship. Can we do internships abroad? Does the university give assistance in getting such internships?

The University generally helps you to find your internships, but you have to be proactive yourselves. Think of it as a dry run for getting your first job after graduation.


What is the exact name of the certificate obtained as a bachelor degree?

You will have a Bachelor of Science in the subject Bilingual Computer Science, and your transcript will say that you studied bilingually (German / English).


Do I have to take computer science courses in German if I am in the English track? And visa versa?

Yes, you have to take at least four courses in your second language among English and German. This includes producing all work which needs to be turned in (like homework and exams) in your second language.


Can I top-up my BiBa with a Master’s in Computer Science or other similar subjects like Visual Computing or Business Informatics?

Absolutely. It will be a bona fida computer science bachelor’s degree, enabling you to do a master’s degree. Whether you get accepted in the degree program of your choice depends on many factors, but not the langauge of instruction in your bachelor's degree.

Note that the Bachelor’s degrees at the Faculty of Computer Science in Magdeburg encompass 210 credits (7 semesters) because they include an internship. You will be able to take a master’s degree requiring 3 semesters to complete, or you can take one requiring 4 semesters. Magdeburg offers such 3 semester master’s degrees, but not all institutions do.


What percentage of the program is practical work? 

This is really hard to say. A bit depends on you yourself, how much you (need to) do, and where you place your priorities. It depends for example on how much time you need to do the maths and the language courses – the easier you find maths and languages, the more time you have for practical things.

It also depends on what you consider to be „practical work“. You may consider the design of algorithms and data structures as well as programming to be practical work; the more you do for your homework and your projects, the better you will do in the degree program as a whole. But this applies to all courses in the program.

Can I transfer out of the BiBa to a „Hochschule“ (University of Applied Sciences)?

This is a rather general question, hence the answer will be more general: Universities tend to teach more fundamental subjects (like maths, theoretical computer science) with the view of preparing you for life-long learning. Universities of Applied Sciences tend to be more hands-on in what they teach, meaning what you learn becomes obsolete as the specific systems or software are replaced by others. This influences what transfer credits an institution grants if coming from a different one.

So: Yes, but it remains to be seen which credits the receiving institution is able to transfer.


If I entered the BiBa, will I be able to transfer my credits to a different program within the Otto-von-Guericke University of Magdeburg?

Yes you can transfer into a different degree program any time, assuming enrolement isn’t restricted in the receiving program. You will get the same transfer credits as if you had been in our regular computer science program. Transfer credits are granted on the basis of content, not the langauge of instruction.

For example, if, for whatever reason, you start in the English track of the BiBa and move to a regular German language business informatics bachelor’s degree, you will be able to get transfer credits to the same extent as if you had been in the BiBa’s German track.


Can I switch to the English Track if I started in the German one, or visa versa?

In principle yes, however: a) you have to have the language prerequisites for your target track, b) it depends on whether we are already at capacity in the langauge you want to move to, and c) we will want to discuss with you why and if your goals can be met in the other track.


Can I mix and match the langauge of my computer science courses?

Yes, if you feel up to it, but what is offered in which language depends on the scheduling. We don’t always offer every course in both languages in the same term. And in 3rd year, every course is offered in only one of the two languages. We expect your language skills to be good enough by then for the language of instruction not to matter.


Will I be able to interact with German native speakers in the program, even if I’m in the English track and I‘m just learning German or my German is a tad shaky?

Definitely, and indeed this is our goal to help all students to get up to speed in both languages. You will all be together in the English top-up, hence you will get to know one another across the BiBa tracks. And we will host events for all of you to give you opportunities to mingle. So count on turning up on such occasions, even if they are not strictly mandatory! And keep in mind that learning a language is a give-and-take proposition: German native speakers will want to practice their English with you, hence you all need to find a balance. But don’t worry, this will develop over time.

So a lot depends on you personally. But the others in the program will be curious to get to know you and thus hope that you will participate in events and contribute to the the BiBa class as a whole. It will become your „network for life“.

Last Modification: 25.06.2024 - Contact Person: Webmaster