Technische Universität Berlin

Winter Semester 2020/2021: Studying at Technische Universität Berlin

Welcome to the Winter Semester at TU Berlin!

Technische Universität Berlin is busy preparing for winter semester 2020. The lecture period commences November 2. 

Come to Berlin. Come to TU Berlin! We are looking forwarding to welcoming you all, whether you are a first-semester student or returning to continue your studies.

As far as possible, our lecturers are preparing their seminars and lectures in digital format. However, we also want as many practical-format classes, such as smaller seminars and labs, as possible to take place in presence on campus. We are also looking to offer examinations and field trips in presence.

Adopting this approach provides us with the flexibility we need to respond quickly to any tightening of pandemic regulations in the fall or winter.

We are also preparing offers to welcome our new students and provide them with the guidance they need to make a good start to their studies. We want our new intake to have the chance to get to know TU Berlin first hand and meet their lecturers and fellow students. We will inform you in good time regarding the dates and formats of our orientation events.

We will also be providing regular updates on our website of all the most important information regarding winter semester 2020/2021. Don’t miss out on anything - check in regularly!

Video statement with our vice presidents

© Tobias Rosenberg

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Five students explain why they enjoy studying at Technische Universität Berlin

© TU Berlin

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How will winter semester 2020/2021 at TU Berlin operate?

Will a complete teaching program be offered in the winter semester?

TU Berlin places a high value on the quality of its teaching. The University expects that the quality of its teaching will be maintained even under difficult circumstances. Our aim is therefore to provide as complete a program as possible and to enable students to use libraries, study areas, PC labs and foyer areas for the purpose of studying.

How will lectures be held – virtually or on campus?

As in summer semester 2020, lectures will be in digital format. The preferred option is for asynchronous lectures. Teaching videos will be recorded and made available for download from ISIS, TU Berlin’s learning platform. These are to be complemented by Q&A sessions, exercises, tutorials and office hours provided via synchronous video conferences.

To achieve successful learning outcomes, it is essential to maintain ongoing and regular contact with students via synchronous formats and to monitor the progress students are making.

Can seminars be held in-presence?

Teachers have the option to apply to hold smaller classes (e.g. seminars with up to 15 participants) in presence. This is subject to the availability of suitable rooms and a valid justification of the absolute need to hold the class in presence must be provided.

Decisions regarding the maximum capacity of such rooms will be made by InnoCampus in consultation with SDU and Department IV. It should be mentioned at this point that due to the hygiene regulations very few rooms will likely be available.

Will labs, workshop tutorials, and field trips be held?

Instructors may apply to offer practical formats, including labs, workshops, and field trips etc, which cannot take place digitally, in presence. A plan for observing hygiene regulations must be provided. We recommend that lecturers organize videos to help students prepare so that they can use the lab time more effectively. To address the bottlenecks created by the reduced number of students permitted to attend practical formats in presence, the vice president with responsibility for teaching will hold talks with the faculties in the coming weeks to determine whether and how capacities can be expanded through organizational measures and/or further investment.

Will distancing and hygiene regulations continue to apply and what does this mean for the semester?

In addition to fulfilling our teaching duties, however, our other main priority is ensuring that nobody becomes infected. As long as there is no vaccination available and a high risk of infection exists, the regulations regarding distancing and hygiene continue to apply. This includes wearing face masks in the University’s buildings.

We must prevent larger numbers of people gathering on the campus and in the University’s buildings and rooms. This can be best achieved by restricting the presence of students on campus to a necessary minimum.  TU Berlin bases its decisions on the state of Berlin's latest guidelines for containing the coronavirus. All planned regulations and guidelines listed here are subject to this proviso.

It is difficult to predict how the pandemic will develop and we need to adopt a highly flexible approach. A relaxation of hygiene regulations is as likely as a new lock-down.

Will there be free entry to University buildings?

TU Berlin currently expects to continue to operate restricted access to its buildings during the winter semester and remain closed to the public.

As a student, am I permitted to study on campus?

A system for reserving time slots for learning spaces and PC labs similar to that used in the University Library will be introduced to allow students to use these facilities. Students will be allowed to enter the relevant areas upon presentation of their reservation confirmation. To help people observe distancing regulations, appropriate signs and distancing markers will be provided in all such areas as well as clear indications regarding which seats may be used. Plans for the regular disinfecting and airing of rooms are to be developed.

Can I use the University Library?

The University Library is open for loans and is operating a policy of restricted access to reading rooms. 

How will New Student Day be held?

Our central welcome program for new students as well as our other orientation programs have proven very successful in recent years. However, it is currently not possible to stage a New Student Day with more than 3,000 people attending as was the case in October 20 19. TU Berlin is developing a concept based essentially on digital formats. Detailed information and an invitation to students beginning their studies in the winter semester will follow.

Nevertheless, we believe it is important to offer in-presence orientation events for first-semester bachelor’s students. It is important that they have the chance to meet the other students from their degree programs in person. Any in-presence orientation events, such as a campus tour, should be offered in small groups and organized by the individual degree programs. We kindly request faculties, degree program coordinators and representative committees to develop appropriate hygiene regulations, etc. The period 19.10.2020 to 30.10.2020 is scheduled for orientation events, whether in presence or in digital format.

Will in-presence classes be held in the bachelor’s degree programs?

One compulsory course per bachelor’s degree program for first-semester students should be offered in presence throughout the winter semester. For smaller degree programs (<=40 enrolled students), these courses can take place in a sufficiently large lecture hall using similar seating arrangements as for written exams. For larger programs (>= 40 enrolled students), classes such as practical tutorials to accompany lectures can take place with reduced group numbers in lecture halls or seminar rooms.  Additional funds can be provided for tutors.

Degree program coordinators are requested to specify which first-semester courses are to take place in presence. For bachelor's programs starting in the summer semester, there is the analogous possibility of holding a second-semester compulsory course in presence.

What will TU Berlin offer international first-semester students who are unable to travel to Berlin?

At least one tutorial should be offered to these international students as a video conference. For smaller degree programs, in-presence classes should be recorded and made available for download (or broadcast live). The University is also considering if some kind of mentoring service can be provided by experienced students for first-semester students to encourage networking. Hygiene regulations etc. will also need to be developed for such options.

How will exams be held during the winter semester?

In accordance with existing guidelines, the basic options for examinations (oral/written, online/presence) are also available in the winter semester. We are still awaiting regulations and guidelines regarding data protection and right of examination from the state of Berlin. InnoCampus will contact the academic chairs in good time regarding the scheduling of examinations.

There are currently no coronavirus-specific special regulations for studies in the winter semester The Berlin Senate reserves the right to increase the individual standard period of study again by decree if circumstances require. Due to delays in the procedures of the Academic Senate, we cannot assume that the updated version of the general study and examination regulations will be in effect for the winter semester.

Restricted options for studying and changes to examination dates and formats affect preparation for exams. The content and organization of examinations in the winter semester should be determined as early and as definitively as possible. Examinations should be fair in terms of content, organization and grading and perceived as fair by students.

How will academic advising be offered?

Academic Advising, Course Guidance and Psychological Counseling will continue to offer their services in electronic format (email, telephone, video conferencing). The reopening of the Campus Center and the option of face-to-face discussions with the Examinations team are determined by the general regulations regarding the use of offices.

For teaching staff: What tools and support are available for online teaching?

The ZEWK online teaching team will also be providing web-based seminars and individual advising for the winter semester. In addition, guidelines will be revised and extra new guidelines prepared for new students. A netiquette for online teaching (code of conduct) is available. Equipment for recording classes (tablets, microphones, cameras) as well as the requisite software licenses can upon request be procured and made available centrally. Teachers who have been provided with such devices on a loan basis and who do not need them to prepare for the winter semester are requested to return these to InnoCampus or ZEWK.  Additional storage, server and bandwidth capacity requirements will be assessed and acquired if necessary. Limited numbers of laptops and Internet modems will continue to be made available for loan to students with financial hardships. WebEx Teams and the integration of OnlyOffice into the tubCloud provide further tools for group work. Additional suitable online tools for group work among students (matrix server) are currently being prepared for use.

Where can I find current information about how TU Berlin is responding to the development of the pandemic?

TU Berlin provides information about all steps and changes as a result of pandemic developments on its website:

Who is responsible for decisions taken?

In February 2020, the president of TU Berlin established a crisis committee in which representatives from various groups work together. Students are also represented in the committee.

What hygiene regulations does TU Berlin have in place?

TU Berlin has implemented mandatory hygiene regulations to be observed by all members of the University on campus:

The TU Berlin vice president for education also provides information about changes relevant to lecturers and students:

General Information

What support services are available to me as a student at TU Berlin?

Doing a degree requires a lot of personal responsibility. As a rule, you will not be given a complete and definitive schedule but rather suggested schedules indicating how you might like to organize your studies. This means it is up to you to decide which courses you take. It also provides you with plenty of room to maneuver when planning. However, TU Berlin provides you with plenty of support offers to ensure you don’t lose your way. The Academic Advising Service can help you with all general questions relating to your studies, while Course Guidance is on hand to provide you with information regarding specific questions relating to your degree program. There are also regular orientation events at the start of the semester for first-semester students. We will update you later regarding the content of these events and whether they will be taking place on campus or in digital format.

I am not sure which degree program to apply to. What should I do?

If you are finding it difficult to decide on a degree program, you should contact the Academic Advising Service. Friendly team members are on hand to answer your questions and help you with things you are unsure about. At TU Berlin you also have the option to take the MINTgrün pre-study orientation program. This year-long program provides you the chance to organize your own course plan to find out if math, IT, natural sciences or technology (hence MINT) is the right choice for you.

You can find further information here:

I have been given a place at TU Berlin but am unable to start this semester. Can I “reserve” a place for next semester?

At TU Berlin, it is not possible to defer the start of a degree program until the following semester. Please contact Academic Advising with any questions you have concerning enrollment.

Balancing my studies, exams and part-time job is stressful. What can I do?

You have a great deal of flexibility and individual responsibility in organizing your studies in Germany. During your time as a student, you will face the added stress of examinations and from time to time financial worries. Before you start drowning, please contact Psychological Counseling or Academic Advising. Psychological Counseling can help you with crises related to your studies as well as with conflicts in your personal life: Psychological Counseling’s services are free of charge and all conversations are conducted in strictest confidence. Academic Advising also provides informal, confidential conversations to help with all your questions concerning your studies and provides you the tools to help you find your own solutions.

How much does it cost to study at TU Berlin?

There are no tuition fees to pay at TU Berlin. Students are required to pay a semester fee (currently approx. 308 euros). This sum includes your Semesterticket, a public transport travel pass for Berlin valid for one semester.

Does TU Berlin award scholarships?

No, the University itself does not award scholarships. However, students do have the option of applying for a number of scholarships, such as those provided by the Deutschlandstipendium program. You can find an overview of scholarships here:

How can I find a room in Berlin? Are there student dorms on campus?

Studierendenwerk Berlin operates a number of student dorms throughout the city, providing a cheap alternative to the rooms and flats available on the private market. Please see here for terms and costs:

Information for international students

I am an international student looking to start studying at TU Berlin or continue my studies here. Where can I get help with my application?

The teams in International Undergraduate Admissions  and  Graduate Admissions can assist you with any questions you have concerning your application. Contact the relevant examination board for information concerning proof of language level for applications for master’s programs. The Department of International Affairs can answer your questions about starting studies at TU Berlin:

Which language certificates are accepted at TU Berlin? Can I attend a preparatory language course at the University?

Most programs at TU Berlin are taught in German. There are, however, a number of English-language programs. To study in a degree program at TU Berlin you require German at DSH II level. Please see here for a list of language certificates recognized at TU Berlin.  If you already have B2 level, you can apply for the TU propaedeutic  (six-month language course). Please see here for information regarding levels and proofs for English and other languages.

When do I need to submit my application to TU Berlin and how do I do this?

You can find application and enrollment deadlines for bachelor’s and master’s programs as well as for courses at the Preparatory School here.

If your first university degree is from another university, you need to apply via the uni-assist online portal. Uni-assist checks your documents to see if they meet TU Berlin’s requirements. Your application is then forwarded to TU Berlin. You can find out more about this process there.


What happens if I am unable to submit my documents (e.g. language certificates) in time? Can I hand them in at a later date?

No, all requisite documents have to be received by the deadline. Application deadlines have, however, been extended. The application deadline for bachelor’s programs with restricted admission (NC) for students with non-German education qualifications is 20 August 2020. The deadline for master’s programs with restricted admission (NC) is 31 July 2020. Updated information is available here: Current information - digital summer semester 2020


Is it currently possible to get a visa to study in Germany? What happens if there is a delay to my visa application and I cannot be in Berlin for the start of the winter semester?

Entry restrictions to the EU currently apply. Please visit the website of the German embassy for your country/region to find out more. TU Berlin’s International Student Counseling will also be happy to answer your questions relating to residence permits. You will not be excluded from taking part in courses if your visa is delayed. Most classes are offered in digital format.

Information about the coronavirus

Is TU Berlin currently closed due to the coronavirus? What format will be used to teach winter semester 2020/2021?

Summer semester 2020 is taking place in digital format due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Winter semester 2020/2021 is being planned as a “hybrid semester”. Students will be able to take part in most courses digitally from home (even if living outside Germany). Some classes, such as labs, will be taking place on campus at TU Berlin as will some examinations. We will be providing more precise details in the near future and will adapt our decisions to reflect developments in the coronavirus pandemic. Updated official information from TU Berlin will be published here.

I am unable to have my certificates certified at the moment due to the coronavirus. Can I apply even if my documents have not been certified?

Yes, it is possible to do so. It is sufficient to submit a digital application via uni-assist for winter semester 2022/2021. The Office of Student Affairs provides up up-to-date information on specific issues relating to applications and admissions.

It seems I am unable to travel to Germany. Is it still possible for me to start my degree at TU Berlin?

Given that the majority of classes will be taking place online, it is essentially possible to study from a remote location. Exceptions are labs and practical courses as well as examinations, which will have to be taken at a later date.

What do I need to take part in digital classes?

You need a laptop or a computer and Internet connection to take part in digital courses. Further information and tips are available here.

How can I best organize studying from home?

Apart from technical issues, this new situation presents you with many new questions and challenges. Academic Advising and Psychological Counseling have come up with lots of tips on issues such as computer hygiene, organizing group work as well as technical tools to help you study effectively at home.