Difference Between an Architecture and Civil Engineering Degree
What is the difference beteen the civil engineering degree program and an achitecture degree program?
In general the difference between an achitecture program and a civil engineering program is that a civil engineer focuses on the technical details and the functionality of a building, where as an achitect focuses on the creative and artistic aspects.
Completion of Examinations
If I enroll in a course, do I have to take the examination?
You have to enroll for the class and the exam separately in RWTHonline. Thus, an enrollment for a course is not automatically the enrollment for an exam.
Recognition of Examination Performances
How are examination results recognized?
Examination performances that have been completed through other degree programs from the RWTH or from other universities are elgible for recognition, as long as the competencies gained from the course are similar to that of the course it would replace. The comparability of the courses is subject to review by a representative of the institute that offers the course for which you are seeking recognition. You may apply for course recognition with the appropriate examination board after the courses comparability has been reviewed. Industrial engineering specialization civil engineering students looking to have courses accredited must apply for recognition with the School of Business and Economics.
1. Inform and Compare
- Compare the course and examination description of the module from the other university that you have completed to that of the description o fyour degree program at RWTH Aachen University to see if there are similarities between the two. If the module description of the other university is uninformative, conclusive or in-complete you can try to obtain and compare additional materials such as the syllabus or transcripts of the course.
- If you are interested in the recognition of examinations from temporary stays abroad you can inform yourself through information provided by the International Exchange Office or gather information from former outgoings concerning which examination results from your guest university have been recognized for your degree program in the past.
2. Apply and Review
- Have you identified an external result that you think could be accredited for your current degree program at the RWTH Aachen University? Then contact the chair/institute that offers the module that you think can be replaced. Please give them all necessary infromation and materials, for example the external module description in German or English at this time.
- Some Insitutes have a designated contact person that is responsible for the recognition of examination results:
- Chair and Institute of Construction Business and Project Management: Caroline Kothes
- Institue of Highway Engineering: Nicolas Carreño
- Institute of Hydraulic Engineering and Water Resources Management: Ricarda Döring
- Chair of Geotechnical Engineering: Jonas Willing
- Institute of Structural Concrete: Abedulgader Baktheer
- Institute of Transport Science: Bastian Kogel
- Gener and Diversity in Engineering: Esther Berg
- Institute of Applied Mechanics: Jaan Simon
- Teaching and Research Area for Building Materials - Building Materials Conservation and Maintenance and Institute of Building Materials Research: Günther Rößler
- Chair of Structural Analysis and Dynamics: Maximilian Praster
- Institute for Environmental Engineering: Michael Krumm(de)
- E3D Institute of Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Building: Jérôme Frish
- AVT - Aachener Verfahrenstechnik (This includes the following Chairs: Biochemical Engineering, Chemical Process Engineering, Computational Systems Biotechnology, Fluid Process Engineering, Mechanical Process Engineering, Microscale Bioengineering, Soft Matter Process Engineering, Process Systems Engineering): Anna Kalde
- For recognition regarding all other institutes, please contact the person responsible for for which you would like to receive accreditation. You can find this information on RWTHonline.
- To request recognition of modules from the elective section (for example foreign languages or elective modules) please consult the examination board management.
- For the recognition for the module "Relevant additional subjects from studies abroad" please contact the faculty's International Exchange Office and include the module desciption of the external module as well as a short statement why you consider the external module to be a relevant additional subject for your studies. Please indicate your student ID and you specialization in your request as well.
- This applies currently only for the master's degree program industrial engineering specialization civil engineering: for accreditation concerning buisness and economics modules please refer to the form for reviewing the content comparability for business and economic modules.
- Have you recieved prositive feedback concerning your reviewed accreditation application?
Then please use the Control Sheet Course Recognition to receive a written endorsement for recognition.
- This applies only for the master's degree program industrial engineering sepcialization civil engineering: for accreditation of useful supplements in the area of general electives or specialization is the signiture on the form for review of content recognition ability is sufficient for business and economics modules.
4. Apply for Recognition
- For accreditation of examination results please use the correct application. For recognition of examination results from a temporary stay abroad please use the application for recognition of examination results from a temporary stays abroad. For all other accreditation applications please use the application for recognition of examination results.
- Please attach the following forms to your application for recognition: transcript of records from teh other university, control slip for recognition as well as the form for review of content comparability for recognition for business and economic modules.
- You will receive a notice of accreditation via mail. The positive notice of accreditation is required for ERASMUS+ Students.
5. Grade Calculation and ECTS Credit Points
- The grades of the recognized results of a university outside of Germany will be converted via the RWTH Recalculation guidelines
- The RWTH Aachen University uses ECTS credit points as a guide to the scope of a course. If an elective course examination is completed outside of Germany and is recognized, the ECTS credit points from teh foreign university may be used, as long as these do not exceed the maximal number of credit points allowed in the electives section.
- Credit points from other systems can also be converted to ECTS credit points via a comparison the the workload.
How do I register for an examination using RWTHonline?
Information can be found in RWTHonline using the "Help" function as well as in the internal Wiki.
When can I register for my Bachelor's Thesis? / How do I register for my Bachelor's Thesis?
See Bachelor's Thesis
How do I register for my Master's Thesis
See Master's Thesis
Specialization Enrollment (Masters)
What do I need to do to enroll in a speccialization during my master's studies?
- Who needs to enroll?
Students in their first semester of the master's degree program in the forllowing programs: civil engineering, mobility and transport, transportation engineering and transport, environmental engineering as well as industrial engineering specilaization civil engineering.
- Who is not allowed to enroll?
Students who are not enrolled for one of the degree programs listed above, as well as students who are in higher semesters who have already declared a specialization in the virtual central examination department (VZPA).
- How do I enroll?
Please contact your ZPA contact person
- When do I need to enroll
Students in a master's program will find the deadlines for enrollment for a specialization in RWTHonline. Enrollment after the deadline is not possible. If you have mistakenly registered for the wrong specialization, you can unsubscribe and re-enroll within the deadline of the modular enrollment process. Changing you specialization after the deadline for the modular enrollment procedure is only possibile via an applicaiton to the examination board.
Applications for the Examination Board
See Examination Board
Organization of the Degree Program (B.Sc. Civil Engineering)
How is the Degree Program B.Sc. Civil Engineering organized?
The Bachelor's degree program is organized modularly. All students are required to complete 25 compulsory modules. Student can choose two out of four fileds of study (compulsory electives) and supplement their curriculum with their own choices of modules from the study programs that are not fully completed as of the 4th semester.
The bachelor's thesis is written in the 6th semester. This program encompasses is about 150 semester hours per week (SWS) not including the bachelor's thesis. A total of 180 credit points (CP) must be earned.
There are regular examinations during the study program.
For more information, please see curriculum.
Additional Requirements ("Auflagen")
How do I enroll for a additional requirement courses?
If your master's admission states that you are to complete a additional requirements, then you can enroll for the course at the ZPA during the personal enrollment and registration phase.
Who can advise me about studying abroad?
The International Exchange Office of the Faculty of Civil Engineering advises and assists you in the planning, preperation, financing and execution of study-related stays abroad (e.g. studying abroad, internships abroad or summer schools) as well as the accredidation of your accomplisments abroad and with the search for international and interculterual possibilities at home.
How do I receive a topic for my bachelor's thesis?
Institutes and chairs either have a list of topic suggestions on their website or advertised within the institutes themselves on their bulletin boards. You can also request a list form the responsible contact person of the institute / chair. Please inform yourself about the process at the institute / chair wehre you are wiritng or planning to write your thesis. If you have an idea for your thesis, your mentor must first approve of the topic.
When can I register for my bachelor's thesis?
You can register for your topic when you fulfill the following criteria:
- B.Sc. Civil Engineering: Completion of 125 CP and a pre-internship
- B.Sc. Mobility and Transport: Completion of 125 CP
- B.Sc. Environmental Engineering: Completion of 125 CP and a pre-internship
- Industrial Engineering specialization Civil Engineering: Completion of 125 CP and a pre-internship
How do I register for my bachelor's thesis?
The necessary application forms for your bachelor's theis can be found in the ZPA. It will be checked if you meet the requirements to write your bachelor's thesis at this time (see "When can I register for my bachelor's thesis?). Your contact person at the ZPA .
You must submit the registration form to the chair that is to supervise your thesis. They will then complete the application and send it to the ZPA for further processing. The degree program Industrial Engineering specialization Civil Engineering is and exception to this process. In this case, the chair forwards the registration form to the B.Sc. examination board, which then must approve of the topic. After they approve of the topic, the application will be sent to the ZPA.
Can I write my bachelor's thesis externally?
You can submit an application to the examination board for approval of writting your thesis outside of your faculty or outside of the RWTH. The application must include the topic of the bachelor's theis and the supervisor. The must attach a certificate from an approved supervisor, stating that they will mentor you.
When does the working time begin?
- Civil Engineering, Mobility and Transport, Environmental Engineering: On the day the professor has signed the registration from.
- Indutral Engineering specialization Civil Engineerig: The day the examination board committe countersigned.
The registration and the latest submission date will be entered in RWTHonline by the ZPA.
Please also note the details of the bachelor's thesis in the examination regulations vaild for you.
Can my working time be extended?
In idividual cases and upon request, the examination board my extend the working time of the bachelor's thesis by up to four weeks. Please submit the request for more time, at least 2 weeks before the date of submission for your thesis, to enure a timely processing by the examination board. Please attatch a form in which your mentor approves of the time extension to your time extension request application.
Is it possible to sit in on a thesis presentation in preparation for my own?
This is possibile in many institutes / chairs. Please contact the chair where you are writing your thesis.
Applying for Admission
How do I apply for a place in a bachelor's degree program?
Applicants with a German citizenship or a Germn abitur or higher education degree as well as EU / EEA nations with foreign qualifications can find information about the application here.
Applicants who do not have the citizenship of an EU / EEC state or a German educational qualifacation can find the application information here.
The B.Sc. courses in Civil Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Transport Engineeing and Mobility are currently not restricted to admission. Therefor, no application is requried, but only the enrollment in a degree program.
More information can be found here.
How do I apply for a place in a master's degree program?
The faculty of Civil Engineering offers a variety of Master's programs. Both for those who have compled their first university degree at the RWTH Aachen University and for external interested parties. The application is submitted and filled-out via a web-based tool that can be found on the website of the student secretariat.
Information about the application can be found here.
If you would like to apply for several fiels of study in the same Master's program, please apply only once for this study program and hand in all desired fields of study on the printed application form. Otherwise - if you submit more than one applciation for the same course of study. each with different fields of study - only the most recent submitted application will be considered.
When you receive a letter of admission, you will be informed of which specialization or specialization you are applying for.
Please note that the application deadline for the winter semester ends on teh 15 July and that for the summer semester ends on the 15 January. After thsi period application will no longer be possible.
International prospective students will find more information about the master's degree progrtam applicaiton here.
Applying for placement in a higher semester
Principally it is also possible to apply for the 2nd semester of our master's programs. However, we advise applicants against admission to higher semesters because they would then have to fulfull both of the following requirements:
- Fulfillment of the general application requirements for application to the 1st semester of the master's degree program.
- Completion of at least 30 CP for the intended Master's degree program, in order to be placed directly in the 2nd semester.
If you do not completely fulfill the criteria for placement in a higher semester, you will be rejected and will not automatically be placed in the first semester of the master's degree program. Due to this, please apply only for placement in the first semester of the master's degree program. The recognition of completed academic achievemetns from previous master's degree programs is still possible after admission in this case.
What is the institute internship phase?
The institute internship phase gives students an insight into the practical implementation of scientific work. Each of the four fields of study in the Bachelor of Science programs civil engineering and industrial engineering specialization civil engineering offers its own internship phase. Furthermore, the Bachelor of Science programs transport engineering and mobility offers an internship phase as well. Students studying environmental engineering (PO 17) can choose to partake in an internship phase as an elective.
You must complete the internship in one of the two fields of study that you would like to set as a focus during your degree while working towards your B.Sc. Civil Engineering. It is required that you also write your bachelor’s thesis in the same field of study. This provides a solid foundation and gives students an advantage that would like to pursue the same specialization in the master’s program.
The institute internship is a fixed-semester course and is planned for the sixth semester. Students are required to register via RWTHonline. Please note that you also have to register for the examination. Further information regarding the content of the institute internship can be found in RWTHonline.
How do I reveive a topic for my master's thesis?
Topic suggestions can be found on the websites and on the bulletin boards of the institutes/chairs. You can also request a topic from the responsible contact person. Please inform yourself about the usual procedure at the institute/chair at which you would like to write your thesis. If you would like to work on your own idea or topic for your master’s thesis, you are required to obtain approval from your mentor first.
How do I regester for my master's thesis?
The registration form is available in the ZPA responsible for processing such forms.
You are required to submit the registration form to the chair that is supervising your thesis. They will then further fill out the form and send it to the ZPA.
Students of the Industrial Enginereing specialization Civil Engineering degree program are an exception. After you submit your registration form to your supervising institute they will forward it to the respective examination board for subject approval. After your topic recieves approval from the examination board your registration form will then be sent to the ZPA.
Can I write me master's thesis externally?
You can apply to write your master’s thesis outside the faculty or outside the RWTH to the examination board. The application must include the topic of the master’s thesis and your supervisor. Please attach a letter confirming supervision from an authorized person in the degree program.
When does the working time start?
Civil Engineering, Tranport Engineering and Mobility, Environmental Engineering: On the day, the professor signed the registration form.
Industrial Engineering specialization Civil Engineering: The day the examination board signed the registration form.
The registration and the latest submission date will be entered by ZPA in RWTHonline.
Please be aware of the details of the Master's thesis in the examination regulations valid for you.
Can the working time be extended for a master's thesis?
On a case-by-case basis, the examination board may extend the working time of the Master’s Thesis by up to six weeks. Please submit the application for time extension in a timely manner (at least two weeks before the required submission date of the thesis) to ensure a timely processing by the examination board. A letter from your supervisor supporting the time extension must be attached to your application.
Is there a possibility to attend a thesis presentation in preparation?
Many institutes and chairs offer you the possibility to attend a thesis presentation in preparation. Please contact the institute at which you are writing your thesis for more information.
Is it possible to take only one course from a module?
No, modules must always be completed entirely.
How can I take master's courses as a bachelor's student?
See Taking Master's Courses Early.
Supplementary Oral Examination
Am I required to apply for a supplementary oral examination?
Yes. The application for the supplementary oral examination must be submitted to the chair immediately in writing or electronically, latest by the time of the publication of the results of the second examination taken of the course. Should a candidate not be able to participate personally in post-examination review it is possible for the application to be submitted by an autorized representative in the post-examination review. The date for the oral supplementary examination will be set and the date of the examniation will take place at the latest within the next four weeks from the beginning of the examination.
If the respoinsible examination committee approves a resignation for good reasons, a new appointment must be made within a further two weeks. After the expiry of sex weeks from the examination, the right to an oral supplementary examination lapses.
Where can I find the application forms for the examination board?
A collection of various spplication forms can be found on the Faculty of Civil Engineering's website.
Which examination board should I send my applications to?
Faculty of Civil Engineering
Mobility and Transport / Transportation Engineering and Mobility
Faculty of Civil Engineering
Prüfungsausschuss Mobilität und Verkehr / Verkehrsingenieurwesen und Mobiltät
Faculty for Civil Engineering
Prüfungsausschuss Umweltingenieurwissenschaften und Sustainable Management - Water and Energy
Sustainable Management - Water and Energy
Faculty of Civil Engineering
Prüfugnsausschuss Umweltingenieurwissenschaften und Sustainable Managment - Water and Energy
Management and Engineering in Water
Faculty of Civil Engineering
Prüfugnsausschuss Management and Engineering in Water
Industrial Engineering specialization Civil Engineering
- If you are working towards your bachelor's degree (even if you are enrolled for master's courses)
School of Business and Economics
B.Sc. Prüfungsauschuss Wirtschaftsingenieurwesen
- If you are working towards your master's degree
Faculty of Civil Engineering
Diplom/M.Sc. Prüfungsausschuss Wirtschaftsingenieurwesen FR Bauingenieruwesen
See Elective Courses / Modules
Expunging Your Worst Module Grade
How can I have a grade expunged from my graduation records when completing my studies in the regular study period?
Expungement of a grade can be applied for by undergrduate and graduates students who have completed their studies befor WS 15/16. Please inform your ZPA contact person within one week from the announcement of the results of the last examinaiton whether and, if so, which module grade(s) should be expunged. The extent to which a mark-up is possible can be found in your examination regulations. A mark-up is only possible at the end of the standard period of study. For master students who have begund their studies from WS 16/17, the possibility of expunging grades no longer exists.
Environmental Engineering Seminar Paper (Studienarbeit UIW)
How do I register for my seminar paper?
The module "Seminar Paper" is anchored in the environmental engineering bachelor's degree program. Registration does not take place via RWTHonline nor directly at the ZPA. The seminar paper is just to be completed. After completion of the paper and the colloquium, the supervising chair sends a message to the contact person in the ZPA, who then records your performance. You will find a template fot he notification of grades under the student applications and forms section of our faculty's website.
Where can I find my degree program specific curriculm?
You can find the curriculum in your degree's examination regulations.
Overarching Examination Regulations (ÜPO)
What are the "overarching examination regulations"?
Winter semester 2015/2016 the overarching examnation regulations (ÜPO) came into effect. These regulations take into acout the requriements of the new Higher Education Act, to which all university regulations had to be adapted. The ÜPO contains the general and interdiciplinary regulations and applies only in conjunction with the respective degree-specific examnation regulations, which contain supplementary and course specific regulations.
Certificate of Good Standing
Where can I get a certificate of good standing?
If you have already been enrolled in a university and have failed a course and wish to enroll in one of our degree programs, you must submit a certificate of good standing (UBB) when enrolling in the student secretariat.
Three documents are required to be sent to the examination board at the Faculty of Civil Engineering when applying for a certificate of good standing:
(Overview of examination boards and addresses.)
- A cover letter indicating which course of study you intend to study and that you need an UBB.
- A certified overview of the positive as well as the negative examinations of your pervious course of study or your previous degree programs (RWTH students recieve this "accout statement for clearance certificate" at the ZPA). It would therefore also be necessary to know whether you ahve finally failed an exam. We need these bank statemetn for all courses you ahve ever taken.
- The top part of the UBB filled out.
After examination by the chairman of the examination board or another authorized person, the UBB will be sent to your postal address.
If you want to change form RWTH Aachen University to another university, the Faculty of Civil Engineering will not issue you an UBB. You can obain a grade sheet with passed and failed performances at the ZPA uring office hours in that case.
Attention: If you would like to enroll in the B.Sc. Industrial Engineering Civil Engineering specialization degree program please contact Ms. Otten for more information.
Leave of Absence
Am I allowed to take courses during my leave of absence?
Yes, according to the general examination regulations (ÜPO), you can take both events and exams during a vacation semseter.
Who is responsible for the leave of absence from my studies?
The registrar's office. Frequently asked questions about the vacation semester can be found on the website of registrar's office.
What do I need to do to be able to register for a specialization in my masters?
See Master's Degree Specialization Enrollment.
Can I change my specialization?
- M.Sc. Civil Engineering, M.Sc. Mobility and Transport, M.Sc. Traffic Engineering and Mobiltiy, M.Sc. Environmental Engineering: The area of specialization chosen in the Master's program can be changed once upon request to the examination board.
- M.Sc. Industrial Engineering Civil Engineering specialization: The economic specialization, can be changed once upon request to the examination board. The technical focus (structural engineering, etc.) can also be chagned once upon request to the examination board.
Can I choose a different specialization than what I completed in my bachelor's degree?
- M.Sc. Civil Engineering: Since it is a consecutive masters, the Master's program can be formally chosen without any problems, without having to take courses to catch up (e.g. field of study Construction Engienering and Geotechnical Engineering in the Master's Degree in the Bachelor's degree). However, it is the responsibilty of the student to review the contents of subjects that were not taken, independently.
- M.Sc. Industrial Engineering Civil Engineering specialization: Since it is a consecutive masters, the master's program can be formally chosen without any problems, without having to take courses to catch up (e.g. field of study constuction engineering and geotechnical engineering in the master's degree in the bachelor's degree). However, it is the responsibilty of the student to review the contents of subjects that were not taken, independently.
Prerequisites Master's Degree Program (Recommended)
What are recommended (but not mandatory) prerequisites for our master's programs?
M.Sc. Civil Engineering
M.Sc. Transportation Engineering
M.Sc. Environmental Engineering
M.Sc. Industrial Engineering Civil Engineering Specialization
Please note that the official admission requirements can be found in the examination regulations.
What to consider when completing your pre-internship?
A four week internship is an admission requirement for the B.Sc. degree programs in civil engineering, environmental engineering, and industrial engineering civil engineering specialization. Detailed information can be found in the examnation regulations of the degree programs (found under the Official Announcements section of the RWTH Aachen University's website).
Further information about the pre-internship can be found on our internship office website.
Taking Master's Courses Early
It is only possible to enroll for modules for the master's prgram during your undergraduate studies after you have attained at least 120 CP (exceptions are regulated by the examination board). The total amount of master modules may not exceed 30 CP. Information Taking Master's Courses Early
The corresponding application has to be addressed to the bachelor's examination board if you are a student of the Industrial Engineering Civil Engineering specialization program (please note the registration deadlines!).
Which master's programs can be used to advance modules depends on your bachelor's degree program:
B.Sc. Civil Engineering: M.Sc. Civil Engineering, M.Sc. Mobility and Transport / B.Sc. Transport Engineering and Mobility, M.Sc. Environmental Engineeign, M.Sc. Industrial Engineeing Civil Engineeing specialization
B.Sc. Mobility and Transport / B.Sc. Transport Engineeing and Mobility: M.Sc. Mobility and Transport / M.Sc. Transport Engineeing and Mobility, M.Sc. Civil Engineeing
B.Sc. Environmental Engineeing: M.Sc. Environmental Engineering, M.Sc. Civil Engineering
B.Sc. Industrial Engineeing, Civil Engineeing Specialization: M.Sc. Industrial Engineeing, Civil Engineeing Specialization
Please not that you are not eligible for admission to capacity-limited courses. In order to gain access to the L2P study rooms you have to contact the organizing chair (if possible at the beginning of the semester). The entries of the examination results are made directly by the chairs. You can then view you exam results in Campus Office.
If you want to withdraw from an exam or submit a certificate an take the exam again, you must re-enroll the master preferred modules in the ZPA. It should be noted that the registration for the first exam date must be done during the personal registration phase in the ZPA. The registration for the second exam date (if available) has to take place at least 7 days before the exam in the ZPA.
Failed modules can only be repeated in the master's program.
How do I register for an elective?
In the various degree programs this faculty has to offer electives may be chosen. Electives may be discribed differently depending on the program and focus. Various electives include the non-technical subject, the free optional subject, the elective module, the free elective module and the elective are of free choice. One examination must be taken in each case. To register for an optional subject please use this application (de).
Can electives be changed after failed attempts?
According to § 11 PO, freely selectable modules can only be "replaced as long as no examination has been taken [...]". However, there is the option of having "surplus" modules removed at the end of your studies if the requirements of the examination regulations regarding the CPs to be provided have been met. In this case, an application for the cancellation of the examinatino or modules has to be submitted tot he examination board.
For M.Sc. Industrial Engineering, Civil Engineering Specialization: Which subjects are suitable for the elective area "Free Choice" (Group 3 or Group 5)?
Practically all subjects with sufficient CP from the lecture program of RWTH Aachen are considered, except those that come from the faculties 3 and 8. The module can be fullfilled via multiple classes as long as the mandatory 5 CP are provided. There is no list of subjects already taked by other students. A course from the faculties 3 or 8 can only be taken as an elective after consultation with the academic program management.
For M.Sc. Industrial Engineering, Civil Engineeing Specialization: Are language courses also recognized for the elective area "Free Choice" (Group 3 or Group 5)?
Language courses successfully completed at RWTH Aachen Language Center will be recognized in conjunction with the certificate issued by the language center upon application to the examination board in the optional elective modules or alternatively in the academic skills module. Two different language courses (e.g. English and Italian) can be combined to achieve the required CP. The grade of two language courses with 2 SWS each is averaged in this case.
For M.Sc. Industrial Engineering, Civil Engineering Specialization: Are other English courses also recognized as "Technical English" for the elective area "Free Choice" (Group 3 or Group 5)?
In principle, yes. Other English courses with sufficient CP are also recognized. Please make a corresponding request to the examination board. For 5 CP two courses with 2 SWS each or a course with 4 SWS can be recognized.
How do I enroll for additional courses?
Students may take any examinations, a formal registration is not required. However, the offering chair shoudl be informed at the beginning of the semester. If you would like a additional subject to be shown on your certificate documents, you can submit this form together with a certificate of performance from the chair at the ZPA (see § 8 ÜPO)