General questions about studying at the WiSo Faculty
This section provides answers to frequently asked questions regarding, for example, entrance criteria for degree programmes at the WiSo Faculty and more general questions on aspects such as enrolment and exmatriculation.
Allgemeine Fragen zum Studium
Hier finden Sie Antworten auf übergeordnete und allgemeingültige Fragen zum Beispiel zu allgemeinen Voraussetzungen zu einem Studium an der Universität zu Köln und studiengangübergreifenden Dingen wie beispielsweise zur Einschreibung oder Exmatrikulation.
Prospective students / before you start
1. I would like to study at the WiSo Faculty. What deadlines are there and how does the application process work?
The application for the first semester for the Bachelor's programmes is arranged through the Student's Registration Office at the University of Cologne and is done online, provided that you are considered to be a foreign national. Please refer to the homepage of the Student Secretariat for information on the application procedure. Please note the application deadlines for the first semester:
- 15.01. for the summer semester and
- 15.07. for the winter semester.
If you have been awarded a place and have accepted it in KLIPS 2.0, you can simply register at the Student's Registration Officet. You can view the NC procedure results of the previous semesters on the corresponding website for the admission procedures. If you are not considered an "Educational Resident", your application will be processed by uni-assist and the International Office. Please also inform about the binding programme "Studienstart International" before the start of the programme.
Master programmes are only offered at the Wiso faculty in the winter semester. The application is done online via the Master application portal of the WiSo-Faculty. The application deadlines vary according to the degree programmes. For more detailed information on the application procedure as well as the documents to be submitted, please refer to our page on the Master application procedure.
2. What kind of (undergraduate) bachelor programmes can be studied at the WiSo Faculty?
Currently, the WiSo Faculty of the University of Cologne offers seven bachelor programmes as follows:
• Business Administration
• Economics and Social Sciences
• Social Sciences
• Health Economics
• Information Systems
• Vocational School Teacher Training
All of these Bachelor's programmes require German language skills at level C1 and all these programmes (except for the Vocational School Teacher Training which is a Bachelor of Arts programme) are Bachelor of Science programmes and so-called one-subject Bachelor's programmes. This means that they cannot be combined with other courses of study at Cologne's University. Only the Bachelor's degree courses in Business Administration and Economics are offered for the winter and summer semester, all other Bachelor's degree courses only start in the winter semester.
The Faculty of Philosphy and Arts offers combined courses of study (Media Studies and Regional Studies China, Regional Studies Eastern and Central Europe and Regional Studies Latin America), which include a compulsory elective in economics and social sciences, which is then located at the WiSo-Faculty. Further information on the WiSo electives of the joint degree programmes can be found in these overviews.
In addition, there are some other courses of study in which, to a varying extent, achievements in minor or supplementary subjects may be studied at the WiSo-Faculty.
At the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences these are:
- Mathematics and Business Mathematics (minor subjects Economics or Economics)
- Geography (subsidiary subjects Business Administration, Economics or SOWI)
At the Faculty of Humanities this is the course of study
- Psychology (Interdisciplinary networking in business administration or economics or social sciences)
3. Which (consecutive) master programmes can be studied at the WiSo Faculty?
In addition to the bachelor programmes the WiSo Faculty offers the following master programmes:
- Business Administration (with 5 different specialisations)
- International Management (CEMS MIM)
- Economic Research
- Information Systems
- Political Science
- Sociology and Social Research
- Health Economics
- Economic Education (M.Ed.)
The master programme in Political Science is a Master of Arts, and the master programme in Business Education (of which there are two different types) is a Master of Education. The other master programmes are Masters of Science.
You will find more detailed information about the individual courses on the relevant webpages.
4. What is so special about studying at the WiSo Faculty?
Studying at the WiSo Faculty of the University of Cologne is an excellent starting point for your future professional and personal plans. With more than 9,000 students and a large number of professorships and research assistants, the Faculty is one of the most renowned faculties for economics and social sciences in Europe. You can find information about rankings and accreditations here.
The combination of research and teaching, theory and practice plus economics and social science is the basis of our “Innovation for society” strategy. During your studies, you will use modern analytical methods and models to work out new approaches to future economic and social science questions. All our study programmes offer ample freedom and interesting opportunities to combine, specialise and diversify – not least because of the interdisciplinarity and size of the Faculty. You thus get to sharpen both your personal and your professional profile. As well as being an attractive place to study, Cologne is a great city. It is well known for its wealth of cultural sights – and its carnival! Together with the surrounding area, it represents one of the most important business locations in Germany.
5. What information events does the University offer students before they start their studies?
We are present at a number of trade fairs on the subject of choosing a course of study, for example at the "Messe Einstieg" in Cologne at the beginning of each year. In addition, the "Open Campus", an open day at the University of Cologne, takes place every spring. The "Week of Student Orientation" in January and the "Long Evening of Advising" in summer also serve as events and fairs that can be used to get to know the WiSo-Faculty and University of Cologne.
At the beginning of the bachelor's programme, a large number of information and preparation events are offered. These include information events on the general organisation of your studies, on KLIPS, a preliminary course on mathematical methods and much more. Further events and exact dates can be found here.
We also offer the WiSo Master's Information Day with regard to our master's programs, and we are also present at various master's fairs such as the e-fellows "Business & Economics" Master Days. You can find the corresponding dates here and on our social media channels.
Furthermore, it is always possible to contact the study advisors of the WiSo Student Service Point in advance of your studies.
6. Is it possible to enrol after the deadline?
The registration deadline for the bachelor programmes, within which you can register at the Student's Registration Office or the International Office of the University of Cologne, will be communicated to you in the notification of admission after successful application. This is a deadline which must be observed. If this is not done, the right to your place of study will be forfeited. In exceptional cases, however, it is possible to extend the registration deadline. More detailed information on this can be obtained from the Student's Registration Office or International Office, where the application for an extension of the deadline for enrolment must be submitted. Please note that an extension can only be approved if you register within the given deadline. A subsequent extension is excluded.
The enrolment process for the master's programmes, however, is slightly different. Detailed information can be found on the homepage of the WiSo-Faculty. However, the extension of the deadline must also be requested here as part of the enrolment process. This should be applied for, stating the reason, at the WiSo Student Service Point immediately after receiving the official letter of admission.
7. Who can study at the University of Cologne?
To start studying at the University of Cologne, you need a valid university entrance qualification. In general, universities expect a general higher education entrance qualification (e.g. “Abitur”). Other possibilities are listed below.
If you are not sure whether your university entrance qualification has actually been acquired at an accredited German school abroad, please contact the International Office.
Under certain circumstances, it is possible for those with a vocational qualification to study without having a university entrance qualification. More information can be found here. Highly talented school pupils and guest students can also study at the University but they are only allowed to attend courses since guest students are not permitted to take exams.
8. How much does it cost to study at the University of Cologne?
Tuition fees do not exist at the University of Cologne anymore but there is a social contribution fee (“Semesterbeitrag”) of about 280 € each term. This fee includes the “NRW-Semesterticket”, with which you can use buses, underground and regional trains throughout Cologne’s home state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Besides this, there are no further tuition fees to pay. Students do, of course, still have to pay for their living expenses, meals in the canteen and learning materials. Further information on funding opportunities and scholarships can be found here.
If you have already studied in the past
1. Can I start studying at the WiSo Faculty if I have definitively failed an equivalent course or an exam?
It is not possible to make a general statement as to whether you can continue your studies with us after losing your examination entitlement elsewhere. Our examination regulations contain a passage stating that it is not possible to take a programme with us if you have already lost your examination entitlement on an equivalent programme or been deemed to have failed the programme at the final attempt. The important point here is not which failed module resulted in your failing the programme at the final attempt but the extent to which the programmes are comparable. As a rule of thumb, programmes are usually said to be comparable if more than 50% of the courses/examinations are equivalent.
The WiSo Examination Office will have to check whether this is applicable to your bachelor/master. You should therefore contact them first and make a written, informal request for a check to determine whether your previous programme is comparable with the new programme you would like to take at our faculty. To this end, we would ask you to submit a complete copy of the examination and study regulations for your previous programme as well as a complete transcript of records – sealed by the former examination office.
Where necessary, you can also apply to have your prior learning recognised so that you can be assigned to a later term of the programme (bachelor programmes only) provided you are still entitled to take examinations. This recognition is required because you still need a place on the programme in order to transfer to our faculty to continue your studies. You can find everything you need to know about this topic here.
If you are currently studying at a German university on a programme that is exactly the same as the one offered at our Faculty and you get a positive response from the Examination Office, you can apply to change university (only possible for bachelor programmes).
It is also always possible to apply to start in the first term again and to have the credit transferred for equivalent courses/examinations on your previous programme.
2. I have changed my programme. Do I have to/can I transfer my credits?
At the beginning of your first semester, you must apply once for the general admission to the examination procedure. If you have previously studied at a German university - regardless of the previous course of study - you must always submit a current Transcript of Records (sealed by the issuing examination office). The proof of performance must also include all failed exams, even if they have been passed in the meantime. Even if you have not passed any exams in this degree programme, you must still provide proof of this. Furthermore, if you have applied for a semester classification prior to your admission, it is no longer possible to waive recognition of equivalent achievements (including failed attempts).
At the beginning of your studies, you therefore decide whether to apply for a credit transfer of passed (and failed) exams or to reject them completely and start your studies from the beginning again. You can find information on credit transfer of completed exams on the homepage of the WiSo Examination Office.
If you apply for admission to the examination procedure at the beginning of your Master's programme and were previously only enrolled in Bachelor's programmes, it is no longer necessary to present a Transcript of Records from these programmes.
Credits earned abroad can be recognised if they were completed during a semester abroad or before taking up studies at our faculty.
Since such credit transfer is not mandatory, a written application must be submitted via the WiSo credit transfer center. Please refer to the homepage provided for information on the procedure and formal instructions. You will then receive the final decision on the credited transfer from the WiSo Examination Office.
Questions during your studies
1. Are there compulsory internships at the WiSo Faculty?
There are no compulsory internships required by the examination regulations on the WiSo Faculty’s bachelor and master programmes (with the exception of the M.Sc. International Management). However, students are recommended to undertake internships, independently of their courses, in order to supplement their studies and gain an insight into practice relevant to their chosen programme. For this purpose, WiSo Student Service provides a certificate which you can use for your application to an internship. For further information, please click here. If you would like such a certificate, please contact the WiSo Student Service Point.
2. How do I apply to take a semester off?
If you wish or are forced to interrupt your studies for important reasons, you can apply for a semester off at the Student's Registration Office. The reasons for interrupting your studies must either be study-related or prevent you continuing your studies properly in accordance with the Enrolment Regulations of the University of Cologne. For the spring term, the semester off can be applied for by 31 March at the latest and for the fall term by 30 September at the latest (these are the final deadlines). The application form can be found here.
If you would like to take a semester off for an internship, you will need a certificate of academic benefit (“Förderlichkeitsbescheinigung”). This can be obtained from the WiSo Student Service Point. Please note the requirements for applying for a semester off and ensure you take the necessary documents. You will find everything you need to know on our information page concerning leave of absence due to an internship.
In Germany, the terms spent at a university are divided into those in which the student is enrolled (“Hochschulsemester”) and those in which the student is actually studying (“Fachsemester”) since he or she may remain enrolled whilst on leave of absence. During a semester on leave of absence, the student is considered not to be studying and cannot take any exams at the University of Cologne. It is up to the individual student to decide whether a semester on leave of absence is useful or not for their particular case. However, we will be happy to advise you. It is important to note though that the amount of semester are not shown on your final Transcript of Records.
Another note: Students are not allowed to apply for a semester off in the first term. According to the Enrolment Regulations of the University of Cologne, the only exception is a term of study abroad or an internship abroad in the first term of a master programme.
3. Which English skills do I have to prove when applying for a semester abroad?
In the STAP Bachelor and STAP Master Application Manual of the International Relations Centre, you will find a list of all certificates that can be submitted as part of your application for your semester abroad. As a rule, a B2 level (CEFR) must be proven when applying for a semester abroad. The application deadline is 1st December. For master’s students, this means that you must apply for the semester abroad shortly after starting your studies and submit one of the accepted English certificates. All further information on semesters abroad can be found on this website.
Graduation and de-registration
1. When do I receive my final degree certificate?
The final certificate (Bachelor's or Master's degree certificate) are only issued at the examination ceremony organised twice a year by the faculty. Bachelor and Master graduates will receive a Transcript of Records, which lists all the individual examination achievements, module names and grades, as well as a Diploma Supplement. The Diploma Supplement contains information on the German higher education and grading system as well as the status of the graduates' qualifications. The ceremony usually takes place in June/July or November/January of each year.
The preliminary certificate, which is automatically sent to you by post by the WiSo-Prüfungsamt within 14 days of receipt of the last passed examination result, contains an indication of the graduation ceremony at which you can receive your transcript.
If you are unable or do not wish to attend the ceremony, you can collect your documents from the reception of the WiSo Student Service Point during opening hours from the first following working day. If you would like someone else to collect your documents, please note that this person must present a letter of authorisation issued by you.
In principle, from this time on, it is also possible to receive the report and certificate by post. Please note, however, that the certificate can only be issued once. If they are lost or damaged in the post, no further copies can be issued. If you still wish to have your certificate and certificate delivered by post, you can submit a written application to the WiSo Examination Office from the first working day after the respective graduation ceremony. Alternatively, you can hand in the application in person at the reception desk of the WiSo Student Service Point or drop it in the letterbox opposite the WiSo Student Service Point.
2. Why does de-registration happen?
There are various reasons for de-registration:
• Completion of studies after examination
• Change of university
• Discontinuation or interruption of studies
• Failure of the final exam
De-registration with effect from the end of the term
If you wish to leave the University of Cologne, you should apply to the Student Application and Registration Office to be de-registered. The de-registration becomes effective at the end of the term (30 September for the spring term and 31 March for the fall term). Please take your completed de-registration request form to the Student's Registration Office, where you will then receive a certificate of de-registration which can be downloaded in KLIPS.
De-registration with immediate effect
You can also be de-registered with immediate effect upon submission of your de-registration request and return of your UCCard. Please submit the completed form to the Student Application and Registration Office (see above).
Refund of “Semesterbeitrag” (social contribution fee)
If you have already paid for the next term, the social contribution fee can only be refunded if you submitted your de-registration request before the start of the term (i.e. by no later than 30 September for the spring term or 31 March for the fall term. If the de-registration request is received after the beginning of the term, it is possible to have the student ticket part of the fee refunded in certain cases by applying directly to the AStA hardship committee (“Härtefallausschuss”) .
De-registration after the final exam
Students taking the final examination component (e.g. submitting their thesis or sitting their final written/oral exam) in the current term do not have to pay for the next term.
If you fail an exam in the current term and the resit is in the next term, you will be re-registered for the term following your de-registration, upon submission of a confirmation letter from the Examination Office, even if the deadline for the social contribution fee has expired. If you do not receive your final Transcript of Records until the term after (see “When do I receive my final certificate?” above), you can re-register for the upcoming term and remain registered for the entire term. However, you do not need to re-register in order to receive your degree certificate and other graduation documents.
3. How can I stay in touch with my Faculty after my degree?
The WiSoAlumni association offers WiSo graduates the possibility to stay in touch and network after they’ve completed their studies, providing a platform for an inspiring knowledge-sharing process and great career opportunities. Membership is free and you can find out more on the WiSo Alumni site. We’d be delighted if you remained connected with the Faculty after you graduate.