Frequently asked question

What courses of study are offered?

First of all, the bachelor’s degree program

  • Electrical Engineering and Information Technology

Building on this, there are four master’s degree programs to choose from:

  • Electrical Power Engineering
  • Renewable Energies and Smart Grids
  • Information Technology
  • Computer science engineering

Jointly offered with other faculties are: Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programs in Industrial Engineering and Management, as well as the English-language Bachelor’s degree program General Engineering Science: Defence Systems. The above-mentioned courses of study are open to officer candidates of the German Armed Forces and, within the scope of available capacities, also to civilian students. Tuition fees are charged for the latter, which can be covered by scholarships from industrial companies.

What is the difference between “electrical engineering” and “electrical engineering and information technology”?

In the past, the diploma programs of almost all universities were simply called “electrical engineering”, as were the corresponding faculties. There were two main directions in it: Communications Engineering and Power Engineering. Following technical progress, the term “Electrical engineering” was mostly replaced by “Electrical engineering and information technology”. This is now the name of almost all electrical engineering bachelor’s degree programs at universities. There is a greater variety in the Master’s programs. They emerged from the various specializations that could be chosen in the past towards the end of the diploma course in “electrical engineering”.
In the Bachelor’s program, one receives an overview of the contents of the Master’s programs, so that one can form individual interests and follow these when choosing the Master’s program.

What areas of modern technology include electrical engineering and information technology?

Virtually every form of modern technology involves electrical engineering and information technology.
In many areas, it is electrical engineering and information technology that contribute significantly to technical progress.

In vehicle technology, electrical engineering and information technology now perform important functions that either did not exist in the past or were less well realized mechanically, e.g. engine control, ABS, driving dynamics control, distance radar, parking assistance,navigation, electric and hybrid drive.

Other examples:

  • Energy supply (power generation, power transmission, photovoltaics, battery control, wind turbines).
  • Manufacturing technology (robot control, automated logistics, CNC machine control, process automation)
  • Drive technology (electric motors, electromagnetic actuators)
  • Aircraft technology (flight control, navigation, radar, climate control)
  • Satellite technology (satellite communication, power supply, control)
  • Consumer electronics (television, audio and video technology, electronic music)
  • Information and communication technology (computers, smartphones, processors, data storage, Internet, telephony, mobile communications)
  • Photography (digital photography, remote sensing, cartography, image processing, pattern recognition)
  • Medical technology (X-ray, computer tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, radiation therapy, minimally invasive surgery, patient monitoring, kidney stone crushers, pacemakers, intelligent prostheses, hearing aids, ear and eye implants)
  • Defense technology (sonar, radar, target acquisition, night vision devices, missile sensors and control, electronic information gathering, electric ship propulsion, networked operational command, electromagnetic cannon, lasers, electronic combat)
  • Home automation (building automation, robotic lawn mowers, heating control, intelligent home appliances)
  • Retail, logistics and finance (ATMs, financial data centers, RFIDs, smart cards)
  • Environmental technology (environmental sensor technology)

In which fields can I work after graduation?

Military, product development, research, teaching, training, product management, project management, marketing, corporate management, procurement, maintenance and repair, plant operation, and much more.

Engineering programs are generally considered to be demanding. What do you get out of it?

Success in studies is not a gift, but the amount of work is no greater than, for example, in medicine or law studies. If you prefer to understand rather than learn by heart, and if you prefer to create something practically useful rather than formulate wordy texts, then the engineering studies will suit them anyway. There are good reasons for this:

  • Engineers use their creativity by profession.
  • Engineers cooperate with other professions, such as physicists, mathematicians, economists, lawyers and doctors.
  • Engineers are globally networked.
  • Engineers have excellent career opportunities.
  • Engineers take responsibility, cooperate in teams and enjoy great autonomy in their work.
  • Engineers’ salaries are and will remain high.
  • Engineers are flexible: for example, an engineer can take on commercial tasks, but a business administrator cannot take on engineering tasks.
  • Engineers work on the great tasks of mankind: security, quality of life, prosperity, communication, preservation of creation.

Do I have to be a math genius to study electrical and information engineering?

No, the knowledge from the upper school is not even required for the beginning of the study. These are taught again completely at the university. The mathematics for engineering subjects is also less abstract than the mathematics in a pure mathematics course. It is more about purposeful calculation than about proof. Still, mathematics has a large place in any engineering degree. The material progresses quickly compared to school. Those who have an aversion to mathematics should rather not choose an engineering major.

Should I and how can I prepare for college?

The intermediate level material in mathematics should be mastered, since the study builds on it. If you have the opportunity, you should thoroughly review the intermediate level material using the familiar textbooks or special literature (keywords: pre-course, bridge course, study preparation mathematics, etc.). Online offers are also available for this purpose, e.g.

In addition, at HSU the first week of study is used only for reviewing school math skills. Those who have larger deficits should do something in advance. Additional preparation in physics or computer science/programming is useful but usually not required. Before the start of studies, the 8-week basic internship must be completed. For officer candidates, the basic internship is a scheduled part of the training between joining the Bundeswehr and the start of studies. Civilian students must complete the basic internship in a company or other institution in accordance with the internship regulations.
institution in accordance with the internship regulations.

Is the math in electrical and computer engineering more difficult than in other engineering programs?

No, at HSU most math courses and exams are exactly the same as those in mechanical engineering and industrial engineering. Later, there are a few subject-specific math courses, but they do not differ in difficulty. I can’t see electricity, but I can see gears.

Is electrical engineering more difficult and more obscure than, say, mechanical or aerospace engineering?

No. The basic subjects of all engineering sciences use more or less abstract quantities described with the help of mathematics. After a short familiarization, one can imagine voltage and current just as well as, for example, force and torque.

What is different in college than in school?

The subject one studies – limited by the availability of study places – can be chosen according to inclination, interest and aptitude, whereas the choices at school are very limited. In engineering studies, it is important to understand the subject matter, to practice regularly and to prove one’s learning success in the examinations – which are usually written at the beginning of the studies. The material progresses faster than in school, and oral participation in class is not graded. Starting to study a few days before an exam and then forgetting the content afterwards will not lead to success in your studies, unlike in some school subjects, because many study contents build on each other. In your studies, you have to take more responsibility for yourself than in school, because there are no continuous reminders from teachers and parents. Although you receive regular feedback on your own performance, you have to react to it on your own responsibility. You learn a lot in a short time and after just a few trimesters of study you can already make contributions to research and development that advance technology and have a practical benefit.

How do I have to behave in order to be successful in my studies?

It is important for the success of studies that the work done is rewarded by fun in understanding and applying as well as by success in exams. In addition, social contacts, sports and leisure time should not be neglected. In order to achieve this, one must develop a weekly and daily rhythm for oneself, in which regular intensive work is interrupted by phases of relaxation and leisure. One must not suppress problems, but accept the manifold support and help offers of the university. The rich sport offer of the university and the leisure time value of the cosmopolitan city of Hamburg are to be enjoyed in moderation.

Should I complete a master’s degree program, or is a bachelor’s degree sufficient?

The standard degree of a university engineering program is the master’s degree. It has replaced the Diplom-Ingenieur degree, which used to be the norm. This also applies to the degree programs at Helmut Schmidt University. One therefore speaks of “consecutive” courses of study, in which a Bachelor’s degree is followed by a matching Master’s degree. Nevertheless, the Bachelor’s degree is already a professionally qualifying degree. Students who are not satisfied with the requirements of the bachelor’s degree program can take an additional 9 months and forgo the master’s degree program.

What happens if I don’t pass exams in my studies?

The study program is divided into so-called modules, which are concluded with an examination, usually a written exam, in some cases with an oral exam. Failed exams can be repeated up to two times. Whoever fails the examination in a compulsory module, i.e. a compulsory study component, three times, has definitively failed the examination and cannot continue his studies. Those who require two or more examination attempts in several modules are subject to an increased examination load. This can be avoided or worked off through continuous and disciplined study behavior.

Where can I get more information?

The internet offer of the faculty at contains information about the research and teaching areas of the professorships as well as detailed study plans, module descriptions, internship, examination and other regulations, information brochures and references to contact persons who can be contacted and who will be happy to help you.


Letzte Änderung: 29. September 2022