What university should I choose (Germany)

In summary, it is possible to study both mathematics and physics in parallel, but that will give a very busy schedule. It is not necessary - either one will be sufficient and you can always take more courses if you want. You can work on a BSc in physics and mathematics in parallel, then do a MSc in some field of your choice (can be somewhere between mathematics and physics, for example), then find a PhD position you like.
  • #1
MedLam
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I just got accepted into the studienkolleg in Wurzburg with one condition, I have to get to level B2 in German, I am still improving, now I have heard that after the studienkolleg (which is similar to a preparatory year ) I can choose a different university to start my studies in. Now, I want to study physics and math is it possible to study both of them at the same time and get a Ph.D? and I don't know what university should I go to, let's say I have the ability to go to any university I want ( public university ) preferably in Munich ( not necessarily ) what is the best university when it comes to research oriented studies? Where should I go?
 
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  • #2
It is possible to study both mathematics and physics in parallel, but that will give a very busy schedule. It is not necessary - either one will be sufficient and you can always take more courses if you want. You can work on a BSc in physics and mathematics in parallel, then do a MSc in some field of your choice (can be somewhere between mathematics and physics, for example), then find a PhD position you like.

All studies are "research oriented" towards the end - different universities usually focus on different topics. The large universities naturally offer more options, but that won't be important until you start a MSc program. For the first ~3 years (BSc), it is better to look for small "Übungsgruppen" (study groups), a good TA/student ratio and so on. Living costs can be relevant as well, PhD positions are paid but you have to finance everything before that.
 
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  • #3
mfb said:
It is possible to study both mathematics and physics in parallel, but that will give a very busy schedule. It is not necessary - either one will be sufficient and you can always take more courses if you want. You can work on a BSc in physics and mathematics in parallel, then do a MSc in some field of your choice (can be somewhere between mathematics and physics, for example), then find a PhD position you like.

All studies are "research oriented" towards the end - different universities usually focus on different topics. The large universities naturally offer more options, but that won't be important until you start a MSc program. For the first ~3 years (BSc), it is better to look for small "Übungsgruppen" (study groups), a good TA/student ratio and so on. Living costs can be relevant as well, PhD positions are paid but you have to finance everything before that.

"A very busy schedule" how busy? and how hard is it to get a PhD position? and how hard is it to get a research position after that? or rather, who qualifies?
 
  • #4
MedLam said:
"A very busy schedule" how busy?
There are surveys for that. On average you get at least a 40-hour-week with physics alone, mathematics courses are on top of that (even though there is some overlap).
MedLam said:
and how hard is it to get a PhD position?
With a reasonable MSc degree: Not hard.
MedLam said:
and how hard is it to get a research position after that?
Getting a postdoc or two (limited to a few years) is not that hard, getting a permanent position is hard and also luck-dependent. There are way more PhDs finishing than new permanent positions opening, so somewhere in between most people leave academia.
 
  • #5
mfb said:
There are surveys for that. On average you get at least a 40-hour-week with physics alone, mathematics courses are on top of that (even though there is some overlap).With a reasonable MSc degree: Not hard.Getting a postdoc or two (limited to a few years) is not that hard, getting a permanent position is hard and also luck-dependent. There are way more PhDs finishing than new permanent positions opening, so somewhere in between most people leave academia.
One very last question, let's say that I choose to study physics alone, is there a way to finish my degree quicker? (Knowing that I probably know half if not more of the subjects in the Bachelor degree - I self taught my self using college textbooks - ), is there anyway to shorten the degree? Cause I am 18, Taking into consideration I will study 1 year of language and one year of Studienkolleg and then actually go to college ( it should be worth noting that I would have a lot of spare time and I would only use it to learn math and physics, especially that there are many many way to day that ) .. and another thing, can I go to university courses if I am still in studienkolleg? Just to learn?
In reality I would appreciate every new information about how German universities work especially when it comes to physics, cause I know close to nothing about it, any websites would help, but I am can't understand a text in German as of now, I can barely keep a small conversation. Literally any information would help. And thank you.
 
  • #6
MedLam said:
One very last question, let's say that I choose to study physics alone, is there a way to finish my degree quicker?
The "Regelstudienzeit" ("intended study time") is 3 years, hardly anyone makes it in this time, and speeding it up even more is challenging. It is not just about the knowledge, it is also about getting the credit points.
MedLam said:
Knowing that I probably know half if not more of the subjects in the Bachelor degree
Can you solve the Schrödinger equation to get the hydrogen energy levels? Derive that classical orbits are ellipses? Can you derive conservation of electric charge from the Maxwell equations? Can you derive the equations of motion of a coupled pendulum from its Lagrangian? Can you prove that holomorphic functions are either constant or unbound?

Just a random collection of things typically done within the first 1.5-2 years.
MedLam said:
and another thing, can I go to university courses if I am still in studienkolleg? Just to learn?
Just sitting in the lectures is usually no problem - officially the universities might ask you to register somewhere, but in reality no one cares if guests join. Going to "Übungsgruppen", doing exams and so on: ask the university (they often have English web pages, or at least can answer English mails).
 
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Related to What university should I choose (Germany)

1. What factors should I consider when choosing a university in Germany?

When choosing a university in Germany, there are a few factors you should consider. These include the university's reputation and ranking, the program and courses offered, the location and cost of living, the language of instruction, and the availability of scholarships and funding opportunities.

2. Is it better to attend a public or private university in Germany?

Both public and private universities in Germany have their own advantages and disadvantages. Public universities are generally more affordable and have a wider range of programs, while private universities may offer smaller class sizes and more specialized programs. It is important to research and compare both options to determine which one best fits your needs and goals.

3. How do I apply to a university in Germany?

The application process for universities in Germany may vary, but generally, you will need to submit an application form, academic transcripts, a CV, a letter of motivation, and proof of language proficiency (if applicable). Some programs may also require additional documents such as letters of recommendation or a portfolio. It is important to check the specific requirements of the university and program you are interested in.

4. Can I study in English at a university in Germany?

While German is the main language of instruction at most universities in Germany, there are also many programs offered in English. However, it is still beneficial to have some knowledge of the German language, as it will help with daily life and cultural immersion. It is important to check the language requirements for the specific program you are interested in.

5. What is the cost of studying at a university in Germany?

The cost of studying at a university in Germany can vary depending on the university, program, and your personal expenses. Public universities do not charge tuition fees for most programs, but there may be administrative fees and other living expenses to consider. Private universities may charge tuition fees, which can range from a few thousand euros to tens of thousands of euros per year. It is important to research and budget for all potential costs before making a decision.

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