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Schools What university should I choose (Germany)

  1. Nov 20, 2016 #1
    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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  3. Nov 20, 2016 #2

    mfb

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    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.
     
  4. Nov 22, 2016 #3
    "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?
     
  5. Nov 22, 2016 #4

    mfb

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    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.
     
  6. Nov 24, 2016 #5
    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 text books - ), 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.
     
  7. Nov 24, 2016 #6

    mfb

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    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.
    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.
    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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