What can a physics major do

Frequently asked questions (and answers) about studying physics

A quick note beforehand: The department also has its own FAQ page (frequently asked questions). If you can't find an answer with us, you might be lucky there.

General questions

  • What are the requirements for studying?
    Interest and fun in physics. Everything else can be learned.
  • Can you find out in advance whether the course is what kind of you?
    The lectures are freely accessible so you can just go and see them. The course catalog of the University of Münster always provides an overview.
  • Does it make sense to study physics without much previous knowledge from school, but to be interested in the subject?
    Yes and no. There are many students who manage it very well, others have problems. But that also applies if you had an LK. The most important thing is that you are interested and that it is (at least somewhat) fun.
  • How high is the level of difficulty really?
    Partly depends on your previous knowledge, but mainly on how much time you invest in post-processing and calculating the assignment slips. Physics, however, is a full-time course, so a "40-hour week" is quite normal.
  • Despite the large number of students, is there good support during your studies?
    YES! A very good one! (As in many physics departments in Germany.)
  • Is the course well organized?
    We think: ! Even if there are always individual points that can be optimized. But we're working very well on this together with the department.
  • How good is the teaching? Does the quality of the professors and lecturers also resonate with the students?
    Mostly ;-) The student council has been evaluating teaching for many years and can say that the satisfaction of the students here is quite high. The teaching award, which we have been awarding since the 2013 summer semester, gives teachers even more incentive to give good teaching.
  • What is the general mood like among the students? Are you in good contact with the professors? How satisfied are you with your studies?
    The mood in the department is very good. We are not aware of any fundamental and / or major differences between the students or between the students and the teaching staff.
  • What about a SHK position? Do you get it, if you want one, as an internship supervisor or as an exercise group leader or something?
    There are many SHK positions, you just have to apply for one early on.
  • Does the university have a pronounced experimental or theoretical focus?
    Münster is strongly represented in both theory and experiment. You can find the exact focus with all working groups on the homepage of the department.
  • Are the demands of studying physics in Münster particularly high / low compared to other universities? Which other universities also have a good, or perhaps better reputation, etc. for this subject?
    Larger are z. B. Heidelberg and Munich, partly also in research "better" ... In return, students report a poorer quality of teaching. If you are into rankings, then it is advisable to take a look at these lists. With statistics, however, the following applies: Don't trust anyone who you haven't faked yourself ;-)
    However, it applies that physics is always demanding and that the choice of study location is not as important for the bachelor's degree as it is later for the master’s.
  • I would like to start studying physics in the winter semester. Is it already possible to give me a literature recommendation for the first semester?
    For the first semester, the typical representatives are for mathematics Analysis 1 - Otto Forster (Vieweg) or Analysis 1 - Königsberger (Springer) and for physics e.g. B. Basic course Theoretical Physics 1, Classical Mechanics - Wolfgang Nolting (Springer), Experimental Physics 1, Mechanics and Heat - Wolfgang Demtröder (Springer) or Gerthsen Physics - Dieter Meschede (Springer). We also present the most common presentations during the introductory week - you can view the slides for the Book Club presentation if you are already enrolled. However, every professor can structure his lecture using a different book, recommendations are made in the first lesson. In addition, most of the books from Springer-Verlag can be downloaded free of charge, provided you are a student at the University of Münster. The books mentioned here are also available in large numbers in the ULB's textbook collection, as the experimental physics books in particular are quite expensive. Our recommendation is that you wait to purchase and wait for the professor's recommendations. Be sure to look at several different books, as not everyone can cope with every writing style.
  • How and when can I register for lectures and exams?
    The respective valid registration periods are indicated centrally. However, these are only general dates from which the subjects can deviate. Therefore, each professor will tell you the valid registration times at the beginning of the lecture. You will also receive some exam registration reminder emails. The registration is carried out (exclusively!) In the QISPOS system. A registration for events in the course catalog (HIS LSF) is not necessary for physics! (Note, however, that in some minor subjects, e.g. philosophy, registrations in the HIS LSF may be necessary in order to receive seminar places.) See also the university's QISPOS FAQ. You do not have to register for any events before starting your studies - you only need to register in order to have your credit points credited and to be able to take exams.
    (Note for 2-subject Bachelor: This can of course differ for your other subjects. In the case of educational science in particular, the registration deadline is often before our first week! If you have any questions about this, it is best to ask the Education Department.)
  • Where can I find my schedule?
    For the first semester we have created a timetable that you can view online with us or in the information magazine Ersti-Φbel, which you get from us during the first week. In the HIS LSF (course catalog) there is also a timetable function, but it is hopelessly confusing and therefore not really useful.
  • I need a certificate for the BAföG office. Where can I get this?
    There are two different certificates. One must be submitted with every application and certify that you are a student at the WWU Münster. You can download and print these out every semester. The second (form 5) must be submitted after the fourth semester and certify that you are within the standard period of study and that you have completed the necessary work. You can have this signed by the course coordinator (Prof. Bracht, see course counseling).

Physics as a major (Bachelor)

  • How do I enroll in physics?
    Physics is admission-free (information from the Central Student Advisory Service, ZSB), so that you can enroll directly (online) without applying. For physics, this is only possible in the winter semester. If you “only” want to study physics, the 1-subject Bachelor is right; the teaching post can be found under the 2-subject bachelor's degree (2FB). It is advisable to attend the preliminary courses at the beginning of the semester as well as the introductory week.
  • What is a minor?
    The minor (not to be confused with the second subject of a 2-subject bachelor's degree, which is why "interdisciplinary studies" is more correct as an elective subject) is the two to three semesters of attending some lectures in another subject that is related to physics (or a later Career choice) must be related. The examination regulations regulate which lectures are from subject to subject. Typical elective subjects are chemistry, computer science, mathematics, philosophy, but others are also conceivable. You "choose" the subject by attending the relevant courses and then registering for one or the other course and examination according to the deadlines. Since this does not happen at the beginning of the semester, you have a few weeks to look around and decide on one. The choice of the topic of the Bachelor thesis or the like is completely independent of this decision. You can find everything else on our info page on the minor subjects.
  • What role do the specialist institutes play for the Bachelor's degree? Are these just specializations in the master’s degree?
    In principle, these are only important for the bachelor thesis and some seminars, i.e. only from the 5th semester (sometimes from the 4th semester).

Physics as a major (master)

  • I would also like to do my doctorate and not change for it. So of course I'm interested in whether you can get a doctoral position in Münster.
    This is often quite possible in Münster; it depends a little on your performance and the area of ​​research, of course, but the chances are good!

Physics in teaching / 2-subject bachelor (2FB)

  • Is it possible to change from teaching / 2FB to the "normal" Bachelor in Physics?Is it possible to transition to the Master in Physics after the 2-subject Bachelor's degree?
    With a little advance planning, the change is still possible in the higher semesters or even after the bachelor's degree, but this is associated with overtime. The main differences are that mathematics is missing and physics is shortened from the 2nd semester onwards. The internship in the 3rd + 4th Semester is shortened. Except for math, everything can be incorporated into the timetable relatively easily.
    Our suggestion is therefore: Try to study both in parallel for the first few weeks, that is, to take the "normal" physics courses (math for physicists, all exercise groups). If it works out well in terms of time and workload, there would be two degrees in the end. If not, this can be canceled at any time. If it is “only” a matter of math, there would be the option of taking everything else so that “only” math would be missing, which can be made up relatively easily.
    After completing the 2FB degree, the missing content must be made up through alignment studies and in the context of interdisciplinary studies. This will take about 2 semesters.

Physics as a minor

  • What is limited in the physics minor in the course?
    We refer to the study regulations for the relevant major.

Questions about the city of Münster and "student life"

  • What is the living situation like in the city? Is it easy to find an apartment?
    You can find a nice and affordable apartment, all you have to do is search, search, search ... and, unfortunately, be lucky. The housing market is subject to constant change, as the dormitories have been / are gradually being renovated and as a result, some living space is lacking. The AStA, the university, the FH and the city try to create affordable housing for the students together (information from the AStA on housing).
  • How are the cost of living, so how expensive is z. B. the cafeteria?
    Münster is not cheap, but neither is Munich. But Münster is also the most livable city in the world! The cafeteria prices are okay (usually 2-3 euros for a menu).

© 2020 Physics Student Council