Studying and teaching

Updates, information and questions relating to studying and teaching

The coronavirus has had an impact on studying and teaching at FAU: face-to-face classes have been cancelled, seminars and lectures are now being held online and examinations requiring attendance in person can only be held if strict precautions are observed. We have therefore gathered all the information and updates relevant to students and teaching staff on these pages. We will add to it as and when necessary and make sure that it is always up to date.

These web pages are continuously updated. The next changes will be available in the coming week. (Status October 9, 2020)

  1. Study-related questions
  2. Examinations and deadlines
  3. Teaching-related questions
  4. Special questions relating to organising daily life, student assistant jobs and consultations

Starting at FAU this winter semester

When university starts in winter semester 2020/21, it will not be the same as in previous years. The coronavirus pandemic and its consequences mean that starting university will be a rather different experience for you, our new first year students. One thing we can promise you, however, is that together we will make it possible for you to get off to the perfect start at university. FAU, its institutions, faculties and partners will still offer a wide range of services and introductory events to help you find your feet as you start out at university.

Start of the winter semester 2020/21

Study-related questions

Studying online: one student shares her five top tips with other students

desk computer laptop notebook mouse

Image: Colourbox

Jennifer Skurka is studying primary education at FAU. She also has an exciting part-time job at the University, as a research assistant at the Innovation in Learning Institute. Through her job, she has become an expert in online learning. She has written an article sharing her five most important tips for studying online.

Information on contact tracking in the winter semester and distance regulations can be found on the Corona hygiene pages

The Executive Board has decided on the basis of instructions received from the Ministry that teaching in winter semester 2020/21 will largely consist of online teaching combined with individual face-to-face classes (hybrid teaching), tailored to suit the needs of the various degree programmes. This means that face-to-face classes will be able to be offered in addition to online teaching if necessary, provided we are able to do so in accordance with legal provisions and regulations aimed at preventing infection and provided we are able to organise it (for example if sufficient rooms are available and students are able to attend).

We must ensure that all degree programmes can still be studied.

Whenever face-to-face teaching is not possible or not permitted, sufficient online teaching must be offered instead. Online teaching should be offered asynchronously as far as possible, in order to give students greater flexibility in organising their hybrid study plans. An effort must be made to provide students with any support they need, ensuring they are always able to get in touch if they have any questions, especially when teaching online.

The decision as to whether face-to-face teaching can be offered and for whom is taken by the faculties in consultation with the deans of studies or those responsible for the degree programmes. Special consideration should be given to the needs of new students, international students and other groups studying degree programmes which require face-to-face teaching in order to be taught effectively.

Information on the regulations in force at each of the faculties is available on the following pages (pages under construction, will be added shortly):

Teaching in Master’s degree programmes taught in English will be available online, in order to ensure that international students who are not actually in Germany or at the University will still be able to study at FAU. For international students in other degree programmes, the general regulations for winter semester 2020/21 will apply.

In addition to a letter of admission from the university, international students require proof for the German embassies that it is absolutely necessary for them to enter Germany. Students who have been offered a place for winter semester 2020/21 will now find this proof included in their admissions letter and can download it themselves after logging into the campo portal.

International students who have already enrolled will find the confirmation required in order to be issued a visa for study purposes in their certificate of enrolment in the mein campus portal.

The following shall apply retrospectively from 20 April 2020 once the legal amendment to the Bavarian Higher Education Act (BayHSchG) comes into effect on 1 August 2020:

Summer semester 2020 shall not be considered a study semester (Fachsemester) in the context of the standard dates and deadlines stipulated in the examination regulations for the degree programmes (new Section 99 (1) BayHSchG). This means that summer semester 2020 will not be considered when calculating the expiry of standard dates and deadlines and students will automatically be granted an extension.

At FAU, we made the decision at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic to extend study deadlines (for completing the GOP or Bachelor’s/Master’s degree programmes) which ought to have expired on 31 March 2020 or 30 September 2020 until the end of winter semester 2020/2021. There was and is no need to file a special request to this effect (with the exception of State Examination degree programmes).

You do not need to worry about adhering to deadlines for completing the GOP or completing your Bachelor’s or Master’s degree until summer semester 2021. Even if you have missed a deadline, you will be informed by the Examinations Office and given the opportunity to submit the relevant application.

The standard duration of study is not affected by the above regulations. As a rule, this is still six semesters for Bachelor’s degree programmes and four semesters for Master’s degree programmes.

However, if students have not already received an extension pursuant to the provisions stipulated in Section 99 (1) BayHSchG (see above), the period in which they would usually be expected to complete their degree programme will be extended by one semester if they were enrolled at FAU in summer semester 2020 (new Section 99 (2) BayHSchG). This happens automatically, there is no need to submit a request to this effect.

More information is available on the Examinations Office website.

Subject to the final decision of the Bavarian State Ministry of Science and the Arts, the regular lecture period for winter semester 2020/2021 for all degree programmes at FAU will start on 2 November 2020.

This is with the exception of degree programmes in medicine/dentistry for students in their 2nd semester and above, which will start again on 12 October 2020. First year students in these degree programmes will start like everyone else on 2 November 2020.

Due to the close connections with State Examination degree programmes offered by the Faculty of Medicine, FAU made a request to the State Ministry of Science and the Arts that the lecture period for the Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programmes in Molecular Medicine should also start on 12 October 2020 for students in the 3rd semester and above. This applies in particular to lectures and seminars for the 3rd and 5th semester for the Bachelor’s degree programme and lectures and seminars for the 3rd semester in the Master’s degree programme.

The University Library already offers a number of additional online services to support research and teaching, and we are constantly adding more.

Since Monday, 20 April 2020, it has been possible to borrow and return printed media in the Main Library and the branch libraries. Further information is available on the website of the University Library.

The University Library has also drawn up a detailed FAQ paper on all questions relating to borrowing, fees and renewals.

Students who are intending to travel to Germany for their first semester or students who returned to their home country in the lecture-free period and are now ‘stuck’ there due to travel restrictions are facing a particularly difficult situation. We will do our best to help you as much as we possibly can.

If you are anxious about missing part of the semester here, please rest assured that you are of course entitled to use any of our digital teaching resources, provided you have access to the internet where you are.

If you have any individual problems, please either contact your lecturer directly or the Student Advice and Career Centre Our colleagues will be happy to help you.

All that is included on your final academic record and your degree certificate is the date you sat your final examination. There is no mention of how many semesters you actually studied or whether or not you exceeded the standard duration of study.

Graduation documents will still be prepared by the Examinations Office provided all achievements required for the relevant degree programme have been completed. These are then forwarded to the respective Examinations Committee for signing and sent by post, provided we have been given an address. Due to the current situation, delays can occur as several institutions are involved in issuing the graduation documents. Please contact the relevant member of staff at the Examinations Office if you urgently require confirmation that you have passed the degree programme.

You need the right equipment to be able to study online. Students who do not have their own laptop or one that is equipped for online learning can contact and apply to borrow one. An appeal for donations has been launched.

Welcome sign in Magnolia tree

Welcome! (Image: FAU/Michaela Hiermeier)

Studying online

A full semester of online teaching is something that has never been implemented in the history of our University. We have therefore created a list of five tips for you to help you get off to a good start online.

Examinations and deadlines

The latest information concerning examinations is available from the Examinations Office’s information page.

Teaching-related questions

All classes at FAU (with a few exceptions) are exclusively being held online in the summer semester 2020. Even in the event that face-to-face teaching is permitted again, teaching staff are required to continue to provide teaching online (see no.5 below).

Teaching staff can find information and support for offering classes online on the page FAU Digitale Lehre.Students can find tips for coping with the digital semester and share their experiences with others on the StudOn platform FAU Digitales Studium.

Do you have any questions about classes or lectures? UnivIS is the central platform for scheduling courses and lectures..

Occupational Safety at FAU has published a summary on its website (in German) of the guidelines and standard procedures which ought to be observed during field trips and excursions.

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With DFNconf, a Jitsi-server operated locally at the Erlangen Regional Computing Centre (RRZE), MS Teams and Zoom, FAU has various web conference platforms at its disposal.

An overview is available on the RRZE website .

Important help and information about Zoom is available on the FAU Digitales Studium.

The ILI team can offer you a Zoom coaching session to help you switch over to online teaching as quickly as possible. Experienced colleagues at FAU are available to walk you through the basic functions of the software live in a Zoom meeting. You can cover any questions you have during the 30 minute video conference, and then you should be able to start straightaway with your first session. You can book an appointment online.

  • If you are planning a class for up to 300 students, you should use the ‘meeting’ function in Zoom, which is available to all members of staff at FAU. ‘Meetings’ are designed to be a collaborative event in which all participants are able to share their screens, switch on their audio and video and see and hear other participants, provided they have also switched on their audio and video.
  • If you are planning a class for more than 300 students or if you have special requirements for your classes, you will need to request the ‘webinar’ option. Please contact, writing ‘Zoom webinar’ in the subject line.

This applies in particular to: laboratory courses, sports courses, fine arts courses (theatre, music, art education) and field trips. Conducting practical classes and research activities in special laboratory or work rooms including workshops at FAU must follow the practical guidelines that you will find on the Occupational Safety website.

If you would like to hold a practical class, please complete the form included in the practical guidelines from the Occupational Safety website which must also be signed by the individual responsible and send it via email to your Occupational Safety representative. Your representative will contact you should they require further details or grant you permission to hold the class.

Online courses can and should continue to run throughout the semester even if attendance in person is possible again. This will allow students caring for relatives or children, vulnerable students or ill students as well as students who have chosen not to travel to their place of study this summer semester to continue to attend classes.

The same regulations apply for attendance of online teaching as for attendance of regular face-to-face classes. Attendance cannot be made compulsory if the face-to-face class did not meet the legal requirements for this either.

In addition, we would explicitly ask you to pay special consideration to students who are classed as being at-risk or who are in a special position due to caring for children or helping out in hospitals.

The degree programme structures stipulated in the degree programme and examination regulations are always only a recommendation. As a rule, they are not obligatory for students. At FAU, however, we have to ensure as smooth a progress through the degree programme as possible. The answer to the question depends on whether the laboratory course/internship/placement is organised by FAU or whether it is organised independently by students outside FAU. However, generally speaking, there is nothing against being flexible.

That is not a decision that FAU can take. It is up to the institution in question to decide whether or not the placement can go ahead.

Woman wearing black sports clothes and stretching. Her hair is hanging upside down.

Photo: FAU/Kim Vetter

New: HomeSport

Sports courses for students and staff are available online via StudOn on the University Sports page.

Special questions relating to organising daily life, student assistant jobs and consultations

Students who are faced with difficulties as a result of the pandemic can apply for interim aid of up to 500 euros per month online at for the months of June, July, August and September.

Useful information about the interim financial assistance for students is available on the website of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Further general information on the interim aid and the application process is available from Student Services Erlangen-Nürnberg, who are responsible for processing application at FAU.


Student Services Erlangen-Nürnberg
Phone hotline: +49 9131 8002 -710 / -711

The aim of the appeal fund ‘#FAU4FAU – Staff for Students’ is to help students who are now in financial need due to the coronavirus pandemic so that everyone can use the digital learning services being offered by FAU during summer semester 2020. Students who are enrolled at FAU in summer semester 2020 and who are currently facing financial difficulties as a direct result of the coronavirus pandemic can apply for financial help.

Information from the city of Erlangen: Due to the special rules regarding minimising the consequences of the pandemic, students can also receive Arbeitslosengeld II unemployment in the form of a loan until further notice. An application must be made to the Jobcenter of the city in which you are registered. In Erlangen, this is currently only possible by telephone.

More information is available on the City of Erlangen website.

The University Administration will of course process all incoming requests for employing a part-time assistant, no matter whether they are for new positions or an extension of an existing position. Remuneration will also continue to be paid via the State Finance Office.

However, in view of the emergency situation facing us at the current time, we would ask you to be patient and bear with is if it takes longer than usual for employment contracts to be drawn up.

If the place where you are intended to work as an assistant is currently not staffed, you can initially scan the signed employment contract and send it electronically. However, the original contract still has to be submitted at a later date.

Office P3 (HR Services for Part-Time Academic Staff) are currently happy to accept requests for employment electronically together with all necessary employment documents concerning a new position for or continued employment of part-time assistants. The four week deadline for submitting employment documents still applies.

From 4 May, Student Services will offer a take-away service for snacks and warm lunches in selected student restaurants in Erlangen and Nuremberg.

More information is available on the Student Services’ website.

The social work, psychological and legal counselling services run by Student Services can be reached by telephone or e-mail. The psychological counselling service also offers appointments for a video chat.

Social work unit
Phone: + 49 9131 800275

Psychological advice

Phone: + 49 9131 8002-750 Mon-Fri 8.30-12.00 to arrange an appointment
Appointments are currently only available by telephone or video chat.
The drop-in consultation service is offered via this phone number on Tuesdays from 1.30pm to 4.30pm for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic.

Legal advice

Flyer Meeting for a chat via ZoomMeeting for a chat via Zoom

At FAU Digitales Studium, the Innovation in Learning Institute at FAU offers a Zoom room where students can go to meet other students for an informal chat.


Stuve-KummerkastenStudents’ Representatives feedback form

The Students’ Representatives have set up a feedback form where you can post any problems and questions you may have with respect to the coronavirus pandemic. The representatives will try to answer your questions directly. They also hope to be able to identify any areas which are causing problems and forward these to the people responsible for them at FAU.

Everyone is, of course, also welcome to contact FAU directly:

Please take care of yourselves in these turbulent times, and rest assured that we take your concerns into consideration in all the decisions we make.

We would appreciate it if you could send us any topics which you feel have not been covered sufficiently to the e-mail address We will then include them in our FAQs.