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Studierende im Lernlabor des Instituts für Elektrotechnik, Foto: Universität Paderborn, Fotografin: Judith Kraft
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Studierende im Lernlabor des Instituts für Elektrotechnik, Foto: Universität Paderborn, Fotografin: Judith Kraft

Electrical Engineering

Our information society is determined by great rapid technological progress and profound changes constantly taking place in our working and living environments. Closely tied hereto are distinctive future trends in electrical engineering and information technology, which are also reflected by the job description of electrical engineers.

Electrical engineering and information technology are presently facing new challenges, e.g. in telecommunications, especially in the fields of optical data transmission, miniaturization of electrical components, customer-shaped energy distribution systems or navigation systems for advanced vehicles. Consequently, training and research within the department of electrical engineering and information technology is strongly focussed on information technology, microsystem technology and automation engineering.

Curriculum Contents

Worldwide mobile phone reachability, downloading data and images from global networks or the exchange of massive amounts of streaming data via satellites or optical fibres - all of this is modern electrical engineering technology as much as satellite navigation or vision-enabled robots. These are just a few examples taken from those fascinating fields of activity for electrical engineers the fundamentals of which are being taught in the BA and MA programs at our university.

However, it's not only the scientific fundamentals of electrical engineering which are imparted, but also essential "soft skills" for future professional life, such as holistic thinking, interdisciplinary action, competency to recognize and assess technical interrelations, to think in terms of models and systems (abstraction capacity), inventive and creative skills (creativity), interpersonal skills and the ability to guide people (reasoning, communication and motivation) as well as the ability to critically reflect on one's own activities and to assume responsibility for work results. Students are also given the opportunity to choose courses according to individual interests and objectives for in-depth knowledge in various fields.

Fields of occupation

The excellent training and education provided by our department of electrical engineering and information technology opens up a variety of occupation fields to our engineering graduates. Fields of activity for engineers are positions as specialists and managers in the electrical and electronics industry, computer industry, telecommunications, automation engineering, power industry, automotive and aviation industry as well as scientific work with research institutes. Besides, graduates are also sought after in interdisciplinary fields of mechanical engineering, automotive and traffic engineering or medical engineering.

  • Construction
  • Hard and software development
  • Electronics manufacturing
  • Distribution and marketing
  • Management
  • Research
  • Quality management
  • Customer service and training
  • Technical documentation
Bachelor

The Bachelor program has two phases: During the first four semesters students are taught fundamentals for science-based electrical engineering and in semester 5 and 6 a broader spectrum of general scientific knowledge in electronics. In the first 4 semesters (basic or first period of study) a compulsory set of basic subjects must be attended, joined by practical lab training in the different disciplines. In semester 5 and 6 (in-depth or second period of study), besides compulsory electives, students may, for the first time, choose electives from the following three in-depth modules: information technology, microsystem and automation technology. However, in-depth studies can only be completed after having previously obtained not less than 52 ECTS in the basic phase. General studies are exempted from this regulation.

At the end of the regular period of 6 semesters with a total of 180 ECTS our graduates will be awarded a degree, which conforms to highest international standards. Students are required to submit a bachelor's thesis at the end of their studies, which will allow them to enroll for the subsequent master's program.

The bachelor thesis can be started only after having successfully passed all module examinations in the first bachelor's phase. In the transitional period before taking up the master program, bachelor students may already participate in master's courses not exceeding 16 ECTS provided that 150 ECTS credits have been awarded during the bachelor program and enrolment for the thesis has been applied for.

It should be noted here that the second study period might optionally be completed with a strong focus on vocational training whereby students will satisfy all the requirements for being admitted to the masters course "Teaching at vocational colleges with a professional major in electrical engineering and a minor in automation or information technology". For more details see the information page.

The tables below schematically show the bachelor program in electrical engineering. Detailed description and specification of subjects, modules and options can be found in the examinations regulations.

Master

The research-based Master program has a special focus on imparting the competency to independently analyse problems of electrical Engineering and to develop scientific methods for their description and solution. During the standard period of four semesters our graduates are required to take modules totalling to 120 credits (ECTS) within 60 semester week hours and to complete their masters' thesis. By this graduation students will be awarded the second academic degree, i.e. Master of Science, Electrical Engineering (M.Sc.EE), which complies with international standards.

The program allows students to select from six catalogues being called study models, which are as follows:

  • Energy and environment
  • Cognitive systems
  • Communications
  • Microelectronics
  • Optoelectronics
  • Process dynamics

The study models with the courses of each catalogue are listed in the current modules schedule.

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Admissions requirements

Bachelor

Presently, there is free admission to the bachelor program in electrical engineering. Furture students may enrol in summer and will be legally entitled to admission when meeting the formal entry requirements. Start of semester is always in the winter term (early October).

The formal admission criteria are dependent on the following school leaving qualifications:

  • Higher education entrance qualification/ Abitur: direct admission
  • Subject specific university entrance certificate in engineering: direct admission
  • Advanced technical college entrance qualification: aptitude test and certain grades required (for more details click here)

Master

BA degree in electrical engineering from the University of Paderborn or in a comparable program from a different university required. Proof of technical qualification must be given.
Should such qualification be regarded insufficient, additional conditions may be imposed. Students may enrol for summer or winter term.

Industrial training

In this training period students are expected to acquire basic skills and experience by their own work in those operational areas they will shape and be in control of.

During their bachelor degree program students will undergo a practical training period for a minimum of 12 weeks, which should be finished completely at the beginning of semester 3. This training period may be extended but must be completed at the latest before starting the bachelor's thesis.

Exemption: Successfully completed technical education and training is generally accepted in lieu of the mandatory practical training. Practical work outside industrial companies (e.g. public research institutes)

Exemption: Successfully completed vocational education and training (technical or administrative) is generally accepted in lieu of the mandatory practical training.
Click here for the regulations (latest version; German text only)

What we recommend:

Since no credits will be awarded for the practical training performed, students are required to seek placements themselves and to implement the training into their schedules.

Experience has shown though that it proves extremely difficult to integrate the practical training of 12 weeks into your course of studies, be it in one go or gradually, without delaying the program. We therefore recommend completing the entire or at least the major part of the training before commencing the degree program.
After graduating from school the majority of prospective students have a gap of 4 to 5 months before starting their studies, which can be used to undergo the practical training beforehand

Research at UPB

In the field of information technology, emphasising on the design and development of data transmission and processing systems, the university's department of electrical engineering and information technology has reported internationally acclaimed successes, particularly in optical transmission technology. The Paderborn microsystem technology gives industry significant impetus by their excellent results yielded in microsystem technology, micromechanics and software engineering. Being the decisive link of computer science to a wide variety of applications, automation engineering - focussing on the project "new rail technology" (RailCab) - is highly innovative with a strong prospective approach.

Research has vital impacts on our training structures, by not only contributing substantially to the state-of-the-art and clearness of lectures, seminars and project work, but also by generating interesting bachelor and master theses topics and supporting facilities for the completion thereof.

The University for the Information Society