Accreditation of classes and exams


A curriculum change is the best way to assure that you get credit for subjects you take during study abroad. If you have questions, contact the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering Study Abroad Advising.

Generally, accrediation for subjects is possible when the (compulsory) courses taken abroad fulfill one criteria: the content-related suitability or sufficient content-related similarity to a RWTH module.
The process is as follows:

  • Your specialization or occupational field mentor determines the contextual equivalent with the compulsory courses in your course of study or occupational field, certifying that the elective courses are appropriate for your specialization.
  • The lecturers of the "core courses" Fluid Mechanics I, Control Engineering, Heat and Material Transmission I, and for the industrial engineers, Materials Science I/II, review the context equivalent of these courses.
  • The examination board determines the formal equivalent of the subjects in comparison to the ones that were switched out at RWTH Aachen. A difference of one semester week hour or SWS less is allowed per subject and in total for the (compulsory) subjects. The Aachen SWS are established in the curriculum.

Particularities of Accreditation in Different Courses of Study

Master Courses of Study

  • A maximum of 30 CP can be completed externally.
  • Wirt.-Ing.: Students of the M.Sc. in Business Administration and Mechanical Engineering must do at least 10 CP at RWTH in each of the two fields of study (business admnistration and mechanical engineering).
  • External Master's thesis (mechanical engineering): If you would like to complete a Master's thesis externally, for example in a company or research institution, up to 15 CP (of 30 CP total) will be accredited. In this case you cannot have had more than 15 CP (Master) accredited from study abroad, as you would then exceed the maximum limit of 30 CP and your external Master's thesis would be denied.

Which subjects can be approved by a change of curriculum?

As a principle: All subjects which have not been completed in Aachen may be replaced by courses from abroad through an application for a change of curriculum. Compulsory subjects require a content-related equivalent course abroad; the compulsory-elective subject offers may be complemented with RWTH-external subjects, as long as they basically fit the specialization (exception: compulsory-electives in Business and Economics). You should pay attention to the following specific cases, depending on the degree program:


When do I submit a request for a curriculum change?

We recommend submitting the request for a curriculum change before your departure or during the first few weeks abroad. You should definitely have the approval of the examination board before you take exams abroad – without this approval, accreditation for exams taken abroad is not guaranteed

In many cases the planned curriculum may change due to overlaps or similarities abroad. In this case, submit a new curriculum change before taking an exam abroad.


Where and how do I submit a curriculum change?

Generally you submit a curriculum change to your occupational field or Master's course of study advisor and then the examination board. Exceptions include cases where you are only requesting additional subjects or exclusively business or economics subjects (submit directly to the examination board).

Approval from the individual chairs is only required when requesting external modules as a replacement for the so-called "core subjects" (see above) and for business and economics modules.

Please note: In order to speed up the approval of the business and economics modules, you can get the approval from the respective chairs at the School of Business and Economics (for example via email) and include this in your request. If the corresponding approvals are not included, the examination board forwards your request to the respective chairs – however this delays the process for a number of weeks depending on the number of modules requested.

Always include the following with your request for a curriculum change…

  • Proof of the content for the modules you attended abroad (e.g. from the host university's homepage, email correspondence with instructors abroad, etc.)
  • Proof of the number of hours/time invested:
    • Lecture weeks during the semester (e.g. via the academic calendar)
    • Per subject: number of class hours in minutes (e.g. from the homepage)
    • Per subject: Number of courses per week (e.g. from the homepage)

Are credit points that I gained abroad (e.g. ECTS) recognized or how are they converted?

In case of European partner universities that work with ECTS, the number of credit points allocated abroad is irrelevant if you are replacing a mandatory RWTH module by a module taken abroad. In this case, if recognition criteria are fulfilled, you will get the number of credits allocated to this module at RWTH. If you are replacing an elective module or an additional module, the number of credit points allocated by the partner university will be recognized, unless an elective module is equivalent to an RWTH module.

In case of non-European partner universities that do not work ECTS, the number of recognizable CPs is calculated as part of a change of study plan request (Studienplanänderung) using the formula CP=SWSRWTH x 1,5. Via the request form for change of study plan, you can also calculate the RWTH semester hours per week (page 4 of the form).


What do I have to do to get my grades accredited at RWTH Aachen University?

After the end of your semester abroad, you will receive an overview of your grades from your host university – the Transcript of Records. To allow your grades to be transferred to the Central Examination Office, please come to the Exchange Office during office hours and bring your Transcript of Records (in the original!). As soon as we have the original Transcript of Records, we will initiate the accreditation procedure – a corresponding letter will be send to both you and the Central Examination Office. You do not have to take care of the grade transfer yourself anymore!


What happens if I do not participate in courses abroad after all or if I do not pass?

If you do not participate in a course (e.g. because it is cancelled due to a professor’s illness) contrary to your application for a change of curriculum, or if you do not pass the exam, the part concerning this course is deleted from your change of curriculum. You will neither be registered mandatorily for the original course at RWTH Aachen University which was supposed to be replaced, nor will the failed exam be taken into account as a failed attempt in terms of the local Examination Regulation.


Can I get course credit approved retroactively or change the module assignment retroactively?

A request for retroactive accreditation is only possible for compulsory courses and compulsory electives that have an equivalent course at RWTH. Compulsory elective courses that are not offered at RWTH Aachen, will not be retroactively accredited!
We strongly recommend to always use the curriculum change process. If you take exams without approval, you can request accreditation after your return, but this requires much more work, and the review of the content and credit equivalent is stricter than if you do it before you take exams. You should consider the retroactive accreditation process solely as a rescue possibility, rather than a first option.

You can declare an approved compulsory subject or a compulsory elective subject on your study plan change request as an additional subject (“Zusatzfach”) retrospectively.

Generally speaking, you are not obliged to have a successfully completed module recognized.