Glossary: Important terms during your studies
AStA, ECTS credits, ZPLA—you might encounter unusual abbreviations and terms at the University, especially when you first start studying. Below, important terms are listed in alphabetical order and short explanations are provided.
|First port of call in the faculties for students who have questions about their studies, examinations, or course plans
|See also subject-specific provisions
|Permission to enroll and begin studying (upon application) You must apply for admission to do a doctorate and for some examinations, as well.
|Allende-Platz; AP1 (see also Pferdestall) and AP2
|AStA (student council)
|The student council represents students within and outside the University and gives all students a chance to get involved. It also offers advice on various matters.
|Audimax/Audi I + II
|The auditorium maximum is the University’s largest lecture hall (Von-Melle-Park 4). It can be divided into 2 spaces, the Audi I and the Audi II.
|Baccalaureate; final degree in a few degree programs
|The first University degree in the 3-cycle-system of qualifications—depending upon your major, a Bachelor of Arts (BA), a Bachelor of Education (Bed), a Bachelor of Science (BSc), or a Bachelor of Law (LLB) is awarded.
|BAföG—Bundesgesetz über individuelle Förderung der Ausbildung
|German federal training assistance act; federal student loan scheme
|Uni username; individual username that every student receives automatically upon enrolling and for various technical services (STiNE, Wi-Fi, etc.)
|One of 3 cafeterias on the Main Campus; vegetarian and vegan only
|Abbreviation for either the Faculty of Business Administration (Hamburg Business School) or the bachelor’s program in business administration
|A University location that generally includes several buildings. In addition to 5 larger locations, Universität Hamburg also has several smaller ones. The Main Campus is at Von-Melle-Park (VMP).
|Index of the State and University Library Carl von Ossietzky and departmental libraries’ entire digital stocks; see KatalogPlus for scholarly papers.
|Central advising services for prospective and enrolled students
|Digital map (buildings and sites) of the University
|Computer room availability for students at various sites—CIP stands for “Computer Investment Program,” a campaign by the Federal Government and German States to invest in IT infrastructre.
|Clusters of excellence
|Research collaborations funded within the scope of the Excellence Strategy Universität Hamburg has 4 clusters of excellence.
|Conversation and exchange format on a scholarly topic; may well be part of a final examination
|Communication and collaboration platform used by various subject areas, for example, EduCommSy
|Abbreviated with “LV.” Term for the various types of teaching formats at a university, such as seminars, practical courses, tutorials, and lectures.
|Course catalog (VLV)
|Abbreviated “VLV.” A list of all courses offered in a given semester; issued by either the University as a whole or by individual faculties and departments
|An index of all courses being offered in a semester; includes not only individual seminars and lectures but also information about teaching staff and other events and activities
|See also proof of enrollment
|Proof that you have successfully completed certain seminars / lectures / modules, either in the form of a transcript of records or as a separate, special form
|Credit point (CP)
|See also ECTS credit. Abbreviated with “LP.” Also known as ECTS credit; designates the workload for a module in the 3-cycle system of qualifications, as well as for individual courses or a final paper or project; for a degree, you must earn a minimum number of credit points, with a credit point allocated per 30 hours of work per semester (applicable for in-person classes, independent study, and examination preparation).
|Cum tempore, also known as the “academic hour,” which is a quarter of an hour after the stated time— s.t., or sine tempore, means, on the other hand, starting punctually.
|Set courses offered within a program or area of study
|The due date for applications or documents (e.g., hardship applications)
|Subject-specific libraries located at the department/faculty; together with the State and University Library Carl von Ossietzky, they form Universität Hamburg’s library system.
|Diplom—a university degree
|An academic paper required to earn a doctorate
|Conferral of the doctorate; anyone working towards a doctorate at the University is called a “Doktorand/Doktorandin” or “Promovierender/Promovierende.” In English, this is simply a doctoral candidate, also known here as a doctoral researcher.
|The duck pond is in the middle of the Von-Melle-Park or Main Campus. It was built in the 1960s; it gives students a place to sit and relax and is home to a pair of ducks.
|Administrative unit in the University. There are 8 faculties at Universität Hamburg.
|Abbreviation for department
|An excursion accompanied by the instructor for the sake of deepening understanding of a specific subject
|Tall building at Bundesstraße 55; houses earth system sciences and the Department of Mathematics
|Abbreviation for the Faculty of Humanities
|Abbreviation for Hilfswissenschaftler or student research assistant. As a rule, student research assistants are students who support a research project.
|A possibility to borrow books from other libraries, universities, or institutions via the State and University Library Carl von Ossietzky
|Abbreviated with a “P” for Praktikum. This is an especially common format in the natural sciences; experiments are conducted and recorded independently and results are critically evaluated.
|Abbreviation for the Faculty of Law
|Abbreviation for teacher training programs
|Abbreviated “VL.” Course type in which the instructor gives a talk
|This is the part of the semester in which courses and exams take place, generally April to July (summer semester) and October to February (winter semester).
|Usually an overarching series of lectures on a specific topic and with various lecturers
|University location at Von-Melle-Park (VMP)
|Second university degree in the 3-cycle system of qualifications; depending upon major, a Master of Arts (MA), and Master of Education (Med), a Master of Science (MSc), or a Master of Law (LLM)
|Abbreviation for the Faculty of Medicine
|Mensa academica is the term for the University’s student dining hall. At the University, there are several dining halls and cafés run by Studierendenwerk Hamburg.
|Abbreviation for the Faculty of Mathematics, Informatics and Natural Sciences
|Learning unit with several courses such as seminars, lectures, tutorials, and practical courses
|A northern German salutation that can be used any time of day; repeated (Moin moin!) for cheerful emphasis
|A learning platform used especially in the subjects in the Faculty of Mathematics, Informatics and Natural Sciences
|Numerus clausus; restricted admission
|Abbreviation for “after the course”
|Abbreviation for Nebenfach or minor
|Nomen nescio means “to be named” (for example, when the class instructor has not yet been determined).
|Non-professorial academic staff
|The non-professorial academic staff encompass research associates.
|Abbreviation for “by appointment”
|Abbreviation for orientation module. This is an introductory event at the beginning of each semester; it provides new students with information about the degree program.
|Office of the dean
|A committee that forms part of the faculty management; among other things, responsible for strategy and the faculty’s budget
|Learning platform that can also be used for complex online courses
|Time in the semester in which there are generally few to no courses or lectures
|Regional Computing Center (RRZ)
|This is the University IT service provider; it provides computers, internet services, and printers. It can also help out with your STiNE ID and your University email address.
|The period at the start of every semester in which students can register for courses or change course registration.
|Regular period of study
|The standard period of study in which a degree can or should be earned in a specific degree program. This also comprises the semesters of study and examination periods.
|A course in which students can repeat course material to prepare for examinations.
|Abbreviation for the Faculty of Law
|Pizzeria on the Main Campus (Von-Melle-Park), run by Studierendenwerk
|Staatsexamen or state examination; this is a state-issued final examination in, inter alia, teaching programs, law, and medicine; it qualifies those who pass to enter the respective profession.
|Period of 6 months, or a half-year of study. There is a summer semester (April–September) and a winter semester (October–March). A semester is not the same as the lecture period.
|The fee paid upon enrollment and reenrollment
|Important dates in the semester, such as the semester starting and ending dates, the lecture period, and vacations
|Students enrolled at Universität Hamburg must reenroll every semester if they wish to continue studying. You can reenroll by paying the semester contribution by the respective deadline.
|Semester public transport pass
|The public transport pass of the Hamburg Public Transport Association (HVV) that all students receive once they pay their semester contribution. Please conctact the AStA for all questions concerning the semester public transport pass.
|A type of course requiring active participation: discussion, oral reports, and a term paper
|Indicates that a quotation appears as it did in the source material (including possible errors)
|Abbreviation for economics and social sciences
|Sine tempore means that courses begin punctually and/or on the hour. c.t., or cum tempore, means, on the other hand, starting 15 minutes later.
|This is the short form for the State and University Library Carl von Ossietzky (Von-Melle-Park 3).
|This is the studies information network. Students can use STiNE to apply for a place, register for courses and examinations, and oversee their examination results. Exception: students of medicine To us STiNE, students need a username.
|Students employed by the University; they support technical, library, and administrative staff
|Student e-mail address
All students receive an e-mail box from the Universität Hamburg. You need the student e-mail address for all inquiries at university institutions, for example at study or examination offices.
|ID issued anew every semester attesting to your student status
|Student ID Number
|Individual ID number assigned to everyone upon enrollment
|Student parliament; elected once a year by all students and elects, among others the student council (AStA)
|Completed semester within a degree program
|Web-based email program that allows all students to use their University email address
|Abbreviation for Semesterwochenstunden. Credit hours per week; the weekly time commitment a course or module requires during the lecture period. A single SWS is 45 minutes.
|Subject-specific provisions (FSBs)
|The FSBs supplement examination regulations set forth by the faculty for its various degree programs; they contain detailed information about the way the studies are organized, content, and individual modules. They essentially constitute the academic regulations.
|Written paper on an assigned topic to expand upon or deepen the material in the respective course
|Transcript of records
|Documents in a standardized fashion student course and examination results; issued upon completion of studies or if student transfers
|Someone who conducts a tutorial; generally, students in higher semesters
|Supplementary opportunity during the semester for the sake of repeating and practicing what has been learned in other formats (seminars, lectures, etc.). Other types of student-led formats can also be called tutorials.
|University app for international students
|University platform that students can use to find and register for extracurricular activities
|University app with news, Campus Navigator, dining hall menus, and further digital offers
|University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf
|Term for degree programs that lead to a first University degree (i.e., a bachelor’s or, in medicine, a Staatsexamen)
|The entire number of semesters for which someone is enrolled at the University. The number may exceed the number of subject semesters.
|Undergraduate research/teaching assistant (SHK)
|Students employed at the University; they support academic pursuits in teaching and research.
|Von-Melle-Park, the University’s Main Campus (Audimax, Stabi, Philturm, etc.)
|Abbreviation for economics
|Abbreviation for research associate
|Abbreviation for the Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences
|Withdrawing from or ending studies
|Students no longer listed in the student index—upon request or automatically when studies formally end; in exceptional cases (misconduct or the like), forced withdrawal is possible.
|Nickname for Von-Melle-Park 5, which houses some of economics and the Department of Psychology
|Abbreviated with “K.” A supervised examination in writing at a specific time; topics are assigned beforehand and the examination may only be taken using the support materials permitted.
|Abbreviation for winter semester
|ZLH—Zentrum für Lehrkräftebildung Hamburg
|Hamburg Center for Teacher Education
|ZPLA—Zentrales Prüfungsamt für die Lehramtsprüfungen
|Central Examination Office for Teacher Training