Frequently Asked Questions

Corona Virus - for applicants who are planning to apply, for successful applicants, and for active KSOP students and researchers

For Aspiring M.Sc. Applicants - applicants who are planning to apply

For Aspiring Ph.D. Applicants - applicants who are planning to apply

For Successful M.Sc. Applicants - applicants who already have received their letter of admission

For Graduates - students and researchers that have successfully graduated either the M.Sc. or Ph.D. programs at KSOP

Corona Virus

Corona Virus FAQ last updated on January 29, 2021.

Information on how the lectures will be taught is provided via ILIAS. This is the primary source of information.

Information concerning financial aid:

Students that have been hit financially by the current COVID-19 crisis may also apply to an interest-free loan (“Studienkredit”) by the KfW (Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau). The loan of up to 650€ per month is available for national and international students, the duration of support is determined individually.


The application for international students is only possible within the period May 16th, 2020 – February 15th, 2021! The funding period begins at the earliest on July 1st, 2020 and at the latest on March 1st, 2021. If funding has not started in March 2021 at the latest, no further funding is possible. For this purpose the application must be received in full by KfW on February 15th, 2021 at the latest.

Further information can be found in German External Link and partly in English External Link.

The toll-free service number (0800-539-9003, Monday – Friday: 8 am – 6 pm) will help you if necessary in English. First there is a tape announcement, after which you have to enter "eins" (one) by pressing the telephone-button “1” or by language, after that you will be connected to an employee.

Concerning internships:

  • Instead of an industrial internship, a research internship at an institute of the KIT faculty is possible.
  • In the case of substantial problems due to the COVID pandemic situation, which deny the completion of the industrial internship, it will  be recognized if it has been completed to at least 2/3. These problems need to be addressed explicitly in the internship confirmation.
  • If you have planned to start your internship soon, get in touch with your future supervisors to check what the local regulations are.

Concerning deadlines:

* Only applicable to students in the current corona situation if the end of the course is outside of the maximum duration of the study through no fault of their own.

Concerning exams:

  • As of April 20, 2020, oral examinations will be permitted again, provided that not more than five persons are present.
  • In special cases, oral examinations by video conferencing will continue to be possible after April 19, 2020.
  • There is no information yet on new dates for postponed or cancelled exams.
  • Some examinations will take place online but the majority will take place on site.

Concerning Master's Thesis:

  • An extra prolongation of the Master's thesis submission deadline is possible upon request directed to Jurana Hetterich at the KSOP examination office (ExaminationOffice-KSOP∂idschools kit edu)
  • If you have planned to start your master’s thesis soon, get in touch with your future supervisors to check what the local regulations are.

Kindly inform yourself regularly on the websites of KIT about potential short-term changes of academic education operations, in particular on the FAQ website of the Crisis Unit External Link.

Feeling ill?

Please call your general practitioner (Hausarzt) or the health department by phone in case:

  • you feel ill and you are unsure about the symptoms,
  • you are returning from holiday and have been in a high risk area External Link,
  • or you have had contact with suspected corona cases.

Don’t go to the hospital directly without prior notice. Corona tests are done e.g. as “drive-in”, for which you need to have an appointment organized by your general practitioner or the health department. Thereby long waiting times are prevented.

COVID-19 Hotline Phone Numbers (also English speaking)

  • 116 117 any time day and night
  • Health department: Monday to Sunday 9 am to 6 pm: 0711 904 39555
  • City of Karlsruhe: 0721 133 3333, Mondays to Fridays 8 am to 6 pm, weekends 9 am to 4 pm

Further Important Information:

For Aspiring M.Sc. Applicants

What is the Curriculum like?

Here you can find out what the Curriculum looks like. The Module Handbook describes the structure and courses in detail.

What are the specializations offered?

During a 2-year master course you can specialize in following majors:

For more information on the related research to the specializations, please refer to the “Research Areas“. For an overview of the specializations, please refer to "Module Handbook," chapter "Studies Plan," 3rd Semester, which you can find as a download link on the right side of the Curriculum Master Program website.

How to describe a professional profile of a KSOP graduate?

A KSOP graduate is an interdisciplinary and holistically educated individual. How you define yourself, as a physicist or an engineer, depends on which specialization you take. 

Find here the curriculum structure.

Find here the module manual and a detailed description of the specializations.

What are my job perspectives after graduating?

With study plans tailored to your needs, the master program prepares every student for exciting careers in the field of Optics & Photonics. Moreover, we offer to the best graduates the opportunity to enter the KSOP PhD program creating a basis for world-class research. Also, KSOP helps its students to get in touch with the industry early e.g. via a compulsory industry internship, company visits and networking events.

Our graduates pursue a career as Application & Development Engineers, Optical Designers, International Project Managers, Software Developers and System Architects, Quality and Product Managers, Technical Sales & Service Engineers or pursue a PhD and work as Post-docs in academia afterwards.

See where our KSOP alumni are currently working. You can get further job information with a step-by-step guide on the website Make it in Germany

How high is the employment rate after graduating at KSOP?

Most of the KSOP master students pursue their PhD in "Optics & Photonics" and easily find employment in Industry or a Post-Doc in Research institutes.

Every graduate who has obtained a good final grade and does not wish to pursue their career in academia, finds an employment in the industry.

The factors which make a KSOP graduate a strong candidate are:

Career workshops (such as "Application Documents"; "German Business Culture"; "Interview training"....)

- Work experience gained during the mandatory internship

Networking events

- Partnership with the Industry such as ZEISS, BOSCH and Polytec, which offers the advantage of career perspectives to our graduates.

- German language courses to improve the chances to find employment in Germany

Does the program include an internship or work-placement scheme?

KSOP has close connection to the German Optics & Photonics industry.

The curriculum includes an 8-week long mandatory internship, which can be conducted in the industry or research institute. You can find further detailed information in the module manual, page 93.

What are the services offered by the KSOP Office Team?

The KSOP Team offers an all-round assistance in English from the moment you show interest in the study program until you graduate:

  • Assistance for your application procedure (personalized assistance via e-mail; online info sessions with Q&A )
  • Assistance for your arrival at Karlsruhe (e.g. visa process)
  • Orientation for a smooth start in your studies (administrative help; personal help; socializing events)
  • Assistance during your studies
  • Networking events
  • Organization of workshops for gaining soft skills
  • Graduation Ceremony
  • Alumni events

Will I be guided and offered help when I arrive in Karlsruhe?

That is for sure! There is going to be an orientation week for 1st semester students. The KSOP Office and senior students are going to help you with all the administrative steps, schedule your course schedule, as well as getting to know your study colleagues, the city and the campus. In case of another lock down all activities will be held online!

Is there an open house day?

You can visit anytime, preferably during class time, so you can join a sample lecture.
Here you can find the actual timetables
You can also contact the OSKar (our university student group)

It's best to make an appointment and stop by the office so you can get your questions answered in person.

**During Lockdown
Please get in touch with our office for further information about the modality for paying a visit to KSOP during a lockdown.

When does the program start?

The program starts in the winter term, October 1 each year.

How long is the study period at KSOP?

The regular period of study is 4 semesters.
The winter term starts on October 1 and ends on March 31 each year.
The summer term starts on April 1 and end on September 30 each year.
Each Semester lasts 6 months.

More information here

When is the application deadline?

The application portal is unfortunately closed now. The next application phase will start from beginning of 2022 until April 30, 2022.

Start now to collect the application documents.

Check under the FAQ section "Admission Requirements" how to strengthen your profile.

When do I receive an answer about my application and my KSOP Scholarship application?

The KSOP office will get in touch with you as soon as your application has arrived.
The decisions will be made by the middle of June. Soon after that, you will receive an e-mail from our office.
You can also check the status of your application on the portal.

When is the deadline for the Max Planck School of Photonics scholarship program?

Find here all the information regarding the application for a Max Planck School of Photonics scholarship program. 

When is the deadline for handing in the TOEFL or IELTS examination score?

The deadline is the application deadline on April 30. Please be sure your certificate is valid until the date of your enrollment.

What are the costs?

The Master Program of the Karlsruhe School of Optics & Photonics (KSOP) is funded by the State of Baden-Württemberg and thus the M.Sc. Program has no tuition fee for EU students and low tuition fees for non-EU students.
Find more information about the costs of the study program here.
Find more details about living costs here.

Are there scholarships?

For outstanding students, KSOP offers scholarships of up to 400 € per month and for the length of 2 years.
To be an outstanding student means to be among the best 10% students of your class.
You will have to send your KSOP scholarship application together with your application for the program, which has to arrive to the KSOP office until April 30.

How can I finance my studies besides a KSOP Scholarship?

Besides the KSOP scholarship, we made a list of external scholarship providers.

You also can look for a student job. Find here a Job offers databank
Or you can apply for a research assistant job by contacting the institute which works in the field of your interest. Find here a list of the participating institutes

Can I be exempted from the tuition fees?

Read here for information regarding an exemption of the tuition fees.

Is the course of study at KSOP admission restricted?

The Master's program in "Optics & Photonics" is admission restricted.

What are the accepted degrees?

We accept applicants with 180 credits in the following bachelor degrees:

  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Mathematics
  • Optics & Photonics
  • Computer Science
  • Biology
  • Biotechnology
  • Biomedical Engineering

Note: if your degree is not listed above, you can send an email to info-KSOP∂

What are the general admission requirements?

Find the general admission requirements here.

What are the language requirements?

German: Not Required
For applying and studying at KSOP it is not necessary to speak German. All courses are held in English. However, if you already studied the German language, it shows that you are really interested in studying in Germany and in the German culture. It will help you to get along well in your daily life. It also improves your chances to get a high-level internship, master thesis or finally a job in one of our partner companies. To enhance your language training, German courses at different levels are offered.
English: Required
Applicants should prove that their English proficiency is good enough to actively participate in lecture discussions and to study. A suitable range of proficiency must be comparable to:

Attention! Only certificates sent directly by ETS will be taken into account!

Please send us a copy including the Test Report Form (TRF) number and we will confirm it with the IELTS Verification Service.

The test is not necessary if your mother tongue is English or you have completed your former study program in English. It is possible to replace the TOEFL or IELTS test with a certificate of your university stating that you have completed your studies in English. In this case, the final certificate of your former study program must specify the official language. If necessary, you will have to attach to the transcript of records a statement confirming this fact.
KIT Students who have attend a language course at KIT can submit the KIT “Sprachenzentrum” language test instead of the above mentioned English proficiency tests.

Please check the admission requirements for further information about the language requirements or send us an email info-KSOP∂

Is my final grade good enough?

The final grade of your previous studies is very important.
The minimum GPA requirement is 70% and the competition for an admission is very tough.
The average of applicants applies with a GPA of 80-90% or even more.
Moreover, a solid knowledge in physics and mathematics (at least 12 credits each) is fundamental for being accepted at KSOP.
Even if the GPA is an important indicator for us, we will screen your application holistically.
There are multiple and diverse aspects which define a good candidate, therefore, as long as your GPA is above 70% we strongly recommend to apply.

Note: the GPA depends on the grading scale and the minimum and maximum passing grade. If not shown on the transcript, please attach this scale to your application documents.

How can I strengthen my profile?

To strengthen your application, you can get more background knowledge in Optics & Photonics, e.g. by doing an internship in a related company or participate in a related research project or workshop. It is also important to have good recommendation letters from your professors and to show your motivation related to Optics & Photonics in your motivation letter. Please be aware that very good grades and a profound knowledge in mathematics and physics are mandatory for all applicants.
We do not expect that you fulfill the GRE PHYSICS as an entry criteria.

Find the list of the mandatory application documents and the selection criteria here.

What are the steps for a successful application?

Step 1 – collect the documents. You can start collecting the documents for your application in advance and get in touch with us if you have any questions several months before the application starts.

Step 2- register online by using the green “Register” button at the top left in order to start your online application. The application period on the online platform is open now until April 30, 2021 for the winter term 2021-22. We will announce on our webpage the next application period in Autumn 2021.

Step 3- send the application package via email to admissions-KSOP∂

It is very important that you include the signed control sheet, which you received at the end of online application. Be sure that your application package reached the KIT by April 30 the latest.

Where can I check my application status?

We will inform you when your application document reaches the KSOP office.

You can check your application status in the application portal where you filled out the online application form. Therefore, please keep your login data. Application status

How do I apply for a KSOP scholarship?

  • You can apply for financial support at the same time when you apply for admission to the master program. The application for the KSOP scholarship must be sent together with the complete application for the master program.
  • Single scholarship applications without related application for the Master program are not accepted.
  • The reference should mention in the letter of recommendation, whether he/she recommends you for a scholarship or not.
  • Extra-curricular activities must be certified with a written confirmation. You need to mention those in your CV and letter of motivation.
  • Only complete scholarship applications will be further processed.
  • Letters of recommendation can be sent separately by the authors to the KSOP Student Office: admissions-KSOP∂idschools.kit.ed

I already have a master degree/I am currently studying; How do I apply?

Please apply normally like all the other applicants. The same deadline applies for all applicants for that particular year.

You should mention all your studies in your CV and attach your official transcripts to your application documents.

Can I recognize previous achievements?

The procedure to know if a transfer of credits from your previous master's program to the KSOP master's program is applicable only after your enrollment at KIT. Meanwhile, we suggest you to read our module manual in order to receive an idea of which credits may be transferred. Download the module manual here.

After you have been formally admitted to the Master of Science program, you can start applying for credit transfers but there is no guarantee that your credits will be transferable.

Can I apply for more than one graduate program at KIT?

You can apply for a maximum of 3 admission-restricted programs at the same time.

Click here for more information.

In addition to the three admission restricted study programs at KIT we suggest you to apply for the Europhotonics Master Program. Click here for more.

The earlier I apply, the better is for my selection phase?

The date of application is not decisive, as long as we receive all the documents within the deadline.

What should I consider regarding the application documents?

We only accept copies of documents which are in English or German.
If your documents are in another language, let them be translated by an official translator.
All the copies of the mandatory documents for the application and their original translations must be certified (e.g. by the city hall, a notary, an official translator, your university or the embassy)
Please send the application package via e-mail to admissions-KSOP does-not-exist.idschools kit edu
It is very important that you include the signed control sheet, which you received at the end of online application. Be sure that your application package reached the KIT by April 30 the latest.

Upon enrollment at the KIT, you have to show the original translation.

Which documents do I have to send to the KSOP Office?

Please check the application information for German and international students.
If you have any doubt do not hesitate to contact us: info-KSOP∂

Can I send my application documents via E-mail?

Due to the hurdles from the COVID-19 pandemic, for the 2021/2022 application phase we are allowing all documents to be submitted online. Please submit the documents to: admissions-KSOP∂
It is very important that you include the signed control sheet, which you received at the end of online application. Be sure that your application package reached the KSOP Office by April 30 the latest.

What should I consider regarding the letters of recommendation?

For a successful application, two letters of recommendation are mandatory.
At least one recommendation letter is needed from a professor of your current university. Ideally, you should ask the professor with whom you wrote your Bachelor thesis.
If you have already had the opportunity to gain work experience, you can add a letter of recommendation from your employer or manager. Please forward the sample letter of recommendation form to the references. The references must email the completed form as a scanned copy direct to the KSOP office: admissions-KSOP∂
Find the form for the letter of recommendation here.

 Is there a specific prompt for the letter of motivation?

There is no specific prompt for the letter of motivation.

My final results are not out yet! Can I apply?

If the Bachelor degree is not yet available before the application deadline, but will be completed before the enrolment, then you can apply with a preliminary transcript of records.

When and how should I send the APS certificate?

The Akademische Prüfstelle (APS) reviews the documents of applicants from China and Vietnam who wish to apply to study in Germany.
The APS is not necessary for degrees from German universities or other non-Chinese universities, or universities in Macau, Hong Kong, or Taiwan.
Click here for more details about non Chinese degrees
Click here for the FAQs of the APS
Click here for KIT information regardi APS
The APS certificate has to reach KIT together with your other application documents by the application deadline (April 30 of each year).

How does the TOEFL/IELTS have to be sent in?

For TOEFL: The certificate has to be sent to us directly by ETS (educational Testing Service). Anything else i.e. Screenshots of the score of the test is not valid.
For IELTS: A copy including the Test Report Form (TRF) number should be submitted with the application.

What is the TOEFL Institution Code?

The institution code of KSOP is B618.
Attention! Only certificates that were sent directly by ETS will be taken into account!

 Where do I find the KSOP scholarship application form?

Find here all the details to the scholarship application and the scholarship application form

What is a “certificate of duration of previous studies”?

We need a certificate that your previous study program reaches the minimum length of three years which is the equivalent is of 180 ECTS credit points. A description of the study program will be sufficient.

Do I have to submit a GRE test?

 We do not expect that you fulfill the GRE PHYSICS as an entry criteria.

For Aspiring Ph.D. Applicants

The interdisciplinary research structure of KSOP forms the basis for the Master and Ph.D. programs. Currently, KSOP encompasses professors from 17 institutes and the four different faculties Physics, Electrical Engineering and Information Technology, Chemistry and Biosciences, as well as Mechanical Engineering. The research and educational concept have been established to optimally reflect the spirit of multidisciplinary research among scientists and engineers. Therefore, all research areas are strongly interlinked and most institutes feature research projects in more than one of the five research areas.

All Ph.D. positions are fully financed, either through a employment contract or through a KSOP scholarship (which will be arranged by your supervisor). Some of the prestigious scholarships funded by our partners.

The KSOP Ph.D. program is English taught in the prestigious research environment of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT).  It´s training concept is provided with advancing competencies.

Since successful careers in industry and academia often require leadership and interdisciplinary knowledge, KSOP emphasizes management skills, which are taught in a mandatory module or an optional MBA Fundamentals Program within KSOP.

To support their endeavor, two independent advisors and a mentor accompany the research work of the doctoral researcher.

In addition to that, KSOP fosters an active network amongst its members - active or alumni. The KSOP team regularly involves the researchers into Ph.D. Seminars, which take place once every three months and offers insights into the research work of all five research areas within KSOP. A scientific exchange with international peers and leading scientists is facilitated through international conferences and networking events with academia and industry.

During the KSOP scientific events, researchers will:

- reach out an international audience by presenting their research achievements in poster sessions

- get exposure to the latest advancements worldwide

- meet leading experts in the different research areas of the KSOP program

The research project is assigned by the group leader. The doctoral student will finalize the topic of the doctoral thesis with his/her supervisor.

On the online application portal you will select the research area you are interested in.

There are three access channels to KSOP:

- You can apply to KSOP if your Ph.D. supervisor belongs to the KSOP principal investigators.

(Feel free to contact the working group leader/members directly of those groups that you are most interested in working with as a doctoral student.)

- You can apply for an advertised position by a KSOP principal investigator.

(Find out about open positions by choosing a research area and having a look at the institute´s websites. Some open Ph.D. positions are advertised on the KSOP webpage as well.)

- If you are interested in working in research as a doctoral student in one of our five research areas, you can speculatively apply for a research position.

Either way, please apply and upload your documents to the online application portal:

We will carefully screen all applicants and select candidates whose qualifications fit our program and current needs best. We will consider your application holistically during the initial screening and will contact you if you are selected to continue in the recruitment process.

To be considered for a position, please make sure that your application is complete. Please understand that we are only able to consider applications that reach us via the application portal.

You can apply any time for a Ph.D. position. If you are applying for an advertised position, which has a deadline, it must be submitted within this deadline.

The minimum credits required for your application being considered are:

180 Credits in your Bachelor’s Degree

120 Credits in your Master’s Degree

The degree certificate must be submitted at the time of enrollment the latest.

If you do not have your Master’s degree by the moment of the application, we need a certificate of completion of your studies issued by your university or institute, which states that you have already completed all your exams and that you will be awarded with a Master’s degree with at least the minimum grades.

You can start your online application any time and upload the documents one at the time and then submit your application while approaching the end of your studies. We recommend getting in touch with a suitable KSOP principal investigator for the research you would like to pursue while completing your Master’s studies and then apply for a Ph.D. at KSOP.

Please note that once you submit your application, it cannot be subsequently modified in the application portal. If you wish to modify your submitted application, please contact us by email.

Click here to find a detailed list of the application documents that are required for an application for the Ph.D. program at KSOP. These documents must be certified and translated into English or German.

There are no enrollment and study fees for a doctoral student at the KIT.

You should expect living expenses between €800 and €1300, depending on your choice of accommodation and life style.

Yes, after defending successfully you will receive an official internationally recognized Ph.D. degree by the Karlsruhe Institute of technology (KIT).

Yes, you will receive a final certificate stating that you have completed the training offered by KSOP.

Click here for more information about the Ph.D. training concept

Applicants and newly enrolled students will be assisted in the application process and in the first steps for a smooth start in Karlsruhe.

For Successful M.Sc. Applicants

For questions about visa requirements, please refer to page 2 of the Pre-Arrival Guide.

If you need assistance with your visa application, please let us know as soon as possible via the “Visa Assistance Request” form, which you can find in the "Information Download" section.

How do I get to Karlsruhe and Karlsruhe School of Optics & Photonics?

If you are landing in Frankfurt International Airport, there are high-speed trains that bring you to the Karlsruhe Main Train Station (Hauptbahnhof).

From the Karlsruhe Main Train Station, you can take

A tram:

  • Tram S1 (direction Hochstetten)
  • Tram S11 (direction Neureut)
  • Tram 4 (direction Waldstadt)
  • Get off at “Herrenstraße”, from there it is less than a 5-minute walk to Karlsruhe School of Optics and Photonics.

Buy a ticket for the tram at the ticket machines at the tram stops or in the tram (EUR 2.60 per ride availablefrom).

A taxi: taxis are available in front of the Karlsruhe Main Station at every hour.

For more details check the Directions.

Where are lectures taking place?

Lectures take place at the KIT Campus and at the International Department.

Here is the link to the KIT Campus Map and the App KIT Navigator.

How accessible is Karlsruhe?

Karlsruhe is located in Baden-Württemberg in the south-west of Germany. Is a university city, in which student residents are a great part of the inhabitant. Karlsruhe is well connected to travel to different cities in Germany and Europe, thanks to a comprehensive network of trains, busses and an airport. It is very convenient to move within the city as well.

Find out more about the city of Karlsruhe, in which KSOP is located.

How accessible is KSOP (Karlsruhe School of Optics & Photonics)?

Karlsruhe School of Optics and Photonics is a 5-minute walk from Kaiserstraße (King’s Road), the high street in Karlsruhe.

The area in which KSOP is located is where the most university facilities, institutes, laboratories, libraries and offices are. In addition, many shops and supermarkets are only a stone’s throw away, making shopping relative hassle-free.

The magnificent Schloss (Palace) and the Schlosspark (Palace Garden) are also right next to KSOP and students have the possibility to engage in sports or just enjoy leisurely strolls in a peaceful green environment.

Do I get assistance once in Karlsruhe?

This are the most important steps:

  1. Joining the German National Health Insurance
  2. Matriculation at the university
  3. Registration at the Karlsruhe Resident Registry Office
  4. Opening of bank account
  5. Getting a German mobile phone number
  6. Renewing student visa at Foreigners’ Office

The Student Office assists the newcomers in points 1), 2), 3) and 4) during the Orientation Week. Please submit the necessary documents when the student office asks for them.

It is important for all students to have a bank account in Germany, as you need to transfer the semester fees from a German bank account. Therefore, it is advisable to open an account as soon as possible.

A German mobile telephone number will be especially useful for foreign students who want to avoid international roaming fees and keep in touch with family and friends.

Reminder: Please inform the Student Office of any changes to your contact information, be it your address or mobile telephone number.

What is the Erasmus Mailing List Karlsruhe?

It is a mailing list for undergraduate and Master students. If you subscribe, you will receive a large quantity of emails by other students about:

Party invitations, household equipment, bikes, rooms for rent…

Of course ´you will be able to send yourself a mail to the list in case you need or offer something. You can subscribe to the Erasmus Mailing List Karlsruhe , also on Facebook.

Where should I go to register myself as a foreigner to the new city and for Visa extension?

For the registration at Karlsruhe click here.

For Visa extension click here.

What is a Welcome Package?

The welcoming package is a gift for every student of a university of Karlsruhe and for everyone who's apprenticing company and/or vocational school is located here in Karlsruhe. You will find more information here.

Info brochure.

ATTENTION! You only receive the welcome package when living in the inner city of Karlsruhe (not Landkreis=Suburbs of Karlsruhe)

Is the student card working as a tram ticket?

You can use the KIT Card as a tram ticket daily from 18:00 to 05:00 all over the KVV-Net for free. All you need is to print out your matriculation certificate from the KIT student portal and have it with you. The certificate is available after the semester has started.

As a new student, you will receive a free semester ticket for trams and busses to move in Karlsruhe around the clock.

Note: you need to register in Karlsruhe to receive the free semester ticket!

Where can I buy a second hand bicycle?

  1. Fahrradhaus Kramer: Hardtstr. 9
  2. Rad & Tat: Waldstr. 58
  3. Schäfer: Gritznerstr. 1
  4. Strebel & Co.: Zirkel 23
  5. Südstern: Erbprinzenstr. 4-12
  6. Newspapers
  7. Quoka
  8. Eukalyptus
  9. Ebay Kleinanzeigen

Some useful links about life in Germany

Blogs from international students in Germany
Information about studying and working in Germany:
Studying in Germany:
Working in Germany:
Pre-Arrival Guide

Just Landed helps you by topics like visas, housing, jobs and finance.

What kind of student accommodations are available in Karlsruhe and what would be the likely cost?

Student residencies and private accommodation are both available.

The student residences are cheaper but also have long waiting lists.

We suggest you to register early at several dorms and to look for a flat on the private market in addition.

Here an overview of the rental costs in Karlsruhe (City).

  • 200 – 300 Euro for a single room in student residences
  • 300 – 450 Euro for a room in a shared flat
  • 450 – 650 Euros for a one-person apartment
  • 600 – 850 Euros for a flat for two persons

Outside of Karlsruhe the rent is cheaper.

Where do I find accommodation in and around Karlsruhe?

Since the accommodation situation in Karlsruhe is quite tense, we recommend you to apply for several housing options as soon as possible.

Here is the general overview of the accommodation possibilities:

Student Residences:

Further information on sharing an apartment, private accommodation and youth hostels.

Hostels / Hotels in Karlsruhe:

Bulletin Boards

  •  in the student canteen
  •  on the institutes´ pin walls
  •  Newspapers
  •  Sperrmüll (immer Freitags / every Friday) 
  •  Karlsruhe Anzeiger (Mittwochs und Freitags / Wednesdays and Fridays) 
  •  BNN (Mittwochs- oder Samtagsausgabe / Wednesday or Saturday edition) 
  •  Agency:
     Fair-Schlafen Zimmervermittlung
     Förlenweg 6
     76287 Rheinstetten
     0721 - 951 3704
     Zimmer∂fair-schlafen de
     EUR 50-60 pro Monat (zusätzlich zur Miete) / per month (in addition to  the rent)

What is the average cost of living in Karlsruhe?

Here you can find a synopsis of the average cost of living for a student in Karlsruhe.

I have no scholarship, what can I do?

Beside the KSOP scholarship, we collected the name of many other scholarships, which might be interesting for you. Please have a look at the external scholarship providers here.

Are there opportunities to work at the KSOP institutes to fund my studies?

Yes, KSOP institutes offer jobs as student assistants. As soon as you started your studies in Karlsruhe, you can apply directly at the institutes. Usually you can earn up to 400 Euros for 40 hours per month. However, this is up to the institutes how much they can offer to you. Your work there will also give you an insight into the KSOP research activities. Another option is to find a working student job in a company in Karlsruhe. As Karlsruhe is a real “student city”, companies also offer these work options.

Here and here you can find student jobs offered in and around Karlsruhe.

The salary at the University depends on your achieved degree. With a BSc degree you receive up to €12,52 per hour and with a MSc degree you receive up to €17,01 per hour ( stand 2021).

You need to show that you have completed the respective degree. A temporary degree certificate might be enough. If you are already in touch with an institute for a student assistant job (HiWi job), you should clarify the formalities with them.

Are there opportunities to work during the semester break, assuming an internship or thesis project are not scheduled?

During the semester break, exams and internships are scheduled. Internships in industry are paid. If you look for a student job, at least the minimum salary or €8.84 per hour has to be paid.

Where do I find a job in Karlsruhe?

There are job portals with job offers online:

How many hours am I allowed to work with a student visa?

Please refer to page 7 of the Pre-Arrival Guide.

Do I need a technical preparation in mathematics?

To ease your start in the Master of Optics & Photonics, it is helpful if you know about the following mathematics topics:
• Fourier series and Fourier transformation
• Taylor series
• Use of delta-distribution
• Use of Levi-Cevita pseudotensor

• Complex analysis including subjects such as residue theorem, Cauchy's integral theorem, the concepts of analytic/meromorphic functions

An excellent text book that covers all these aspects is “Mathematical Methods in the Physical Sciences” from Mary L. Boas that can be easily found in the web but many other books are just as useful. Also, the book "Mathematics for Physics: A guided tour for graduate students” by Michael Stone and Paul Goldbart would  be quite useful. That can be found here: 

Notes on complex analysis can be found here: 
Moreover, much of this material is covered in a myriad of sources in the web and you can easily find this out by yourself.

Do I need a preparation in lineal algebra?

To ease your start in the Master of Optics & Photonics, it is helpful if you know about the following topics:
• solving of (large) linear systems of equations, computing determinants, basic understanding of vector algebra
• different coordinate systems such as spherical/cylindrical coordinate systems, scalar product, vector product
• differentiation and interaction in multi-dimensional spaces
• partial derivatives, line integrals, surface integrals, volume integrals
• gradient, divergence, curl, Stokes’ theorem, Gauss’s theorem

A comprehensive course can be found here.

Do I need a preparation in differential equations?

To ease your start in the Master of Optics & Photonics, it is helpful if you know about the following topics:
• ordinary differential equations
• partial differential equations
• boundary value problems, initial value problems

• concept of a Green’s function to solve differential equations

A comprehensive course can be found here: or 

If you don’t feel familiar with all of the mentioned topics, we recommend you to use the time until the start of your studies to update your mathematics knowledge. For your preparations our professors recommend the following books: “Mathematical Methods for Physicists” by Arfken and Weber or “Rechenmethoden für Studierende der Physik im ersten Jahr” (only in German available).

For Graduates

What do I have to do after my graduation if I want to work in Germany?

Blue Card
The Blue Card is a legal status and identity card for citizens of non-EU countries. It is issued for highly qualified people, who want to work in Germany and other countries in the European Union.

The requirements and more information can be found on the official website of the European Commission or on the official website of the Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (Bundesministerium für Arbeit und Soziales).

Deregistration: What do I have to do if I won't stay in Kalrsruhe anymore?

You can find the information on deregistration and the formalities of the KIT here.

What are the possibilities to stay in contact with KSOP?

KSOP is proud for the continued cooperation with its alumni. They keep in contact as KSOP ambassadors. The goal is to help interested students with their application and, since they have successfully started their working life, they can help with finding a suitable job. You can look them up here and contact them via E-Mail or check their LinkedIn Profiles to find out where you might be successful with an application.

What are the tips on working in Germany?

On the website "Make it in Germany" you can find relevant information on working in Germany e.g. Visa requirements, job listings, living etc.

Does the KIT offer support on finding a job?

The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology offers advice for graduate students who are looking for a job via its Office for Relationship Management. The homepage has its own “Job Portal”.

The Office for Relationship Management also provides information about upcoming career fairs, ideas on how to improve your application and more.

Find more information here

If you have an innovative idea and want to start something completely new, the Center of Innovation & Entrepreneurship at the KIT could help you in this case. You will find more information on their website.

Are there any job offers of the optical industry or institutes in or around Karlsruhe?

Yes, there are a lot of. Our premium partners Bosch, ZEISS and Polytec offer jobs in and around Karlsruhe regularly.

Here you can find all the current job offers.

Does a career fair take place in the near future?

Once a year the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) offers its career fair on the Campus South or as a virtual event, where you can get in contact with the industry. You can find the exact dates here.

How do I apply for a job offer here in Germany?

The requirements for applications vary from country to country. On this site you can find useful tips and helpful application hints.

On which portals can I search for job offers?

Here is a list of some portals where you can check on job offers:

How to Reach Us

The Karlsruhe School of Optics & Photonics is located in Karlsruhe, the South of Germany:

International Department of the KIT gGmbH
Karlsruhe School of Optics & Photonics
Schlossplatz 19
76131 Karlsruhe | Germany

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KIT – The Research University in the Helmholtz Association