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Degree: Bachelor of Science
Application: not required
Course commences: winter semester only
Standard course duration: 6 semesters
Focus options: 100%; 50% (with Teaching Degree option)
Language requirements: none
Language of instruction: German


Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science

Note for prospective students interested in coming to Heidelberg University to take the Teaching Degree course qualifying its graduates to teach at higher secondary (grammar) schools (Gymnasien) in Germany:

In accordance with the statutory provisions laid down by the State of Baden-Württemberg, students wishing to embark as of winter semester 2015/2016 on a Teaching Degree qualifying them to teach at higher secondary (grammar) schools (Gymnasien) in Germany can only do so by enrolling in two-tier courses with a Bachelor/Master structure (polyvalent two-subject (50%) Bachelor programme with a Teaching Degree option; Master of Education course scheduled to start in winter semester 2018/2019).

As of winter semester 2015/2016, the subject described on this page can be studied in a polyvalent two-subject (50%) Bachelor course with a Teaching Degree option. It has to be combined with another 50% subject of relevance for secondary-school education.

For more information, go to

Note for students already enrolled in a Teaching Degree course in the framework of the Examination Regulations for Teachers at Higher Secondary Schools (GymPO I):

In the winter semester 2015/2016 and later, students enrolled by 31 July 2015 in a Teaching Degree course regulated by the provisions of GymPO I (2009) are entitled to switch to a different main subject under the conditions set out in said GymPO provided that the change is in accordance with the statutory provisions.

In this case, the following transitional regulations apply:

For more information, go to

Preparatory course for first-year students

The student council MathPhys provides a two-week preparatory course for all first-year students of mathematics and computer science. The program consists of lectures in mathematics and computer science, useful tips and social activities.

The preparatory course will begin on September 28, 2015 at 10:15 clock, Im Neuenheimer Feld 306, auditorium 1.

Further information for students of the first semester in the pages of the Faculty of mathematics and computer science.


Course outline

The fascination exerted by mathematics has much to do with its ability to describe the behaviour of complex systems. Back in the sixth century BC, Pythagoras placed mathematics at the interface between science and mysticism and bestowed on it the predominant role in his systematic understanding of the world. Since then, mathematics has permeated almost all branches of science. Neither the natural sciences nor engineering would be conceivable without mathematics, which today is the universal gateway to the understanding of systems in general. More and more, mathematics is becoming a key discipline in mastering future technologies from automation to online banking.

Throughout its history, mathematics has to some extent played a dual role. Deriving originally from practical needs (counting and measuring) and the observation of real things, it has over the centuries turned into a science that is both theoretically oriented and application-related.

Mathematics is a “pure” science wherever it generates new problems and questions from within its own self and sets out to resolve them. It teaches us to tackle problems rationally and recognise underlying structures. Analysing the interrelations between different structures and investigating how conclusions derive from assumptions are the activities central to theoretical mathematics. The degree of abstraction involved situates theoretical mathematics in the vicinity of philosophy. Yet there are many examples of inner-mathematical theories that have later produced extra-mathematical applications, like the theory of primary numbers for modern encoding techniques, group theory for crystallography, quantum mechanics for classification of elementary particles, and Riemann-Minkowskian geometry for relativity theory.

On the other hand, mathematics has received any number of stimuli from hands-on application. Many sectors of mathematics have grown from issues posed by physics or other sciences. Accordingly, one of the major challenges for mathematics is to supply mathematical methods and procedures for the quick and effective solution of many problems encountered in the sciences and medicine, engineering, information technology and economics, computer science and the humanities. Today, the use of modern computers for the development of such methods is gaining ever greater significance.

The success of mathematics lies in the interplay between these two aspects and their mutual fructification. Accordingly, our course does as much to train “analytic and structural mathematical thinking” as to discuss the implementation of mathematics in various fields of application. At Heidelberg University, mathematical research focuses on

  • algebra and numbers theory
  • geometry and topology
  • applied analysis
  • complex analysis (functions theory)
  • mathematical logic
  • numerical mathematics and optimisation
  • probability theory and statistics
  • scientific computing

Further specialisation in one of the topics listed above can be pursued in the M.Sc. programme, which goes into greater detail on the scientific approach to mathematical research.


To study mathematics, one does not need to be “good at figures” or a computer ace. Far more important from the outset are enjoyment of, and interest in, mathematics and the ability and discipline required for abstract thought. This is a specific gift that is by no means uncommon, but it needs to go hand in hand with a capacity for concentration and endurance. Also beneficial is a good feeling for geometry. The course begins by looking at the way in which mathematics develops from its foundations. Here the degree of abstraction involved is definitely higher than in maths classes at school. At the end of the course, students should be able to recognise, analyse and structure problems, describe them cogently in writing and communicate with others about them.

Familiarity with programming languages is not expected at the outset; these are taught in the course of the programme. But an interest in dealing with computers and a knowledge of programming are helpful and in the applied branches of mathematics programming experience can be very useful. A good command of English is important, as particularly in later semesters much of the literature drawn upon is in English (as is the case in most science subjects) and international communication takes place largely in that language.

Openings for mathematicians

Mathematicians qualify for a wide array of job opportunities that can hardly be pinned down. Quite apart from the course content, the method(olog)ical training involved in the study of mathematics is a major asset in almost all professions. Mathematicians are generalists. Alongside teaching in secondary and higher education, the professions open to them are frequently dictated to a large extent by their joint or subsidiary subjects and the additional qualifications the have acquired. Innovative sectors welcoming mathematicians with open arms include

  • banking and insurance (e.g. controlling, customer analysis, financial products)
  • research and development in commercial enterprises and research institutions
  • software development
  • corporate consulting
  • EDP / organisation
  • statistics

Common to many of these activities is teamwork with scientists, economists, engineers or medical researchers. The cooperative and communicative component is correspondingly important.

Mathematics teachers at secondary schools (grammar schools) require thorough and wide-ranging knowledge of the subject: This can be achieved in the course of the 50% B.Sc. programme.

Study programmes

At Heidelberg University, undergraduates can only study mathematics as a B.Sc. course. Earlier course formats have been discontinued. Details on the B.Sc. courses can be found on the website of the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science. The options available are

B.Sc. Mathematics (100%)

This is the classical main (major) course in Mathematics providing a sound grounding in the subject and the possibility of going into greater depth in certain sectors. Alongside mathematics, an “application subject” is studied (less intensively) in which students can practise the application of mathematical thinking to extra-mathematical tasks. This course leads naturally into the M.Sc. programmes in Mathematics or Computer Science.

B.Sc. Mathematics (50%)

In this course Mathematics figures as a joint subject accounting for 50% of the student workload. This opens up prospects for interdisciplinary approaches in which a basic knowledge of mathematics can function as a qualification factor in a different area. If the other subject offers adequate synergies, the B.Sc. degree can be acquired with a B.Sc. thesis on a mathematical subject with a strong focus on application.

Teaching Degree option

As a special two-subject (50%) alternative, we also offer a Teaching Degree option in accordance with the University’s framework regulations. This course in Mathematics and another subject also imparts to students basic knowledge in the didactics of the relevant subject and a grounding in educational studies that qualify them to go on and take a Master of Education course.

As of the winter semester 2015, it is no longer possible for students in Baden-Württemberg to obtain a Teaching Degree by way of the Staatsexamen (state examination). This has now been replaced by the two-subject Teaching Degree option (50%) and the Master of Education.

Formal requirements

Application and admission (B.Sc.)

There are no admission restrictions for the course. Click here to find out how to enrol.

International applicants

Special regulations apply for international study applicants. For more information please consult Heidelberg University’s International Relations Office (Dezernat Internationale Beziehungen, Seminarstraße 2). International applicants can participate in a preparatory course lasting one semester and taking place in the summer term prior to the start of the course proper.

Subject combinations

Students taking Mathematics as a main subject (100%) need to select an application subject. Permissible options are Computer Science, Physics, Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Economics and Philosophy. Other subjects require approval by the Examinations Board (written application).

For the two-subject course (50%), students require a second subject. Basically, students can choose freely from the subjects offered by the University. If, however, the student has selected Mathematics as a first main subject and intends to submit his/her B.Sc. thesis on that subject, this will change the situation. Here the Examination Regulations place restrictions on certain subjects that would otherwise be automatically accepted. If, in this case, the student opts for a different second subject, this point will need to be cleared up at any early stage with the supervisor of the B.Sc. thesis.

Study and examination regulations

Examination regulations B.Sc. (5 August 2008)
Examination regulations B.Sc. (7 February 2013)
Examination regulations B.Sc. (25 June 2015)
Intermediate examination regulations Teaching Degree (16 December 2003)
Intermediate examination and study regulations Teaching Degree (28 July 2010)
Study and examination regulations for the Teaching Degree qualifying holders to teach at higher German secondary schools (General Part) (29 April 2010)
Examination regulations Teaching Degree (LPO)

Module Handbook

Please click here to find the latest Module Handbook.

Examinations board

Issues arising in connection with examinations, credit transfer and academic credential recognition are dealt with by the relevant examinations board/office. For more information, consult the academic advisor(s) indicated below or the Faculty website.


Tuition fees at Heidelberg University are payable at the beginning of each semester.

M.Sc. course

Heidelberg University offers consecutive M.Sc. courses in Mathematics and Scientific Computing. The Master of Education is in the preparation stage.

Academic advisors


Prof. Dr. Winfried Kohnen
Im Neuenheimer Feld 205, Office 03.401
Di, 14.00-15.00 Uhr
Tel.: +49 (0)6221-54-14227

PD Dr. Karl Oelschläger
Im Neuenheimer Feld 2015, Office 04.404
Mo, 11.00-12.00 Uhr u. n.V.
Tel.: +49 (0)6221-54-14104

Teaching Degree:

Dr. Hendrik Kasten
Im Neuenheimer Feld 205, Office 03.315
Fr, 13.00-14.00 Uhr
Tel.: +49 (0)6221-54-14210

Dr. Martin Rheinländer
Im Neuenheimer Feld 205, Office 04.201
Di, 14.00-14.45 Uhr
Tel.: +49 (0)6221-54-14022


Faculty of Mathematics, Dean’s Office

Im Neuenheimer Feld 205
D-69120 Heidelberg

phone: +49 (0)6221-54-14014
fax: +49 (0)6221-54-14015

Interdisciplinary Centre for Scientific Computing

Im Neuenheimer Feld 205
D-69120 Heidelberg

Secretaries' office:

Office 04.306
phone: +49 (0)6221-54-14401
fax: +49 (0)6221-54-14427

Student representation

Im Neuenheimer Feld 205
D-69120 Heidelberg

Office 01.301
phone: +49 (0)6221 5414999


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Letzte Änderung: 2017-05-22
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