General abbreviations

German abbr.Full wordMeaningEnglish abbr.



more specifically



circa, zirkaapproximatelyapprox.
d.h.das heißtthat meansi.e.
ggf.gegebenenfallsif applicable 


Mit freundlichen GrüßenYours sincerely, best regardsrgds.
u.a.und andere, unter anderemamong others

et al.

u.ä.und ähnlichand similar 


und so weiterand so on, et ceteraetc.
u.v.a.(m.)und viele andere (mehr)and many others 
z.B.zum Beispielfor examplee.g.
zz., zzt.zurzeitcurrently 

Usual terms

in higher education and at Mannheim University of Applied Sciences in particular

Ablehnungsbescheid - the opposite of a Zulassungsbescheid, i.e. rejection notice communicating that you have not been admitted to the degree programme that you applied for.

Abschluss - degree

Absolvent, Absolventin - graduate (person)

Alumni - former students, usually organised in a network or association

Anerkennung - acknowledgement, recognition

Anmeldung - registration, also signing-up for activities or exams

Antrag - application (form)

Anwesenheitspflicht - compulsory attendance

Aula - auditorium, amphitheater

Auswahlsatzung - selection statutes

Beglaubigung - official verification of copies, translations and similar; e.g.: beglaubigte Kopie = certified copy

Bescheinigung - certification, certificate

Bewerbung - application

Blockveranstaltung - block course, at university one-week courses consisting of 25 teaching hours in total

CIT - Computing services at Mannheim University of Applied Sciences

Dekan, Dekanin - dean, head of department

Dozent, Dozentin - lecturer

Durchschnittsnote – GPA, grade point average

Einschreibung - matriculation, enrollment, registration; interchangeable with Immatrikulation

Exmatrikulation - literally disenrolment; procedure to be officially removed from the university’s list of students

Fachschaft - students' association within a department

Fakultät – department or faculty

Frist(ende) - deadline

Gebühren - fees

Härtefallantrag - Sometimes students lose their examination right due to difficult circumstances; they can hand in a Härtefallantrag explaining their situation and so apply for a further opportunity.

Hiwi - student assistant

Hörsaal - lecture room, lecture hall

HS-Card - students' smartcard at Mannheim University of Applied Sciences

Immatrikulation - matriculation, enrollment and registration, interchangeable with Einschreibung

Lehrbeauftragte(r) - contract teacher

Mensa - canteen

moodle - open-source learn platform (used at Mannheim University of Applied Sciences)

Nachrückverfahren - clearing process (vacancies created by previously selected applicants who choose not to enrol are offered to those on a ranked waiting list)

Nachweis - proof, evidence

Notenspiegel - provisional academic report with marks, interchangeable with Statusbericht

Pflichtfach - compulsory course

Pflichtpraktikum - compulsory internship, work placement

Praktikum - internship (compulsory or not), work placement

Praxissemester - scheduled internship semester

Professor, Professorin - professor

Promotion - doctorate, PhD, doctoral programme

Prorektor, Prorektorin - vice rector, vice president

Prüfungsamt - Examination Office

Prüfungsausschuss - examination board

Quereinstieg - fast-track entry (into a higher semester)

Rechenzentrum - computer center (CIT at Mannheim University of Applied Sciences)

Rektor, Rektorin - rector, president

Rückmeldung - literally re-registration, e.g. enrolling for the next semester

Statusbericht - provisional academic report

Stipendium - scholarship

Studien- und Prüfungsordnung - Study and Examination Regulations

Studierendenwerk - student services organisation

Stundenplan - timetable, class schedule

Stundenraster - time pattern

Vorlesung - lecture, university course

Vorlesungsfreie Zeit - semester break, recess, lecture-free period between two semesters

Vorpraktikum - internship completed prior to studying (compulsory for some programmes)

Wahlfach - elective course

Zeugnis - official certificate (e.g. Hochschulabschlusszeugnis = degree, diploma)

Zulassungsbescheid - letter of acceptance, admission letter (usually created by machine without signature or stamp)

Zulassungsamt - Admissions Office

Zulassungs und Immatrikulationsordung - Admission and Enrolment Regulations

English vs. German

As you have probably already noticed, many English terms have found their way into the German language – not only in technological areas but also in everyday life, even if not always exactly with the same meaning as in English. For instance, homepage is currently used to refer to a whole website.

You will find service everywhere, and wellness offers are also very popular. You will meet German people who do mailen, googeln, joggen and jobben.

If your fellow students tell you about trampen (they mean hitchhike) or suggest to attend an Open Air or Public Viewing, just ask them what that is like!

People might be surprised that you do not understand some very common English words such as Handy (mobile, cell phone), Beamer (projector), Box (loudspeaker) or Smoking (tuxedo). You can add them to your German vocabulary and mark them as false friends.

Important: never sign a flatrate contract (or any other) before reading the small print very carefully. The benefits can differ considerably from your expectations!

Our departments

At Mannheim University of Applied Sciences, the different departments are commonly referred to by using one single letter (mostly the first letter of their names, but not always!):

EElektrotechnikElectrical Engineering
IInformatikComputer Science
MMaschinenbauMechanical Engineering
NInformationstechnikInformation Technology
SSozialwesenSocial Work
VVerfahrens- und ChemietechnikChemical Process Engineering
WWirtschaftsingenieurwesenEngineering & Management

Usual short forms in higher education

Abi - short for Abitur, the General Certificate of Secondary Education in Germany

AG - Arbeitsgruppe, working group

APS - short for the certificate from the Akademische Prüfstelle in China, Mongolia and Vietnam

AStA - Allgemeine Studierendenausschuss, comparable to a Students' Union

BA - Bachelorarbeit - Final thesis for bachelor's degrees

BAföG - short for the student loans regulated by the Bundesausbildungsförderungsgesetz (Federal Training Assistance Act) in Germany

CC - Career Center

CIT - Campus IT & Services

DaF - Deutsch als Fremdsprache - German as a Foreign Language

DSH - German proficiency certificate to access higher education

ECTS - European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System, frequently used as a short form for the credits earned within that framework

HS - Hochschule (not as a generic term for higher education but referring to Universities of Applied Sciences)

HZB - Hochschulzugangsberechtigung - higher education entrance qualification

IO - International Office

MA - Masterarbeit - final thesis for master's degrees

POS - Prüfungsorganisationssystem - Online platform with access to application, exams, grades...

PS - Praxissemester - compulsory internship semester

StuPO - Studien- und Prüfungsordnung - Study and Examination Regulations

SS - Sommersemester - summer semester (March to August)

SZ - Sprachenzentrum - Language Center

UB - Universitätsbibliothek - University Library

Uni - short for university

WG - Wohngemeinschaft - shared flat or shared home

WS - Wintersemester - winter semester (September to February)