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The guide for your first days in Germany and at TH Köln.

Basic knowledge at a glance

Find all useful freshman information summarized in our brochure "Getting started: Basic knowledge for new students and PhD students at TH Köln".

Getting Started

Zwei internationale Studentinnen Lächeln bei der Begrüßung (Image: Thilo Schmülgen/FH Köln)

Where do I find my schedule? How does PSSO work? What do I need ILIAS for? What is a Fachschaft? During your first days in Cologne, you will probably have lots of questions. This webpage can help you navigate your start at TH Köln.

Your faculty – for all information on your degree program

When it comes to planning and organizing your studies at TH Köln, we recommend you get in touch with your faculty, as numerous aspects such as your class schedule or course registration are handled differently in each program.

Freshmen orientation

Most faculties offer welcome or orientation events for their first-semester and exchange students at the beginning of each semester. You will receive vital information on our university, your program and on studying at TH Köln. These events provide an excellent opportunity to ask questions about scheduling your courses. We therefore strongly recommend you participate in these events. Please refer to the Freshman Information to find out about the date of your orientation event.

Choice of subjects and timetable

In order to select courses for your semester, you should take a close look at the study and examination regulations for your course of study. Often there is also a study plan that indicates when you should ideally take certain courses. If you have any further questions, please contact the course coordinators or faculty student association.
Depending on your study program, you will either have courses according to a fixed timetable or you will have to arrange your own courses at the beginning of the semester. Please note that you will have to register for many courses in groups on your own. You should be able to access the current list of lectures for your degree programme via the website of your faculty shortly before the beginning of the semester. There are also posters in the faculties.

Fachschaften – Faculty Student Associations

Each faculty has its own student association, representing its student body in a variety of matters. Generally, most members of a student association are students in higher semesters. The student association represents all faculty students in various committees, provides advice and support on all issues related to your studies and passes on vital information to freshmen students.

Most student associations stage an orientation week for freshmen students at the beginning of each semester. This orientation week gives you a first insight into studying at our university and helps you find out what else there is to do in Cologne – it is also a great opportunity to meet other students from your program. Many student associations have their own offices, allowing you to meet their members in person during office hours. Please visit your faculty’s website for the student association’s contact details.

ILIAS learning platform

ILIAS is an electronic learning platform facilitating the communication related to courses and lectures. ILIAS allows you to download course material, register for courses and get in touch with your lecturers and fellow students.

For many courses, you need to have registered for the course before being granted access to the course material. Access might at times also be restricted by a password, which you will receive from the lecturer of the individual course. More information is available on the  ILIAS homepage.


The Online Examination and Student Services (PSSO) allows you to manage many of your organisational matters yourself. For example, you can update your contact details and print study certificates. In addition, you can register for and cancel exams, view grades and print a transcript of records in German or English.

Exceptions for exchange students

Most exchange students are currently unable to register for exams through PSSO. Only exchange students of the Faculty of Business, Economics and Law as well as of the Faculty of Architecture can register for examinations through PSSO. All other exchange students can find out about the examination registration in their faculty.