Master (M.Sc.) International Information Systems

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Study International Information Systems at one of Germany’s most innovative universities

The Master of Science in International Information Systems is a degree program for young talents who aim for challenging management positions in globally operating high-tech firms. Excellent learning and working conditions prepare students for an international career in business with a strong focus on managing International Information Systems. The program is appropriate for students who are interested in Information technology and its role in today’s business environment, irrespective of the academic field chosen during their undergraduate studies.

Each year around 80 students enroll in the master’s program, of whom about 50% are international. So far, these international students came from 33 different countries all over the world. Graduates of the master’s degree started their careers in international enterprises like Accenture, Siemens or adidas, in research or became self-employed by founding a start-up.

At a glance

  • Degree: Master of Science (M.Sc.)
  • Standard period of study: 4 semesters (= 2 years)
  • Start: Winter semester
  • Languages: German & English
  • Admission: Online application
  • Location: Nuremberg (WiSo) and Erlangen (TechFak)

Study contents

The first semester begins with a customized introduction to International Information Systems. Students with a management/business background are automatically assigned to the Informatics Introduction, while students with an academic IT background take the Management Introduction. This helps students acquire skills not covered in their previous studies and is a must for the successful completion of the rigorous curriculum that awaits them in the later part of the program. The first semester also includes the Foreign Language module, where students can choose from different language courses (except for English and German).

Courses of the second and third semesters integrate interdisciplinary perspectives across the fields of information systems and informatics. In addition, there are seminars offered at the end of the third semester to confront students with real international business challenges in an interdisciplinary context and to prepare them for their Master’s thesis by designing, conducting, and documenting a research project in the field of International Information Systems.

The fourth semester is reserved for writing a Master’s thesis in cooperation with an international company or academic partner.

A stay abroad of at least one semester during the studies is obligatory.

For more details, please refer to the respective website of the Institute of Information Systems.

Specifically, depending on the assigned introduction (Management or Informatics), we recommend to take the following courses:

Students assigned to the Management Introduction

  • Innovation and Leadership (5 ECTS)
  • Enterprise Knowledge Management (5 ECTS)
  • Process Analytics (5 ECTS)
  • Designing Technology (5 ECTS)
  • Electronic Human-Resource Management (5 ECTS)
  • Development of Deep Vision Systems (5 ECTS)
  • Platform Strategies (5 ECTS)

Students assigned to the Informatics Introduction

  • Introduction to Computer Science (10 ECTS)
  • A choice of 4 out of the 7 courses listed above (20 ECTS)

More details will be provided before the start of the semester.

Career profile

Skills acquired

Our graduates have profound knowledge about the use of information and communication technologies in enterprise settings and the networked economy. They are able to analyze and assess the potential of IT systems for different applications in the fields of processes, services and information management. Through the completion of numerous group tasks, our graduates have developed communication and team-working skills. Due to the international nature of the degree program, graduates develop language skills, as well as intercultural competencies and are aware of the potential problems that can arise in international projects.

Career opportunities

Graduates in International Information Systems are ideally suited for roles at the interface between management and IT of global companies, e. g. in occupational areas such as Business Consulting, Project Management, Accounting, Controlling, Enterprise Architecture, Change Management, Technology Management or IT Strategy.

International Information Systems specialists are in demand at international enterprises like SAP, BMW Group, Daimler, VW, Siemens, adidas, Infineon, AMD or Bosch as well as management consultancies such as KPMG or Accenture.

That is what our alumni say

  • I was a doctoral student at WIN from 2007 to 2012. In these 4+ years, working as a research associate at the chair of Wi1, I worked closely together with Carolin Durst (research associate at Wi2) to set up the master’s program “International Information Systems” (IIS). Professors Amberg, Bodendorf, and Möslein gave us a free hand in designing and starting the M.Sc. program. In my time at WIN, I found that all decisions at WIN were taken with a clear focus on how we could improve the overall experience of our students. The entrepreneurial culture at WIN, the focus on student needs, and the close collaboration between the chairs taught me a lot of things that I use in my current role as a professor for entrepreneurship at HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management.Prof. Dr. Vivek Velamuri, HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management

Application and Enrollment

Application for the Master’s program in International Information Systems is open for students who have successfully completed an undergraduate degree, preferably with a focus on Business or IT (although other academic backgrounds may also be considered). The program starts every winter semester.

The application period for the winter term 2022/23 opens on April 7, 2022 and closes on May 31, 2022. The entire application process below needs to be completed until this deadline. This includes the following steps:

Online Application Process

Complete the application form at our Online Application Portal for Master’s Degree Programs.

The following documents are required for the application and need to be provided as PDF-files in the application portal:

  • Copy of your undergraduate degree or recent statement of grades from the examination office together with an official translation (either English or German).
    • Applicants from Germany: You need to have a minimum of 135 ECTS from your bachelor degree when applying. A printout from the transcript of records from your university online system is sufficient.
    • International applicants: You need to have your final bachelor degrees when applying. If you are expected to graduate after the application deadline, but before coming to Germany, then you need an academic confirmation from your university that states that you will finish your bachelor degree befor the start of the IIS program in the winter term.
  • Copy of your secondary studies (High school degree and transcript) plus an official translation (either English or German).
    • Please note: Copies of German high school and university degrees do not have to be certified. Regular copies are accepted.
  • Your Curriculum Vitae (CV) in English in tabular form (i.e. not as a free text).
  • Cover letter in English explaining your motivation to study IIS and why you are a good fit for the program, your expectations etc. Please keep it short – up to one page!
  • A 1000 word academic essay in English on the following topic “Quantum Computing – The Future of IT?“. Guidelines for the essay can be downloaded here. Please use academic references or reputable online sources as references.
  • Proof of practical experience if available (copy of contract or letter of recommendation). Please do not send us academic recommendations.
  • Proof of your English language skills (a regular copy or original certificate). The certificate needs to be valid on the date of your application submission. Exceptions only apply to students whose undergraduate program was taught completely in English. All other students do need to provide a certificate. Below are the minimum scores required for the English exams:
    • TOEFL – minimum 95 (iBT or iBT home edition), minimum 240 (CBT), minimum 587 (PBT).
    • IELTS – minimum 7.0 (academic version)
    • Cambridge English Advanced (CAE, Level C1) or Cambridge English Proficiency (CPE) – minimum a C grade.
    • UniCert Level III certificate (the UniCert III exam and not the courses in your bachelor transcript which are pre-requisite to take the exam)
    • A C1 course or similar in University is not accepted as proof. Same goes to any other proof that is not listed above. Please refrain from sending emails regarding this.
  • Proof of your German language skills – A2 level minimum according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), if your education has been conducted in a language other than German (original certificate or regular copy). We accept the following certificates:
    • DSH (1), DSD (I),
    • telC Deutsch A2,
    • Goethe Certificate A2
    • TestDaF (3)
  • Applicants from China, Vietnam and Mongolia will have to include APS certification. Please take care of this early on if you are planning to apply because it can take a while until you get the certification. Without this, your application won’t reach the admission board.

General information on the application process and requirements for a master degree program at FAU can be found here: https://www.fau.eu/education/application-and-enrolment/applying-for-masters-degree-programmes

Note that we cannot consider incomplete applications or applications via email!

Admission and Matriculation

Six to eight weeks after the application deadline, you will be notified of the outcome of your application. If successful you have to follow the instructions on the admission letter to enroll at FAU. Enrollment is managed by the student‘s record office. Further information on the enrollment process can be found on their website: https://www.fau.eu/education/application-and-enrolment/deadlines-and-documents-for-enrolment/. Please note that we can not answer inquiries about your application status.

Please note that for enrollment you must hand in certified copies of your documents. More information on how your documents should be certified can be found here: https://www.fau.eu/international/international-applicants/important-information/notes-on-certification-of-documents/

Special regulations due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Due to the currently limited possibilites to conduct language tests, the IIS program committee has decided to permit the following deviations from the application requirements listed above:

Proof of German language skills

Concerning the proof of German language skills, the IIS program committee is ready to accept the following deviations from the requirements listed above:

  • If an applicant does not have an opportunity to take an official German language certification test (e.g. Goethe Certificate), the program committe might accept German language certificates from other recognized language schools or certification authorities as long as they fulfill the following requirements:
    • The certificate is clearly attributable to the applicant.
    • The certificate explicitly indicates the language level A2 in German or equivalent or higher language skills.
    • The certificate contains the imprint, signature, and stamp of an officially certified language school or certification authority.

    Any such certificate must be submitted regurlarly online until May 31, 2022.

  • Alternatively, it is possible to include a document in the online application which indicates that the applicant has registered for an official German language certification test (Goethe Certificate, Certificate from VHS / Bildungszentrum in Germany, DSH 1, DSH 2, or TestDaF) instead of submitting a German language certificate. All applicants who make use of this option have to submit a scan of their official test result via email to studium-iis@fau.de with subject line “Submission of German language test result for <Last Name> <First Name>” by July 31, 2022, latest. If the certificate is valid and submitted on time, it can still be considered as part of the application.

Apart from these two deviations, no further exceptions apply concerning the submission of German language certificates and we will neither answer further requests concerning this issue nor offer pre-evaluation of any documents!

Frequently asked questions

Application process

Where do I have to apply?

Applications for the IIS program have to be submitted online via the campo application portal. During the online application process, you are requested to upload your application documents to the upload section as a PDF file. There is no need to send application documents by post.

May I apply to start in summer semester?

No. You can only start each winter semester.

When does the program begin?

The program begins each winter semester (usually in October).

Application requirements

Do I have to submit an “Abitur” / high school certificate?

Yes. An “Abitur”/high school certificate is required.

Does the statement of grades have to be in a special form or is it sufficient to hand in printout version?

The statement of grades must be an official document. The document can be an original or a certified copy.

Do I need GRE or GMAT for this program?

No, these exams are not required.

Can I apply if I do not yet have my undergraduate degree until the deadline for submission of applications?

For students, who complete their undergraduate degree in Germany or any EU country: You can apply if you do not yet have your undergraduate degree until the deadline for submission of applications. However, you need a minimum of 135 ECTS to be able to apply and you should hand in a recent statement of grades form and a confirmation that you have completed your courses. As soon as you got your bachelor certificate you should send it to us. You have up to one year to hand in your degree.

For students, who complete their undergraduate degree in a non-EU country: You must have completed your undergraduate degree to be able to apply. If you have not completed your degree before the end of the application period, but you will finish it before the start of the IIS program in the winter term, you have to enclose your application an confirmation from your university, with the following information:

  • Name of the university/faculty
  • Official name of the study program
  • The official length of the study program (for example 4 years)
  • A full-time graduate program, part-time program or distance learning
  • Date when he/she will probably graduate and receive the bachelor degree certificate (important)
  • Topic and date of the thesis (if applicable)
  • Date of the confirmation
  • Signature from the university (registrar or dean)
  • Official stamp from the university

Should the application be in English or German?

Your application package documents can be either in German or in English. The essay, the curriculum vitae, and the motivation letter must be in English.

Do you accept undergraduate degrees with a Bachelor from a Berufsakademie?

If the diploma is certified and accredited we do accept the diploma as a valid undergraduate degree (provided that the program is accredited and recognized).

What kind of university degree is required to apply to the Master’s program?

Applicants must have successfully completed an undergraduate degree preferably with a focus in business or IT. Applicants with other academic backgrounds may also be considered. Some 3-year bachelor degrees are accepted, others not. This is evaluated by the Master Office which receives your documents. However, they don’t offer pre-evaluation. This means you need to apply and send all your documents before they can give an assessment of your degree.

What is the final decision-making criteria?

The final decision to accept a student is based on his application (average grades, motivation to study the M.Sc. International Information Systems program with us, background, practical experience).

What needs to be prepared for the professional presentation? In what language does the presentation take place?

Not all applicants are invited to conduct a professional presentation. If you need to conduct a presentation, we will get in touch with you via email and send you an invitation. The language of the presentation should be English. An applicant may request to conduct the presentation in German if that is preferred. However, the Master IIS Program is mostly an English language program, therefore we do prefer to speak with the applicant in English.

The presentation shall last about 10 minutes followed by a 10 minutes discussion. The topic of the presentation will be announced to the applicants at least one week before the date of the presentation together with the invitation. The presentation is intended to show that applicants have the necessary skills to study the IIS program successfully. Applicants are assessed based on the following criteria:

  • Quality of the presentation (in particular: content and structure, clear delivery and visualization of content, appropriate media use)
  • Ability to lead scientific discussions and to defend the presented knowledge to a scientific audience.
  • Ability to convincingly demonstrate personal suitability for the IIS program.

Do I have to convert the grades to the German system?

No, you should not do the conversion yourself. The Master Office in Erlangen receives your documents, evaluates your degree, and converts the grades.

What happens after I send in my application? Do I get a place in the study program if I meet the minimum requirements?

No, a complete application does not guarantee a study place. The admission to the program is highly competitive.

Who can help me if I have questions regarding application requirements?

For questions about application requirements, please contact the M.Sc. International Information Systems committee at studium-iis@fau.de.

Program focus and course content

Will the courses of the Master’s program take place in Nuremberg or Erlangen?

Close to 70% of the total courses are taught in Nuremberg. The rest is taught in Erlangen. Hence, we recommend students to reside in Nuremberg.

Can I pass the master’s degree by distance learning?

No. There is no possibility of distance learning.

In what language will the classes be held?

The teaching language is a combination of English and German. The ratio depends on the subjects in the first semester (Informatics introduction almost 75% German, Management Introduction 100% English). The later ratio between English and German language courses depends on the exact subject choices made by the students. Up to 85% of the total curriculum is taught in English. More information can be found in the module handbook.

Proof of English language skills

What are the minimum requirements on TOEFL, IELTS and University of Cambridge ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) exams?

The minimum required test scores are as follows:

  • TOEFL iBT (Internet Based Test, on-site or home edition): 95
  • TOEFL CBT (Computer Based Test): 240
  • TOEFL PBT (Paper Based Test): 587
  • IELTS (academic version): 7.0
  • For a University of Cambridge ESOL, a “Certificate in Advanced English” (CAE) is required

Can I apply if I am already registered for an English test (TOEFL, IELTS, etc.), but won’t be able to get the results before the application deadline?

No, the submission of the test results as part of the offline application (before the deadline) is mandatory.

Do I have to hand in a proof of my English language skills if my education has been in English or English is official language?

You need a proof of your English language skills (TOEFL, IELTS, CPE or UNICERT III) if your education has been conducted in a language other than English (original certificate or a regular copy).

Proof of German language skills

What level do I need to have regarding my German skills if my education has been conducted in a language other than German?

German language is mandatory for the International Information Systems program. The minimum level we need from our applicants is equivalent to A2 (according to the Common European Framework of the European Council).

These are the certificates we accept:

  • Goethe Certificate (min. level A2)
  • Zertifikate von VHS / Bildungszentren
  • DSH 1 (≥57%): Level B2
  • DSH 2 (≥67%): Level C1
  • Test Deutsch als Fremdsprache (TestDaF)

Additionally, we may accept certificates from recognized language institutes.

Studies at the Friedrich-Alexander University

Is the study abroad for one semester mandatory even for international students?

Yes, it is mandatory. Nonetheless, you do not have to spend your semester abroad in a non-German speaking country, we have co-operations with universities in Austria.

How can I find accommodation in Nuremberg?

You may visit this webpage which provides information related to accommodation in Erlangen and Nuremberg. You can also find apartment sharing possibilities at WG-Gesucht.

Who is responsible for my student registration/matriculation?

The student record office (“Studierendenverwaltung”) is responsible for registration/matriculation as a student of the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg. Details are provided on their website. Please note that in July (approximately) we will send welcome packages to everyone who has been admitted to the program and will give you more information on the formalities regarding your arrival in Germany (housing, insurances etc.).

Do you organize scholarships for your students?

We do not organize scholarships for our students. You may contact the Central Office of International Affairs from our university and ask them whether they may provide you with further information.

Are there any tuition fees at the Friedrich-Alexander University?

Information regarding tuition fee can be found at the FAU’s information portal. The master’s program has a minimum student fee of ca. EUR 107 (EUR 42 for administrative costs and EUR 65 for partial contribution for a semester ticket for transportation ) per semester since most of our programs are subsidised by the German government.

What are the living costs for students in Germany?

More information can be found here. Please note that this is an estimation and depends on your individual living style and preferences.