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Die RPTU in Kaiserslautern, der Fachbereich Physik und Allgemeines zum Studium

It is always said that you are a campus university. What does it mean and what advantages does it have?

Campus university means nothing other than that all the university's facilities are gathered in one large area, called the campus. Our campus is divided into a university district with teaching buildings, the Audimax, cafeteria, the majority of the faculty and research facilities of the university and a periphery with research and administrative buildings of the economy and other institutions, such as the Fraunhofer Centre. Our campus is divided into a university district with teaching buildings, the Audimax, cafeteria, the majority of the faculties and research facilities of the university, and a periphery with research and administrative buildings run by industry and other institutions, such as the Fraunhofer Centre. The advantages of a campus university are obvious: the commutes are short and everything is within walking distance; in contrast to other universities, where the buildings are spread all over the city and it can take 30 minutes to get from one lecture to the next. In addition, all students are gathered in one place, so you can make contacts quickly. Our faculty (Building 46) is located particularly central. Whether it's the large lecture halls, the cafeteria, the Audimax, the library, the computer centre (large PC pool and printout service), the gym or various bus stops - everything a 5-minute walk away. Finally, there is also a lot of "green" on our campus, so that you can always spend time outside the buildings in summer.

How many students does the university have and how many of those are part of the physics department?

At the moment 13137 students are enrolled at the RPTU in Kaiserslautern, 558 of them in physics. These 558 people break down as follows: 319 "normal" students (including teaching), 37 biophysicists, 87 techno-physicists, 19 FIPS students, 86 distance students and 10 students in the Advanced Quantom Physics master's course. However, the department has not yet reached its limits, which means that, due to the 21 professorships awarded, it has a student-professor ratio of 26.6, which is considered to be pretty low. This greatly promotes contact with and support from the professors, which means that the conditions for studying in the department are very good. This information is the status of the summer semester 2021. More prescise and possibly more up-to-date information can be found on the pages of the university at statutory regulations, handouts, statistics in the Student statistics.

How do the students like it in Kaiserslautern?

Since there are no representative surveys on this, we can only pass on our subjective experiences here, but the feedback, we get is (almost) entirely positive. The department has a very enjoyable study environment and one usually knows a lot of people (even interdisciplinary). There are almost optimal study conditions, we hardly know overfilled lecture halls and there is a lot on offer in terms of subject matter. The cafeteria food is mostly delicious and the waiting times are short. The sport facilities offer a very wide range of activitiers free of charge, so that the body can be stimulated as well as the mind. Only the distance between the town center and the university, together with its dormitories, is a small drawback. But good bus connections (even at night and on weekends), as well as the possibility to borrow a bike anywhere in the city, allow a large radius of action even without having a car. Sometimes the pub situation in Lautern is described as poor. But if you gather up, you will always find a place to celebrate and relax, as every kind of pub exists in Kaiserslautern, even if it is not a typical student town.

How is the food at the univeritiy (cafeteria, bistro)?

The food here is quite good. Our cafeteria makes great food and the waiting times are short (see alsoquestion 3). During the lecture period, two meals are offered (2.40€ or 2.65€), and you can always find a vegetarian option. There is also the buffet, with different dishes from the wok and grill every day, as well as a selection of fresh salads, vegetables and pasta. Furthermore, there is always dessert (pudding, curd, fruit, etc. 0.50€ each). In addition to the cafeteria, there is also the Atrium and a bistro. In the Atrium, you can always get fresh buns with every topping you can imagine, and also warm food if you don't like the cafeteria options. It's a little more expensive (costs around 3-4€) but always delicious. There's also coffee, cocoa, juices, snacks, etc. The bistro offers sandwiches and drinks at student-friendly prices too. You will always be well taken care of.

How difficult is it to study physics in Kaiserslautern?

Well, thats always a thing. As the saying goes: What you can't do is difficult. But let's try an objective approach: We consider the physics course to be quite demanding. Anyone who intends to study just as an addition, would probably have a hard time keeping up. In the basic course (especially in the 1st, 2nd and especialy 3rd semester), the physics students have math lectures (the lectures, that math students hear as well) to the same extend as experimental physics lectures. They also have a decent niveau. But with a little efford, the material is easy to master. You can round it up by saying, that no one gets a degree in here for nothing, but it's certainly not impossible to get a good or very good degree either.

How is the relationship with the professsors/staff members?

Overall relationships are very good. Everyone is interested in the success of the students. If a problem arises while studying it is always possible to personally talk to the professors (even without a prior appointment like at other universities) or staff members. And most of the time one gets the answer one was looking for or at least a hint of where to look. The secretaries are always very helpful, friendly and very patient with the students. Frequently problems can already be solved with the help of senior students.

Was sind die Vorteile/Nachteile der TU-Lautern?

Die Vorteile unserer Uni liegen ganz klar in der Größe und der technischen Ausrichtung. Da die RPTU in Kaiserslautern der Größe nach im unteren Drittel in Deutschland rangiert, ist die individuelle Betreuung der Studenten und ausreichend Peripherie (Bücher in der Bibliothek, PC-Arbeitsplätze, ein Sitzplatz im Hörsaal etc.) garantiert. Außerdem sind die Schlangen an der Mensa kürzer. Durch die rein technische Ausrichtung herrscht eine große Kooperation der Fachbereiche untereinander was die Bürokratie auch dementsprechend gering hält. Allerdings leidet darunter der Frauenanteil ein wenig, bei uns im Fachbereich beträgt er momentan ca. 24%, was aber nicht heißt, dass Frauen hier nichts zu melden haben :-) Ein weitere Pluspunkt für Kaiserslautern ist die Höhe der Drittmittel die eingeworben werden (ca. 5-6 Mio. €/Jahr). Besonders im Fachbereich Physik sind alle Arbeitsgruppen mit ziemlich aktueller Technik ausgerüstet und auch der PC-Pool ist gut und modern bestückt. Des weiteren sind durch das geringe Alter der Uni (1970/71 gegründet) alle Gebäude gut in Schuß und es herrscht eine moderne und junge Atmosphäre auf dem gesamten Campusgelände. Nur Liebhaber von historischen Gemäuern kommen bei uns nicht auf ihre Kosten. Die Nachteile sind eindeutig die abgeschiedene Lage von Kaiserslautern, was zu langen Anfahrtswegen führt, und die Entfernung der Uni von der City. Man kann leider nicht mal eben kurz in die Stadt laufen. Aber es existiert ein gutes Bus- und Bahnnetz. Der Fahrpreis ist im Semesterbeitrag von zur Zeit ca. 207€ enthalten. Auch die Party-Szene von Kaiserslautern hält sich in Grenzen (siehe auch question 3). Das heißt aber nicht, dass man hier nicht feiern kann. Nur die Vielfalt ist etwas geringer und zur Not ist man mit dem Auto schnell in Mannheim oder Mainz. Abschließend kann man wohl sagen, dass Kaiserslautern in studienrelevanten Dingen optimal ist und nur bei der Feizeitgestaltung ein klein wenig zu wünschen übrig lässt.

Do you have an introductory event for freshmen or a tutor program?

The physics student council offers introductory events for freshman lasting two weaks at the beginning of the semester. This course includes a campus tour and an introduction to the PC pool and the digital university network as well as a pub tour in the city center. At the beginning of every winter semester there is an additional three day trip to a hostel in Weidenthal with some organized programs to get to know the other freshmen outside of the lectures. On this trip we also organize some presentations with the most important informations about university life (where to go if you have a problem, study organization, schedule, minor subjects and so on). At one evening the professors and other students are invited, so you can meet them there for the first time. Usually everyone has a lot of fun. At the beginning of the summer semester, we replace the stay in the hostel with a cozy evening at the university. Ein explizites Tutorenprogramm gibt es in Kaiserslautern nicht, was aber durch das gute Zahlenverhältnis von Professoren/Studenten auch nicht nötig ist. You can either speak to the professors directly at any time and / or visit us at the rooms of the student council (see also question 6).

How active is your student council?

Well, we are quite an active student council. Not only do we organize two of the biggest university parties (Nikofete and Maifete) and the introductory events for new students, we are also represented at the AStA summer party and celebrate annual Christmas parties, annual department barbecues and now we even want to try to periodically offer some evening events. We also keep lecture notes and old exams on hand and sell drinks and sweets of all kinds. And of course, we can always lend you an ear if you have any problems.

Do you have a biophysics program?

Yes, since the winter semester 2002/03 there has been a biophysics program affiliated with the Department of Physics in cooperation with the Department of Biology and Chemistry. More details are available at or in our Biophysics FAQ.

Wie ist die Wohnsituation/Preis in Lautern?

Die Wohnsituation hier ist ausgezeichnet. Die Preise liegen bei durchschnittlich 6€ Kaltmiete pro Quadratmeter, was wirklich sehr günstig ist. Die Durchschnittsmieten für Zimmer liegen bei 170€ bis 250€ und für Appartements bei 200€ bis 300€ warm. Bei rechtzeitiger Anmeldung bekommt man oft noch einen Platz in einem Wohnheim jedoch ist auch privater Wohnraum ausreichend zu obigen Preisen vorhanden. Einfach mal am schwarzen Brett in der Mensa schauen und beim Studentenwerk nachfragen.