Frequently asked questions from freshmen
Initial study and orientation phase (STEOP)
The STEOP is intended to give an overview of the main programme content and consists of several subjects at ESS (see curricula).
Before the STEOP has been successfully completed, only a certain number of ECTS may be completed in the courses. Once the maximum number of ECTS has been reached, registration for further courses is not possible until the STEOP has been successfully completed.
This maximum number depends on the number of ECTS in the STEOP and the curriculum version.
17W: In addition to the STEOP subjects, no more than 22 ECTS may be completed. This also applies to Environmental and Free Elective subjects.
What happens if I do not pass the STEOP?
If a STEOP subject is not completed successfully (max. 4 attempts for BW/Geo/VWL, max. 5 attempts for NAWI-Tech), you will be blocked for the duration of one year.
Example: If you fail the lecture course ESS Computational Basics for the 4th time in the summer semester 2021, you will be blocked for the winter semester 2021/22 and the summer semester 2022. Starting in the winter semester 2022/23, you can then return to the VO ESS Computational Basics to complete the STEOP.
Which course types must be present?
Courses with an immanent examination character (VU, UE, PS, SE, LU,...) generally require attendance; only lectures (VO) do not have an immanent examination character. Specifically, this means that there is no attendance requirement for a VO and no obligation to register for a VO; however, you must register separately for a VO examination. Three VO examination dates must be offered per semester. VO examinations assigned to the STEOP only have to take place 2x/semester.
How often can I miss a class?
In principle, you can only miss classes in courses with an immanent examination character if valid reasons are given. How often you are allowed to miss a class and still pass the course depends on the individual courses, since there are differences in the course dates (frequency, block courses, semester hours, etc.). In one of the first classes in the course, the teacher must announce how the course is examined. This also includes the attendance requirements, and there are no generally applicable attendance regulations here! You should generally avoid missing the first class, as this automatically means that you will lose your fixed place in the course.
If you have demonstrated partial performance (cooperation, table performance, short test, intermediate exam, presentation, etc.) when you reach the maximum permissible number of absences, then your performance in a course with an immanent examination character will be assessed compellingly as "insufficient". The same applies if you wish to deregister from a course with an immanent examination character.
In the course of your studies, there will inevitably be some cases of course conflict. In general, STEOP courses should be preferred over courses with immanent examination character, and courses with immanent examination character should be preferred over lectures. Courses which serve as a prerequisite for attending other courses should also be completed well ahead of time in order to avoid possible cases of conflict during your studies.
In the case of minor conflicts, lecturers are often quite accommodating and accept minor deviations, provided they are informed ahead of time.
How do I register for an course?
In order to make it easier for first-semester students to find their way around the university, especially at the beginning of their studies, a so-called model curriculum has been created. (This can be found in the curriculum, programme guide, or in UGO under "My Degree Programme (Curriculum Support)" and then "Semester plan".) The model curriculum is designed as a guideline in that subjects are completed on the basis of their content and the prerequisite position in the curriculum, so that the course can be completed within a minimum period of study (6 semesters for the bachelor's and 4 semesters for the master's programme). The model curriculum is structured in such a way that students begin their studies in the winter semester.
Please note: For administrative reasons, course dates might also conflict in the model curriculum! Courses that are assigned to the 1st semester (winter semester) in the model curriculum might also only be offered in the summer semester.
Are there tutorials for Integral and Differential Calculations or Linear Algebra and Systems Sciences 2 every semester? Do I have to attend tutorials that appear in my schedule?
For the VU Integral and Differential Calculus for ESS, tutorials are only offered in the winter semester.
Since WS17/18, tutorials can be recognized with 1 ECTS as part of the Free Electives, if the students can demonstrate at least 80% attendance. To receive this recognition, it is necessary to register for the tutorial (TU) in UGO.
For all tutorials that are not assigned 1 ECTS, the tutorial is open as usual without required attendance. Nevertheless, it is advisable to register in UGO so that the dates of the lectures appear in the schedule.
If required, the ESS study representatives will also organise preparatory tutorials for exams, provided that this is possible (i.e. time and personnel). However, students must actively request a tutorial from the Student Representative so that they can assess the overall need. Likewise, existing tutorials can be discontinued if there is no longer a need for them.
What is the study guide and where can I get it?
The study guide is a free brochure which is written by the ESS Student Representative. The guide provides a compact overview of study-relevant regulations, such as those related to the curriculum, prerequisites, or STEOP courses. In addition, the first important steps that should be taken at the university (e.g. library card, tutorials) are explained, and you learn where to get information about other ESS community activities. The guidelines can be viewed here for all the main subject areas.
Printed editions are available at the ÖH in front of the URBI room (Harrachgasse 21, ground floor), at first-semester and high school graduate consultations offered by the ÖH, and at the OV ESS. Especially at the beginning of your studies as well as during your studies, it is always worth it to take a look at this guide!