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Studying for School Pupils

A study program for school pupils, known in Germany as a "Schülerstudium" or "Frühstudium", offers first insights into university studies without having to pay any tuition fees. Exceptionally gifted and motivated pupils can take selected courses prior to taking their qualification for university entrance while still attending school. They can also obtain certificates of achievement and take regular examinations through this study programme.

In Germany about 1,000 pupils embark every year on an early course of study while still at school. Study programmes for pupils offer learning of the highest level. Pupils are taught at an early age to think independently. In addition, the programme is ideally suited to helping pupils decide what they want to study before achieving the qualification for university entrance and can shorten the duration of studies when successful.

Pupil Programme Informatics at the KIT

The pupil programme is aimed at locally based pupils in the last two years of schooling. In cooperation with the KIT, the Regional Board of Karlsruhe and the German equivalent of grammar schools, it enables pupils at A-level age with an interest in informatics to attend beginner grade lectures in informatics at the university while still attending school.

About 10 to 40 pupil students per school year have taken part in the pupil programme at the Department of Informatics at the KIT since the programme was founded.
Back then, the Supervisory School Authority of Karlsruhe and the Department of Informatics at the KIT cleared the way for the programme. Starting as a model test, the project has proven to be an outright success over the years. 

With around 12 hours of learning per week, some participants have achieved outstanding results in the examinations that can be recognised for later entry to a respective course of study.

The following basic lectures are offered:

Winter term:

  • "Grundbegriffe der Informatik" (Fundamental Terms of Informatics), Dr. Worsch (2 hours of lecture, a practical course and a tutorial). This lecture is obligatory for all participants and held in German.
  • Additionally, particularly motivated participants can attend the lecture "Programmieren" in programming, Prof. Koziolek (3 hours of lectures, 2-hours practical course and a tutorial), which is also held in German.

Summer term:

"Algorithmen I" (Algorithm lecture), Prof. Sinz (3 hours of lectures and a practical course), held in German.

Who is suited for the pupil programme?

The pupil programme is designed for pupils with a strong interest in Informatics, who are keen logical thinkers and are not being pushed sufficiently with their school work. The pupil programme is only recommended for pupils with excellent school grades and a strong interest in Informatics. Prior knowledge in Informatics is not required.

Some questions students should answer with "yes" before applying:

  • Have I definitely decided on the field of Informatics (or similar) as the course of study I'd like to take?
  • Am I interested and motivated enough?
  • Are my school grades good or very good?
  • Am I target-oriented and well organised?
  • Can I work independently?
  • Can I guarantee that my social life won't suffer from this?
  • Have I found out enough about the advantages and disadvantages of studying as a pupil?


  • Studying Informatics involves a high mathematical component! Achieving good grades in Mathematics is therefore a prerequisite for an application.
  • You should be aware that the programme also entails double effort on your part:
    In addition to your preparations for the qualification for university entrance, you will have to take courses at the university.

Structure and General Conditions

The pupils commit to attending the university courses in the same way that they attend school, i.e. attendance is compulsory.

The pupil programme runs in parallel to normal school commitments. Lectures are only held in the afternoons. If there is any clash with the school timetable, pupils are required to obtain an exemption from school and then catch up on the subject matter on their own. If there is a significant drop in a pupil's performance at school, they may be prohibited from any further participation in the pupil programme.

The lectures last for two or three hours and involve preparation as well as re-working of the subject matter. Consequently, it is only suitable for those pupils who have enough time to study besides achieving good results at school.

Please note: Since school is the top priority, you can always withdraw from university studies. This will not be a disadvantage if you decide to take up studies after school. The same applies for certificates of achievement: If you fail them, this does not count against you in any way. If you succeed, they can be officially recognized in a later course of study.

Accident Insurance

Pupils taking part in the programme still remained insured by the German GUVV.

Contact Persons and Advice

Pupils interested in the programme should obtain adequate advice before filing an application.

Application and Admission for the Pupil Programme

Application form and information from the Regional Board: Download [PDF]

Lectures start in October.

In your school, the subject teachers will consult with the school board to decide whether they agree on your participation. After this, the university will decide on the admission.
Applicants under 18 years of age have to present a parental consent.