Everything you want to know

We understand that deciding on a study program is a big deal for you. That’s why we want to give you the answer to every possible question.

If you cannot find the answer to your question on this page, please reach out to us at hello@code.berlin. Looking forward to talking with you!

Applying

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.Anaïs Nin, Writer

What do you look for in students when applying?

Talent, dedication and passion are most important to us and should be for our students as well. It doesn’t matter if you have been programming since you were 10 years old or just found your passion for the digital world – let us find out what you can do with technology and let’s make it the best years of your life.

How important are my school grades when applying?

At CODE we don’t care so much about your grades. There are a million reasons for your performance in school, but most of them are not related to whether you have what it takes to succeed as a CODE student or whether you might change the world with your ideas. What matters to us are your talent and dedication to become a Digital Pioneer. However, in some cases, your grades are an unavoidable German requirement for your higher education entrance qualification (eligibility).

I still have a few years left in high school. Does it make sense to apply now anyway?

If you still have a few years until you graduate from high school, there is no need for you to hurry. We will take applications one year in advance for the upcoming class and at CODE every class starts in the fall – so if you want to start in 2020, you can apply from Fall 2019 onward. But aside from your official application, please get in touch with us early and let us know that you are interested in studying at CODE. We have plans for a lot of events in Berlin and throughout Germany, so it would be great to get to know you on one of these occasions.

What kind of preparation do you recommend to pass the admission process?

There will be no special preparation necessary for your application at CODE. The best advice we can give is to be yourself and give your best.

Does CODE require proof (exam result) of English language proficiency?

No, we do not require proof. But if you are unsure about your level, we recommend just taking a chance and applying anyways. Our entire admission process is in English, so please be aware of this fact.

Does everyone have to go through the admission process?

Life is more fun with shortcuts, isn’t it? Well, this time there isn’t one. We strongly believe that everyone should get a fair chance. How else would you know if you and CODE are a great fit? We are doing our best to create an excellent learning experience for you and we expect your commitment in return.

Is there an application fee?

There is never a fee for applying to study at CODE, no matter how many times you apply. We believe that higher education should be available to every young person with talent and dedication, regardless of their financial situation. And we also think that you will learn something every time you apply, since we put a great deal of thought into the admission process.

If you make it to the the last step of the admission process, we will invite you to Berlin for an admission day together with fellow applicants. The costs for your trip will not be covered by CODE, but please do not hesitate to talk to us if you have trouble making the trip. We will find a way to help you.

CODE University of Applied Sciences Our students

I have no experience in software development at all. Can I still study at CODE?

Yes, you can. Not every Digital Pioneer needs to be a coder. However, if you’ve never written a line of code or designed something digital in your life before, you will need all your dedication and creativity. Like everyone else you will need to pass all three steps of our application process. If you think you have the talent and the passion, you can do it!

What are the personal interviews going to cover?

Your personal interview at the admission day (last step of the admission process) will be in English. We simply want to get to know you and we are sure you will be curious about us as well. This is your chance to also ask us any open questions you may have.

Admission

Whatever you do, be different – that was the advice my mother gave me, and I can’t think of better advice for an entrepreneur. If you’re different, you will stand out.”Anita Roddick, Businesswoman and human rights activist

What are my chances of getting in when applying?

It totally depends on you and your admission process! At CODE, we are looking for the right people, not the right number of people. We recommend that you take the admission process and challenge serious and that you give your very best.

I didn’t graduate from high school. Can I still study at CODE?

German regulations for higher education require you to have a higher-education entrance qualification to enroll in a bachelor’s degree program. If you are not sure whether your degree matches the admission requirements for Germany, please check the DAAD database. Even if it doesn’t, we might still be able to find a solution.

Do you also take international students?

Absolutely! CODE is a very international community with English as the official language.
A lot of useful information about admission requirements for studying in Germany can be found on the pages of Study-in.de and on our requirements site.

Can I also begin my studies in the summer semester?

No, study programs at CODE only start once a year in the fall.

Is there a deadline for submitting my application?

The deadline to submit your written application is mid July. We will close the admission process once our maximum capacity of students is reached.

Also please keep in mind that you might need some extra time for your application and for your visa application process. For international students we recommend starting the application process as early as possible to begin studying that fall.

Financial Considerations

It’s not about money. It’s about the people you have.Steve Jobs, Entrepreneur and founder of Apple Inc.

Are there tuition fees?

Yes. As a private university we have to ask our students for a financial contribution in order to stay independent. We think, however, that studying at CODE should be possible for everyone, regardless of their financial means. That is why we developed two tuition-fee models which are available to both EU and non-EU students.

Is the pay-later option only available to Germans?

No. Both payment options are available for international students as well.

Do you offer any scholarships?

No. We want our students to stay independent and are confident that our income-based delayed tuition model is a fair option for everyone.

Are there any additional fees?

No. We are fully transparent about this. No application fee, no admission fee, no examination fee. Nothing besides the tuition fees.

What payment options do you offer?

We offer two tuition-fee models and are convinced that one of them will meet your needs: an income-based delayed tuition model with no upfront tuition-fee payment (you only start paying after you finish your studies and start to earn money) and a monthly fee model (you pay as you study).
Please read more about the details on our admission page or just keep reading here.

Study first, pay later – how does this work?

We are convinced that our students will launch into exceptional careers after their studies at CODE. This is why we went “all in” and decided to let you pay later depending on your actual future income.

CODE University of Applied Sciences

Where can I find out more about the income-related payment after graduation?

We have put a few numbers together to help you with this question. You can find them in our page about tuition fees. If you want to dive into the concept in its full glory, hop over to the website of Chancen eG, where you can find a great FAQ with all the details.

How do I calculate my relevant income?

To calculate the relevant income, we take your gross income as reported to the tax office and deduct 21.3% (for employees) or 37.3% (for entrepreneurs and freelancers) for social security contributions. Please refer to the Chancen eG website for more details.

Can I get “BAföG” while studying at CODE?

Yes. “BAföG” (German system for governmental loans to students) is designed to help you with your living costs while studying. Because we are a state-recognized university of applied sciences, you are able to file for “BAföG” just like any other student. More information can be found at the website of studierendenWERK BERLIN.

Are CODE students eligible for a student ticket for public transport?

Yes. All CODE students pay 193.80 Euros per semester (6 months) for public transportation tickets. The ticket is in fact printed on our Student ID.

What other costs should I expect (housing, books, hardware, software etc.)?

That will depend on your personal needs, but one of the reasons we chose Berlin for our campus is that you will be able to enjoy a relatively low cost of living without having to compromise on your quality of life. You’ll find some useful information on this topic at the website studierendenWERK BERLIN.
Your most important tool will be your notebook computer. It should be less than three years old and reasonably equipped for the tasks that await you. If you won’t be able to afford a suitable computer, please get in touch with us. We will be able to offer a limited number of affordable lease-purchase arrangements.

Studying at CODE

The question isn’t who’s going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.Ayn Rand, Writer

My English is bad. Is that an issue?

It depends on what you mean by “bad.” All study programs at CODE are taught in English and we are an English-speaking community. If you’ve never spoken one word of English in your entire life, that would be a problem. Wait a minute … how did you make it this far reading this site?
Truth be told: The average level of English you learned in school will most likely be enough for starting at CODE. Trust us, we all started somewhere and if you want to take on a career in digital product development, you will need to face the English language anyway.

Do I have to speak English at CODE?

Yes. We are an English-speaking community. In order to include our diverse student body, we ask that everyone at CODE (including faculty and staff) speak only English on campus. If you are unsure about your level, we recommend just taking a chance and applying anyways. Our entire admission process is in English, so please be aware of this fact.

How large are your groups/seminars?

We assume you are wary of overcrowded lecture halls and therefore think “the smaller the better.” We would say: it depends. Small groups of people are excellent for discussions, brainstorming, or project work. But sometimes you want to face a crowd, address them with your ideas and convince them to follow your lead. Or just listen to an inspiring talk together with 200 other CODE members.
The project teams you will be working with most of the time will be between six and 15 members in size (depending on the project needs). Your STS workshops and seminars will have a group size between 10 and maybe 30 (again depending on the topic and the format). So, apart from the aforementioned lectures and talks, we will make sure that the group size always allows for the most intense and dynamic interaction and learning experience.
But in the end there is really no way for us to figure out how many of you want to join that special seminar with Mark Zuckerberg on building the next Facebook …

Can I work on my own projects?

Be honest: Would we be able to stop you? This is one of the great advantages of CODE: It is possible to make your own ideas a part of your study program and even get credit for the results. As great as that sounds, we take our academic responsibility for the program(s) we offer you and your fellow students very seriously. Every idea, whether it is from one of our company partners, students or professors, will be processed with identical criteria for selection and categorization, meaning that they will be defined by project goals, timeline, fitting size of team members, requirements for competencies and learning outcomes. After that, the idea will be published and everyone interested will be able to apply.

Is CODE for nerds only?

Wait, what?! Aren’t we all humans? Part of the same group, called mankind? Sure, we think that students at CODE are special. They are on a mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no one has gone before … Wait, maybe there is a tiny little nerd in all of us?

What kind of software are we going to use during the study program?

We won’t tell you what the right tool is for the projects you are going to work on. Find out for yourself. You probably already have your favorite, don’t you? Then continue to use it.

Do you offer any soft-skills courses?

We do have two tracks for you on that topic: First and foremost, you will have the guidance of your academic mentor and the constant exchange with your fellow students, lecturers and staff. We will go so far as saying that there is no place to hide and therefore ample opportunity to sharpen your soft skills (or should soft skills better be more softened?). Second, and this is also something very special at CODE, throughout your entire studies you will have a program that we call “Science, Technology and Society”. This – and our Interpersonal Skills Program – will help you foster a broad understanding of personal and social skills and structures.

CODE University of Applied Sciences

What kind of assessments will I have to take during my study program?

We are not big fans of written tests that ask you to reproduce knowledge you extracted from a book or a script in order to pass. That is why you will not find them at CODE. We believe in assessments that let you demonstrate the competence we wanted you to acquire. If your challenge was to solve a problem and provide a solution for a project you were working on, we want you to explain how you did it and what you learned from it. If you attended an STS workshop we expect you to formulate your own critical thoughts on the topic discussed and present an informed opinion.
Additionally – and this may come as a surprise – we want you to learn how to assess the solutions and opinions of others. Therefore, we expect you to assess your fellow students’ performance on a regular basis and assess the quality of your assessment.
(Oh, and there will be a bachelor thesis. Yes, there has to be.)

Are there any semester holidays?

Of course! No one can work 365 days a year, even if you love what you do. We take a break over Christmas. There is also a long phase from May to August where there are no fixed dates that require your presence at the CODE campus, though it will be open (and populated with professors, lecturers and staff) and you are most welcome there. CODE never sleeps, so if you like you can come to the campus every day (and stay all day and night).

Are internships part of the curriculum?

Mandatory internships are not part of the CODE curriculum. As our study programs are mostly projects that you work on with our partner companies, we believe that you will already have a good idea about what working in those companies would look like. If you choose to complete your individual study program with an internship, go ahead! Your academic mentor will even help you with your choice if you ask them.

Do all classes take place online?

We will have an online learning platform and some classes will take place online, but most of them won’t. We believe in tools that help us connect people and bridge large distances, but we are also convinced that learning is more fun and thorough if you meet with people face to face in the real world. Based on that idea, we decided that the CODE campus should be something special and we are very sure that you will like it. And you will never ask this question again.

Is attendance mandatory at CODE?

Yes and no. The curriculum of CODE will not tell you where to work and when to be in what classroom (we don’t have classrooms for a start), but you have to make sure you can contribute to the projects you are part of and there will be the occasional seminar and workshop where we recommend you be present on campus – our lecture series and the subsequent get-togethers especially should be interesting enough to bring you to the campus. Apart from that, you can study from wherever you want. Becoming part of CODE also means that you are an active member of our community and it would be nice to see you often on campus – even if only for a relaxed get-together. In addition, you will have to meet with your team members regularly – and our campus is the perfect place for that!

Can I study part-time while working full-time?

Our study programs are designed to be a challenge for you. Your projects and fellow students will need your full attention and focus. We believe that studying at CODE will take nearly a full working day of your time and sometimes your presence during the day is required, so we don’t think that working full-time and studying part-time at CODE will be possible.

CODE University of Applied Sciences Our students

Can you guarantee that I will get a good job offer after I graduate from CODE?

There are no guarantees in life, you know that. But we are super confident about your prospects. Some of the biggest tech companies in Germany support us, and are eagerly waiting for you to finish so they can make you an offer that you cannot refuse … we are certain that some of them will not even wait that long. And the reason for that is not only that they are looking for tech talent wherever they can find it. They have been involved in designing our study programs from the very beginning to make sure that you will graduate with the skill set and the competence profile all modern tech companies will look for in the future.

Can I build my own startup company after studying at CODE?

We would not be surprised if you started a little early and presented your academic mentor something you would like to work on during your second year. And we would be so proud if you did and will help you as much as possible.

What kind of extra-curricular activities does CODE offer?

CODE (and CODE students) are developing activities apart from the study program that help create bonds between fellow students, lecturers and staff. For us, the community aspect is very important. Also, the fact that the CODE campus – is part of one of the largest community spaces in Europe – offers a few highly attractive assets: you will be surprised.

Does CODE offer student housing?

There is no residence facility on campus. However, CODE is a part of the studierendenWERK Berlin, a service providing support for student housing around Berlin.

Do you help students find housing in Berlin?

Currently, we do not offer assistance with housing at the moment. However, CODE is a part of the studierendenWERK Berlin, a service providing support for student housing around Berlin. CODE students are also very active in updating each other with any housing options.

Academics

Cooperation is a higher moral principle than competition.Bryant McGill, Social entrepreneur

How do you compare to other universities?

On the surface, CODE is a regular state-recognized university of applied sciences in Germany and you can expect the same formal status as a student, as well as official, state-accredited degrees that are identical to the degrees from every other university or university of applied sciences in Germany and the entire European Higher Education Area (as defined by the Bologna process).
Under the hood however, you will discover a new approach to higher education. You will learn by doing what you love (so we hope), you will learn by facing challenges and mastering them, and you will learn from and with your fellow students. At CODE you are always creating something new and gaining experience with every challenge you face. We are convinced that in order to become a better software developer, designer or product manager you have to learn how to solve problems by yourself and in collaboration with others as well as how to acquire the knowledge and skills you need. Find out more on our educational approach at our page about the learning experience at CODE.

What is an academic mentor and why would I need one?

Unlike high school (and, unfortunately, more and more bachelor programs) the study programs we designed let you create your own learning experience by choosing projects and seminars according to your individual goals. But that doesn’t mean that we want to leave you alone with those important decisions. That is why you will have an academic mentor. Your mentor will be a member of our academic staff or team. You will meet with them on a regular basis, discuss your existing and envisioned competence profile, and together select projects, roles, seminars and internships that bring you closer to your individual goals. Think of your mentor as your personal learning coach.

Who are my professors going to be?

Our academic council provides us with the latest insights in our field’s research, a strong tie to the scientific community and decades of experience in creating meaningful learning experiences. They help us identify those professors, researchers and lecturers who share our drive for excellence, our common mission and support our educational approach. You can see all our professors here!
Do you know someone who matches the requirements and would be perfect for CODE? Reach out to us!

CODE University of Applied Sciences Our students

What career services do you offer?

You will find that at CODE you get every support you need, but first you have to take action and try. We believe we have some very solid options for you, just by being the university we are. Our partner companies cannot wait to introduce themselves to you. You will have sessions with your academic mentor – who will also advise you on your career choices if you like. Additionally, we have an International Office that will help you (as a student from another country) to manage your life in Germany or (as a student from Germany) to find options abroad.

I want to become a high-level manager after my studies. Is CODE the right place for me?

Let’s talk about what you mean by “manager” first. We are deeply convinced that our students will get great job offers after (or even before) their graduation, that they will be able to build their own businesses, and that they will change the world if they want to. Does that mean that our students can become managers? Sure! But being a Digital Pioneer means way more. It means being curious about the world of digital products all the time, aiming for the next big breakthrough in your area of expertise, and never losing the passion for creating things with your own hands. If that sounds good, CODE will definitely be the right place for you.

I’ve worked for some years but want to study (again). Is CODE the right place for me?

Why not? If you feel that you still have a lot to learn in digital product development, give it a try. We believe in talent and in passion and if you are willing to bring that to our learning environment, we could not be happier. Please note that studying at CODE will be challenging and that you will need to invest most of your energy and time in it.

I’m already an expert software developer. Is CODE the right place for me?

Well, I guess we should first talk a little more before we can answer your question. What do you want to achieve by studying at CODE? Did you feel something was lacking in your previous education? Do you “just” want to get a bachelor’s degree? We are up for anything, as long as we feel that CODE can honestly help you learn something. Let’s have a cup of coffee or tea and talk it out.

How will potential employers view a degree from CODE?

A bachelor’s degree from CODE will not be just as good as a bachelor’s degree from another university or university of applied sciences. In fact, we are aiming for much more. As a CODE student you will have two things to distinguish yourself from many other students: a track record of impressive software projects and products you have been working on, extensive collaboration and teamwork experience with those project teams, and your personal competence profile. Based on this, a future employer will get an exact idea of your actual skills and work experience. Sounds good? You’re welcome.

What is the academic calendar? When are our breaks?

Study programs at CODE start once a year in September. Lectures, workshops, mentoring sessions and projects take place from September to April, with a break for Christmas. This way we make sure that everyone puts a strong focus on their studies and their individual goals for the year. From May to August there are no fixed dates that require your presence at the CODE campus, though it will be open (and populated with professors, lecturers and staff) and you will be most welcome there.
We decided on this academic calendar for several reasons: First, we know that hard work needs focus, but also time for reflection and for planning the next steps. You will have time for that, also for a deep look at your individual competence profile and another meeting with your mentor to prepare your next challenges. Also, we know that you love to create things, so we thought you would like some time for your own projects (and business ideas, we hope) or – if you like – an internship in one of the cool startups and companies in Berlin (or elsewhere). And last, but not least, you might be an international student from a different country and appreciate having time to see all your friends when you visit home.

About CODE

Always go with the choice that scares you the most, because that’s the one that is going to require the most from you.Caroline Myss, Author

Are you funded by the state?

As a private University of Applied Sciences, CODE is not funded by the state. That is why you pay tuition fees if you want to study at CODE. This helps us to stay independent and to focus on offering the best possible education for you. We put a great deal of thought into how we can make our way of learning available to everyone – and we came up with two tuition-fee models that make sure that everybody can study with us. Read more about it in our section about tuition fees and contact us at hello@code.berlin any time if you have questions on this.

Why isn’t CODE in any higher education rankings?

Because CODE is brand new. Our first class started in Fall 2017 and we’ll make sure that our brave first-year students share their experiences with you. In the meantime, please have a look at our press section where you can find articles about our ideas, interviews with our founders, etc. We are also on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – and you will find us at a lot of events throughout Germany in the coming months.