Everything you want to know

We understand that deciding for 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 talk to you!


It’s time to start living the life you’ve imagined.Henry James, Author

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 coding since you were 10 years old or just started at a coding camp last month – 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?

We don’t care. 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.

I’m still in high school for some years. Does it make sense to apply now already?

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 fall – so if you want to start in 2020, you can apply from fall 2019 on. But besides 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 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 that you and CODE are a great fit? We are giving our best to create an excellent learning experience for you and we are expecting your commitment in return.

Is there an application fee?

There will be no fee if you enter your application for studying at CODE, even if you apply multiple times. 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 a full-day workshop (and one small interview) 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 support you.

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. If you never wrote a line of code or designed something digital in your life before, you will need all your dedication and creativity though. Like everyone else you 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 be about?

Once you made it to the final stage of the admission process and are invited to Berlin, you can be sure that we have already reserved a spot for you at CODE. There is no need for preparation as we do not want to test your knowledge or cleverness at this stage. We simply want to get to know you as we are sure you will be curious about us as well. You will find more information in the section about the application process.


A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.Laozi, Chinese Philosopher

What are my chances of getting in when applying?

It totally depends on you! At CODE, we are looking for the right people, not the right number of people. We cannot enroll an unlimited number of students, but there is no fixed number of places to fill. So you are not competing with other applicants for a spot – only with yourself.

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

That depends. German regulations for higher education require you to have a higher education entrance qualification (Hochschulzugangsberechtigung) to enroll in a bachelor degree program. Please check this helpful website and talk to us if you are not sure whether your degree matches the requirements. Even if it doesn’t, we might still be able to find a solution.

Do you also take international students?

Absolutely! CODE will be 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.

Can I also begin my studies in the summer semester?

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

Is there a deadline for my application?

No, there isn’t. CODE accepts application all year long, but consider that you might need some time for your application and for your visa application process (if needed). We recommend to hand in your application in early May for a start in the same year in 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. Please read on …

Do you offer any scholarships?

No. We want our students to stay independent and are confident that our subsequent income-adjusted 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: a subsequent income-adjusted tuition-fee 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 income.

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 website of Chancen eG 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. Since we will be a state-recognized university of applied sciences, you will be able to file for “BAföG” just like any other student. More information can be found at the website of Studentenwerk Berlin.

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

Yes. You will be able get any discount and privilege of being a normal student.

What other costs do I have to expect (housing, books, hardware, software etc.)?

That will depend on your personal needs, but one of the reasons why 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 at Studentenwerk 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 are awaiting 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

I will study and get ready, and perhaps my chance will come.Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the USA

My English is bad. Is that an issue?

It depends on what you mean by “bad”. If you never spoke 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 copy then? If you have read this far without using Google Translate, then you should be okay.).
Truth be told: An average level of English you learned in school will be enough for starting at CODE. Trust us, we all started somewhere and if you want to take on a career in coding, you will need to face the English language anyway. During the orientation semester you will be offered English courses to get you up to speed. And with more experience and more time, you will get used to it and get better. (We sound like your parents, don’t we?)

How large are your groups/seminars?

We assume that 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 credits 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. The only thing we will make sure of, is that if you need a certain license, it will be available at little to no cost to you.

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 as 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 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 will help you foster on a broad understanding of the technical and social dimensions of science and technology. But in the end we are convinced that there is no better way to develop your social skills than experiencing intense social situations and learning from them. That is why all your projects will have a project mentor whose role is exactly that: to help you reflect on the social interactions that are happening in your team and turn every experience into a chance to learn and grow.

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

We are no 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 will 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 will expect you to assess your fellow students’ performance on a regular basis and assess the quality of your assessment.
(Oh, 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 June to September where there will be 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. 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 get 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. Because of that idea, we decided that the CODE campus will 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 – especially our lecture series and the subsequent get-togethers should be interesting enough to bring you to the campus once a week. Apart from that, you can study from wherever you want. But let us warn you: We put a great deal of thought into designing the perfect CODE campus, making it not a burden for you to go there but a pleasant space that stimulates your brain and makes you feel good. Once you are there, you might not want to leave again.

Can I study part-time while working?

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.

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 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 within your second year. And we would be so proud if you did!
In fact: We will have an internal incubator program for students that offers additional access to coaching, entrepreneurial experts and financial resources.
Let’s change the world together!

What kind of extra-curricular activities does CODE offer?

CODE will develop several activities apart from your study program that will help you bond with your fellow students, lecturers and staff – some will be academic, some more competitive and some more social. For us, the community aspect is very important, so we decided to host a weekly cooking session every Wednesday night following the weekly lecture. Food and drinks will vary and sometimes require a little help from a few of you, but we thought it would be a good idea to have an easy way for everyone to come together and enjoy themselves after a hard day’s work. Also, the CODE campus – being part of one of the largest coworking spaces in Europe – will offer a few highly attractive assets: you will be surprised.


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 normal state-recognized university of applied sciences in Germany and you can expect the same formal status as a student and official, state-accredited degrees that are identical to the degrees of 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 the 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. You will meet with them on a regular basis, discuss your existing and envisioned competence profile, and help you select projects, roles, seminars and internships that bring you closer to your individual goals. All our mentors have a thorough coaching education that they refresh regularly. Think of the academic mentor as your personal learning coach.

Who are my professors going to be?

Our academic council provides us with the latest insights in our fields research, a strong tie to 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.
While we cannot make any announcements yet, be assured that we will reveal some of our teaching staff as soon as possible. You know someone who matches the requirements and will be perfect for CODE? Reach out to us!

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 that 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 will 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. And we would not be CODE if we did not offer something special for the entrepreneur in you: We will have an internal incubator program for students, offering additional access to coaching, entrepreneurial experts and financial resources.

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 coding, 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 honestly can help you in learning something. Let’s have a cup of coffee or tea and talk it out.

How will employers view a degree from CODE?

A bachelor’s degree from CODE will be not just as good as any 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, an 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 October. Lectures, workshops, mentoring sessions and projects will be from October 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 September, there will be 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

Change is the parent of progress.Steve Maraboli, Author and Coach

Are you funded by the state?

As a private University of Applied Sciences, CODE will not be funded by the state. That is why there is a fee 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 still 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 will start in fall 2017 and we’ll make sure that our brave first-year students share their experiences with you. Or maybe you want to be part of this first class of CODE students. We know from other universities that there is something special about those first classes. 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 and Twitter – and you will find us at a lot of events throughout Germany in the coming months.

Do I get a real degree?

Yes, you do – once we are an accredited university of applied sciences. We submitted our request for evaluation (and in turn state recognition) to the German Council of Science in September 2016 and are working with an accreditation agency on the details. We expect full state recognition in early Summer 2017 and therefore will be able to award you a fully qualified bachelor’s degree once you finish your study at CODE.

Can I get a Master’s degree at CODE or another university afterwards?

Absolutely. Once you have your fully qualified bachelor’s degree from CODE you can continue your master’s studies. Please be aware that it is up to each university to define the admission criteria for their master’s programs. At CODE we decided to focus on bachelor’s study programs for a start, but we do have plans to extend our range to master programs as well.

Do you offer any dual degrees (“Duales Studium”)?

No, we don’t. We don’t want you to spend half your time at a company where we cannot control the quality of your learning experience. We believe that, in order to truly become a Digital Pioneer, you need to work with other students, challenging yourselves to become better every day and focussing full time on your projects and assignments. But since the projects you will be working on are created in collaboration with our corporate partners you can still enjoy the benefits of working on real-world problems together with some of the most exciting tech companies.
And although you are totally free to work wherever you feel like working from, the CODE campus will be the center of your studies and due to its unique concept most likely one of your best options. During the summer breaks there will be enough time for extended internships.

What happens if I drop out?

Studying at CODE will never hold you back from any great career opportunity. We would be thrilled if you get an early offer from a company or if you have a business idea that cannot wait and needs your full focus. If this happens – or if you simply feel that you have learned enough during your time at CODE – just let us know and we will support you with your decision. You can always come back and continue your studies at CODE later.

What would dropping out mean for my tuition?

If you plan on coming back we can freeze your tuition payments for a time. If you decide to formally leave CODE it depends on whether you chose the monthly payment option (in this case you don’t have any financial obligations left) or the subsequent income-related tuition model. If you are paying later it means that we reduce the percentage of your income you have to pay in relation to your time spent at CODE. Head to our partner’s website for details.

What happens if I want to transfer to another university (ECTS)?

You can do that any time. Although education at CODE does not focus on grades, you will get credits for your studies based on the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS). Therefore you are able to continue your studies somewhere else – or transfer to CODE if you want to join us and already started somewhere else! Please be aware though that the decision on how many credits you can transfer is made by the university you are transferring to.

I’ve already studied somewhere else. Can I transfer to CODE without losing time?

Yes! Not only if you already studied somewhere else, but also if you already are an experienced developer (because you have coded since you were 10 years old, for example). We want to support any experience you have, wherever you gained it from.
You will be able to transfer your credits and experience to CODE as long as it matches the competence framework of our study programs. You will meet with our admission council that will help determine your current status and match it with our innovative competence profile. This way you might significantly reduce the number of credits you will need to get your bachelor’s degree.
Please beware that CODE offers a completely different learning experience from other universities, so there will be some general information about how CODE works that we need to cover at the beginning. Contact us at hello@code.berlin, if you have any more questions on that.

Where is CODE’s campus going to be? Can I come and visit?

We would love you to visit! However, at the moment our campus is a big construction site. Our partners from Factory Berlin are working very hard on the building that will become one of the largest coworking spaces in Europe, located in the heart of Berlin. Well, let’s face it – you only do want to know because you want to join us for the huge opening party, don’t you? If that’s true, just let us know at hello@code.berlin and we will drop you a line.