Dear prospective students,
Computer science is the science of systematic information processing.
It pervades all areas of social and economic life and interconnects with many fields of study and research.
We offer degree programs with focuses in engineering, the natural sciences, the cognitive sciences, economics and business studies, biology, and earth science.
Computer science has paved the way for a series of fundamental achievements that are vastly changing our society, other fields, and the business landscape:
The development of the Internet bestowed universal access to nearly the totality of human knowledge. All this information is stored on computers and can be searched in fractions of a second.
By decoding the German encryption machine Enigma, cryptographers shaped the outcome of the Second World War. Today, computer scientists are researching cryptographic methods for secure and confidential communication, anonymity on the Internet, and crypto-currencies.
Computer scientists have proven mathematically that certain groups of problems are fundamentally unsolvable. Other types of problems cannot be solved by computers within the lifespan of the universe. For many other important problems, computer scientists are researching rapid algorithms – for tasks such as optimal route planning, for example.
Computer graphics are ubiquitous in films, on television, and in computer games. Computer vision technologies can analyze traffic situations and recognize faces.
Software is being used to automate processes in companies. This makes companies more profitable and makes new business models feasible. In e-commerce, computer programs accept orders, calculate optimum transport pathways for consolidating goods in logistics centers, and coordinate the work of package delivery services.
Scientists seek models that represent aspects of reality, such as movements in the earth's crust, molecular reactions, particle decay, or phenomena of human behavior. Today's scientific models are extremely complex. The parameters of such models are extrapolated from experimental data using methods from computer science. These models, along with methods of parallel computing, can then be used to compute simulations.
The Potsdam computer science department stands apart with its broad range of academic disciplines and its distinctive interdisciplinary research profile. The degree programs are conducted by an interdisciplinary network of departments and institutions. The teaching units closely coordinate their content and requirements to put together modules adapted to every degree program.
The University of Potsdam is affiliated with more than twenty research institutions in the region, including three Max Planck institutes (one in biology and two in physics), two application-oriented Fraunhofer institutes, the GFZ German Research Center for Geosciences in Potsdam, the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, and the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam. The privately funded Hasso Plattner Institute is part of the University of Potsdam. This environment offers you unique opportunities for your studies and your academic or scientific career. Many students have worked for the University or one of these research institutions as student employees during their degree program.
The University of Potsdam has one of the most beautiful locations of all academic institutions in Germany. The computer science and business analytics departments are located in modern buildings on the Griebnitzsee Campus, an ideal place to study and work. Dormitories, quiet spaces, and a modern library with desks for students are integrated into the park-like campus. The pleasant, hilly landscape of nearby Babelsberg Park with its neo-Gothic palace has views of several lakes along the Havel waterway as well as the Glienicke Bridge between Potsdam and Berlin. The bridge was the site of spy exchanges during the Cold War; today, it symbolizes the transcendence of the division between East and West.
The departments in the natural sciences have new, architecturally compelling buildings with state-of-the-art laboratories and equipment. The Golm campus is home to Max Planck and Fraunhofer Institutes and the GO:IN founders' center, which is in the University's immediate vicinity. The unusually tight-knit network with these internationally renowned institutes opens many opportunities to you.
The computer science bachelor's degree programs at the University of Potsdam qualify you directly for beginning a career, but also for master's and doctoral studies. Certainly, a degree in computer science brings excellent career prospects.
Principal employers of computer science graduates in Germany include the automotive industry, medical technology, banks, financial services providers, insurance companies, consulting firms, telecommunications companies, chemical and pharmaceutical companies, media outlets, the civil service, and government agencies. If you are willing to work farther afield after graduation, you have access to major global IT corporations such as Google, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, and IBM.
New technologies developed by computer science have made long-established business models superfluous, such as mail-order catalogs or wire/telephone information services, and have given rise to new business models such as social networks and new communication media such as YouTube and Twitter.
If you understand these technologies and can forecast changes in society and business, you have fantastic prospects as a startup founder. Some of the largest companies today, most notably Facebook, have been founded in the last several decades by computer science students.
Scholars worldwide conduct research at universities and research institutions in computer science and interdisciplinary topics that intersect with it.
Computer scientists investigate open-ended engineering questions but also explore new technologies and processes that help improve our understanding of mathematical, cognitive, and natural- or social-scientific relationships, such as climate simulations or models of neural networks. Research can begin during a master's program and usually proceeds into a doctorate.
Dr. Lars Schneidenbach, alumnus
„Thanks to my computer science degree at the IFI, I am now a research software engineer at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center in the United States using the world's fastest computers yet to research the fundamentals for the next generations of high-performance computers. Given the same choice, I would pick Potsdam again because the Institute's small size enables direct contact with professors and lecturers. It's far from an assembly line; you're a student, not a number. Also, the proximity to the rich scientific environment in and around Potsdam provides many opportunities to think outside the box of computer science and look at its applications.“
Nicole Luckow, alumna
„Thanks to my computer science degree, I am now an IT analyst at BMW. Women in particular shouldn't be intimidated by technical majors; they should just give it a shot. I'm still getting a lot of enjoyment from my work in IT! Nothing goes without IT anymore. I can work on new, exciting projects—from SAP software to web applications—and help shape the future.“