Application:Required documents

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Due to the coronavirus pandemic, applications via email are now possible and kindly asked for – see email application for more information.

List of all required documents for application

In order to apply for the 2-year Master of Science program Intelligent Adaptive Systems, you need to send a paper application to the IAS Team at the Department of Informatics, Universität Hamburg. The IAS team is a team of IAS professors, researchers, lecturers, and academic advisors. The IAS Team and the selection committee will only read complete applications that meet the formal requirements. These applications will be ranked according to the selection criteria.

In order to apply successfully please follow these instructions:

The deadline is on the 31st of March. Faxes and e-mails are not accepted. The IAS selection committee does not inform you of missing documents or late applications. Your application is considered incomplete if one or more of the required documents are not received before the deadline (via postal mail) and/or if your STiNE online application form is not submitted online. As a result, your application will not take part in the selection process. You can not submit missing documents after the expiration of the application deadline. There will be no reconsideration.

The documents 'do not have to be sent as certified/attested copies when applying. Do not send original certificates since the IAS selection committee will not send any documents back to you. However, please note that in case your application is successful, you will need to send attested/certified copies to the University via postal mail within 2 weeks, so be prepared. You will receive a notification around 11 June about whether you are accepted or not. Official English and German translations of documents are accepted.

Please read the explanations of what documents you have to send and follow the links for more information.

1. Cover-letter-form

  • Please fill in the cover-letter form (with a pdf viewer/reader).
  • Then print out the form. In case you are having any problems filling out the form digitally you can also print out the form and fill it in by hand (readable!).
  • Send the printed form as the first page of your application via postal mail.
  • Link to the cover-letter-form: cover-letter-form

2. The University's general online form (STiNE)

The Universität Hamburg requires you to fill out a general and university-wide online form on their student platform called STiNE. The only purpose of this form is to register with the central administration. Nothing else. It is your way to tell the University that you might apply.

  • While registering you will receive a BW - Number (Application Number). Please state this number in your cover letter.
  • Submit, print and sign the STiNE online form and enclose the form with your paper application.
  • Only within the application period (15 February - 31 March), the online application form can be accessed through the STiNE portal: Sorry, some parts of the STiNE online form are in German and therefore rather tricky.
  • As a service to IAS applicants, the IAS-Team has prepared a wiki entry: Online form STiNE.
  • For further questions about STiNE please ask the technical support of STiNE. STiNE is a part of the central administration - not the IAS Team's platform, see STiNE support.

After filling out the STiNE online form, click submit, then print out the summary at the end (German: Druckansicht). This print-out has to be signed. This submitted, printed, and signed STiNE form is one of the required documents which you have to send via postal mail to the Department of Informatics.

Please note: do not click "Freemover". Freemover is the wrong application.

Please, note that the STiNE online form is just the general, uni-wide application form for central administration reasons only. You still need to send your paper application to the address below. With the complete paper application, you apply to the Department of Informatics for a place in the IAS program.

Use the address displayed here or on the master's website. Do not use the address displayed in STiNE.

3. Curriculum Vitae

The CV (table version) should include information on your academic and professional career and whether you have previous international experience. Please list specific information on your background that is relevant for IAS such as projects on AI or Robotics. Please, provide evidence of such projects through acquired certificates. Project descriptions and outlines on their CS content are especially important if you want the achieved credits to count for the 60 ECTS in computer science. Please add your average/overall grade (can be preliminary) and your grading scale to your cv, next to the information of your degree, and provide official evidence for that information.

4. Letter of Motivation

This is the most important document since it accounts for 40% of your ranking score. It has to be written by yourself and in English. The maximum length is 1.5 pages (not more: the selection committee may reject your application on the grounds of the quality of your motivational letter). In your letter of motivation, you should explain your motivation to study in this particular program. Your letter of motivation should answer the following questions:

  • Why are you interested in the field of "Intelligent Adaptive Systems" and what parts of it are most interesting and why?
  • Why is this program especially suited to complement the knowledge you already have?
  • Why did you choose to study this program at Universität Hamburg?
  • How does this program fit your academic and professional future goals?
  • How would you avoid a cultural shock?
  • Analyze the selection criteria and the curriculum IAS so that you know what else might be important to write about.

The selection committee will give high ratings to letters which show that you have made a deliberate choice to study IAS and can justify your decision well, while also explaining how studying IAS will bring you closer to your desired goals. The board is looking for students that show high motivation and have a good chance of finishing the program with a high impact on the student's life. Your ability to present a well-connected chain of arguments is a major ability the board is looking for.

Things that affect the rating adversely are, amongst many, generic letters that are written for multiple applications, letters that are written in bad English, or do not follow a good structure. The selection committee wants to read something relevant and precise about you.

5. Proof(s) of English language proficiency

Please see formal requirements for details on the required language certificates and further information.

6. Transcript of Records

Please see formal requirements for detailed information on the requirements for your transcript of records.

7. Self-made structured table of all core computer science courses

As a formal requirement, you need to evidence 60 ECTS in core computer science courses. To do so, please provide your transcript and a self-made table listing all your core computer science courses you have completed. Please, also refer to the listed information under formal requirements regarding questions about the ECTS credit system, the calculation of the required 60 ECTS, modules/courses counted as CS by IAS selection committee. Please use this example to provide evidence of your 60 ECTS credits or more.

8. BSc certificates and diploma supplement

  • If you have finished your degree, please submit a copy of your degree certificate.
  • You can apply if you have finished 5 out of 6 semesters and can evidence 150 ECTS credits (or comparable) of your first degree. At the point of your application, at least 60 ECTS in computer science must be evident. In order to prove that you are going to complete your degree soon, you must provide the official transcript of records showing the amount of already acquired credits or credit hours and the number of minimum credits or credit hours required for completion. The final transcript and graduation certificate have to be handed in for enrolment if you are admitted.
  • Diploma Supplement: In any case provide a description of your degree - it is an official document issued by most universities.
    • The degree's grading system
    • The standard amount of semesters required for completion of your degree
    • The description of how many weeks of in-class time with a lecturer present you have per semester
    • The description of how your credit systems works, e.g. 1 cp is worth 30 hours of in-class time with lecturer present meaning 2 hours a week for 15 weeks...

9. Your grade

In regards to your overall average grade (preliminary) or final grade, please provide a document with your (preliminary) final grade calculated by your university, even if only 5 of 6 or 7 of 8 semesters of the studies have been completed so far. Your grade should be in the grading system your university provides and with which you can provide the grading system. The grade needs to be in numbers, not letters. Make sure you send an official document attested by your university as the IAS selection committee does not accept self-calculated final grades. Nor does the IAS selection committee calculate final grades for you. If this information is listed in your transcript of records or degree certificate, then you do not need to provide an additional document.

Preliminary grade: Some transcripts or universities do not provide a preliminary average grade: compute it on your own on a separate document and explain how you did it. If it is not the simple grade average of all grades in the transcript, please provide official proof of what your university or degree rules of computing final marks are.

Please note: If you fail to provide proof of your grade or preliminary grade and grading scale the grade you are assigned will be the worst possible grade - a grade of 9.9 in selection procedures. This means that applications without a grade will rank behind the last applicant who had provided a grade. This is also true if you state a different grade/grading scale in the table and cover-letter than in your transcript or when the selection committee controls your computed grade.

10. Grading scale

The IAS selection committee needs detailed information about your degree's grading system (alternative names: grading scale/scheme of evaluation/grade classification/range of marks ...). We need this information for our selection process. As the IAS selection committee will evaluate and rank all applications, we need the grading scale of your university to make your average or final grade comparable to others. In a lot of cases, official transcripts of records display the university's grading system. Usually, this is a table with all the degree's grades and corresponding information like minimum passing grade and maximum, outstanding or excellent grade, etc. However, if this is not the case for your transcript of records, then please provide this information attested by your university.

Highlight the grading scale, minimum passing grade, and maximum grade in your official documents and state exactly on which page the relevant information can be found, e.g., "the grading scale can be found on the printed degree description page 4 Section 2.1.1 see highlighted information". The selection committee will not look through your documents if you do not provide help on where to find the information it needs. Please display exact information on your paper printout. Please only submit relevant parts of lengthy documents. You may provide a link to the full document so we can control the information. However, the selection committee will not follow links or translate websites to search for information. You need to provide all the relevant information in the paper application.

Please note: If you fail to provide proof of your grade or preliminary grade and grading scale you will be assigned the worst possible grade - a grade of 9.9 in selection procedures. This means that applications without a grade or grading scale will rank behind the last applicant who has provided a grade. This is also true if you state a different grade/grading scale in the table and cover-letter than in your transcript/official documents or when the selection committee controls your grade computation.

11. Evidence that your university and degree is recognized in Germany

Admission to a Master's degree program at a German university requires an undergraduate degree. Your degree must have been obtained from a recognized higher education institution. The degree also must be equivalent to at least a three year Bachelor in Germany. It is a prerequisite for an application for the master course "IAS" that your university degree is recognized as equivalent to a Bachelor's degree obtained in Germany.

How to provide proof that your university is recognized in Germany?

The selection committee's advice: print out the anabin database entry for proof. It is cost-free and fast:

  • Use the database anabin and print out the information about your university
  • Your university needs to be recognized with H+
  • More information here: Anabin

If you have difficulties handling anabin, you may use the fee-based service, called Uni-Assist:

  • The official recommendation of the Universität Hamburg is that you use the fee-based service Uni-Assist (but you don't need to if you provide the anabin printout)
  • Request this service around 1 of December - otherwise Uni-Assist might not answer you in time
  • More information about Uni-Assist
  • Only use Uni-assist if you do not want to look up your University in the database Anabin

Some countries have to get a German authorities endorsement anyway for visa or application- you may hand this in as additional proof:

An endorsement of recognition from German authorities, including information about the type of higher education entrance eligibility and, if applicable, for a particular subject. The Universität Hamburg accepts the following types of endorsement of recognition:

  • APS certificates from the academic review offices of Beijing, Ulaanbaatar, and Hanoi

Please note: For the application to the Master program IAS it is enough to send in your information from Anabin.

If you cannot find information on whether your university is recognized in Germany, the selection committee has to decide case by case whether your degree is eligible or not. In most cases that means, your degree usually does not qualify.

Sending applications via email is possible from now on until 31 March 2020:

Because of the corona-virus pandemic, the IAS Team has decided to allow sending an application document via email instead of postal mail. Everything else stays the same.

!Important: You still have to provide a complete application as described above. Please follow all 1-12 steps. This includes sending up to 12 documents in one pdf (as you would have done via postal mail). This also includes filling-in the STiNE online form, see 2. under required documents.

Prepare your application as described on the website and the wiki.

For sending your application pdf, follow exactly those steps:

* including all of your documents 1-12 in a single pdf document. 
* filename of your pdf document = Final_IASApplication_YourFullname_Your_BW-number !
* use the same order for documents in your pdf as is presented here (1.-12) when compiling the document.
* attach no more than 9 MB
* until 31 March
* Email - subject [Final IAS Application] [Your Full name, Your BW-number] (The emails will be sorted automatically)
* only use:
* start your Email text with "Dear IAS-Team, this is my final application to the Master IAS. I have registered in STiNE. This is my BW-Number. Please consider the attached application document as my final application to the IAS study program.....

Everything else stays the exact same as described on this website and wiki except the postal mailing part. Please note, we still do not inform you about missing documents or incomplete applications.

For evaluating the application we will only consider the information provided in this one email: Email - subject [Final IAS Application] [Your Full name, Your BW-number] + Email text starting with  "Dear IAS-Team, this is my final application to the Master IAS. I have registered in STiNE. My BW-Number is. Please consider the attached application document as my final application to the IAS study program.....

I have sent my paper application already + I received an email confirmation by the IAS Team that it has arrived

Then you do not need to do anything.

I have sent my paper application already + I did not receive email confirmation until 13 March 2020

Please do send your application via email considering the steps above. Due to the corona-virus, the IAS Team and many other people at the university will be working from home. That means nobody will get the postal mail. Please state that your application is on the way and send the application via email again.

I have not sent my paper application yet

Please, send it via email. Please state in the email text that you have not sent a paper application yet.

Order for the pdf application

Please add your documents in the following order and produce a single pdf (and make sure that they are not attached to one another (Please do not use staples, paper clips, folders, etc.):)

  1. Cover Sheet
  2. Signed Online Form STiNE
  3. CV
  4. Motivation Letter
  5. Language Test Score
  6. Transcript
  7. Self-made table
  8. Bachelor Certificate + Diploma Supplement
  9. Grade
  10. Grading scale
  11. Anabin print out
  12. everything else

Please highlight important information in your documents, e.g. grading scale, grade, "H+" in the anabin printout, finishing date ...

Please carefully check that you have sent all the required documents in due time. The deadline is the 31st of March (No postal mail arrives on Saturdays and Sundays at the university). Faxes are not accepted. We do not inform you of missing documents or late applications. Your application is considered incomplete if one or more of the required documents are not received before the deadline via email or if your STiNE form is not submitted online. As a result, your application will not take part in the selection process. There will be no reconsideration of your application. Also note that we do not inform you about received emails or postal mail (letters, parcels, envelopes). Please check with your postal mail provider in case you would like an acknowledgment.

One final note from the selection committee: We like a neat, well-structured, precise, and complete application. Think for yourself. Show that you can be a responsible, well-organized student and that you can follow basic instructions. The selection committee and the IAS team consist of professors, lecturers, advisors, and Post-docs who will teach you once you are accepted.

Additional Documents

Generally, all possible documents that support your application (especially as evidence for the arguments used in your motivation letter) can be included and will be taken into account in the selection process. However, only include documents that are relevant to your application. Your selection of documents already shows your ability to distinguish between relevant and irrelevant content and an unnecessarily large amount of randomly added certificates or documents may have a negative effect on your ranking.

Desired additional documents

  • Documents that add to the evidence needed for the requirements, e.g. additional proof of language proficiency or higher education courses with computer science content, letter of recommendation
  • Evidence of research or professional and/or international experience relevant to IAS studies.
  • International experience, e.g. a study exchange shows your ability to adapt to different learning and living environments and should be listed and described as part of our CV.
  • The same holds true for professional experience that may show your ability to work in a computer science context.
  • Training courses or extensive experience showing a deep understanding of computer science concepts. This will be taken into account for general suitability for the very specific Master program IAS.

Suitable additions

  • GRE test or other academic tests showing your ability to study in higher education. Such tests are not required but may be taken into account if provided and if they add to the general story of the application.
  • Certificates of contests and competitions can be added if relevant. Please carefully decide whether the certificate can add any additional value to your application.

Undesired documents

  • Full module handbooks to show that you fulfill the requirement of 60 ETCS credits in cs. Please do not send full module handbooks as the IAS admission team will not have the time to search for core CS courses in those handbooks for you. However, please submit your self-made and structured table of modules to be counted towards 60 ECTS in cs.
  • Certificates that don't add additional value to your application are not relevant at all. More is not always better since it may show that you are not able to decide what is relevant for the subject and what is not. Select the certificates that best show your abilities suitable for this particular degree program.

Do all the documents have to be sent as certified/attested copies?

No, not for the application at the Department of Informatics - IAS. You can send the required application documents as simple copies. But please be aware that once you have been sent a letter of acceptance by the CampusCenter (central administration), you have to send certified/attested copies of your language certificate, your university entrance qualification (e.g. high school certificate), and your bachelor's degree certificate to prove the authenticity of those documents together with the matriculation form within 14 days to the "Team for Application and Admission" (Ger: Team Bewerbung und Zulassung) at the CampusCenter of the Universität Hamburg. Therefore, we highly recommend preparing certified/attested copies of all the relevant documents upfront. The central administration team (CampusCenter Team for your enrolment, located at the city center) and the IAS Team (for your application and later your studies, located at the Department of Informatics, Hamburg Stellingen) are two very distinct teams and have nothing to do with the task of the other.

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