FAQ:Application

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Questions about the application and the application process

Since there are many questions about the online application form, there is a own page answering those.

Requirement: 60 ECTS credits or comparable from computer science

I do not have a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, can I still apply?

The requirement for the MSc IAS is a Bachelor’s degree with 60 credit points from Computer Science, which holds for many BSc degrees in Engineering, Mechatronics, Math, etc. Make sure to provide evidence of modules with computer science content (i.e. detailed transcript of records, module description from the module handbook) to help the admissions board to decide whether a module can be counted towards the requirement.

What modules will be counted towards the 60 credit points?

Without additional information, the admission board can only count modules where computer science content is evident from the module's name (e.g. a module named "Object-oriented programming" will surely be counted). To enable the board to make an informed decision, please provide a short description for all modules with a majority of computer science related content, including projects or practicals. This can include modules ranging from digital signal processing to artificial intelligence or computational linguistics.

The ECTS credit system is not used in my country, how can I calculate the correct amount?

There is no easy or direct way to compare different credit systems. ECTS (= European Credit Transfer System) credits are a measure of estimated workload for a student per module. One ECTS credit corresponds to about 25-30 hours of work and the amount of credits a module gives is set by the lecturer. The BSc programmes in Hamburg consist of 180 ECTS points for three years, so in order to judge the amount of computer science content the admission board will be looking for, you can use 1/3rd of your BSc as a rough estimate (60 credits equal one year of full time study).

I do not have enough credits on the BSc transcript, what else might be counted?

The admission board will be looking for finished courses that are in total comparable to 60 ECTS credits in Hamburg. This can include courses you have passed after your BSc, including online courses or courses offered by companies. In some cases also work experience can be counted if it is evident that you have learned concepts and gained experience that is comparable to modules on BSc level. In any case, provide as much evidence about the content and the nature of the courses as you can in order to help the admission board to come to an informed decision.

Can I complete courses after application to make good for missing credit points in computer science?

No, unfortunately not. The requirement of 60 credit points from computer science modules, which have to be comparable to modules from the “BSc Informatik” at the University of Hamburg, will be checked at the beginning of the admission process. If you do not fulfil this requirement, your application will be rejected by the admissions board before entering the selection process. Missing credit points have to be obtained before application through additional courses, e.g. at your current university or through evening programmes.

Requirement: English language proficiency

I have a language certificate that is not listed on the website, can I send this as proof?

Sending a language certificate that is listed on the website with a sufficiently high score will lead to an automatic acceptance as proof of language proficiency. You can also send a language certificate that is not listed, which then will be handed to the admission board that has to decide whether this is comparable to the listed certificates. Please understand that only internationally established certificates can be counted. Certificates from local language schools cannot be easily verified and therefore have to be rejected.

I am a native English speaker. Do I still have to send a certificate?

If you are born and living in a country with English as its native language, you do not have to provide further evidence. This might also apply if you have been living, studying or working in such country for a long time, but this will be decided on a case to case basis by the admission board. If the admission board decides that it is not sufficient proof, it can still be counted in addition with other evidence.

My previous degree was taught fully in English, does that count as sufficient proof?

If your certificate/transcript explicitly states that English was the medium of instruction or you provide a letter by the University stating that all modules were taught and assessed in English, the admission board can accept this as proof of proficiency. Again this will be decided on a case to case basis depending on country and institution. If you have studied in a country where English is the native language, the evidence carries more weight since you were fully immersed in an English speaking environment.

I have a TOEFL certificate but can't find the institution code of Universität Hamburg?

If you want to submit the TOEFL scores through ETS, the departmental code is B406. Since there usually is a considerable delay between test and the arrival of the score card, please ALWAYS add a copy of the scorecard or the results page to your documents. This way you can be sure that the admission board has the information by the time a selection decision has to be made.

Required application documents

Can I send my application documents by e-mail?

You can send scans of your documents by email to ias-info@informatik.uni-hamburg.de but please be aware that your application will only be considered complete once the corresponding hard-copies have arrived as well (including the signed print of the online application form!). Therefore you should plan for enough time for the mail to arrive before the application deadline! Only applications where all required documents were sent as hard copy will be considered!

What is a diploma supplement?

A diploma supplement is an extension of the transcript with information on the course, the education system at the institute, the grading scheme, etc. This helps the admission board to understand the information given in the transcript. If your university does not offer a diploma supplement, the information often is already given on the transcript. Please check that the following information is mentioned or provide the information yourself (by a document, a print-out of a website containing the information, etc.): grading scheme including minimum pass-grade, the default length of your degree programme, credits needed for completion, and, if credits are mixed with grades in your system, an indication on how to see the number of hours spent by course in the transcript.

Do I need German translations of all documents?

No, we accept documents in English and German. If your original documents are in another language, you have to provide certified translations of those documents in either German or English.

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

No, not for application. You can send normal hard copies with the application documents. But please be aware that once you have been sent an offer letter by the admission board, you have to send certified/attested copies of your language certificate, your University Entry Qualification (high school, etc), and your BSc certificate (including a transcript of records) to prove the authenticity of those documents. You usually get 14 days after receiving the offer letter to send the enrolment form with the certified copies, so you should have them already prepared.

If I send certified/attested copies for application, do I have to send them again for enrolment?

No, if you have already sent certified/attested copies of some documents, you do not have to send those again for enrolment. We will inform the central admissions team that we are holding certified copies and will pass them on if required.

Do I have to send course or module descriptions?

The admission board has to check whether you fulfil the requirement of 60 ECTS credits (or comparable) in computer science. Since the transcript only lists the names of modules and not the content of those modules (especially for project work), the board has to decide by module names. This usually leads to a lower credit count. If you are not sure whether your BSc fulfils the requirement, we recommend to always add a list of relevant modules with description of their content or used literature. This can help the admission board to come to an informed decision.

Additional application documents

The required documents as listed on the website will be used to test whether you have fulfilled the formal eligibility requirements. After an application has taken this threshold, the admission board has to rank all applications and can take additional evidence into account. You can submit additional evidence that you think is relevant to show that you are well suited for study in the field of intelligent adaptive systems. But please be aware that sending all available certificate and let the admission board decide their relevance already tells something about your abilities for critical evaluation. Make sure that the selected additional documents improve the evidence already given by the required documents.

Do I have to take a GRE test and provide the score?

GRE test scores are not required for application to the IAS programme, so there is no need to take a GRE test. If you have already taken the test you can submit the test scores as additional information which might be taken into consideration by the admissions board in the selection process

The requirements do not list recommendation letters. Do I have to send them anyway?

We do not ask for recommendation letters. If you have recommendations by people that might strengthen your case, you are welcome to send them as well.

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