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I have received a (rejection) notification and have been put on the waiting list ("Ablehnungsbescheid")

If you have received a German-only letter, you can find a translation here.

What does this waiting list letter mean?

You have fulfilled the application requirements and your application was ranked by the selection committee. Unfortunately, your rank was outside the range of available spaces and you have been put on the waiting list for this year. The Team for Application and Admission will send out offers until the available spaces have been filled. If people first accept the offer and later retract their enrollment, it can happen that you even receive an offer letter shortly before the start of the semester (in which case we usually can find special arrangements to allow for enough time). The first wave of letters already includes a considerable amount of overbooking to shorten the time until all spaces could be filled. That also means that only if the number of enrolled students decreases to 19 - the next on the waiting list is notified. This depends on the fairness of the accepted students of each batch. The waiting list letter also contains the numbers of how far up/down you are on the waiting list. In 2019 nobody was contacted on the waiting list.

How does the waiting list work?

At the beginning of the admission process (11 June 2020), a number of applicants receive a letter of acceptance. This number is calculated by the number of available spaces (so far 20 each year) plus a percentage for overbooking. If fewer students reply than there are available spaces, more offer letters are sent out to the next applicants of the waiting list until all 20 spaces are filled. This means that if you are high up on the waiting list, you may receive a letter of acceptance a few weeks after the official publication date of the results. Please check your STiNE online account on a regular basis for a new letter in "Documents"! This really depends on the fairness of the accepted students.

Is the waiting list carried over to next year?

No, the waiting list is not carried over to the next application period. Once the admission process has finished (i.e. all spaces are successfully filled), the waiting list is reset. If you would like to reapply please ask the IAS Team for advice and please check the requirements close to the application period (February-March). They will change each year. Usually, if you have been ranked and received a number higher than 30 on the waiting list means that you will most properly do not have a chance the next year either (with the same application).

I have received a rejection notification on formal grounds ("Ablehnungsbescheid")

If you have received a German-only letter, you can find a translation here.

What does this rejection letter mean?

You receive this letter if the selection committee has decided that you don't fulfill one or more of the requirements. This usually is due to missing credits from the field of computer science, insufficient language proficiency, or incomplete applications due to missing documents. Your application has therefore not been ranked and had to be rejected on formal grounds. Even in 2020 the number of complete applications exceeded the number of available places by 15 times. That means there were no exceptions made due to the coronavirus pandemic. The formal requirements were strictly enforced as mentioned on the IAS Website and this wiki. There is no reconsideration possible.

My application was rejected due to missing credits from computer science but I surely have enough?

As mentioned in the formal requirements the selection committee carefully checks all submitted evidence for credits in computer science. Check the formal requirement page's specifics on which courses will be and will not be counted as computer science core courses. Since there are many more applications than available spaces, the selection committee is very strict with this requirement. The relatedness of your degree to the standard BSc Informatik here in Hamburg is part of the selection criteria, so even a degree close to the boundary of 60 ECTS will receive a less favorable ranking since the 60 ECTS are the minimum. Even though the self-made table may help in understanding your transcript and courses, putting in various courses does not guarantee that they are accepted as core computer science courses. Please consult the formal requirements.

My application was rejected due to language proficiency?

All applicants receive a formal rejection who did not provide valid proof of their English language proficiency. Please consult the formal requirements page on language proficiency for detailed information.


  • who have handed in a listed English language certificate which is below the required mark receive a reject.
  • who did not hand in any English Language Certificate and did not describe and provide proof in an extra letter/document their Englisch language proficiency (native speakers) will be rejected
  • who were not able to complete their Englisch Language certificate due to the coronavirus pandemic receive a reject (Sorry - there are too many complete applications)
  • who provided an additional letter but had only a "medium of instruction" or "high school English" as proof of the English language proficiency are rejected
  • who handed in alternative English Proficiency tests which are not listed are rejected, e.g. University entry tests.
  • who handed in screenshots of English Proficiency tests displaying preliminary results of any language proficiency test.
  • who tried to fulfill the requirement through alternative means will often be rejected on these grounds if the selection committee does not see enough evidence for language proficiency on the required level.

Please consult the formal requirements page on language proficiency for detailed information and acceptable alternative proofs.

My application was rejected due to missing documents

As mentioned on the required documents page, you have sent all required documents in due time. The deadline is on the 31 March. Faxes, e-mails and postal mail are not accepted with additional documents after this deadline (even in coronavirus times). The IAS selection committee does not inform you of missing documents or late applications or corrupted pdfs or empty pages of your application pdf. Your application is considered incomplete if one or more of the required documents are not received before the deadline (via postal mail / email to and/or if your STiNE online application form is not submitted online, or your application pdf was not readable. 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.

What can I do if I think the given reason has to be wrong or if I really need to ask a question?

First of all: Please always state, your full name, the application number, and which letter you have received, be friendly and patient. Other emails will not be answered at all. Please note, you have received the official information (letter) already by the central administration (CampusCenter).

The selection committee carefully reviews each application - at least 3 independent reviewers. Applications close to the required mark in the language certificate or close to 60 ECTS have been triple checked by the selection committee by the time you received the rejection. This is also true for rejections on the ground of missing documents - there is really nothing the selection committee or anybody can do for you. You may ask the IAS Team/Selection Committee for explanation and/or look in your case again and/or for statistics - please do so friendly - stating your full name, the application number, and your question: (Please be patient, it is not the IAS Teams main task answering emails of rejected students, but you will get an answer eventually). Please do not get your hopes up - the decision has been made. You may reapply next year if your ranking ist 78% or higher (Please ask the selection committee whether they would advise that.)

Short statistics: Usually, there are more than 400 applications and only 20 open spaces to be filled therefore the requirements for applying are strict with no exception. Even in the coronavirus times, the application number has been >300 from 35 nations.