Application and Admission

Application and Admission

Despite offering the program to a wide range of students, applicants should have a strong background in computer science or a related field since programming and mathematical knowledge is assumed. Moreover, applicants need to have very good command over the English language in order to follow lectures and exams. 

We can only consider your application if you meet all of the following three preconditions. If not, your application will be automatically rejected. There is no exception and no reconsideration.

1. You meet the minimum requirements

2. Your application contains all required documents

3. You submit your application before the deadline on the STiNE portal (31 March 11:59 pm UCT+2 every year)

4. Your application needs to be self-contained: additional information or explanations are not forwarded to the selection committee. The selection committee does accept links as the only source of important/official/required documents.

We do not inform you of missing documents, late applications, blank pages, or corrupted pdfs. You can not submit missing documents after the expiration of the application deadline. We will only evaluate the pages in the application. Links to more information will not be followed nor read. 

Please note that this website is meant to provide an overview of the program structure and application procedure. However, if you decide to apply you have to consult the Master Intelligent Adaptive System’s wiki to find all necessary information on how to structure your application.


The next application period starts on 15 February 2024. 

Once a year, you have the possibility to apply for the Master of Science Intelligent Adaptive Systems at Universität Hamburg, Germany. The application period for the winter semester each year starts February 15 and ends March 31The Universität Hamburg notifies about formal rejection/acceptance/waiting list in mid-May in your STiNE account. There is no summer semester intake or late intake. 

Please check whether you meet both the following two qualifications before applying to the IAS Master Program. Note that meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee a place in the IAS Master Program. However, we can only consider your application if you meet the minimum requirements. Find out more about the individual minimum requirements by clicking on them.

The minimum requirements:
  1. 60 ECTS in core computer science
    1. Bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field insofar as 60 ECTS credit points were acquired in the core field of computer science. Any kind of maths, economics, management, electrical engineering, soft skills courses do not count. Please use this table template and fill in only your finished core Computer Science subjects. Please provide all the information asked for in the table. Please also read the explanation in the wiki. Note, that you have to explain courses with meaningless names like „Project“ or „Thesis“; you have to provide extra proof that the course has a significant computer science content (e.g., via an official module description/ letter of recommendation). Do not send full handbooks. The table has to be precise and well-structured. 
  2. English language proficiency
    1. CEFR/TELC Level >= at least B2 in all categories or C1
    2. IELTS >= Overall band 6.5 + B2 (*with a minimum subscore of 6.0 for Listening, Comprehension, Speaking, Writing)
    3. TOEFL: IBT >= 90 (*with a minimum subscore of 20 for Reading, Listening, Speaking, Writing),
    4. PBT >= 575, CBT >= 230
    5. Cambridge >= CAE or CPE

*You still have to reach the overall minimum level

The medium of instruction of your degree is not sufficient proof of English Language Proficiency! Please read the detailed explanation of alternative cases of providing proof of the English Proficiency in our wiki: minimum requirements.

Quick-Check Service of the minimum requirements:

As an extra service: Every year from November to January the IAS-Team offers a voluntary preliminary quick check of whether you meet the minimum requirements. For receiving an answer please provide:

  • Evidence of your 60+ ECTS by filling in the IAS table template
  • Fill in all the information in the table-template and provide the official documents proving the information
  • Transcript (+highlighted information (see table template)) + Diploma Supplement
  • Fill in all fields on the cover-letter-form asking for information regarding your personal and academic information on the cover-letter-form. But do not send a CV, Motivational letter or the STiNE form.
  • English Certificate (if you have or information which Proficiency Test you will take)
  • via Email ask nicely for a quick check (Contact us here)
  • Note: emails with missing information will be deleted

This is the formal process to apply to the IAS Master:

  1. Register with the central administration of Universität Hamburg (CampusCenter) via the STiNE online form (see Required documents, 2. ) : Master, Semester 1, Intelligent Adaptive Systems, Admission restrictedRead more about the STiNE online form here.
  2. Upload your application files on the STiNE Department of Informatics online portal. To be considered for the IAS Master you need to: a. meet the minimum requirements. b. provide all required documents in your application to the IAS Team. c. your application needs to be received before the application deadline. Please read the corresponding sections on this website and consult the wiki for more explanations.

Applications will be uploaded on STiNE. Your documents will have to be uploaded on STiNE.

Read more about minimum requirements and required documents in our wiki:

  • Upload the individual pdf documents 1-12.
  • Not more than 9 MB
  • Deadline is 31 March (11:59 pm UCT + 2, Central European Summer Time)
  • You may include extra pages under additonal documents.

The IAS Team will only process applications that follow precisely the above steps. The selection comittee evaluates only the pages in the final application pdf. Emails to the IAS Team or links to more information or official documents will not be followed nor read.  Check the Filename, Subject, Text, pages in the pdf, the completeness of the application before uploading your application.


Approximately the best 5% of ranked applications receive a letter of acceptance. The following three criteria are rated individually and then combined: with 1. accounting for 40%, and 2. and 3. accounting for 30% each. Meaning hypothetically a perfect application can receive a maximum of 100%.

  1. 40% Motivation: The quality of your motivational letter, in particular concerning your continuing education, further professional qualifications, relevant experience, intercultural competence, and the reasons why you chose the IAS Master, why Universität Hamburg, why Hamburg, and why Germany. Here you can find out more about questions your motivational letter should answer. This part of your assessment may also include a phone/email interview.
  2. 30% Bachelor: The result of the highest obtained degree and the comparability of its content to the B.Sc. Informatik at Universität Hamburg (transcript, table,  your grade with grading scale, degree certificate, recognition of foreign qualification)
  3. 30% Experience: Relevant professional or academic work experience and international experience gained through study or work abroad (a clear CV, transcript, letter of motivation, if applicable letter of recommendation).

Here you can find more information on the selection criteria. 

Advice from the IAS Team: read and analyze the criteria and requirements carefully and structure your application so that you may receive your personal maximum % for your application in the ranking of applicants.

About the IAS Team:

The IAS Team is part of the Department of Informatics, Universität Hamburg. The IAS Team is responsible for the application process, selection process, program coordination, curriculum, questions about the IAS program, and counseling of students and applicants regarding study plans, and exams (among others). The IAS Team runs the IAS program and contains the admission board (a group of professors, post-doctoral researchers, lecturers, academic advisors who assess your application). The academic advisors are Dr. Annika Peters and Dennis Becker; they manage the IAS Team. Both are lecturers, Human-Robot-Interaction researchers, and the first contact for IAS students at the Department of Informatics. You can ask the IAS Team questions regarding the content of the program, your curriculum, application, website, wiki, and difficulties while studying. 

Asking questions about the application process:

If you have a question about the IAS-program/curriculum, the application/ admission procedure, or the Website you may send us an email. Please cite the paragraph of the wiki or website that you did not understand and provide enough information about yourself. We answer important emails for each applicant once within the application period. You can find our contact information here.

Complete applications will be evaluated according to the selection criteria by the IAS selection committee. Notifications about whether you are accepted, put on the waiting list, or rejected, will be published in your STiNE account by mid-May. Please read more information about important dates and the admission process here in our wiki.

Checklist for your application

This is a list of all required documents you have to send to the IAS Team in order to provide evidence that you meet the formal requirements and to be able to be rated according to three criteria used in the application’s selection process.  Your application needs to be self-contained: emails with additional information or explanations are not forwarded to the selection committee. The selection committee does accept links as the only source of important/official/required documents – add the respective document to the pdf application, highlight the information + provide the link. Please, use the order presented here to organize your final application:

The first page of your application is this pdf-form asking for your personal information. Only use the cover-letter-form provided by us. If you cannot fill in your information with a technical device, please do so by hand (and scan for the final application pdf). Make sure the information is saved and displayable. This document goes on top of your application; it is the first page of your final application pdf.  Read more about the cover letter form here.

Your Curriculum Vitae (table version) needs to contain your relevant experience (academic, work, international, extracurricular). This is particularly important for the selection criteria 2 and 3, which together account for 60% of your overall assessment (see wiki selection criteria).

Read more about how to fill in your CV here.


A letter of motivation written by yourself in the English language (max. 1.5 pages) in which you explain your choice of course and place of study regarding your academic and professional aims and experience (also international experience) so far. Your letter of motivation is the most important part of your application (criterion 1: see wiki selection criteria).

Read more about how to structure your letter of motivation here

Your english language proficiency is a minimum requirement. If you do not hand in sufficient proof, your application will not be assesed. You need to provide proof of your English language proficiency evidenced by an internationally accepted language test with a minimum score. Please see the detailed explanation in our wiki: Proof of English language proficiency

Your degree’s transcript of records listing all your finished courses with credit hours, individual course grades, and your final or average grade. Please only apply if you can provide at least a transcript which is only missing the final semester. This is necessary to provide proof for your table with 60 ECTS (minimum requirement). Read more about the requirements for the transcript of records here.

Your table with 60 ECTS in core computer science is a minimum requirement. If you do not hand in this table, your application will not be assessed. In order to meet the formal requirement, you have provide evidence of 60 ECTS or more in core computer science courses. Any kind of maths, economic, management, electrical engineering, soft skills course do not count. Please use this table template and fill in only your finished core computer science subjects. Please see the detailed explanation in our wiki: Table with 60 ECTS

A copy of your certificate showing that you have finished your degree (the Bachelor Certificate). If you have not finished your degree yet, please provide evidence of the date that you will finish on – issued by your university. You can find more information here.

A description of your degree issued by your university (sometimes this is the first or last page of your transcript or degree certificate or study plan). We need the degree description, degree certificate, transcript of records, study plan, and your filled-in table template to understand and compare the degree offered at your university to a German Bachelor’s degree in computer science, e.g., terms per year, weeks of lectures in a term, in-class / contact hours, total credit hours or points, grades possible, full grading scheme, description of lecture hours, lab hours,  ….

You can find more information here.

Please provide your grade in numbers.  The grade has to be stated in an official document containing your final grade or preliminary cumulative average grade in numbers issued by your university. If your degree certificate or your transcript provides your grade then you do not need a second document. Highlight your grade in the corresponding document. Also, see the paragraph grading scale below.

You can find more information here.

Provide your degree’s general grading scale in numbers in an official document issued by your university. The degree’s grading scale needs to contain the minimum passing grade and the maximum grade of your degree in numbers. Please highlight the grading scale in the document. If your transcript or certificate or diploma supplement provides such a scale, then you do not need a second document. For quicker understanding, please highlight passing and maximum grade in the document. If you do not provide the grading scale or your grade you will receive less % in the rating of your application.

You can find more information here.

If you have not done your degree in Germany then you need evidence that your foreign educational qualifications are recognized by Universität Hamburg, Germany. Please read section 11 about Anabin and how to provide proof of it cost-free in our wiki

You may provide additional documents but please only if relevant to the IAS study program or selection criteria, e.g., a letter of recommendation or online course certificates, or stay abroad, volunteering, proof of work/international/intercultural experience, etc.. Provide additional documents in an organized way, e.g., use titles and explanations. Generally, it is a good idea to provide some extra proof of the things you mention in your application. It makes your application more trustworthy. Read more about what documents might be helpful and what documents you should not send here.

What happens after I have sent my application?

The IAS selection committee will evaluate your application and if you meet the minimum requirements and have sent a complete application – your application will be ranked via the selection criteria. The IAS selection committee sends the ranked list and the list of rejections to the central administration (CampusCenter). The CampusCenter then checks and evaluates this list and decides then how many of the top-ranked applicants will receive a letter of acceptance and who is put on the waiting list. The CampusCenter hosts also the STiNE platform – there they will publish the final decision. This date varies but usually can be expected mid-May each year. The exact date can be found on the STiNE Website – Application: see the text body.

Please visit our wiki for detailed explanations and onboarding links.

Letter of acceptance

If you receive a letter of acceptance please contact the IAS Team asap – so we can send you more onboarding information right away. As we can unfortunately only estimate who exactly, how many, and when you have received a letter of acceptance – you need to contact us first for the onboarding procedure to start. 

For enrolment please follow the instruction described in your letter of acceptance.

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