Application Process

Application process

We aim at 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 a very good command over the English language in order to follow the lectures and exams. Therefore, you have to fulfill the following formal requirements in order to apply for the Master in Intelligent Adaptive Systems at Universität Hamburg. 

Application Period

Once a year, you have the possiblity 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 31.  The Universität Hamburg usually sends official answers on rejection/acceptance around May 15 each year. There is no summer semester intake or late intake.
Please, also check this website and the wiki close to February. Application requirements may change.

Formal requirements

Before you apply for the Master in Intelligent Adaptive Systems, you have to fulfill the following formal requirements

A 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.  The 60 ECTS are counted without courses in maths, core engineering, soft skills, electrical engineering courses, economics, etc. Please evidence the 60 ECTS in a self-made table, listing the core computer science courses of your transcript of records. Please read the detailed explanation in our wiki: formal requirements.

You need to provide proof of your English language proficiency evidenced by a test with a minimum score. Please see the detailed explanation in our wiki: formal requirements.

Language proficiency test score with minimum score:

  • CEFR/TELC Level >= C1
  • IELTS >= 6.5*
  • TOEFL: IBT >= 90,
  • PBT >= 575, CBT >= 230
  • Cambridge >= CAE or CPE

*The overall number counts not the level

The medium of instruction is not enough for proof of the English Proficiency


Please send only applications, which meet both of the formal requirements. A very detailed explanation of the formal requirements and how you evidence both can be found in our wiki.

Required documents

This is a list of all required documents you have to send in order to evidence the formal requirements and to be able to be rated according to citeria used in the application’s selection process.

The application will only be considered complete if all 11 parts have been submitted before the deadline via postal mail. Send your complete application via postal mail to the address listed below. Only complete applications take part in the selection process and which arrive before the 31 March.

Please, use the order presented here to organize your application.  Do not use stapler or folders, etc. to clip your documents together when sending them via postal mail.

The first page of your application is a pdf form asking for your personal information. Only use the cover-letter-form provided here . Please fill out the form using a pdf reader and print afterwards.  If you cannot fill in your information with a technical device, please do so by hand. This document goes on top of your application.

The Universität Hamburg requires you to fill out a general and university-wide online application form on their platform called STiNE. Submit, print and sign the STiNE online form. Please, see our wiki entry for detailed help on how to fill in your data.

Please note, the STiNE platform is not an online application possibility for IAS even though it is called as such. It is just the way to formally register for application with the central administration.  You receive a BW – number. Nothing else. You still have to apply via postal mail to the Department of Informatics by sending all the documents listed here. Only if your complete application meeting all requirements arrived at the Department of Informatics before the 31 March, then your application enters the selection process.

Please use the address listed here – not in STiNE.

For further questions regarding STiNE please ask the STiNE (technical) support. (You may put the IAS Team in cc.)

Your Curriculum Vitae (table version) needs to contain your relevant experience (academic, work, international, private) and your grade and minimum passing and maximum grade of the degree. Please, see wiki for explanation of cv, grade, and grading scale.


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 so far. Please be precise and write about yourself – no history lesson on computer science 🙂


You need to provid proof of your English language proficiency evidenced by a test with a minimum score. Please see the detailed explanation in our wiki on the formal requirements.

Language proficiency test score with minimum score:

  • CEFR/TELC Level >= C1
  • IELTS >= 6.5*
  • TOEFL: IBT >= 90,
  • PBT >= 575, CBT >= 230
  • Cambridge >= CAE or CPE

* the overall number of 6.5 counts – not the level

The medium of instruction does not count as proof.

  • Your degree’s transcript of records listing all your finished courses with credit hours and grades and your final and or average grade


In order to meet the formal requirement, you have to evidence 60 ECTS in core computer science courses. Please provide a table (self-made) with your finished Computer Science subjects contained in your transcript evidencing your 60 ECTS or more. Please use this table example and read the explanation in the wiki.

  • A copy of your certificate showing that you have finished your degree -the Bachelor Certificate.
  • If you have not finished your degree, please provide evidence of the date you are going to be finished issued by your university.
  • A diploma supplement = a description of your degree issued by your university, sometimes first or last page of the transcript or degree certificate.

We need the degree description, degree certificate, and transcript to understand and compare the degree offered at your university, e.g., semesters per year, weeks of lectures in a semster, in-class / contact hours, total credit hours or points, grades possible, grading scheme ….

Rule of thumb: Get as much official information as possible if your transcript and certificate does not provide this kind of information. Otherwise, we cannot compare your degree to others worldwide. Please hand in precise documents – not 50 pages describing all degrees of your university – highlight the important facts.

Please, provide your degree’s grade in numbers.  It has to be an official document containing your final grade or preliminary 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.

We need your grade and the degree’s grading scale in numbers to make your grade comparable to all applicants grades – see selection criteria 2. Failing to send us this information in an official document, will result in less % in selection criteria 2.

Please 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.

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 best grade in your official document.

We need this information to compare your grade to all the other applicant grades. If you fail to send this information in an official document – you will receive less % in your ranking – see selection criteria 2.

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 the section 11 about Anabin and how to evidence it cost-free in our wiki.

You may provide additional documents but please only if relevant to the IAS study program, e.g., relevant for IAS a letter of recommendation or online course certificates, or stay abroad, volunteering, etc.

If you have questions to one of those 11 required documents, please read the corresponding paragraphs in our wiki first. Please, be aware that all the information you provide has to be valid and backed up by official documents, e.g.,  your university.

Postal address

Use the order of documents presented  here 1.-11. when sending the application.

Dr. Annika Peters
Universität Hamburg
Department of Informatics / WTM / F-214
Vogt-Kölln-Strasse 30
22527 Hamburg

Please send only applications, which meet the formal requirements and contain all required documents.

The last day to receive applications is the 31 of March each year. There is no postal mail service on Sundays.

Please note, that we do not inform you about received postal mail (letters, parcels, envelopes). Please check with your postal mail provider if you like an acknowledgment.

Faxes and emails are not accepted for applications. 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 postal mail), or if your STiNE online application form is not submitted online, or if you do not meet one or both of the formal requirements. As a result, your application will not take part in the selection process. There will be no reconsideration of your application.

Selection Process

Applications that fulfill the formal requirements, contain all required documens, and arrived in time via postal mail take part in the selection process.

The criteria are rated individually and then combined, with 1. accounting for 40% and the 2. and 3. 30% each.

Each application, which takes part in the selection process, is ranked accordingly. Usually, only the first 5% of the ranked applications receive a letter of acceptance. 

The applications are selected using the following three criteria:

The quality of the motivational letter, in particular concerning your education, further professional qualification, relevant experience, and why IAS/UHH/Hamburg/Germany. This may also include a phone/email interview.

The result of the highest obtained degree and the comparability of its content to the BSc “Informatik” at the Universität Hamburg (transcript, table,  your grade with grading scale, degree certificate, recognition of foreign qualification)

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)


60 ECTS quick-check service

As a service to you, we offer from June –  10 February a preliminary quick check of your self-made table evidencing 60 ECTS. Please provide all the information asked for in the example of the table, send your transcript, and the cover-letter-form additionally via email.  Cover-letter form: For the quick check, please fill out all fields asking for information regarding your personal and academic information on the cover-letter-form. But do not send CV, Motivational letter or the STiNE form for the quick check. Please note due to a high number of applications (>450) each year,  there will be no quick check service from 10 February to the end of May.

Questions and contact

The IAS Team consists of the academic advisor (’s) for IAS, student assistants, researchers, lecturers at the Department of Informatics. The IAS Team also overlaps with the selection board for the IAS applications.

IAS Team is happy to answer all your questions via email, or in-person but please ask before the application period starts, and consult the very detailed wiki first and then the IAS Team.

The IAS Team answers questions within the application period. Due to a huge amount of requests, please be patient and wait. Sending the same email request more than once will not help. The request will be put on the end of the waiting list.

Advice for applicants: Please read carefully – there is a lot of helpful information, especially in the wiki. This might make all the difference for your application – It is the first test whether you can read or not 🙂 . If you have questions regarding the application please cite the paragraph on the wiki or website which you did not understand/misunderstood or where you are missing information. It helps improving the explanation.

Please contact us only via ias-team ‚At‘

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