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

Coronavirus update (27 March 2020): The deadline of 31 March 2020 11:59 pm UCT + 2, Central European Summer Time remains valid. The description on how to apply remains valid, see following sections. That means all required documents must arrive before the deadline of 31 March 11:59 pm UCT + 2, Central European Summer Time. We do not accept applications or parts of applications after the deadline. The number of applications exceeds the number of places on the program.

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 11:59 pm UCT + 2, Central European Summer Time. The Universität Hamburg notifies about rejection/acceptance/waiting list mid – end of June in the applicants STiNE accounts. There is no summer semester intake or late intake. The winter semester starts 1 October.

How to apply to the IAS program?

How to apply correctly to the Master of Science program IAS?

  • Register with the central administration of the Universität Hamburg via STiNE online form (see Required documents, 2. ). Submit this online form to receive a BW-Number (application number).
  • Send your complete application pdf to IAS Team at the Department of Informatics (Now via email! Coronavirus!).  In order to be considered and enter the selection process: 1.  you need to meet the „Formal requirements“.   2. you need to provide all the „Required documents“ in your application to the IAS Team. 3. you need to have registered in STiNE. Please read the corresponding sections on this website and for more explanations consult the wiki.

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 provide evidence of the 60 ECTS or more 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 an internationally accepted language test with a minimum score.

Language proficiency test score with the minimum score:

  • CEFR/TELC Level >= at least B2 in all categories or C1
  • IELTS >= Overall band 6.5 + B2 (*with a minimum subscore of 6.0 for Listening, Comprehension, Speaking, Writing)
  • TOEFL: IBT >= 90 (*with a minimum subscore of 20 for Reading, Listening, Speaking, Writing),
  • PBT >= 575, CBT >= 230
  • Cambridge >= CAE or CPE

*of course, the overall minimum level has to be reached, too

The medium of instruction in a degree is not enough as proof of the English Language Proficiency.

Please read the detailed explanation of alternative cases of providing proof of the English Proficiency in our wiki: formal requirements.

Please, contact us if you have an internationally accepted test that does not appear in this list.

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 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 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 email. Send your complete application via email to the address listed below. Only complete applications take part in the selection process and which arrive before the 31 March 11:59 pm UCT + 2, Central European Summer Time.

Please, use the order presented here to organize your final pdf for 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 and scan for final application pdf. This document goes on top of your application. It is the first page of your final application pdf.

The Universität Hamburg requires you to fill out a general and university-wide online 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 and the online form is only one part of the application.  It is not a complete online application possibility for IAS even though it is called as such. You need to fill-in the STiNE form in order to formally register for application with the central administration.  You receive a BW – number. Nothing else.

You still have to send your application pdf to the Department of Informatics by sending all the documents listed here. Only if your complete application (postal or email) meeting all requirements arrives at the Department of Informatics before the 31 March, then your application enters the selection process.

For further questions regarding STiNE plattform or online form, 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 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: formal requirements.

Language proficiency test score with the minimum score:

  • CEFR/TELC Level >= at least B2 in all categories or C1
  • IELTS >= Overall band 6.5 + B2 (*with a minimum subscore of 6.0 for Listening, Comprehension, Speaking, Writing)
  • TOEFL: IBT >= 90 (*with a minimum subscore of 20 for Reading, Listening, Speaking, Writing),
  • PBT >= 575, CBT >= 230
  • Cambridge >= CAE or CPE

*of course, the overall minimum level has to be reached, too

The medium of instruction in a degree is not enough as proof of English Language Proficiency.

Please, contact us if you have an internationally accepted test that does not appear in this list.

  • 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.

How to send your application document to the Department of Informatics?

Because of the corona-virus pandemic, the IAS Team and the Department of Informatics at Universität Hamburg have decided the preferred way of sending your application document is now via email. Follow the steps below:

The formal requirements and required documents remain valid. The deadline 31 March 2020 remains valid for all documents to arrive.

Create one pdf  including all documents as you would have done via postal mail with one envelope.

Prepare your application as described on the website and the wiki and then email your final application pdf.

Follow exactly those steps, to send your final application pdf successfully:

  • send one single pdf document which includes all your required documents 1-12.
  • only use this filename of your application pdf = Final_IAS_Application_YourFullname_YourBW-number.pdf
  • Use the order of documents in your pdf as presented here 1.-12 when compiling the document
  • not more than 9 MB
  • until 31 March (11:59 pm UCT + 2, Central European Summer Time)
  • use only this Email – subject [Final IAS Application] [Your Full name, Your BW-number] (The emails will be automatically checked.)
  • only use: ias-team@informatik.uni-hamburg.de
  • use this Email-text and fill in your information accordingly:
    • „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 and only application to the IAS study program. [Please state whether you have already send a paper application or whether you are only applying via email. It does not matter how – we just need to know.]  Kind regards, your name.“
  • You may include extra pages on suitable postions within your application-pdf for explainations. We love neat and structured applications.
  • Do not write extra information in the Email test – this information will be lost.

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

The IAS Team will only process applications that followed exactly those steps. (Check! Filename, Subject, Text before sending the email: otherwise your Email will be automatically declined !)

Questions about postal and email ways of sending the application – Which case are you?

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

Then you do not need to do anything. (There might me different mails informing you about email application – you can ignore them, if unsure please ask.)

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

Please do send your application again 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 receive and process the postal mail for now. Please state in the email text that you have sent your application but did not receive confirmationation of the IAS Team via email. Please send the application via email again. Only your email application will be considered.

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. (You do not need to send a paper version of your pdf .)

Please, note:

For email applications, the application process stays exactly the same as described on this website except for the postal mailing part.

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. 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 + now email as stated above), 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 email (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. for 30% each. Meaning the absolut best application would receive 100%.

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, intercultural competence, 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 July –  January 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 a 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 January to the end of May.

The IAS-Team

The IAS Team consists of the academic advisor (’s) for IAS, student assistants, researchers, lecturers, and professors at the Department of Informatics. The IAS Team also overlaps with the selection committee for the IAS applications. The academic advisor(s) manages the IAS Team. The academic advisor(s)  All questions regarding IAS applications and the IAS program should be asked using – only ias-team@informatik.uni-hamburg.de . Please, refrain from using different or personal or different email addresses when requesting information about the IAS program, applications, and deadlines. Do not write the same email to everybody – all emails will be forwarded to this email address and will waste our time. 

Asking questions about the application process within the application period

Please read through the entire wiki and website yourself before asking a question which you could have answered yourself very easily. The website and wiki hold enough and detailed information that applicants are able to apply with complete and well-prepared applications on their own.

However, if you have a question you could not answer yourself – you may ask via email – citing the paragraph of the wiki or website that you did not understand and providing enough information about yourself. We answer important emails for each applicant once within the application period.

Sorry, if this sounds a bit harsh but there are 1% of applicants asking questions which take 100% of our time, which could have answered their questions reading the information on this website and the wiki. We want to be fair to every applicant receiving the same amount of help.

Please contact us only via ias-team ‚At‘ informatik.uni-hamburg.de .

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