Admission guidelines

Building cognitive systems is an interdisciplinary effort. We take this into account by accepting students from a variety of backgrounds, such as computational linguistics, computer science, linguistics, or neighboring disciplines, such as mathematics and psychology. Applicants require background knowledge in at least one of the areas of Foundations of Mathematics, Foundations of Computer Science, or Foundations of Linguistics, and basic programming skills.

How to apply

New students can enroll in the MSc Cognitive Systems in every winter semester. That is, you can start in mid-October each year. The application deadline is 1. September, but we recommend to apply before that date: the earlier you apply, the earlier you will have the decision on admission. You can submit your application for the MSc Cognitive Systems online. However, you will need to send physical copies of official documents to uni-assist.

The precise legal rules for the application process are defined in the Zulassungsordnung, which is only available in German. As a general rule, you must demonstrate that you satisfy the admission requirements, through the documentation listed under "Mandatory Documents" below.

Mandatory Documents

Be sure to include the following documents to demonstrate that you are qualified to enroll in the MSc Cognitive Systems.

  1. Curriculum vitae
  2. Degree and Transcript of Records
  3. Diploma Supplement
  4. Declaration on M.Sc. programs in Germany
  5. Certificate of English skills
  6. Documentation of programming skills
  7. Documentation of knowledge in foundation areas

Detailed Description

Mandatory Documents

  1. Curriculum vitae

    This should contain the relevant stages of your education, work experience, and any other experience relevant to the M.Sc. Cognitive Systems.

  2. Degree and Transcript of Records

    An official copy of your BSc degree and the transcript of records and an officially verified German or English translation if the original document is not in one of those languages. Check the uni assist documentation for information about the formal requirements of these documents.

  3. Diploma Supplement

    A copy of your “diploma supplement” document, which lists all the courses you have taken for your first degree. The list must specify the number of credit points for each course, and explain the contents of each course and the type of exam. If your study program does not issue such a document, you can add an informal list with the required information.

  4. Declaration on M.Sc. programs in Germany

    A declaration that you have never been expelled from an M.Sc. degree program in Germany. This is a document you write and sign yourself. You can use the following template:

    "Herewith I declare that I have never been expelled from any Master's program with contents similar to the M.Sc. Cognitive Systems at a university or equivalent institution in the Federal Republic of Germany, or irrevocably failed a final examination in such a program.

    I further declare that I am not currently subject to any ongoing final examination in such a Master's program."

  5. Certificate of English skills

    A certificate of your English language skills at the level C1. Acceptable certificates include: UNIcert-III, TOEFL Internet Based Test (95 points or more), Cambridge certificate of Advanced English (Grade B or better), IELTS (at least 6.5 Points overall, at least 6 Points in each area), a university degree of an English-language degree program at an accredited university. Other forms of documenting your language skills may be accepted, but no guarantees can be made in advance.

    Note that the entire program is taught in English, and thus knowledge of German is not required. It is still a really good idea to learn some German, as this will allow you to get much more out of living in Germany.

  6. Documentation of programming skills

    Documentation of your programming skills. The preferred way is that your transcript of records clearly lists at least 6 ECTS worth of programming classes. Alternatively, you can send certificates about extracurricular programming courses you have attended, or documentation of programming projects you have completed. Completion of the two Coursera courses Principles of Computing, Part 1 and Principles of Computing, Part 2 is accepted as fulfillment of this requirement.

  7. Documentation of knowledge in foundation areas

    Documentation of your background knowledge in at least one of the areas Foundations of Mathematics (calculus, linear algebra, statistics), Foundations of Computer Science (data structures and algorithms, formal languages and automata), or Foundations of Linguistics (syntax, semantics, phonology, pragmatics). You document your background knowledge through at least 9 ECTS worth of classes.

    Please note: you need to specify explicitly in your application which of your completed courses you consider relevant to fulfilling the stated requirements. Otherwise the courses will not be considered.

    If you want to get an idea whether your prior knowledge covers any of the FMs, check out the information about the FMs:

More Information

If you have further questions about the application process, check our FAQ for applicants or contact us.