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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Institut für Sozialwissenschaften

Frequently Asked Questions

Before Applying

Is the MA RTP right for me?
The MA RTP is a one-year programme. It is specifically directed at international students who wish to pursue a PhD in the field of social sciences in Germany. This program is right for you, if you want to develop your quantitative and qualtitative research skills and/or if you have already obtained a one-year Masters and need an additional year in order to be eligble for a German PhD position. Topic-wise, you should want to concentrate on issues from political science or sociology. Please also check our academic staff and their research interests as well as the course catalogue of the MA in Social Sciences as you will take the majority of electives from this programme.
 
What are the admission requirements?
You need at least 240 ECTS through a first university degree (Bachelor with 180 ECTS) and one supplementary year of further academic education in an independent program (Bachelor or Masters).

Further requirements are

  • A minimum of 20 ECTS in social and/or political science theory
  • A minimum of 10 ECTS in empirical social science research methods
  • Certification of Proficiency in English
    • IELTS: 5,0 or TOEFL IBT: 87; PBT: 560 or Cambridge First Certificate FEC: B-C or UNIcert II-Certificate: 3,0 or DAAD Certificate: C
  • Certification of Proficiency in German:
    • level A1 (Certifications must proof successful examination of the language course. Certifications of attendance do not suffice!)
 
I have a four year Bachelor's degree, am I eligible to apply?
In order to be eligble for the MA RTP you need a Bachelor AND an additional year of studies in another programme (or two BAs). A Bachelor's degree is not sufficient, even if you fulfill the 240 ECTS requirement.
 
When is the application period for the MA RTP?
The annual application period for the MA RTP is from May 1st until May 31st.
 
Can I apply even after the deadline?
No late applications can be accepted, and all documents need to handed in and received by the deadline. There are no exceptions
 

While applying

Do I need to apply directly at Humboldt-Unviersität zu Berlin or via Uni-assist?
Please apply via the application portal of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - if you have a German BA-degree (regardless of your citizenship) OR you fulfill all of the following conditions: a German citizenship, and a German 'Abitur', and a German BA/MA degree. Please apply via uni-assist, if you are - a foreign citizen without a  German 'Abitur" or German Bachelor's degree, OR if you are a German citizen with a foreign high-school diploma and/or foreign BA-degree. There is a fee for using Uni Assist of 75€: Information for applicants from abroad or please look at the following Merkblatt and application guideline directly
 
MA RTP does not show up on Uni-Assist, how do I find it?
MA RTP is only displayed on Uni-Assist once the appliation period starts on May 1st. If you are still having trouble: 

On the first page, you are asked to type in the information about the program you wish to find. Please fill in the following:

  1. line: Wintersemester (Date)
  2. line: Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
  3. line: leave blank (please do not select Social Sciences as a research field; the master is not assigned to that field)
  4. line: Research Training Program Social Sciences
What is especially important when applying via Uni-Assist?

As Uni-Assist does give you feedback when forms are missing, please make sure that you hand in your application early enough to be able to add or correct something after the first check.

Make sure that your fee for Uni-Assist is booked on their account before the deadline has ended!

What supporting documents should I send?

Application form, the application form for international applicants should be completed online at:https://my.uni-assist.de The printed application form, including all the necessary documents in paper form, must be received by uni-assist by the deadline set for the course chosen.

Officially  authenticated  copies  of  educational  certificates  obtained  so  far,  including  the  secondary  school leaving certificate together with marks received and, if applicable, university entrance examination documentation

evidence of study areas and grades obtained in previous studies including an explanation of the given grading system, graduation certificate and, if applicable, diploma supplement;

enrolment certificate, if you are a student at another German or European higher education institution at the time you apply for a place at Humboldt OR certificate of exmatriculation (Exmatrikulationsbescheinigung) specifying the areas of study and number of semesters if you have previously studied at another higher education institution in Germany

German  translations  of  all  certificates  (exception:  documents  in  English)  as  officially  authenticated  copies;

evidence of English  language skills (s. Admission Requirements)

evidence  of  German  language  skills (s. Admission Requirements)

CV starting with the beginning of school education up till now;

a photocopy of your passport or identity card (for applicants from the EU

self-assessment sheet showing 20 ECTS in Social Sciences Theories and 10 ECTS in Social Sciences Methods

Can I provide unofficial transcripts/ documents or do I need to send the originals?
- please only send certified copies of your transcripts and diplomas, If certified copies are requested by the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin or Uni-Assist, on no account may simple Xerox copies be provided: in this case the application will not be processed!
What is a certified copy and where can I get my documents certified?

An certified copy has a stamp or seal and signature, by means of which an authorized person confirms that the copy and the original document are identical. In Germany, documents drawn up in German can be certified in your local Citizen Center (Bürgeramt/Einwohneramt). Here you can find a list of Berlin's Citizen Centers:
http://service.berlin.de/dienstleistung/121701/
The Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin accreditation service certifies only those documents/certificates issued by the Humboldt Universität and German-language documents required for applying to the Humboldt-Universität:
http://www.hu-berlin.de/studium/compass/ssc/beglaub
Documents which are not written in German may be certified in the relevant consulates located in Germany (e.g. Polish documents in the Polish consulate).
If applying from abroad documents may be certified by authorized agencies or notaries.

Who is permitted to translate documents? 

Translations of the documents to be provided may be done exclusively by a sworn translator. The applicant’s own translations of official documents are not permitted!

In this database you can look for sworn translators working in various languages:
http://www.gerichtsdolmetscherverzeichnis.de

If applying from abroad a list of translators recognized in Germany can be obtained from German embassies and diplomatic agencies.
A certified copy of these documents in the original language must be included along with the translated documents and transcript.

What should a proposal or letter of motivation look like?
Please send a two-page document including both your motivation for completing the master’s programme and your idea for a doctoral project.
 
You should state your research interest and relevant theories and methods. It does not need to be a sophisticated exposé with a time frame, but should refer to the academic field of interest your want to focus on during the year of studying, as these are the reasons why you are applying for the MA RTP.
 
Can I apply if my diploma does not indicate the ECTS of my courses?

The European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) is a standard for comparing the study attainment and performance of students of higher education across the European Union and other collaborating European countries. For successfully completed studies, ECTS credits are awarded. One academic year corresponds to 60 ECTS-credits that are equivalent to 1500–1800 hours of study in all countries respective of standard or qualification type and is used to facilitate transfer and progression throughout the Union. A semester long seminar (about 30 contact hours) delivers 10 ECTS.

If your BA/MA/Diploma certificate does not show ECTS, you can either ask the examination office of your former university to provide a transcript including ECTS which you hand in. Or you hand in a transcript or letter indicating the length of your study program or the amount of study hours.

In order to prove your methodological skills and knowledge in social science theories, please fill in the form ‘Self-Assessment’. Send the form to Uni-Assist together with your application. Uni-Assist can calculate the actual workload of your study program and transfer it to ECTS.

How can I proof that I have obtained enough credits in social sciences theories and methods?

In order to prove your methodological skills and knowledge in social science theories, please fill in the form ‘Self-Assessment’ (in German, in Englisch). This is especially important if the course title listed on the transcript does not explicitely indicate which theories and methods you've learned. Methods may not only include quantitative but also qualitative methods (such as discourse or content analysis). If you took courses that delivederd less than 20 ECTS in social and/or political science theory or 10 ECTS in empirical social science research methods you can accumulate points from various courses. Send the form to Uni-Assist together with your application. Uni-Assist can calculate the actual workload of your study program and transfer it to ECTS.

How do I fill in the Self Assessment form?
In order to prove your methodological skills and knowledge in social science theories, please fill in the form ‘Self-Assessment’ (in German, in Englisch). This is especially important if the course title listed on the transcript does not explicitely indicate which theories and methods you've learned. Methods may not only include quantitative but also qualitative methods (such as discourse or content analysis). If you took courses that delivederd less than 20 ECTS in social and/or political science theory or 10 ECTS in empirical social science research methods you can accumulate points from various courses. Send the form to Uni-Assist together with your application. Uni-Assist can calculate the actual workload of your study program and transfer it to ECTS.
What should my CV look like?

Your CV must not have any gaps, list all your periods of education or other activities without any break (or indicate a “break”, such as travelling).

Can I have an extension if I miss the application deadline?
No extension can be granted, and all documents need to be received by either uni-assist or Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin directly, depending on which way you need to apply. 
 
Can I apply even if I do not have the results for my German or English Language tests yet?
All documents, including language certificates, need to be handed in and received by uni-asst or Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin by the deadline
How do I contact Uni-Assist?
https://my.uni-assist.de/hilfe | Phone:+49 30 201 646 001 | address: uni-assist e.V. 11507 Berlin
Where do I send the application documents?
this depends on whether you need to apply via uni-assist, or Humboldt-Universität:
-if you need to apply via Uni-Assist, please send your documents here:
uni-assist e.V.
11507 Berlin
Germany 
- If you can directly apply via HU, please send the documents here:
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Studierenden-Service-Center (SSC)
Unter den Linden
10117 Berlin   

After applying

I have made a mistake on my application. Can I edit the information?
You can change and add informations and documents to your application via uni-assist before the deadline.
I have forgotten to upload a document can I send it after handing in my application?
All documents need to be handed in and received by uni-asst or Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin by the deadline
What is the status of my application?

Uni-Assist:

In your My assist account you can directly track the status of your application - simply by using the application overview.

You can see the current status directly below your study request. The status will change once we have fully reviewed your application (or any documents submitted subsequently).

Humboldt-Universität: 

 You can check the status of the documents you are submitting at any time using the status query on the online application system of HU

When will I hear from you?
The application process involves two steps, 
after your documents have been examined by uni-assist and/or the Humboldt-University's  administration, complete and eligble applications will be forwarded to the Office of International Master Programs at the Department for Social Sciences. This process will take a few weeks after the application deadline has ended. We will invite you for an interview, which will usually be set in June/July, but might be later. After your interview you will learn about any change in your application status via the online application system of HU
I've been invited to an application interview, how should I  prepare?
The purpose of the application interview is to establish whether you and the MA Research Training Program are a good fit. Therefore a good first step of your preparation is to look at the website of the Department of Social Sciences, see if there are any professors in whose work you are interested and look throughly the course catalogue. 
 
Uni-Assist has not forwarded my application, what can I do?
It depends on the reason why Uni-Assist did not forward your application. Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do, if your application was not complete or if any of the required documents were faulty. If there has been a mistake in the evaluation of your documents, please contact our office. 
How do I apply for a Visa? 
You can either apply for the visa with the letter of acceptance of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, or already with the confirmation e-mail from Uni-Assist, that your application matches the required criteria.