Information for Prospective Students (application / admission)
We will occasionally admit visiting doctoral researchers with external funding. It is important that your dissertation project matches the research areas of the graduate school.
Visiting students do not have to apply via the online portal. Please contact the managing director with your request for affiliation, and include a project exposé, a letter of motivation, a CV, and a statement about the funding of your visiting stay. We do not have visiting fellowships at the moment. Accepted visiting doctoral researchers will have access to the facilities and activities of the Graduate School.
I don’t have a master degree at all / I am still visiting master courses / I am writing my master thesis. Can I still apply?
If you cannot submit your MA degree with your application package either because you have not received the document yet but expect it to arrive shortly, or because you are in the final stage of your exams or thesis, you may hand in your application anyway. You will need to upload an official confirmation from your university stating that you will receive your M.A. certificate until the end of May in the year of admission. The admission and grants committee will decide whether your (incomplete) application can be assessed as qualified. Your application cannot be considered if your degree will be awarded later.
I have earned my degree in another discipline than those represented at BGSMCS. Am I still eligible to apply?
Probably not. Applicants with a degree in science or with a Master of Business Administration are not eligible to apply. We are looking for applicants from the social sciences and humanities. We are currently offering supervision for doctoral degrees in the following disciplines:
- Arabic Studies;
- Asian and African Studies;
- Central Asian Studies;
- Human Geography;
- Iranian Studies;
- Islamic Studies;
- Political Science;
- Semitic Studies;
- Social and Cultural Anthropology;
- South and Southeast Asian Studies;
- South East European History.
Doctoral fellows at BGSMCS are concurrently enrolled in a university department, either at Freie Universität Berlin or at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, depending on the discipline and your first supervisor’s affiliation. This means that the supervisors can only accept doctoral researchers pursuing a degree in the discipline that they are currently working in. E.g., a professor in Islamic Studies can usually not supervise a doctoral fellow pursing a degree in political science etc.
Please understand that we cannot determine your eligibility for admission for a specific discipline before you have submitted your application package. It is important that the choice of discipline (which is connected to your preferred supervisor) should relate to your previous academic achievements AND to your planned doctoral research. The consideration of the following three points can help you to better assess your eligibility for a specific discipline:
Check if you have learned the relevant methodological and theoretical skills to pursue a doctoral degree in the discipline that you choose.
Consider the research that our supervisors are engaged in to determine whether your planned doctoral research falls within their area of interest and expertise.
Consider the department websites for information about the courses our supervisors teach on the B.A. and M.A. level.
- Outline of the dissertation project (up to 6 pages, with a brief summary, to be entered into the online application form);
- Curriculum vitae (pdf file);
- Certified copies of degrees received (pdf file);
- Proof of proficiency in English – at least C1 CFER. Native speakers of English or applicants who have graduated from an English-speaking university in a country with English as an official language are exempt from this verification (pdf file);
- Evidence of proficiency in the language(s) relevant to the dissertation project (pdf file);
- One letter of recommendation must be uploaded by the applicant’s referees directly to the application platform (signed and stamped on official paper).
- C1 CFER;
- ETS TOEFL certificate (minimum score of 600 for the paper-based test, 250 for the computer-based test, and 100 for the internet-based test);
- Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English, CPE (any grade);
- Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English, CAE (grade A or B);
- IELTS test (level 7.0);
You may be excempt from this verification, if
a) you are native English speaker, or
b) have graduated from an English speaking university in a country with English as an official language.
Please take a look at the homepages of the professors to find more detailed information on their research interests / areas and publications. You’ll find the names of all our current supervisors and the links to their websites listed here.
You do not need to contact the supervisors before submitting your application. Please make sure to choose a supervisor from our list who has expertise in the research area of your dissertation project and who is working in your discipline. This is important because in Germany, professors working in political science often cannot supervise PhD projects in history, for example. Please also make sure that your research matches the research interests / areas of our supervisors. The final decision on your supervisory team will be made when you have started the programme in Berlin.
Currently the monthly scholarship is 1.468,- EUR. Parents who live together with their children can receive a family support payment upon application. The monthly cost for a shared room is currently about 500,- EUR, a single apartment is about 650,- EUR. Scholarships are exempt from income tax in Germany. On top of the rent, you will need to pay about 227,- EUR for public health insurance (or less for private insurance).
The university has a family support office that can help you to apply for vouchers for the kindergarten, and to find a place in a kindergarten. We do not have a spouse programme for doctoral or postdoctoral researchers.
If you become a mother or a father during your time at the Graduate School, you can apply for a one-year extension of your scholarship, which will be granted if funds are available.