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FAQ (frequently asked questions)

You will certainly have questions before you register for the course. You can find answers here:

Eligibility

For admission to a master program in Germany your academic degrees should be equivalent to, or better than, a German bachelor degree.

To find out how your degree formally compares to a German bachelor degree you can visit the website below.
Unfortunately this website is entirely in German, but we give you some English instructions. Go here:
anabin.kmk.org/no_cache/filter/hochschulabschluesse.html
Click on "Suchen nach Abschlüssen", select your country from the drop down menu "Länderauswahl".
Select the type of degree that you possess from the next dropdown menu below.
Select the area in which you have your degree from the next dropdown menu below.
Click on "Suche starten".
Select your degree from the list at the bottom of the page. If you click on the "+" symbol, a pop up window will open.
In the section "Bewertung" of that pop up window, in the second column, you find equivalent German degrees.
If one of "Bakkalaureus/Bachelor3j", "Bakkalaureus/Bachelor4j", "Diplomgrad(FH)", "Diplomgrad" is there, then you are eligible for admission to a master program in Germany.

Yes, but you need to have finished you bachelor degree at the time of enrolment, and we need confirmation of this. See the point "What documents do I have to submit with the application?"

To be eligible for the application you need a grade of 2.5 or better (i.e. lower) in the German system. We have 40 slots per year for the master program and fill them according to the grades in the bachelor degree. Thus the lowest grade sufficient for acceptance varies each year. Caution: in older documents possibly found elsewhere, the number "2.2" appears, which is not correct as of 2024.

If you care about your chances beyond eligibility:

There is a big distinction made internally (due to the law): if you have certain ties to the German education system (comprehensive list: EU or Island, Liechtenstein or Norway passport, having done a Bachelor degree in Germany, married to a person with German passport, parenting or grandparenting a child with German passport, being the child or grandchild of someone holding a German passport) then you are in group "EU", for which we have a big part of the 40 slots reserved. In the second group are all applicants with no ties to Germany/EU in this sense. For example, if you're born in India, did your Bachelor's degree in India, and have a sister and an uncle with German passport, then you're in the group "Not-EU". For group "Not-EU", the law requires us to reserve fewer slots, so the competition in terms of grades is much stronger. In group "Not-EU" in the past the worst admitted grade was a 1.4 (in the German grading system, where 1.0 is the best and 4.0 the worst).

It is not possible to forecast accurately which grade will be enough for an accepted application in the end, but with any grade above 1.4 the chances are quite high for everyone (also in group "Not-EU"); with a grade above 2.0 the chances are not bad for a German or equivalent (Bildungsinländergleichgestellte, group "EU").

You can convert grades to the German system by using the 'Bavarian Formula', see
www.tum.de/en/studies/application/grade-conversion-formula-for-grades-earned-outside-germany/
The outcome must be a number lower than or equal to 2.5, then you are eliglible for application (lower numbers correspond to better grades in the German system).

Following a resolution of the German ministers of education, Dutch grades should be converted putting a 9 as the highest possible grade in the 'Bavarian formula', instead of the actual highest possible grade which is 10. Likewise, French grades are converted using 16 as the highest possible grade.

This information is only here so that you can check for yourself whether you are eligible or not. In the application form always enter the grades and numbers from your local university system, as stated on your transcript.

If you get a different result from the Bavarian Formula in the HHU application portal and elsewhere, pay attention to rounding error. The tool from TUM truncates the grade (which is a form of rounding) and uni-assist is also known to truncate/round numbers. We don't do this. Example: a German grade 1.475 is seen as a 1.4 for some, but we see it as close to 1.5 and it may be displayed as 1.5 within the application portal (even if no actual rounding happens in the data itself).

Some universities have different thresholds for passing a single course and for passing the entire degree programme (lowest passing grade). Please enter the degree-wide lowest passing grade (i.e. the lowest grade in your system which barely allows to obtain the degree). If this differs from the lowest grade that the grading scale seems to allow, please include documentation about this (often, but not always, printed on transcripts).

The following language certificates are accepted:

a) Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL), Paper-based (min 500 points), Computer-based (min 200 points), or Internet-based Test (IBT as well as IBT@Home, min 80 points),

b) IELTS test with a score of at least 6.0.

c) Cambridge B2 (or C1 or C2) First Certificate, formerly known as Cambridge English: First (FCE)

d) Cambridge Linguaskill B2 (or C1)

e) A German Abitur certificate, showing that English has been constantly taken as a subject and passed with the grade of "sufficient" up to the end of the qualification level 1 (grade 11 at G8-Abitur, otherwise grade 12).

f) A bachelor or master degree that was entirely taught in English. This fact should be stated on your transcript of records or some additional document from your university.

You must have successfully completed mathematics courses worth the equivalent of 30 credit points in the European ECTS system. These courses need to be at a suffiently high level, and must cover the subject areas of Analysis, Linear Algebra, Statistics/Stochastics or Numerical mathematics. The courses "Mathematik für Informatiker 1--3" in the Computer Science Bachelor at HHU are sufficient. The courses Analysis 1, Linear Algebra 1 and Stochastics at HHU are not sufficient, since you wouldn't have covered higherdimensional calculus. If you do in addition Analysis 2, you become eligible, and indeed very well prepared, for our master program.

Here is the list of topics covered in the Mathematics courses at HHU that that we would like our local students to have passed. The content of your mathematics courses does not have to match 100% with these, but should go into the same direction.

Analysis I
Real and complex numbers, sequences, convergence, Cauchy sequences, limits, series, continuity, compactness, special functions, differential calculus, integration, squences of functions, power series, Taylor expansion

Analysis II
calculus in many variables, mean value theorem and Taylor expansion in many variables, Implicit function Theorem, finding extrema with and without constraints, normed and metric spaces, Banach fixed point theorem, ordinary differential equations, existence and uniqueness theorems, special solution methods, linear differential equations, systems with constant coefficients, stability

Linear Algebra I
Sets, groups, rings, fields, complex numbers, finite prime fields, vector spaces, linear independence, bases, sums and quotients of vector spaces, linear maps, matrices, kernel and image, isomorphism theorems, rank, systems of linear equations, endomorphisms, determinants, Laplace expansion, eigenvalues and eigenvectors, characteristic polynomial, diagonalizability, scalar products, lengths and angles, Gram-Schmidt orthogonalization, orthogonal and unitary endomorphisms

Probability
models for random experiments, applications in computer science and natural sciences, independence of random variables, generating functions, weak law of large numbers, central limit theorem, Maximum-Likelihood estimation, significance tests, linear regression

If you have completed mathematics courses on other subject matters than the above, do include them in the list at the time of application - they may contribute to the 30 Credits, even if they covered different topics.

The workload of an average semester in Europe is 30 ECTS credit points. This is also the number of ECTS credit points that we require for the mathematics prerequisites. To determine the number of credit points (in the local "currency" of your university) that you need from mathematics courses, just calculate the average number of credit points per semester in your program. That is: Take the total of credit points that you needed for obtaining your degree, divided by the number of semesters that your bachelor program is supposed to take.
You should be aware that we might not count every credit from a mathematics course if the level seems to low or if some of the topics were too far from the topics we listed.

This information is only here so that you can check for yourself whether you are eligible or not. In the application form, always enter the credits counts from your local university system, as stated on your transcript.

No. We have no capacity of evaluating your documents in advance, before the end of the application period. Please judge for yourself if you satisfy the criteria (see e.g. "How do I convert my bachelor grade to the German system?" and "How do I convert my local mathematics credit points into European ECTS credit points?"), and if you think that yes, apply. Application is purely online and free of charge.

No. Admission is only possible if you have successfully completed mathematics courses worth 30 CP, at a suffiently high level, in the subject areas of Analysis, Linear Algebra, Statistics/Stochastics or Numerical mathematics.

Yes. You can enroll at some university and complete courses covering our desired mathematical prerequisites before application.
If you do not have written the exams at the time of application, you can be admitted conditionally, but you need to provide proof that you passed exams before you can enroll.

Yes, you can enroll for some bachelor program at HHU and do the required mathematics courses. Note, however, that all bachelor programs at HHU, and also the mathematics lectures, are in German and you have to pass a C1 level German test for admission.

No. Our admission criteria are exclusively based on your previous university education.

No. Our admission criteria are exclusively based on your previous university education.

No. Our admission criteria are exclusively based on your previous university education.

No. Our admission criteria are exclusively based on your previous university education.

No. Our admission criteria are exclusively based on the grades and contents of your university education.

The rules of our application process are implied by the law of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. We are legally bound by that. In particular, there is no point in discussing these criteria with us, or laying out how unfair they are in your case. We are sorry.

Only if your master degree is from a German university. In this case, given that you are eligible according to the other criteria, we rank you according to the final grade of your first master degree and some extra social criteria. Otherwise admission will only take the final grade of your bachelor degree into account if you use your bachelor as Master-access-diploma (MZB). You can, if the grade is better, use your first Master degree as Master-access-diploma (MZB) and then only this will be taken into account, not your bachelor.

The only way your non-German master studies can be taken into account, is if you did courses covering your mathematics prerequisites during your master program - then they can count as part of your mathematics prerequisites, but will still not influence the calculation of your grade.

These special rules for German master degrees are not chosen by us, but implied by the state law.

The social criteria are available in German only here.

A bachelor degree in economy is ok, but it does typically not come with mathematics courses with the depth and and range of topics required for admission. Mathematics courses for economists do generally not count towards the 30 CP that we require. If you have an economy degree with a very strong mathematics emphasis this may be different though.

Concerning your degree: Yes. Of course you still have to satisfy the other prerequisites.

Application process

Yes, if you got your degree outside of the EU (or Liechtenstein, Norway, Iceland or some other associated country). The university administration has informed us, that this will be mandatory in the future. We don't know if it will already be applied in 2024 - in doubt ask at

Not for the application. The application process is purely online, and you can upload all required documents in our application portal. If you get accepted, you might or might not be required to send documents by mail - just wait for the instructions in your acceptance letter.

We will need from you the following documents:

1. Bachelor certificate (or certificate of a comparable university degree) with final grade. Alternatively, if you have not yet completed your bachelor degree, submit a provisional certificate with an intermediate grade based on your completed courses. If your institution does not provide a provisional certificate, you may use a transcript of records along with a translation to English or German that you prepared yourself, as a way to provide a preliminary degree certificate. We will need the full certificate until 30th of September, otherwise we can not enroll you.

2. Transcript of Records with your courses and grades

3. Enclose the syllabi of your mathematics courses.

4. If you do not yet have your bachelor degree, we need a confirmation from your supervisor that you are scheduled to submit your bachelor thesis, with the expected date of completion of your degree. If your bachelor degree does not involve writing a thesis, we need a confirmation of this fact from your university.

5. Proof of your proficiency in English. The following language certificates are accepted:

  • a) Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL), Paper-based (min 500 points), Computer-based (min 200 points), or Internet-based Test (IBT, min 80 points),
  • b) IELTS test with a score of at least 6.0.
  • c) Cambridge B2 First Certificate, formerly known as Cambridge English: First (FCE)
  • d) German Abitur certificate, showing that English has been constantly taken as a subject and passed with the grade of "sufficient" up to the end of the qualification level 1 (grade 11 at G8-Abitur, otherwise grade 12).

If your bachelor course was taught entirely in English, then you do not need an extra certificate of English skills, and can instead provide evidence of that. A remark on your transcript of records that your medium of instruction was English is sufficient.

6. If you are eligible for preferential treatment, e.g. because of some disability, we need a confirmation of that. The requirements are usually very strict, e.g. a disability doesn't change your outlook in general - it needs to be so severe that the progression of the disease would make it impractical to defer studying for another year. You will have to look for information about that elsewhere, as it is not specific to this Master programme.

You can convert grades to the German system by using the 'Bavarian Formula', see
www.tum.de/en/studies/application/grade-conversion-formula-for-grades-earned-outside-germany/
The outcome must be a number lower than or equal to 2.5, then you are eliglible for application (lower numbers correspond to better grades in the German system).

Following a resolution of the German ministers of education, Dutch grades should be converted putting a 9 as the highest possible grade in the 'Bavarian formula', instead of the actual highest possible grade which is 10. Likewise, French grades are converted using 16 as the highest possible grade.

This information is only here so that you can check for yourself whether you are eligible or not. In the application form always enter the grades and numbers from your local university system, as stated on your transcript.

The following language certificates are accepted:

a) Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL), Paper-based (min 500 points), Computer-based (min 200 points), or Internet-based Test (IBT as well as IBT@Home, min 80 points),

b) IELTS test with a score of at least 6.0.

c) Cambridge B2 First Certificate, formerly known as Cambridge English: First (FCE)

d) A German Abitur certificate, showing that English has been constantly taken as a subject and passed with the grade of "sufficient" up to the end of the qualification level 1 (grade 11 at G8-Abitur, otherwise grade 12).

e) A bachelor or master degree that was entirely taught in English. This fact should be stated on your transcript of records or some additional document from your university.

The workload of an average semester in Europe is 30 ECTS credit points. This is also the number of ECTS credit points that we require for the mathematics prerequisites. To determine the number of credit points (in the local "currency" of your university) that you need from mathematics courses, just calculate the average number of credit points per semester in your program. That is: Take the total of credit points that you needed for obtaining your degree, divided by the number of semesters that your bachelor program is supposed to take.
You should be aware that we might not count every credit from a mathematics course if the level seems to low or if some of the topics were too far from the topics we listed.

This information is only here so that you can check for yourself whether you are eligible or not. In the application form, always enter the credits counts from your local university system, as stated on your transcript.

No. We have no capacity of evaluating your documents in advance, before the end of the application period. Please judge for yourself if you satisfy the criteria (see e.g. "How do I convert my bachelor grade to the German system?" and "How do I convert my local mathematics credit points into European ECTS credit points?"), and if you think that yes, apply. Application is purely online and free of charge.

Only if your master degree is from a German university. In this case we rank you according to the final grade of your master degree. Otherwise admission will only take the final grade of your bachelor degree into account. The only way your non-German master studies can be taken into account, is if you did courses covering your mathematics prerequisites during your master program - then they can count as part of your mathematics prerequisites, but will still not influence the calculation of your grade.

These special rules for German master degrees are not chosen by us, but implied by the state law.

In early October. The exact date varies from year to year.

We start evaluating the applications immediately after the deadline. We check the eligibility of the applicants and then hannd over to the administration who prepares a ranking, sends out acceptance letters and maintains a waiting list. We do not have any influence on this process and can give you no information on how fast  this happens. The first batch of acceptance letters shoud be sent out in the beginning of August at latest. If you don't get an answer, by then it probably means that you are on a waiting list. Please don't ask us about that - we don't maintain the waiting list.

We also evaluate some applications before the deadline and may give you feedback on whether your application was incomplete, to give you the chance to augment missing information.

It is impossible for us to give you positive feedback on your admission status before the deadline, but it might happen that you get negative feedback (as in: the grade is too low) before the deadline.

No, you can not apply through uni-assist. You can can only apply through our own application portal.

As for Vorprüfungsdokumentation (VPD), please ask at studierendenservice@hhu.de.

If you are from China, India or Vietnam, you probably need the APS certificate. While it is possible to include a language certificate with the APS certificate, this is not necessary. For any further questions about APS, please ask at studierendenservice@hhu.de

No, we are legally not allowed to issue an acceptance letter before the application deadline.

Maybe. The application process is identical for Germans, non German EU-citizens, and non EU-citizens, except thatnon-EU-Citizens might need to provide a VPD ("Vorprüfungsdokumentation") fom uni-assist. Our administration has indicated that this might be the case from 2024 on, but we have been left in the dark whether it will actually happen.

Note: If your documents are in a different language than German, English or French, (this is independent of your passport, it's just about where you finished your degree), they have to be translated to German or English or French. Upon application, this translation can be done by yourself and doesn't need to be officially certified.

If you have official documents, e.g. a module handbook with the syllabi of the courses of your program, then please include those. If your course has a whole module handbook, then include only the pages that are about your listed mathematics courses - do not attach the whole module handbook!

If you have official documents, but only in a language other than English or German, then include them and attach a translation for us - it can be your own translation, it need not be done by a translator.
If you have no official documents with syllabi, then write your own summary of the treated topics. Try to get a confirmation from a member of your university that your summary of the maths syllabi is correct.
If that is impossiblle, try to give us some evidence that your summary is correct, e.g. by links to course homepages.

No. We start evaluating the applications immediately after the deadline and try to send out acceptance letters within a week. We hold back rejection letters for a bit longer, because if accepted applicants do not take their place, we go further down the list and accept more people.

Please refrain from sending us emails inquiring about the status of your application. Whenever your application reaches a clear status, we let you know immediately. Before that there is nothing we can say.

If you did not get any acceptance or rejection letter until the 15th of October, that is a mistake on our part, but by then you can assume that your application was rejected. The most common cause for rejection is missing maths credits (which you might have already noticed upon application) or not high enough overall grade in your Bachelor degree.

This can have several reasons.

  • We need time to process your request - up to 7 days, not counting weekends, is normal, since we have many other duties.
  • We need more time to process your complicated request - up to two weeks is possible, if we need to inquire other parts of the university administration, for example. If it takes longer than that, we will usually tell you.
  • You used an email server provided by Microsoft (like Hotmail or Outlook) - they frequently blacklist large IP blocks, and this has happened to HHU as well. We simply might not have received your email at all (though we do check our spam folder daily, so this is not the issue) or you might have never received our answer to it (this happened quite often already).
  • We answered, but the answer did not reach you, because your inbox is full (this happens more often than you might think) or some other technical problem on your side. We sometimes are notified about this, but there is nothing we can do to tell you.
  • We falsely think that we answered all of your questions already, if we already had a conversation. This is a simple mistake on our part.
  • You ended up in the spam folder and your email looked to suspicious that we did not identify it as non-spam upon review.
  • We made some other human error. It happens.

What you can do:

  • Wait. Stay kind. We also do this a lot.
  • After two weeks, you may of course just write again, to inquire about your question (depending on how urgent it actually is, this you have to judge yourself). Please make sure to include your original email, as it might have never reached us in the first place.
  • If you use a Microsoft-based email server and failed to get an answer from us twice, try using a different email address the third time.

This is a bit confusing, but correct, as the formal requirements were fixed in a document with legal date 2021, which is what this line refers to. So if you see this, you're not applying in the past.

Nothing!

If these fields are not required in the application portal (the only exception seems to be if you already have done a Master's degree in Germany before), then you should not upload anything there, since we don't read it and won't take it into account.

Any time you spend on motivation letters or recommendation letters is ultimately time you could have spent otherwise.

On the other hand, if you upload something, we might even read it - but we are not allowed to let that change your chances of getting a seat in our programme. In particular, it won't hurt.

No. In your acceptance letter you will be given a latest date for requesting enrolment, typically around 1 month after the letter arrives. After that the letter expires.

Before the deadline:

You can withdraw your application, then you can change something (such as adding additional documents), and then resubmit.

Remark: we do not like to see half-finished applications submitted that are supposed to be filled in later via resubmit. Please try to submit only complete applications. In particular, please do not upload blank placeholder PDFs or something like that.

After the deadline:

Do not withdraw your application unless you want to withdraw forever!

It is not possible to re-submit a withdrawn application after the application deadline.

We have 40 places per year. According to the state law we have to reserve 90% of the places for EU-applicants, 5% for non-EU-applicants, 3% for people already having a German master degree and 2% for Germans with special conditions like disabilities.

In practice the EU-applicants don't exhaust all their places, so the real percentage for the other groups is much higher: Currently almost half of our students are non-EU-citizens.

The EU-applicants are ranked by their bachelor grades. All bachelor grades are transformed into the German system by the so-called Bavarian formula.

Among the non-EU-applicants the following system is in place:
Applicants are separated by their nationalities. The applicants of each country are ranked among themselves by their bachelor grades. Then the first ranked applicant of each country is admitted, then the second ranked of each country etc. If there are e.g. more people second ranked in their country than there are remaining places, then their grades are converted into German grades using the so-called Bavarian formula, the second ranked people are among themselves ranked by those grades, and the remaining admission letters sent out to the top ranked persons in this final group.

The applicants with a German master degree need to write a letter, giving reasons why they need a second master degree. They are ranked based on their grades and this letter, following the guidelines given here: https://recht.nrw.de/lmi/owa/br_show_anlage?p_id=41581

The German applicants with special conditions are ranked according to the severeness of the condition and their grades. For details please inquire here: https://www.hhu.de/en/bbst

Please see the item "How are the applications ranked?" in this FAQ: applicants are divided into four groups. Among those, only the EU-applicants are ranked by grade.

In the past years the EU-applicants didn't exhaust their allocated places, so the lowest grade to get in was the minimum grade for eligibility, i.e. the German grade 2.5.

For the other groups, the admission system is such that the past grades and admission numbers don't allow serious estimations for the upcoming application rounds.

 

 

Living and studying in Düsseldorf, funding, visa

None, except a fee of 300 Euros per semester. In exchange you become eligible for cheap student housing, get student prices in the mensa and a ticket for local traffic in the state of Northrhine-Westphalia

No. The master program is intended as a full time presence course. There is no part time mode.

The master program is intended as a full time presence course. The is no part time mode.

Lecture times for future semesters are not fixed yet, but as an example here are the lecture times for the first semester master students of the winter semester 2019/20:
Monday 10:30-12:00 Machine Learning,
Tuesday 10:30-12:15 Maths for AI
Wednesday 12:30-14:00 Machine Learning
Thursday 12:30-14:00 Advanced Programming
-every 2nd Thursday 14:30-16:00 Advanced Programming exercise class
Friday 10:30-12:15 Maths for AI

Additionally you have to choose one of
Tuesday 16:30-18:00   OR   Wednesday 10:30-12:00
Maths for AI exercise class

and one of
Monday 18:30-20:00   OR   Friday 12:30-14:00
Machine Learning exercise class

There were two one week block projects in the Advanced Programming Course in February, one voluntary, one compulsory - these required the presence of the students the whole time.

In the second and third semesters, additionally to the lecture courses, you will have to participate in "lab rotations". This means that you need to join a research group of the university or some unit in a company for six weeks and work full time with them, handling their data. This can be done outside the lecturing period, and it is probably easier to organize this way.

The concrete requirements, including your required presence times, will depend on the group hosting you. Your time of work should altogether comprise around 300 hours.

In early October. The exact date varies from year to year.

Yes, there are German courses for international students:
asta.hhu.de/beratung-service/deutschkurse-german-classes/deutschkurse-fuer-internationale-studierende/

You do, however, not need to speak German to be admitted in our master program, to follow our courses or to get along in Germany in general.

There are no funding opportunities attached to our program. We can not offer you any jobs, loans or grants.
To cover your expenses in Düsseldorf, you can either apply for grants from other institutions or take up a small job: with a student visa in Germany you are allowed to work up to a certain number of hours per month. Our students have usually succeeded in finding jobs that are well-paid enough to cover their living expenses.

Here are one link and  one more link where you may find funding opportunities on your own, but we can not help you with this.

Note that for obtaining a student visa you might be required to deposit around 10.000 Euros on a bank account in advance, to cover your expenses for a year.

To move to Germany you may need to apply for a student visa after getting our letter of acceptance. The procedures for this vary from country to country - you will have to check with a German embassy in your country.

Students from previous years have successfully applied for dorm rooms, so it is definitely possible.
Here is a link to the application site (unfortunately it only seems to exist in German).

You might need an acceptance letter from our master program to apply for a dorm room. The application deadline is the same for most master programs at HHU, so if you in fact do need an acceptance letter, you will not be too late in relation to others.

Since these informations only seem to be available in German, you can probably ask for assistance from the international office of HHU.
 

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