MA International Relations – Admissions

Application Procedure

Applications for the MA International Relations (MAIR) are submitted online. They are accepted only during certain periods. Applications for the fall term (winter semester), when the program starts, can be submitted between 1 December and 1 February. Before you start the application please take the time to read this page carefully and completely.

You can access the application portal here. (Note that you can switch to the English version by clicking the Union Jack in the top left corner of the page.) Start by selecting “Application” and reading the Welcome page that appears. As you will see, you have to create a user account as a first step in order to submit an application. This will allow you to interrupt the application process and to resume it later without having to re-enter data.

Note that all documents that are requested in the process are to be submitted online via the application portal. Only after admission will the university ask you to send (copies of) documents by mail (or submit them in person). Any documents that you send earlier cannot be processed and therefore will be discarded. (Successful applicants will learn about their admission by the end of April.)

If you run into difficulties use the Student Office’s hotline or the email address (apply@vw.uni-bremen.de) that are mentioned on the Welcome page. Alternatively, you can turn to: mair@uni-bremen.de. While the former address (and telephone number) is likely to be most helpful if you encounter technical issues or you are uncertain about how to respond to a given question adequately, the latter address should be most helpful if you seek advice about the interpretation of admission requirements (see below). Note also that the Welcome page provides you with access to a list of “Admission FAQ” you may consult as a first line of defense should any difficulties arise.

Hints

Mind the following “stumbling blocks”:

  • To start the application (after creating your user account) simply click “My Applications” on the left hand side.
  • When asked about your academic goal you should select your immediate academic goal, i.e. the type of program you are applying for (Master).
  • When given the opportunity to “find courses offered” select “International Relations: Global Governance and Social Theory” in the menu “Subject” and then click on the search button. Subsequently, you are presented with three options. Choose the one in the middle (WiSe 2020/21, subject semester: 1) by clicking “apply” in the “Action” column. (This is on the assumption that you are applying as a regular student, i.e. as a so-called beginner. If you consider applying as a so-called “advanced applicant” please consult the relevant section below.) By the way, “aptitude test” simply means that you have to meet certain requirements to be considered for the program, e.g. a minimum GPA (see below).
  • When asked, under “Previous Studies”, whether your Bachelor’s degree is “in line with your desired course of studies”, select “Evaluation by the admission committee”.
  • Under “International Relations: Global Governance and Social Theory” in the line “Minimum grade 2.3” select “Yes”, even if you are uncertain whether your GPA is equivalent to the grade 2.3 (or better) in the German system. (You are not expected to know. The university administration will do the “translation” on the basis of the GPA stated in your official transcript of records and the grading system applied at the university from which you obtained or will obtain your degree. If it turns out that you fall short of the 2.3 minimum your application will be rejected – see below.)
  • Under “International Relations: Global Governance and Social Theory” in the line “English language level C1” select “yes” if you can provide a proof of English proficiency that testifies this level or are exempted from this requirement for one of the reasons stated below.
  • As you will see below one of the admission requirements is that you provide a summary of your Bachelor’s thesis (or an appropriate surrogate should this be impossible). You can upload this document in either the section “International Relations: Global Governance and Social Theory” or the section “Required documents”.
  • Make sure you upload (under “Required documents”) all of the documents that are required for this program whether or not they are explicitly referred to in the portal. Thus, under “Further Documents”, you should upload the required proof of English proficiency (unless you are exempted from this requirement for one of the reasons stated below).
  • After completing and submitting your application you will receive an email confirming the application. Note that this email refers to some dates (deadline for applications, expected notification of the outcome) that hold for the university’s MA programs in general but not for this program in particular. The relevant dates for the MA International Relations are the ones mentioned on the present website.

Requirements

To be considered applicants need to provide:

  • A proof of a bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) in International Relations, Political Science, Sociology, or a similar area of study worth 180 credit points (CP) according to the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) (or equivalent). Students whose degree is pending may apply nonetheless if they have completed a large part of their studies (corresponding to at least 120 CP).
  • A transcript of undergraduate courses and grades with a GPA equivalent to 2.3 or better in the German grading system.
  • A proof of proficiency in English at the level of C1 (Common European Framework) or higher. A minimum score of 95 (TOEFL internet-based), 575 (TOEFL paper-based), 230 (TOEFL computer-based), 945/180/180 (TOEIC), or 7.0 (IELTS) is accepted as equivalent, and so are the Cambridge Certificates in Advanced English (CAE) or of Proficiency in English (CPE) (Grade C). Students who earned their university entrance qualification (“A levels”) in English or their bachelor’s or master’s degree in an all-English program are exempt from this requirement (assuming they provide the corresponding document as evidence).
  • An English essay explaining why they are choosing this program and what their research interests are (“letter of motivation”).
  • An English summary (1,000 words) of their bachelor’s or master’s thesis. If the thesis is not yet finished (or none is/was required in the program), an English exposé of the thesis or an English (summary of a) term paper on a topic related to the program may be provided instead. If you submit a (summary of a) term paper, include information on the course and the instructor. (Upload just one document, i.e. the requested summary or paper. Flooding the selection committee with papers will not improve your chances of being accepted.)
  • A current CV (in English) including information on their educational and work history, publications (if any), language abilities, and extracurricular interests.

Admission of applicants whose degree is pending at the time of application is conditional on their providing the completed, final transcript no later than two weeks after the courses have started as well as the bachelor’s certificate by 31 December of the same year.

Please visit our FAQ page for more information.

Application Deadline

Applications must be uploaded by 1 February. (The application period starts 1 December.)

Please make sure that your application is complete. Incomplete applications will not be considered. (As mentioned above, exceptions are made for students who have yet to complete their BA. Please submit a transcript listing all courses and grades achieved so far.)

Advanced Applicants

Subject to vacant places, the program admits “advanced applicants” in both the winter and the summer term. Advanced applicants (“Fortgeschrittene Bewerber”) are applicants who, in addition to meeting the general requirements stated above (appropriate prior degree, minimum GPA, etc.), have successfully completed courses in another relevant MA program that are recognized by the selection committee as equivalent to MA International Relations modules worth 10 credit points (ECTS) or more. If the number of applicants claiming this status and meeting its requirements exceeds the number of vacancies (i.e. the program’s capacity for advanced applicants), the selection committee will rank the applications according to their merit.

The deadlines for applications as “advanced applicant” are 15 January for the summer semester (spring term) and 1 February for the winter semester (fall term). Applications are made via the same online system that is used for regular applications (see above).

Note that, currently, it is not possible to submit two applications for the same year. In other words, it is not possible to apply as an “advanced applicant” for the summer semester, and (as a fallback option) as a “beginner” for the subsequent winter semester. Moreover, applicants who are recognized as “advanced applicants” but could not be accepted for capacity reasons are permanently precluded from applying as “beginners” (although they may re-apply as “advanced applicants”).

The number of vacant places in the summer semester 2020 is not yet known. We expect the decision to be made by early January. Once the number has been determined we will publish it here. Note that the number of vacancies is usually low (between 0 and 2).

Contact

For further questions regarding admissions and program requirements, please contact mair@uni-bremen.de.

(Please read this page as well as the FAQ section carefully before you post your question.)