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How to apply to an MSc program with a stipend (honors branch) in Bonn or Cologne

BCGS honors branch students are entitled to a monthly stipend, the lecture coursework is identical to the regular MSc program.

The application period for the upcoming winter term has ended. Details on the application process for our regular MSc programs (without scholarship) can be found here (Bonn) and here (Cologne).

Application deadlines and procedure:

  • Deadline for national and international students: December 1, 2019
  • Deadline for uploading reference letters: December 8, 2019
  • Interviews: Shortlisted applicants will be invited to the Admissions Academy, which will be held between in from March 15-20, 2020.
  • Deadline for local students from Bonn and Cologne: June 15, 2020, decisions will be announced by July 10, 2020. Please apply via email to your local BCGS office.
    Students from Cologne are kindly requested to apply via KLIPS2.0 to avoid additional workload for the application for the Master program.

Your application will be evaluated by a selection committee consisting of six faculty members, who set up a shortlist of candidates to be invited for interviews. The selection committee is recruited from both universities and covers the main research areas of the BCGS.

Admissions Academy:

Every year in early spring, we hold a one-week Admissions Academy to interview applicants to the BCGS honors branch (in 2020, the Admissions Academy will take place from March 15-20). The BCGS covers (most of) the travel and local expenses of the invited participants. This Admissions Academy serves a dual purpose: not only do applicants get interviewed, but they also are given the opportunity to visit the universities and cities of Bonn and Cologne, learn about the research groups, and meet prospective thesis advisors.
The decision about admission to the honors branch is made shortly after this Admissions Academy.

Application Materials:

  • Curriculum Vitae
  • One-page essay indicating your motivation for joining the program (in German or English)
  • Certified copies of each university degree and/or a statement about degrees you plan to complete before joining the BCGS
  • Certified copy of your transcript of records
  • Certified copy of the school leaving certificate (or an equivalent degree of qualification for access to German universities)
  • Proof of English language proficiency: TOEFL (80 points, internet-based) or equivalent, e.g. IELTS (score 6.5), or an official document stating the language of instruction issued by the university of the candidate. (German applicants: a certificate about English proficiency issued by your thesis advisor.)
  • Two letters of recommendation (German applicants: minimum one).

Students who studied at Bonn or Cologne University do not need to send certified copies.

Details about the admission requirements of our MSc programs can be found here (for the University of Bonn) and here (for the University of Cologne).

FAQs for the online application tool

I am interested in the fellowships at RWTH Aachen, however, I can only select Bonn or Cologne in the online application portal. What should I do?
Due to technical reasons, RWTH Aachen cannot be selected in the application portal. If you are interested in the fellowships at Aachen, please clearly state this fact in our letter of motivation, and select Bonn or Cologne in the online portal.

I wish to apply to both Bonn and Cologne university / to both MSc programs in physics and astrophysics. Do I need to submit separate applications via the online portal?
No, please submit only one application. You will have to select a program and university in the process, however, you can state in your motivation letter that you wish to apply to both.

I am a native speaker. Why do I have to upload a language certificate?
Of course, we do not require a language certificate from native speakers. However, due to technical constraints, the interface insists that you upload a pdf file in the corresponding field, so we'd ask you to simply upload a "dummy" pdf file stating that you are a native speaker.

My BSc program was taught entirely in English. Do I still have to provide a language certificate?
We do not require a language test in this case. Instead, in the upload section for the language certificate, please upload a document issued by your department / university stating that your BSc program's language of instruction was English.

I am in the process of finishing by BSc, so I do not have my final degree yet. Will this be a problem?
Of course, you will need to finish your BSc degree before joining the BCGS. However, you can finish your online application without uploading your final degree and submit the final certificate later.

How can I make sure that my referees received the mail about uploading their letters of recommendation?
Once you submit your application, your referees will receive e-mails with instructions on how to upload the letter. You will receive a copy of these mails (without the upload links, of course). In case your referees inform you that they did not receive the mail, please make sure that they also checked their spam folders.

How will I know whether my referees uploaded their letters of recommendation?
As soon as one of your referees uploads their letter, you will automatically be notified via e-mail.

I made a spelling mistake in the online form, can I still change it?
Yes, if you haven't submitted your application yet, you can log-in at any time and change the information you entered or replace documents. Once you submitted your application, this is not possible anymore, so please make sure all the information you entered is correct beforehand.

Can I send you additional documents via e-mail?
Due to the large number of applicants, we kindly ask you to upload all relevant documents in the online application portal instead of sending them via e-mail.

Do you require a GRE score? Can I send you my GRE test results?
We do not ask applicants to submit a GRE score, and as stated above, we kindly ask you not to send us additional documents via e-mail or postal service due to the large number of applicants. Of course, feel free to mention your GRE score (or any other information you deem relevant) in your application.

Do I need to mail my application also via postal service?
No, please submit your application only through the application portal, and do not send us any documents by postal service at this point. Should you be accepted into the program, we will require original documents / certified copies, but in that case, we will contact you again and ask for them. We kindly ask you to not send anything via postal service until then.

In the field "Beginning of the program", there is an option "SS 2020". Does this mean I can also apply for the summer term?
No, this is a known bug in the system. We only accept honors branch applications for the winter term (WS 2020/2021).

After creating the account / submitting the application, I received an empty e-mail from support.movein(at)unisolution.eu. Should I worry about this?
No, this is a known bug in the system -- please simply ignore this mail, we apologize for the inconvenience.

If I am not selected to the honors branch, do I need to apply again for the MSc program without a stipend?
No, in the final steps of the online application process, you can select whether your application should automatically be considered for the regular MSc program in case your honors branch application is not successful.

I am from China and have to provide my APS certificate. I will not have my APS interview before the application deadline. What shall I do?
Applicants from China are kindly requested to upload their APS certificate due to administrative issues. In case the respective document is not available yet, please upload the time schedule for your APS application instead. Please note that you have to hand in your APS certificate as soon as available to be able to join our program.