Application and Admission

Apply here for the renowned master's programme at the University of Konstanz. The course offers a broad variety of courses, multiple international exchange opportunities and promising career prospects.

The application deadline for this study programme is the 15th of May, for a study start in Fall of the same year ++++ There is only one application processand student intake per year ++++ The online application page only opens approximately 4-5 weeks before that deadline ++++ FAQs at the bottom of this page

 Admission requirements

Applicants who wish to study the M.A. programme in Politics and Public Administration have to fulfill the following requirements:

  • B.A. studies: Bachelor degree or a recognized (international) equivalent in a subject relevant to the master’s programme.
  • Work Experience: Internship or job in a field relevant to the master's programme of at least two months duration.
  • English: If English is not your first language: proof of proficiency in English on level B2 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.
  • German (only relevant for those students applying for the specialisation in Management and Public Administration): If German is not your first language: proof of proficiency in German.

Application Procedure

The application is done online, via the website ZEuS. The decision about the admission to the programme is made on the basis of an application procedure organized by the university. Applicants are ranked and selected based on their profile. The application deadline is the 15th of May and the commission only takes its decision after that deadline. The application for admission has to include the following documents:

  • CV
  • Motivation letter: A letter of 1-1,5 pages in which you explain your academic background and your motivation to study the programme
  • Recommendation letters: Two letters of recommendation from academic teachers
  • B.A. studies: Degree certificate(s) of a bachelor degree or a recognized (international) equivalent in a subject relevant to the master’s programme or, if you have not yet graduated, a certificate showing grades obtained so far (for example official academic transcript). (Submit officially certified copies of originals and officially certified translations into English or German)
  • Work experience: Proof of an internship or a job in a field relevant to the master’s programme of at least two months duration
  • English: If English is not your first language: proof of proficiency in English on level B2 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (for example: at least 7 years of English at high school level or via one of the following tests: Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (minimum grade C); TOEFL (minimum 90 points internet based) or a recognized equivalent. (Submit the official record or a copy)
  • German (only relevant for applicants who wish to study the specialization Management and Public Administration): If German is not your first language: proof of proficiency in German via one of the following tests: DSH-level two or at least 4 points in all four areas of the TestDaF or a recognised equivalent)

Frequently asked questions regarding the admissions procedure

When does the application process start?

The online application form usually opens for applications approx. 4 to 5 weeks before the final deadline, 15th of May.

When are the results of the application selection made public?

Usually, the admissions office and the department need about one month to proces the applications and to take a decision. We try to inform the applicants within one month after the application deadline about the result of the process.

What are the criteria on which the applicant selection is based?

According to the admission rules, a series of soft and hard criteria decide on the admission of a candidate. The following critera do play a role for the admission committee:

  • What is the candidate's former study programme?
  • At which institution did he/she study before?
  • What grades were achieved?
  • Who has written the reference letters and how emphatetic is the recommendation given?
  • Is the motivation letter substantial?
  • What other professional/academic experiences does the candidate have?

Can I still change my chosen focus area after being admitted?

In principle yes. However, you need to hand in an application to the examination board during the first two semesters of your studies. You can drop off this application at the study advisor's office during office hours.

Can I apply directly for one of the double-degree options offered?

No - You first apply for the general MA programme and usually spend the first year of studies at the University of Konstanz. During that year, you apply, through an internal application procedure, for one of the options offered. This means that students collect information about these options during the first months of their studies and apply on the basis of the inspiration gained. The application deadline for the exchange to the US and Canada is the 2nd of November, for the European programmes the 1st of February.

Which proofs of English language proficiency are accepted?

We would like to avoid that you have extra costs having to take English tests offered by commercial providers. Instead, it would be sufficient to hand in the following documents:

  • High School leaving certifice AND
  • Confirmation of former University that you took academic classes in English language (e.g. through Transcript of Records) OR
  • Confirmation that you did an Erasmus exchange at a University where the teaching language is English OR
  • Certificate of language proficiency issued by the Language Centre of your former University.

Are reference letters issued by lecturers or postdoctoral researchers accepted? Or do they have to be written by Full Professors?

Yes - we also accept reference letters issued by postdoctoral researchers and lecturers. It is more important that the author can say something substantial about the applicant.

What elements should a reference letter contain?

A recommendation letter should be one page maximum.  It should include the following elements:

- how does the professor/instructor writing the recommendation know the applicant?
- what class(es) of yours did the applicant attend?
- how did the applicant do academically in that class?
- how does the professor/instructor evaluate the applicant academically?
- what accomplishments of theirs do you find noteworthy?
- why is the applicant especially fitting for this degree programme?

How do I need to hand in a reference letter?

The reference letters can be handed in together with the rest of the application documents. It is not necessary to deliver them in a sealed enveloppe. Alternatively, the academic staff or the candidate can also send the recommendation letter by e-mail or regular mail to the study advisor.

Can I hand in documents after the 15th of May?

You have to fill out the online application and to hand in all relevant documents by the 15th of May. For the application process, it is not necessary to send documents via regular mail (it might be necessary to hand in original documents or certified copies of some documents at some later stage, for the enrolment process).

Missing application documents such as recommendation letters still can be sent to the study advisor by e-mail until the 31st of May.

Can I also apply if I did not do a two-month internship?

Yes, this is possible - as we understand that at many universities and in many countries, it is not usual that students do an internship during their BA studies. If an applicant has done one or more internships that were, each one, shorter than two months, we can also take them into account.

How exactly should the practical experience look like that needs to be demonstrated when applying?

Usually, applicants for a study place have worked previously in one of the following areas:

  • Public administration, on the local, regional, national or international level, e.g., city governments, ministries, embassies
  • NGOs, public foundations
  • Private businesses , e.g. management, HR department or inhouse consulting
  • Development aid
  • Media and press

Besides proper internships, we also can take into account if applicants worked as research or teaching assistants or had a job.

Can I apply if I am not proficient in German?

Yes - all core courses of the programme are offered in English. There are some elective courses that are offered in German. However, students will always find a sufficient offer of courses offered in English. ATTENTION: One of the four fields of specialisation, Management and Public Administration, does require German language skills, as many courses in that area, especially those dealing with the German public administration, are offered in that language. We recommend all international students to learn German during their stay in Konstanz and e.g. take part in the GoKonstanz-programme, a one-month intensive language course offered in September by the international office.