Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

FAQ 1: When can I apply?

There is only one application period for the master’s program "Mind and Brain": Students can apply exclusively 1–31 May of each year for a program start in the following Winter semester (October). There isn’t a second application period (e.g., for a program start in the Spring semester).

FAQ 2: How many points must I have gained in my BA in Philosophy, Psychology, (Theoretical) Linguistics, Neuroscience, Biology or Cognitive Science to be able to apply?

In order to apply students must be able to demonstrate they were awarded at least 60 ECTS or 30 equivalent credits in the North American/Australian credit system on courses which can clearly be defined as one of the aforementioned subjects.

Please note: The required credit points must have been awarded in one subject. It is not possible to add up credits from two or more subjects (e.g. 20 ECTS credits in linguistics and 40 ECTS credits in philosophy) to reach the required number of points.

If a given degree has an insufficient number of relevant credit points, or even no credit points at all in one of the required fields, the necessary credit points can be aquired and provided through classes taken subsequently, i.e. after the completed degree, for example by way of additional courses. A second full degree which inludes these courses does not have to be completed. It is sufficient to attend and pass additional courses in one of the stated relevant fields at a recognized university in order to attain the required number of relevant credit points for the application.

Nota bene:
(1) These additional credit points must have been acquired in full at the time of applying. They may not be submitted later!
(2) Online courses will not be accepted.

A word of advice:
It is normally assumed that around 30 ECTS points can be acquired in one semester. Please take this number into account when realistically calculating how much time it will take you to acquire the credit points you may need to make up! Furthermore, in German universities the credit points of the teaching period of the summer semester (April–July) are generally not acquired in full by May, i.e. in time for the application to our program. This may apply to other countries and universities as well. Please find out!

FAQ 3: Are foreign language study courses equivalent to “(theoretical) linguistics”?

Degree programs or courses of study in which the main focus was either learning a language (e.g. English, German) in order to teach that language, or learning how to translate one language into another, are not considered adequate qualifications in linguistics. Only students with at least 60 ECTS in theoretical linguistics (e.g., pragmatics, psycholinguistics, discourse analysis, etc.) may apply.

FAQ 4: What is a “related subject”?

A related subject is an academic field of study that includes assignments in the fields of philosophy, psychology, theoretical linguistics, neuroscience, biology or cognitive science with a total of at least 60 ECTS or 30 equivalent credits in the North American/Australian credit system in one of these fields (i.e., not as the summation of credits in several of these fields)! These assignments must be clearly defined as relating to the aforementioned subjects in the transcript.

“Related subjects” does not mean academic fields of study with some kind of loose connection to the content of the master’s program “Mind and Brain”. If the first degree has little or nothing to do with adademic study of the fields philosophy, psychology, theoretical linguistics, neuroscience, biology, or cognitive science, then an application for our program is not possible! Examples for unsuitable first degrees for the purpose of an aplication for our program might be electrical engineering, economics, dentistry.

FAQ 5: Does proof of the required proficiency in English always have to be submitted?

As a rule, proof of the required language level must be included in the application!

The following are not required to submit proof:

  • Native speakers,
  • Applicants with a school-leaving qualification from an English-language secondary school,
  • Applicants who have completed assignments totaling at least 20 ECTS credits in an English-language university program; This fact - English-language program - must be made clear in the transcript, otherwise an informal but official letter from the university is required, in which it is stated that the relevant subjects were taught in English,
  • Applicants who attained a minimum of 5 points (German grade 4) in English courses in each of the last four terms of the German Abitur.
  • Applicants who can demonstrate they completed their entire university education, or a large part thereof, in English.This fact must be made clear in the transcript; otherwise an informal but official letter from the university is required, in which it is stated that the relevant subjects were taught in English.

FAQ 6: What is a certified copy and where can I get my documents certified?

If certified copies are requested by the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin or Uni-Assist, on no account may simple Xerox copies be provided - in this case the application will not be processed!

Please read the information about official certifications and who is allowed to carry out official certifications:

Documents which are not written in German may be certified in the relevant consulates located in Germany (e.g. Polish documents in the Polish consulate).

FAQ 7: Who is permitted to translate documents?

Translations of the documents to be provided may be done exclusively by a sworn translator. The applicant’s own translations of official documents are not permitted!

In this database you can look for sworn translators working in various languages:

If applying from abroad a list of translators recognized in Germany can be obtained from German embassies and diplomatic agencies.
A certified copy of these documents in the original language must be included along with the translated documents and transcript.

FAQ 8: Are there any further costs besides the application fees?

In addition to the application fees, banks frequently charge fees for a bank transfer, which are deducted by the bank from the transferred amount. The application fees differ from bank to bank. Ask about the fees before the transfer and add them on to the application fees in the transfer.

FAQ 9: Is it possible to apply for an entry in a higher semester of the master's program “Mind and Brain”?

Theoretically, students can apply for entering the master’s program in a higher (2nd, 3rd) semester, but practically these applications are never successful! We can admit applicants into a higher semester only if there are open places in that particular student cohort. However, because the master’s program “Mind and Brain” accepts slightly more students at the beginning of every academic year than there are regular places, there are never regular openings in any of our student cohorts. Thus, applications for a higher semester are regularly being turned down.


This page last updated on: 12 January 2023

Covid-19 pandemic:
Since we are partly working partly from home, we may not be able to answer our telephones.
Please write e-mails!

Master’s Program Coordinator
Dr Dirk Mende
Tel. +49 30 2093-89768

Postal address:
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Berlin School of Mind and Brain
10099 Berlin