FAQs for MIA


General questions

What is the duration of the MPP, MIA and MDS programmes?

The master's programmes are two-year programmes, consisting of four academic semesters and one mandatory six-week internship between the first and second year of study. The Hertie School follows the American academic calendar with the fall semester lasting from the beginning of September to mid-December and the spring semester lasting from the beginning of February to mid-May.


Can I apply for the MPP, MIA and MDS at the same time?

Yes, you are welcome to apply for all programmes. Please note, however, that you can study in only one of them. Should you be offered admission to all thrree programmes, you will have to decide which offer you accept. You cannot accept more than one offer of admission.


What are the application deadlines?

The application period for the master's programmes is 1 October to 1 May.

Students who submit their application by 30 November are eligible for our early bird offer and receive a tuition reduction of 2,000 euros (can be combined with scholarships). We encourage all students who want to be considered for a tuition waiver or scholarship to apply by the priority deadline of 1 February.

Scholarships, and most of the admissions, are allocated on a rolling basis. Your chances of being offered a scholarship are higher the earlier you apply. Please note the decision timeline for MDS applications in the following question, "When will I know if I was admitted?".


When will I know if I was admitted?

Admission decisions for MPP and MIA are made on a rolling basis. The earlier you submit your complete application, the earlier we can provide feedback. The school seeks to admit students with strong applications as soon as possible. 

Please note the decision timeline for MDS applications below:

  • For applications submitted between 1 October and 30 November, decisions will be communicated at the end of December.
  • For applications submitted between 1 December and 31 January, decisions will be communicated at the end of February.
  • For applications submitted between 1 February and 28 February, decisions will be communicated at the end of March.
  • For applications submitted between 1 March and 1 May, decisions will be communicated at the end of May.


Application process

Which documents do I need to apply?

Here are the admissions instructions for the MPP and MIA programmes, including a list of all required documents. For MDS admissions, see here. All documents must be submitted in .pdf or .docx format.


Do I need to mail any hard copies of documents?

Upon admission to the programme we will communicate which original documents must be mailed or presented during orientation week.


How long should my motivation letter be?

Your letter of motivation should not exceed two pages or 900 words. You should briefly sketch your motivation and personal suitabilty for the MPP, MIA or MDS programme at the Hertie School.


Must any documents be translated into English?

All documents must be submitted in English. Transcripts, degree certificates and/or reference letters originally issued in a language other than English, must be translated by a sworn (court-registered) translator. Personal translations are not accepted. You may contact your local American Embassy or British Consulate for a list of certified translators in your area. Translations must be literal, i.e. grades should not be transferred into other grading systems.


Do documents need to be notarised?

No. Documents do not need to be notarised or have an apostille; however, they should be certified copies from the issuing authority.


Can I save my work on the application form?

Yes. You can access and edit your application until you submit. The first time you save your data, you will receive an email with your username and password. You will need this username and password to access your application form again. Please always let us know of any changes to your email address, since all communication is conducted per email.



Application requirements

What are the academic prerequisites?

Applicants must have completed an undergraduate degree (bachelor's) of at least six semesters at an institution of higher education. This includes a bachelor's degree obtained from a German "Fachhochschule". Candidates with higher degrees are also encouraged to apply.


What academic background do I need?

While many applicants have completed their degree in subjects related to public policy and international affairs (i.e. political science, economics, sociology or law), the master's programmes are open to all academic backgrounds.


Can I apply even though I haven't completed my undergraduate degree yet?

Yes – you can apply without an undergraduate certificate but you will need to have completed your undergraduate studies by 31 August in order to be able to register for the programme beginning on 1 September the same year. If you are not yet in possession of your certificate, please indicate on the application when you will receive it.


Will I need to speak German?

No. The only language of instruction at the Hertie School is English.


Which English tests and scores are accepted?

  • TOEFL | CBT 250 | iBT 100 (Writing 25)
  • Cambridge ESOL | CPE C | CAE B
  • IELTS | Overall = 7.0 | Writing 7.0
  • Duolingo English Test | 125


Our TOEFL test school code is 8874. Test results may not be more than two years old.

Short-term study abroad, au-pair home-stays or language school certificates will not be accepted as test replacements.

We encourage all applicants to take an in-person exam. Due the truly exceptional circumstances caused by the coronavirus pandemic, however, we will also accept two at-home options: the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition exam and the Duolingo English test.


Can I waive the English test?

Yes. Non-native speakers can waive the English test if they have earned an undergraduate degree at an academic institution where the official language of instruction is English.

Should this be the case, we require an officially stamped letter from your university stating that the language of instruction of your entire study programme was English. After you procure this proof, simply add it along with your application. If it fulfills our requirements, we’ll automatically waive the test for you!

Applicants holding only a master’s degree from an English-speaking graduate school cannot waive the test. 


Is the GRE required for application?

No. GRE results are not required; however, we encourage applicants to submit their results if they are taking the test anyway, as it helps us to evaluate the candidates’ profiles.


Do I need work experience to apply?

No. Work experience is not required; however, relevant work experience (internships, project management, regular job positions, etc.) will be an asset to your application.



Letters of reference

What is the procedure with the letters of reference?

Applicants are required to provide the contact information of one referee, either academic or professional, in their application form. While referees are not obligated to submit letters directly to the Hertie School, the admissions committee may reach out to them if necessary.

Applicants who wish to include letters of reference in their application to further demonstrate their academic achievements can do so by uploading them with their other application documents in the application portal. While including these letters is encouraged, it is not a mandatory requirement.

For academic references, only institutional email addresses will be accepted.


How many letters of reference can I send?

You are welcome to upload multiple letters of reference with your application. It is not required to upload letters of reference, however.


How must the letters of reference be formatted?

Referees may use our reference form, but it is not required. A reference in the form of a standard letter will also be accepted.


Who should write the letter of reference?

Referees should be in a position to assess your performance at university level or your current workplace. Typically, these are university professors/academics who have taught you in the past or direct supervisors.



Scholarships and funding

What type of funding opportunities does the Hertie School offer?

The Hertie School offers three different types of funding:

  • Hertie School tuition waivers (for everybody with financial need, 10-50% of tuition fees)
  • Full scholarships (competitive awards, applicants with a specific profile or interest, 100% of tuition fees)
  • Partial scholarships (applicants with a specific profile or interest, 10-50% of tuition fees)

Over 50% of students receive some sort of financial aid directly from the Hertie School.


Who is eligible for Hertie School tuition waivers?

All candidates with demonstrated financial need who apply by 1 May.


How are Hertie School tuition waivers allocated?

Hertie School tuition waivers are allocated on the basis of need and merit within the pool of admitted students.

The Admissions Committee ranks all MPP and MIA applicants based on the following criteria:

  • Personal suitability (CV, professional experience, entrepreneurship, international experience, civic engagement) [weight: 40%]
  • Academic excellence (strength of academic background, academic performance - grades/transcripts, general academic qualification, linguistic qualification) [weight: 40%]
  • Motivation (convincing motivation to study public policy or international affairs, motivation to study at the Hertie School, overall coherence) [weight: 20%]

The Admissions Committee ranks all MDS applicants based on the following criteria:

  • Academic excellence (Strength of academic background, academic performance - grades/transcripts, general academic qualification, linguistic qualification) [weight: 40%]
  • Quantitative and technical ability (Understanding of statistics, mathematics and/or programming, as proven through a relevant degree, coursework or extracurricular activities (e.g. competitions in programming, hackathons, personal data-related projects and research) [weight: 30%]
  • Personal suitability and motivation (CV, professional experience, entrepreneurship, international experience, civic engagement) [weight: 30%]

These rankings are the basis for the allocation of partial scholarships for students with financial need. We define financial need as the applicant's capacity to finance their living expenses and tuition from their own resources.


How do I apply for a full scholarship?

For a Hertie School full scholarship, simply fill out the 'Scholarships' section in the online application form. Full scholarships often require extra application steps, such as an additional application essay, so please read the requirements on each scholarship page carefully. You may only apply for one full scholarship per programme, per application cycle.


Do I have to be admitted before applying for scholarships?

No. You can apply for Hertie School tuition waivers, full and partial scholarships while submitting your application. To actually receive funds, however, you must be admitted and enrolled at the university.


What is the amount of awards granted?

The Hertie School offers financial support in the form of tuition waivers as well as full and partial scholarships. Scholarships do not need to be paid back. Please note that they do not include living costs. For alternative sources of funding please check out our External funding page.


Do I ever need to re-apply for scholarships?

No, tuition waivers and scholarships are granted for the entire period of the master's programme (two years).


Can I apply for the Future of Europe Scholarship if I am not an EU citizen?

Yes. The Future of Europe Scholarship is open to candidates from all countries.



Dual degrees and the Professional Year

Can I participate in both a dual degree and the Professional Year?

Yes, this may be possible under certain circumstances.

For our dual degree with Sciences Po, Syracuse University and the Munk School, it is not possible to participate in a Professional Year, as these programmes do not permit students to defer their second year of study.

It is possible to do the Professional Year and apply for a dual-degree programme with the four universities listed below. A student cannot, however, apply for both the dual degree and the Professional Year at the same time. Students wishing to apply to participate in both programmes should apply for the dual degree only during their Professional Year, and not before. This concerns our dual-degree programmes with the following partner institutions:

  • Bocconi University
  • University of Tokyo
  • London School of Economics
  • Columbia University

Read more about our dual degrees.


Can I participate in both a semester exchange programme and the Professional Year?

Yes. As with our non-fixed track dual-degree programmes, students wishing both to complete a Professional Year and to study abroad in the third semester of their studies should apply for a study abroad programme during their Professional Year.


How do I apply for a dual degree?

The Hertie School offers dual-degree programmes with seven partner institutions.

MPP and MIA candidates wishing to apply for the ATLANTIS dual-degree programme with the Maxwell School at Syracuse University need to apply before enrolling at the Hertie School. For further information, please consult the ATLANTIS section of our website.

MIA candidates who wish to apply for the dual-degree programme with the Munk School at the University of Toronto must also apply before enrolling at the Hertie School. Find out more here.

Students interested in the dual-MPP with Sciences Po Paris need to apply via the Sciences Po application portal. More information can be found here.

For dual-degree programes with Bocconi University, the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, the Graduate School of Public Policy at the University of Tokyo and the London School of Economics: Students can apply for these programmes after enrolling at the Hertie School. You will receive all necessary information on the application process during your first semester at the Hertie School.


How do I apply for the dual-degree with the Maxwell School (ATLANTIS) or the Munk School?

Interested candidates are encouraged to apply through the Hertie School's application portal, indicating their candidacy for the ATLANTIS and/or Munk School dual-degree programme(s) in the "Further information" section of either the MPP or MIA application form.




Other questions

Whom can I contact for help with German bureaucracy?

Our Student Life team ( will offer support for administrative issues such as visas, residence permits, health insurance, etc.


Will accommodation be provided?

The Hertie School is located in the center of Berlin and does not have a campus providing student housing. However, here are few tips on where to look:

• WG Gesucht

• ImmobilienScout24

• StudierendenWerk

• Facebook (especially Hertie student groups!)


Whom can I contact for help with housing?

Please see the Student Services section on housing for more information. 


Is there a Career Services Centre?

Yes. Our career development team supports students in finding internship positions and offers individual coaching sessions as well as application training.