2. Applying Online

FAQ 2.1 How do I apply to the school?
To apply for the Max Planck School of Cognition you must use the online application form (will be available soon). Applying is a two-step process. In the first step, you will have to complete the registration form. After completing the registration form, you will receive an email confirmation. This email will contain your MPS registration code, which is required in the second step of the application process, the uploading of your application files. We do not accept applications through email or regular mail.

FAQ 2.2 What are the requirements to apply?
Our entry requirements and the documentation that we require you to upload are listed below:

  • Bachelor’s and/or master’s degree in an area related to cognition, such as artificial intelligence, cognitive neuroscience/neuroscience, linguistics, mathematics, neurobiology, neurology, philosophy, psychiatry, psychology.
  • Bachelor/master's grade point average of at least 1.3 (Note: 1 is the best possible grade in the German grading system and 4 is the last sufficient grade in the German grading system).
  • A comprehensive curriculum vitae (CV) of maximum two pages in length. 
  • Personal statement (typed with a maximum of one page). Please clearly discuss your decision-making process to apply to the school and include up to three fellows when discusing your academic interests.
  • A copy of your passport/identity card.
  • Your school leaving certificate (e.g. diploma) with marks.
  • Official transcripts with explicit marks, and if available course descriptions detailing the content of the courses you have mastered.
  • A graduate record examinations (GRE) general test - highly recommended.
  • Contact of two referees (academic sources) who can attest to your academic, professional, and/or research abilities in the context of your interest in pursuing a graduate degree. At least one referee should not be a member of the Max Planck Gesellschaft.
  • A proof of English proficiency (where applicable) by:

    (I) International English Language Testing System (IELTS): 5.5
    (II) (Internet-based) English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL): 72
    (III) English for International Communication (TOEIC):
           - Speaking and writing: 310
           - Listening and reading: 785
    (IV) Cambridge First Certificate in English (FCE)
    (V) Cambridge English: Business Vantage (BEC V)
    (VI) Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE)
    (VII) Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE)
    (VIII) Cambridge English: Business Higher (BEC H
    (IX) International Certificate in Financial English (ICFE)
    (X) International Legal English Certificate (ILEC)
    (XI) BULATS – Business Language Testing Service: 60
    (XII) DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) Language Certificate
            - a minimum of C in all skills or
            - **** (4 stars) in all skills
    (XIII) UNIcert® II certificate: 3.0
            - UNIcert® III or IV
    (XIV) LCCI (London Chamber of Commerce and Industry) English for Business (EFB): level 3
    (XV) Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE): 51
    (XVI) Language certificate from recognized German institutions of higher education for level B2 (with at least 4 contact hours per week) and minimum grade 2.3

    • Language exemptions:

    • Nationals from the USA, U.K., Ireland, Australia, New Zealand or Canada;
    • B.Sc. or M.Sc. graduates who obtained their qualification in one of the aforementioned countries;
    • Applicants with a school-leaving qualification from an English-language secondary school;
    • Applicants who can demonstrate they completed their entire university education, or a large part thereof, in English. This fact must be made clear by 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.
  • A list of up to three potential supervisors from the Max Planck School of Cognition with whom you would like to work. You can see the full list here. You do not need to have contacted the persons to include them on your list.

FAQ 2.3 Can I save the data of my application, complete it and submit it later?
It is, unfortunately, not possible to save your data and submit it at a later date. Once you have submitted your application, no more changes can be made. We strongly recommend that you submit your application as early as possible to prevent server overload

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