Selection process  

Selection process

Once a year 25 study places are awarded on the master’s program ”Mind and Brain“: 13 places on the Brain-Track and 12 places on the Mind-Track. Since each track has a separate selection process and applicants may only apply for one of the two tracks, they must decide at the time of application which track they wish to apply for.

The application period is 1–31 May of any given year. Successful applicants for round one  are invited to take part in the subject test in July, and those successful in the subject test will usually be informed of their admission to the program or rejection by mid-August.

For admission requirements and procedures, see the Admission pages (Link to Admission).

There are three ways in which applicants may be admitted onto the master’s program ”Mind and Brain“: The overwhelming number of students, approx. 80%, are admitted through a grade-based selection process, approx. 15% of students on the basis of waiting time and approx. 5% of students through the hardship scheme.

Grade-based selection process

The grade-based selection process consists of two steps of selection: in the first step it is solely the grade point average of the relevant bachelor’s or master’s degree that is considered. Mind-Track applicants and Brain-Track applicants are ranked separately according to their grade point average. Then the applicants with the best grade point averages – approx. 39 applicants for the Brain-Track and approx. 36 applicants for the Mind-Track – are invited to take a subject test.

The subject test marks the second step of the selection process. You can find more information about the subject test here (Link to Subject test).

Finally, the grade point average of the relevant degree and the result of the subject test are added together at a ratio of 51% (degree) to 49% (subject test result) and new rankings of the best applicants for each track are separately compiled.

Here you can find further information about the grade-based selection process:

There is no minimum passing grade (numerus clausus) required in order to apply for the master program “Mind and Brain”. However, previous application rounds have shown that an applicant’s chances of success are slim if his/her grade point average is above 2.0 (e.g., 2.1, 2.2. and upwards).

Important note: 1 is the best possible grade in the German grading system and 4 is the last sufficient grade in the German grading system!

Since the grade point average from which applicants are invited to take the subject test is determined by the average grades of all applicants in a given round of applications, it can (slightly) change from year to year. Therefore we cannot say in advance at which grade the cut will be made. In 2018, the cut-off was set at 1.3 (Brain track) and 1.5 (Mind track).

These grades (e.g., 2.0; 1.5; 1.3) are as understood in the German grading system.

To estimate the chances of an application it is imperative that foreign applicants find out the equivalent of their GPA in the German grading system. Foreign grade point averages will be converted to the German system using the “Modified Bavarian Formula”:

The result is the equivalent of the applicant's GPA in the German grading system.

How to convert a foreign GPA by using the Modified Bavarian Formula? Applicants substract their GPA (Nd) from the maximum possible score (Nmax) and divide the result by the difference of maximum possible score (Nmax) and lowest passing grade (Nmin) at their home university. The result (quotient) will have to multiplied by 3 and to the result 1 has to be added.

Applicants need to know what is the maximum possible score in their university’s grading system (Nmax) and what is the lowest passing grade (Nmin). They neeed to check back with their registrar’s office regarding Nmax and Nmin at their university!

Applicants have to make clear to their registrar that the Nmax and Nmin information has to apply to the Grade Point Average (GPA). Sometimes, Nmax and Nmin information can be found on transcripts which apply to single class grades only that cannot be used for the GPA conversion!

Information about the “Modified Bavarian Formula”:

Waiting time

Approx. 15% of students are admitted on the basis of waiting time: waiting time is calculated in terms of semesters during which the applicant has not studied at an officially recognized university since completion of his/her last academic degree leading to qualification for a profession. Admission on the basis of a high number of waiting semesters is a legal requirement. This is the second possibility for admission, one that does not depend on grades.

Like the grade point average from which applicants are invited to take the subject test, the number of waiting semesters from which students are admitted is determined by the number of waiting semesters that the remaining applicants in any given year totals. Therefore we cannot say in advance from which number of waiting semesters admission will occur. In the 2016 selection process applicants with a minimum of twelve waiting semesters were admitted.

Admission on the basis of waiting time does not depend on applicants having been invited to take the subject test, i.e., even if an applicant is not invited to take the subject test, admission on the basis of waiting time is still possible.


Thirdly, applicants who had to deal with setbacks during their studies, for example because of serious illness, can put together a so-called request for hardship provision.

You can find detailed information about requests for hardship provision here:

This page last updated on: 05 August 2019