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Friedrich Schlegel Graduate School FAQs – Application Process

  1. What are the language requirements when applying for the Friedrich Schlegel Graduate School? Which certificates do you accept?

  2. I cannot provide all of the required language skills yet. I am, however, currently taking classes and will be able to provide the necessary certificates in the near future. When exactly do you need these certificates?

  3. Can I also write my thesis in English? How much of the school’s program will be in German?

  4. I do not hold a German or European Master‘s degree, because I did my studies in another country. How can I find out whether I am eligible to apply for your program?

  5.  I will not be able to finish my Master’s studies by the time of the application deadline. Can I apply anyway? Until when do I have to finish my Master? What documentation do you need from me before that?

  6. Can I apply only for the school‘s program (with external funding), not the scholarship?

  7. What kind of work sample can I hand in with my application? Can it also be a non-academic text like a translation or a short story? Does the sample need to be in German or English?

  8. Can my professor send his/her letter of recommendation directly to you or do I have to take care of that? Does the same deadline apply as for the rest of my application documents?

  9. Can I also send you my application via e-mail?

  10. How much is the scholarship and which costs do I have to expect as a PhD student at FU?


 
 

1.       What are the language requirements when applying for the Friedrich Schlegel Graduate School? Which certificates do you accept?

We require proficiency both in German and English. If your mother tongue is either one of them, you only have to prove your skills in the other one. If none of the two is your mother tongue, you have to provide certificates for both. The FU Berlin requires a proficiency level of C1 (GER) in German. Any certificate equivalent to DSH II (Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang) is accepted. As for English, you will need to prove that you have reached at least level B2 (GER). Applicants who attended a German school may simply present their school certificate, if they took English for at least seven years. You can find a list of all other accepted certificates on our webpage.
 

2.       I cannot provide all of the required language skills yet. I am, however, currently taking classes and will be able to provide the necessary certificates in the near future. When exactly do you need these certificates?

You may submit your language certificates after the application deadline has passed. However, we require you to bring forward sufficient proof of your taking classes and their expected outcome at the time of your application. You should be able to provide us with certificates by April when we hold our interviews with selected candidates. July 1st will then be the latest possible date for handing in those certificates.
 

3.       Can I also write my thesis in English? How much of the school’s program will be in German?

Dissertations can be written both in German and English. However, classes usually are held in German. And whereas English sessions are always possible and even welcome German is the preferred language most of the time. Please note: Should you choose to write your dissertation in a foreign language, you are required to bring forward certificates proving a proficiency of level C1 (GER) in this language.
 

4.       I do not hold a German or European Master‘s degree, because I did my studies in another country. How can I find out whether I am eligible to apply for your program?

Usually you will need either a Master’s degree or equivalent in order to be eligible for our program. UNI ASSIST offers guidance for foreign students who are not sure whether their degree will be accepted as equivalent. Another useful address in this matter is ANABIN. However, the final decision always rests with the corresponding “Examination Office” (“Prüfungsbüro”) at the FU Berlin. If you are uncertain about your degree, you can also contact them.
 

5.       I will not be able to finish my Master’s studies by the time of the application deadline. Can I apply anyway? Until when do I have to finish my Master? What documentation do you need from me before that?

Yes, you may already apply. Note, however, that the expected date of conclusion of your studies should be before July 1st. We also require applicants to provide us with significant documentation proving their progress at the time of application (e.g. transcripts, letters by their advisers etc.).
 

6.       Can I apply only for the school‘s program (with external funding), not the scholarship?

Yes, it is possible to get accepted for the doctoral program of the Graduate School without receiving financial support through a scholarship of FSGS at the same time. 
 

7.       What kind of work sample can I hand in with my application? Can it also be a non-academic text like a translation or a short story? Does the sample need to be in German or English?

Usually your work sample should be a published or unpublished academic paper or a chapter from a thesis (not the complete thesis, please!). Please also do not send us any papers you wrote for a regular seminar. The same applies to all non-academic works, which are not suitable for this purpose. Furthermore, your work sample should be in accordance with the formal standards of your specific discipline. It should be in German or English, although exceptions are possible. However, please ask us before handing in a text in a third language.
 

8.       Can my professor send his/her letter of recommendation directly to you or do I have to take care of that? Does the same deadline apply as for the rest of my application documents?

The letters of recommendation need to be uploaded by the external evaluators. Please fill in the correspondent contact information on the application platform and save this step. The evaluators will then receive a request and a link for the upload. The letters of recommendation need to be uploaded until Mid-January. A slight exceedance of this deadline by the evaluators will be tolerated. You can also log in after the application deadline and see if the letters of recommendation have been uploaded. If necessary, get in touch with the evaluating professors.


9.       Can I also send you my application via e-mail?

No. Application is only possible via the online portal.

 

10.   How much is the scholarship and which costs do I have to expect as a PhD student at FU?

The doctoral scholarship amounts according to current DFG rates. Doctoral scholarshipholders receive 1.365 € plus a material costs allowance amounting to 103 €. This accounts for a monthly transfer of all in all 1.468 €. Scholarships are not subject to taxation. However, you need to get health insurance coverage yourself.

PostDoc scholarshipholders receive a scholarship rate according to DFG guidelines of all in all 1.853 € (including material costs).

See DFG guidelines

FSGS grants its scholarshipholders a travel expenses budget (1.000 € per scholarship year). Arrival and moving costs are not covered. PostDocs receive a travel expenses budget of 5.000 €.

Scholarshipholders with upbringing duties receive children allowance: 400 € per month for the first child, 100 € per month for every following child.

Semester fees will not be refunded. The fee rate depends, amongst others, on previous semesters.

Accomodation and living costs are continuously rising in Berlin. According to official information, you need to expect living costs of 750 € per month. These are fully covered through the scholarship.