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Application: Master of Social Sciences

Online info session for applicants

In September and November 2023 we hosted online info-sessions about the Global Studies Programme with the opportunity to get to know some current students and staff of the program. The presentation slides are available here.

We will announce the dates for the info-sessions in autumn 2024 here on this website.


To apply for the Global Studies Programme, you need to submit the following documents through the online application system:

  1. Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  2. Motivation letter: Essay (600 words). Please refer to these guiding questions for your essay.
  3. Research Proposal (800 words excluding references) Please refer to the guiding questions below.
  4. Certified Bachelor's Diploma & Transcript of Records (with translation if applicable)
  5. Proof of English language proficiency equivalent to/higher than B2 (CEFR) 
  6. Further certificates relevant to the programme
  7. APS certificate (only necessary for applications from India, China, Vietnam and Mongolia) 


In addition, you need to submit:

  1. Two letters of recommendation. Please use our recommendation letter form only (pdf-file)
    Note information below.


The Application deadline is November 30th of each year.

We do not accept any applications after this date. We only accept online applications submitted on the platform linked below. The program start is in mid-April of each year.

Please also take a look at our "Expectation Check List" below to make sure GSP is for you.

Outside of this application period it is technically also possible to enter the online application platform and submit an application for a higher semester. We advise everyone to disregard this technical option and to apply for the usual admission during the application period.


Please carefully read this document as you complete your application:






Students Application


Further information:





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Current deadline for the next application period

The application deadline for the Global Studies Programme 2025 is November 30th, 2024. The online application platform will be open from September 15th, 2024.

Based on experience from previous years, we recommend submitting the application before October 31st in order to spare enough time to send additional documents if needed and asked for.

Outside of this application period it is technically also possible to enter the online application platform and submit an application for a higher semester. We advise everyone to disregard this technical option and to apply for the usual admission during the application period.

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Application Procedure

  • Register for the Online Application Platform HISinOne (if you do not have an account with the Campus Management system of the University of Freiburg yet)

  • Complete the Online Application by uploading your singed application confirmation to the platform by November 30th, 2024.

Carefully read and follow the guidelines here.

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Selection and Admission Process

The selection and admission process consists of two parts:

1. Programm admission by the GSP selection committee

This concerns your qualification and motivation with regard to the GSP curriculum and the programme objectives.

2. Formal admission to the University by the International Admissions and Services (IAS)

This concerns the formal completeness of your application and the verification of your university entrance qualifications, such as your Bachelor's degree and your language certificates.


  • You will be notified before Christmas if you have been selected and whether you fulfil all formal requirements prescribed by the University. You will further receive a preliminary letter of acceptance so that you can start you visa process right away.
  • As we have a waiting list, we would kindly ask you to accept your seat on HisInOne as a definitive confirmation that you will join the Programme starting in April 2025. Please confirm the offered seat as soon as possible, but no later than on 6th of January 2025. 
  • After confirming your seat you will be informed as soon as you can start your online enrollment on HISinOne.
  • After applying to the Global Studies Programme, please check your spam folder regularly. It happened before that our mails were not directly received by the applicants.

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Curriculum Vitae

Your CV should provide a summary of your past experiences, academic and non-academic. Next to your studies, your international experience, internships and volunteer work are important and will be considered by the selection committee. If some of your past internships, projects, activities etc. have a specific connection to GSP components, they can be highlighted in your motivation letter, and/or you can submit additional certificates thereof. Please only include additional certificates if they are specifically relevant to the Global Studies Programme and its components.

Your CV should contain the following pieces of information: first name, last name, date of birth, place of birth, address of current residence, current email address.

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Letter of Motivation

Besides your testimonials and the research proposal, the letter of motivation (approximately 600 words) is the most important element of your application. The motivation letter should elaborate on your study intentions as well as your professional intentions, and it should very clearly convey your motivation for the program. Rather than elaborating only on your personal biography or making abstract statements, we recommend focusing on clear and specific reasons for your application, for example by highlighting the links between your academic background as well as your non-academic experiences and the GSP curriculum. You can also include work experience, internships, volunteering, independent projects, etc.

Please follow these guiding questions when you compose your motivation letter. Also, please include a word count (excluding blank spaces) at the end of the document.


Research Proposal


In addition to your letter of motivation, you need to submit a proposal for a hypothetical research project (length approximately 800 words, excluding references). Please note that whether you stick to the length requirement is one of the aspects taken into consideration while evaluating your proposal.

You should come up with a research question and elaborate on how you would investigate it. There are no topic guidelines as we encourage you to focus on issues that you personally find relevant. Note that a proper research proposal contains a research question (or a hypothesis), information on the methodological procedure, and a list of references.

Please note that this research proposal is hypothetical! You are not required to pursue it as part of your degree. It merely helps us to assess your scientific and research skills. Please do not submit (extracts of) old term papers, essays, or theses. If you want to re-use any of your old ideas, you can instead develop a research proposal based on your old work. 

Elements that you could incorporate into your proposal:

- Within which wider discipline is your research question located?

- How does your research question contribute to ongoing discussions within the discipline?

- Which previous research does your question relate to or build on?

- What research methods would you choose to investigate your question?

At the end of the research proposal, please include a statement confirming that you composed the proposal yourself (similar to the motivation letter). Also, please include a word count (excluding blank spaces) at the end of the document.

If you are unsure about the style and form of the proposal, you can take a look at two examples from previous applicants: one on the topic of diaspora and one on statelessness. These research proposals are meant as inspiration only, you are not required to imitate them.

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Certified Diploma of previous study & Transcript of Records

Your Bachelor's diploma should include the diploma certificate, the diploma supplement and a complete transcript of records. Your documents must be translated to English (or German). When you enrol at the university of Freiburg (Immatrikulation), the original, or an officially certified copy** of the document must be presented. If your documents were translated, you need to present the officially certified translation as well as the officially certified or original document.

**Regarding the official certification of documents, please carefully read the following guide: http://www.studium.uni-freiburg.de/de/bewerbung/bls/docs/merkblatt-zu-beglaubigungen

If you are not finished with your Bachelor's degree at the time of sending your application, please submit a certified Transcript of Records and an official interim certificate issued by your university. This interim certificate has to state that you have completed your Bachelor's degree within the past 12 months.

If you do not have your official diploma yet, please submit a certified Transcript of Records and an official interim certificate issued by your university. This interim certificate has to state that you will officially complete your previous studies before April 1st (beginning of first GSP semester).

In both cases, the official diploma, or a certified copy thereof, must be presented when enrolling at the University of Freiburg (Immatrikulation).

If you have both a Master's and a Bachelor's degree please upload both of your diplomas and both of your transcripts. Since the Bachelor's degree qualifies you for admittance to the Global Studies Programme, the documents from your Bachelor's degree are central to your application. 

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Certified English language proof

You have the following options to prove your English language proficiency.

Please indicate the relevant option for you in the online application.

- native English speaker

If you have the nationality of an English-speaking country, you do not need to provide further proof.

Note: If your country has other official languages besides English, you might be asked to provide additional documents for formal admission.

- a degree from an English-speaking university/study programme (English as medium of instruction)

You will need to provide proof through your diploma supplement, your Transcript of Records or a certified letter by the examination office of your undergraduate programme (a statement by a professor is not sufficient!)

- a language certificate from the list below.

The minimum requirement for admission is level B2 (CEFR). Applicants should however aim to have an English proficiency equivalent to the level C1 (CEFR) in order to successfully participate in GSP. This will be considered in the selection process.

Minimum test scores for B2:

  • Cambridge Certificate: FCE, CAE or CPE
  • TOEFL: min. 72 points (internet-based test) or min. 567 points (paper-based test), test must not be older than two years!
  • IELTS: min. 5.5 points
  • PTE Academic (min. 59 points),
  • OOPT (min. 60 points),
  • telc B2
  • UNIcert II or III
  • TOEIC (min. 785 points in reading/listening, 160 points in speaking, and 150 points in writing)

Please have the testing institution send an original score sheet to the GSP Office. If this is not possible, you can submit a certified copy of your scores.

- In special cases, we can accept other equivalent certificates, such as a semester abroad at an English-speaking university. If you are unsure, please contact .

If you cannot provide a proof of your English language proficiency by November 30th as part of your online application, you must send the certified documents via email to as soon as possible but latest by January 15th (date of receipt). This is only applicable for the certified English language proof. All other application documents have to be submitted by November 30th of each year.

There is no knowledge of German officially required in order to be admitted to our programme and you do not need to upload any proof of German proficiency.

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Two Letters of Recommendation

You must submit two letters of recommendation using this template. If you do not find it suitable in your case to submit two academic references, it is possible to replace one with a recommendation letter by your employer or equivalent.

For the recommendation letters, please use the provided template only. Your referees must send their filled and signed recommendation letters as PDF directly via email to the GSP Office: 

Please refrain from sending any other formats or additional letters as these will not affect your application. Recommendation letters submitted by the applicant will not be accepted.

Once you submitted your online application you will be able to see the status of your recommendation letters within the application platform. Once we receive a new recommendation for you, updating the status of your recommendation letters within the application platform may take up to a week. Please allow for this processing time before sending us emails enquiring about the status of your recommendations.

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APS Certificate

This only concerns applicants from India, China, Vietnam, and Mongolia:

In order to apply for a study visa to Germany, it is mandatory to have your testimonials verified by the APS. It is recommended to start the process with APS as early as possible. If you have not received your APS certificate yet, you can still complete your application and then submit the APS later.

More information: https://www.aps.org.cn/ and https://aps-india.de/


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Expectation Check List


The Global Studies Programme is a rewarding, but also a challenging experience – both academically as well as organizationally. To help you reach a decision whether the GSP is for you, below we provide a short checklist of what to expect.

You should:

  • be able to autonomously apply and provide for a visa for three countries
  • be able to autonomously look for housing in Freiburg and at the partner universities (depending on the amount of rooms which can be officially provided)
  • be willing to move to another country/continent every three months
  • have/develop good communication skills and the ability to work in teams with people from different countries and cultural backgrounds
  • inform yourself about necessary bureaucracy/laws/insurances etc. in Germany and the countries of your second and third semester destination abroad
  • be able to organize your own travels from one university to another
  • look and apply for an internship independently
  • be able to independently search and apply for scholarships
  • conduct your own research and come up with an interesting idea for a Master thesis



  • Have you seen our FAQs?
  • If you have any general questions concerning the application process, contact .
  • If you have questions for current GSP students, we are happy to connect you individually.