Geschwister Institute of Political Science
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Aptitude test Master

1. Admission Requirements

The prerequisite for matriculation to the master degree program is a first academic degree, or an equivalent German or foreign academic qualification, obtained in a degree course of at least six semesters, preferably in political science or in a related subject.

2. Aptitude Assessment Process and Application for Admission

The successful completion of the aptitude assessment process is the prerequisite for admission to the master degree program in political science. The purpose of the assessment is to establish whether, in addition to the skills acquired in the candidate’s first academic degree program, the candidate also has an aptitude for the special qualitative requirements of the master degree program.
These include a deeper knowledge of, and the ability to conduct, problem-analysis, the ability to think abstractly and concretely, and the ability to adapt already known approaches to new research questions in the three branches of political science: political theory, political systems, and international relations. The master degree program also requires the knowledge of empirical political research methods, research oriented and scholarly work methods, and adequate German and English language skills.

The application deadlines for the annually held aptitude assessment process are:

  • 15 May (Double Master Degrees Stockholm (SU) and Barcelona (UPF) and Master in Political Science Pre-selection)
  • 15 July (Double Master Degree Barcelona (UPF) and Master in Political Science)

The application must be at the Geschwister Scholl Institute by that date. A later arrival with a 15 July postmark does not meet the deadline.

The application must include the following documents:

  • A completed application form (pdf)
  • A curriculum vita in tabular form.
  • A copy of the leaving certificate from your first academic degree course with the details of all your examination results ("transcript of records") and, in so far as it is available, the official grade point average. In the event that, at the time of your application, you do not yet have the first degree leaving certificate, in order to demonstrate that the qualifications for the master degree program will be achieved in the near future, your application must include a „transcript of records“ with the seal and signature of the responsible examination office and with the grade record of five semesters of study in your major subject.
  • Proof of English language skills (uncertified copy). The minimum acceptable level is C1 on the scale of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

Applicants who have submitted a complete application on time will be invited to participate in a written aptitude test. At least two weeks before the test is to take place, the candidates will be informed by letter of the test’s date, hour, and location. Applicants will also be notified of the test results by post.

Pre-selection: applicants whose first degree leaving certificates have arrived by the application deadline of 15 July – and whose fully completed application has also arrived on time – will be judged eligible to enroll in the master degree program in political science without having to take the aptitude test, provided that the first degree leaving certificate fulfils all three of the following conditions:

  • A grade average of 2.0 or better.
  • A minimum of 120 ECTS points in political science, and particularly in the modules of the three political science sub-divisions of political theory, political systems, and international relations.
  • The record of examinations taken during the first degree course in the area of the methodologies of empirical political research must total at least 9 ECTS points.

Applicants will be informed by post of the results of the pre-selection process.

All other applicants whose leaving certificates do not fulfill the conditions stated above, or whose leaving certificates have not arrived by the application deadline of 15 July, will receive a written invitation to the aptitude test (see above).

3. Proof of English Language Skills

In your application proof of English language skills may be provided in any form that demonstrates that you have attained the minimum acceptable level of C1 on the scale of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). For this purpose the following tests and criteria are acceptable:

For example, the form for the DAAD Language Certificate (DAAD-Sprachzeugnis) can be obtained at short notice and the test taken with any recognized language examiner.

4. Foreign Applicants

Foreign applicants, who have neither a German higher education entrance qualification, nor a first university degree taken in Germany, are required to submit an additional application to the International Office (Referat Internationale Angelegenheiten).

5. Preparing for the Written Aptitude Test

The written aptitude test evaluates the qualities required in the master degree program (see above) in the following categories. Does the candidate have an in depth empirical knowledge of politics (10 points)? Does the candidate demonstrate well developed analytical skills (10 points) and well developed logical and mathematical abilities (10 points)? Does the candidate have an in depth knowledge of political science theories and methods (10 points)? And, finally, does the candidate demonstrate a high level of linguistic competence (10 points)? The candidate is judged suitable for the master degree program in political science when, in the evaluation of the individual qualities at least 5 points are made in each category and when the sum of all the qualities measured is at least 30 points. Otherwise the candidate is judged to be “unsuitable“(„nicht geeignet“).

The aptitude test lasts ninety minutes. It consists of multiple choice questions (where appropriate with the opportunity to support answers with arguments) and a short essay. To prepare for the exam you may consult the bibliographies of the works used in the bachelor degree program's obligatory modules.

6. Contact person

The degree program coordinator / academic counselor for the Master Degree Program in Political Science is Christina Kern, M.A.


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