What are the criteria for a successful application?
An excellent and well-written online application that shows a solid background in mathematics is the first hurdle to overcome. As for academic ability, candidates who finish in the top 10% of their year are usually the most successful at the application stage. In addition, it is crucial to request letters of recommendation from professors or university lecturers who know you well and who can vouch for your academic and mathematical abilities.
My bachelor's degree is not in mathematics. Can I still apply to the BMS?
Although in the past we have accepted applicants with undergraduate degrees in engineering, physics and computer science, they were naturally required to have a strong knowledge of mathematical subjects. As well as an excellent and well-written online application that shows a solid background in mathematics, it is crucial to request letters of recommendation from professors or university lecturers who know you well and who can vouch for your academic ability, especially in mathematical subjects. Candidates who finish in the top 10% of their year are usually the most successful at the application stage.
What academic qualification and grades are required to be accepted into Phase I?
A bachelor's degree is necessary to qualify for Phase I of our program. It is not possible to specify a minimum grade requirement since around the world applicants study under different education systems, however it can be said that successful applicants to the BMS would also qualify for admission to the top 20 maths programs in the USA. If coming from the UK, students with a first class honours degree would qualify, while students averaging upper second class would need to provide strong letters of recommendation to be considered.
What level of German is required?
The BMS PhD Program is taught entirely in English, therefore German language skills are not necessary, although it is advisable to learn a few basic terms for life in Berlin. The BMS offers assistance to those international students with little or no German language skills by covering the cost of one preparatory course in “German as a Foreign Language”.
Which Phase should I apply for?
Please find details about the BMS PhD program and the two phases here: https://www.math-berlin.de/students/program-information
In general, students who already hold a master's degree that is recognized in Germany should apply directly for Phase II. Generally speaking, master's degrees with a duration of two years and which are completed with a master's thesis are recognized in Germany with few exceptions.
If you would like to apply for Phase I to gain more mathematical knowledge before starting your PhD research, you should explain this in detail in your Personal Statement. We check all applications and degrees thoroughly before the Admissions Committee begins their evaluation. In certain cases, the Admissions Committee decides to move applications from Phase I to Phase II, if the candidate was qualified for Phase II as well. If this happens, we will inform you accordingly after the deadline.
If you apply for Phase I with a master's degree, please keep in mind the following:
You need to upload your master's degree and transcripts as well as your bachelor's degree and transcripts.
It is recommended that you also upload a research statement as an additional document. In case your application is moved to Phase II, the BMS will request a research statement.
If you have applied for Phase II but your master’s degree is not recognized in Germany for PhD studies, the Admissions Committee will consider your application for Phase I. If this happens, we will inform you accordingly after the deadline.
You cannot submit two applications in the same application period, so you cannot apply for both phases.
If you apply for Phase I with a master's degree, you should of course also upload your master's degree and transcripts as well as your bachelor's degree and transcripts.