Frequently Asked Questions

Here you can find the answers to several commonly asked questions regarding our International Master Program "Computational Neuroscience".

If you can not find the answers to your questions, please contact Darko Komnenić (graduateprograms@bccn-berlin.de)

Question: Am I eligible for the CNS MSc?

We welcome applications from prospective students who have or are working towards a Bachelor of Science in the natural sciences.

Specifically students from Neuroscience, Cognitive Science, Biology, Computer Science, Engineering, Mathematics, Physics, Psychology, etc. Please make sure that you meet our minimum math and English requirements.

Medical students are also welcome to apply to our program provided that they have completed an amount of training equivalent to a Bachelor's degree. For medical students from Northern Africa and the Middle East - please contact Peter Marock (peter.marock@tu-berlin.de) to determine whether your training is sufficient for an application to the TU Berlin.

Question: Can I apply if I haven't completed my Bachelor's?

If you are pursuing your Bachelor's degree in a country that belongs to European Higher Education Area (EHEA), you don't have to have finished your Bachelor's (or equivalent) degree before applying to our program. However, if you are selected to join our program, you will have to submit your final transcript and degree certificate before you can enroll.

If you are pursuing your Bachelor's in a country outside of EHEA, you will need your Bachelor's degree at the time of application.

Question: How many applications do you receive per year?

We normally receive between 150 - 200 applications for our master program each year.

Of those, we accept 15.

Question: How are the applications ranked?

We rank the applications according to our Admission Regulations with states that each application's score is calculated according to:

  • 40% GPA / Final grade of Bachelor's degree (or equivalent)
  • 30% soft-factors
    • 2 independent reviewers read the letter of motivation, letters of recommendation, and the applicant's CV to provide a score which is then averaged
  • 20% math grades
    • note that math grades are counted twice, once in the overall grade and again here
  • 10% English level

The applications are scored, ranked, and sent to the TU and the TU then prepares the official letters of acceptance.

Question: What is the minimum GPA / Final grade cut-off for application?

Due to how we rank the applications, there is no official cut-off or minimum grade for applying to our program.

However, our program is very competitive and, in our experience of the last 10 years, if you have an overall grade below 1.7 (German-system) then it can be quite difficult to be offered acceptance to our program and we would recommend considering and preparing alternative options.

Question: When can the outcome of the selection process be known?

The application deadline is March 15th, each year.

Applications are either submitted directly to the TU Berlin (students who have completed a degree within Germany) or via uni-assist (international students). The documents are then processed by the TU & uni-assist and are forwarded to the BCCN Berlin for further processing by mid-April. At this point applicants who have been rejected due to formalities will have been informed.

The BCCN Berlin selection committee receives a list of applicants and processes & ranks the applications according to our Admission Regulations.

In May, the selection committee meets to discuss all applications individually and produces a final ranking which is then sent to the TU Berlin by the end of May - start of June.

The outcome of our selection process is then normally available via the TU Berlin portal at the start of June.

Question: Do I need 24 ECTS in mathematical courses to apply?

Yes. Our master program is computational in nature, meaning that our courses are very mathematical. Thus, we require that applicants to our program have at least 24 ECTS in university-level math courses. These courses have to include Linear Algebra, Probability Theory, and Statistics at a minimum.

Please note that the grades from the math courses are used in the ranking of applications - thus your grades on these courses influence your chances of being accepted to our program.

You can fulfill this prerequisite by:

  • Taking additional courses at your home university -or-
  • Taking online courses, up to 4 ECTS can come from online courses
    • You will have to submit a certificate of completion which states the course topic, your grade, and the number of ECTS / credits awarded for the course

Not all credits have to be accounted for by the application deadline --- as some applicants will not have finished their degrees by then. However, you will need to outline how the missing credits will be accounted for, and any offer made may then be conditional on successful completion of the missing courses.

Please note that you will have to complete and submit the "Mathematical Overview Form" which lists the (minimum) 24 ECTS that you have acquired in math courses. Your application to our program is not considered complete without this form.

Question: How do I translate my home credits to ECTS?

Generally, 1 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) = 30 hours of work, including in-class hours, homework, and self-study.

We recommend using an online ECTS calculator to translate credits from your home system to the ECTS system to make sure that you meet our requirement of at least 24 ECTS in math courses.

Question: Do I need to do an English test?

If you are a native English speaker (according to the TU Berlin's definition of English-native countries) or if you have / will have successfully completed a degree which was taught in English, then you don't need to do an additional English test.

Please make sure that the language of instruction is explicitly stated on your transcript or that you include a letter from your program coordinator stating that the language of instruction was English.

English native countries (as of 07.2022): Antigua & Barbuda, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Cook Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Ireland, Jamaica, New Zealand, Philippines, Saint Kitts & Nevis, Saint Vincent, Singapore, Trinidad & Tobago, United Kingdom (Great Britain and Northern Ireland), United States of America.

For a list of the English tests that are accepted, and the minimum score required, please see the Prerequisites section which can be found at the bottom of the "Application" sub-page.

Question: Do I need knowledge of the German language?

No, you do not need any German knowledge to apply to our program - our program is taught entirely in English.

However, it can be helpful to learn some German for navigating the city and everyday life. We do not organize any German courses ourselves, instead you can take a course at one of the Berlin Universities (Humboldt-University of Berlin, Technical University of Berlin, Free University of Berlin) or at a Volkshochschulen. Note that all of these courses cost money.