M.Sc. in Autonomous Systems
The programme is open to German and international students. It is possible to enrol in the winter semester which starts in September, or the summer semester which starts in March.
The application window for winter semesters opens November 15 the year before the winter semester. For the summer semester, the window opens on April 15, the year before the summer semester.
A student visa is absolutely necessary under the immigration laws there. For practical reasons, nationals of countries who require visas to study in Germany have an earlier deadline to ensure there is enough time for the visa process. The only exceptions are for applicants from European Union countries and from States with which special agreements have been made: Honduras, Iceland, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and the USA.
For applicants requiring a visa:
For the Winter Semester: January 15th the same year the semester starts For the Summer Semester: July 1st the year before the semester starts
For applicants who do not require a visa:
For the Winter Semester: August 15th the same year that the semester starts For the Summer Semester: February 15th the same year that the semester starts
The Application Process
Before you start entering your data in the online-application form, please make sure that you have all the required documents ready:
• Original Certificate of your first academic degree including transcripts and translation of both documents into either German or English (if they have been issued in languages other these). Transcripts up to one semester before you graduate may replace the certificate and complete transcript until you graduate. In this case, a conditional admission letter will be issued upon your admission to the program and the hardcopies must be presented in order to enroll.
• Certificate of APS (for applicants who completed their first degree in China, Vietnam or Mongolia).
• Evidence of sufficient English language skills (see the requirements section above for details).
• Curriculum vitae in table form.
• Copy of the first two pages of your passport.
For the online-application, you will be required to perform the following steps:
- Please click on the link below to the online-application site.
- Click on the link "Autonomous Systems".
- Enter your personal data in the designated fields. Please note that fields marked with " * " are mandatory and information must be provided. Where fields are marked with " ? ", instructions or additional information will be supplied on the right-hand side of the page. On the left-hand side you will find a navigation bar to help you navigate the site. You are required to enter your data in the default order. You will not be able to access the next field before having filled in the previous mandatory one. A mandatory field where no data has been entered will be marked red.
- In the field "Letter of Motivation" tell us a about your programming experience (languages, major programming projects) and, if applicable, any robotics experience. Describe any research and development project that you would like to work on during the program if admitted. You may upload this letter of motivation as a PDF file from the field "Checklist" (see next step). The letter of motivation should be a maximum of 2 sides of a DIN A4 sheet at font size 12 (I.e. ~1200 to 1400 words).
- When you have completed the data entry process the field "Checklist" will appear, where you must upload the scanned copies of the required application documents.
- When all fields are complete and you have uploaded all required documents you will be able to submit your application.
- After having submitted your application, you will receive your personal "User ID" and password. Please make a note of this information as you will need it to track the status of your application.
- Once you have submitted your application you will not be able to make any amendments or additions. You will only be able to upload missing documents.
Prospective students may apply through an online system.
After the application deadline has expired, the admission committee will decide to either admit or decline admission.
In the case that you are admitted (you will be informed by email), you will be required to send in the hard copy of the original application and all supporting documents to us by post by a given date. Please note that all copies of documents you submit must be officially certified for authenticity with the originals. In case your documents have not been issued in either German or English, you will need to additionally submit officially certified English or German translations. If you have completed the TOEFL as evidence of sufficient English language skills, please have ETS (Educational Testing Service) send your certificate directly to us. You will need to inform them about our institute number, 7977.
Only after the verification of your original application documents will we be able to confirm the unconditional offer of a place of study. You will receive more information on this process at the given time.
Candidates requiring a visa are notified of their admission decision around the following dates:
For the Winter Semester: March 15th
For the Summer Semester: September 1st
Candidates who do not require a visa are notified of their admission decision around the following dates:
For the Winter Semester: August 22nd
For the Summer Semester: February 22nd
As soon as you receive a positive decision, you need to send in a signed hardcopy of your application package (including the original copy of all the documents that you have uploaded).
Once you are admitted to the program, and the Registrar's Office receives your hardcopy, you will receive an official Letter of Admission ("Zulassungsbescheid") from the Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg (H-BRS) with which you may apply for a visa.
Once admitted, please proceed with obtaining a visa and finding accommodation as soon as possible. You will receive a welcome pack with useful information for planning your move. Students accepted into the program are also assigned a study buddy: a student currently participating in the course who can answer questions about the course or about living in Bonn prior to your arrival in the area. Once you arrive, the study buddy can show you around and help in making the move a smooth one.
Applications may be rejected for a variety of reasons. Admissions criteria may not have been met with regard to the necessary computer science content in previous studies, or due to an insufficient level of English proficiency, for example. It may also be the case that the number of qualified applicants for the given semester far outweighed the number of seats in the course.
There are a number of steps you may take if your application was rejected. You may appeal the decision. In this case, the committee will re-examine your application. Please note that, in the vast majority of cases, the applications are once again rejected. If the reason that was given for the rejection is related to the minimum admissions criteria, you should remedy the problem before re-applying for admission to another semester. If there were not enough seats for all qualified applicants, you may write to the registrar and inform them that you would like to submit your candidacy for the following semester.
If you have any questions, please check the FAQ below. If your questions have not been answered, please contact the Registrar's office.
Questions about the programme
Q: Is this course 'focused' only on robotics?
"Focused": yes; "only": no. We deal with *ALL* aspects necessary to build, program, operate, design and deploy robots. So, we cover some aspects of embedded systems, machine learning (as a facet which is good to have in a robot), localization and navigation (needed for GPS-based devices), neural networks, sensing (especially vision), risk estimation and many other topics. Yet, *MOST* of our examples and exercises are centered on application scenarios from robotics, such as in RoboCup: designing a filter that is able to detect the whistle of a referee reliably.
Questions about admissions
Q: What if my TOEFL score is below the minimum requirement?
You will be asked to retake the TOEFL and apply once again.
Q: The requirements say I need an internship with Fraunhofer Institute. Do I have to apply for this internship separately before I arrive?
No you do not. Your application form itself serves as the request for internship.
Q: Can I apply to the MAS program if I don't speak any German?
Yes, you can apply for the course even if you speak no German. For your university life it is not necessary to speak German. You may want to take *SOME* courses in order to better understand and appreciate the local culture. You can take advantage of the free German courses offered to international students of the university.
Q: How and when will I be notified if I am admitted?
If you are admitted, you will receive an e-mail informing you that you were admitted, and the welcome pack will be attached. This will be followed by a post package with your formal acceptance letter and other important information on the program. All applicants will receive notification of their status at most four months after the application deadline. We realize that waiting is very difficult; however, we request that you do not call or email our offices to inquire about the status of your application.
Q: Can I get my acceptance letter in less than four months?
Yes, this is occasionally the case. You will be notified as soon as the decision has been made.
Q: I was accepted to the program for a given semester but am unable to come. Can I start my studies in the next semester without resubmitting my entire application?
You can defer admission by one semester only (and only to the following semester). You have to re-apply for the following semester in the announced period and email the registrar's office to let them know that you were previously admitted and have uploaded the new application for the following semester.
Q: How do I know if I need preparatory courses?
Your admission letter may state that you would be required to take additional course work which may total a certain number of credits. You may not obtain "course credit" towards your degree with these courses.
Q: How do I get a letter indicating the cost of living for my bank loan?
The living expense per month for college students in Germany will be about Euro 700-800. It includes housing rent (student dormitory), meals, medical insurance, registration fee, transportation, books, stationary, living articles and others. This sum does not include the fees which are around 265.40 Euros per semester. You may also wish to use the link of the Deutsches Studentenwerk: <http://www.internationale-studierende.de/en/prepare_your_studies/financing/costs_of_living> which lists the average cost at 725 Euros/month.
Q: In my rejection letter, it stated that I did not get a place for the internship. What is the reason for this?
If the number of qualified students exceeds the available number of internship seats for a given semester, it may be necessary to reject applicants. If you are still interested, you may re-apply for the following semester. However, a place is still not guaranteed.
Questions about the university
Q: Are there German courses at the university that I can attend?
Yes, the university offers free German language courses to all enrolled students. Classes at several levels are provided each semester. Once admitted, you will be asked if you wish to participate in the classes and what your current level of German is.
Q: Are there any scholarships available to assist students?
The university and the program do not offer scholarships, however, you should check the DAAD website for funding opportunities.
Q: Can I work while I study?
The program is very demanding and you will find that you need most of your time to study and keep up with the course and project work. Opportunities for student jobs at the university are limited and are generally offered to excellent students in their second semester. There are strict laws in Germany governing a student's ability to work and the time that may be invested in this. Be sure to familiarize yourself with them so as not to risk losing your "student status".
Requirements for Admission
For admission to the programme, a professional academic degree (Bachelor or equivalent) is required in the areas of computer science, mathematics, natural sciences, or engineering.
For your application to be reviewed by the Admissions Committee, a grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 or less on the German grading scale (1=excellent to 5=fail) is necessary. Grades from other countries are converted to the German equivilant by applying the "Bavarian formula". You can check if your GPA meets this criterion by performing the conversion yourself:
- NMax is maximum possible grade of your university’s grading system
- NMin is lowest passing grade of your university’s grading system
- Nd is your GPA which needs to be mapped to the German grading scale
Your German-equivilant GPA = 1 + (3*((Nmax-Nd)/(NMax-NMin)))
For example, if NMax = 100, NMin = 60 and Nd = 78.2, then the equivilant score on the German scale is equal to 1 + (3*((100-78.2)/(100-60))) which evaluates to 2.635. As the GPA in this example is greater than 2.5, it would not meet the given criterion.
Another requirement is sufficient knowledge of concepts, methods and tools in the field of computer science. Such knowledge is usually acquired in a four-year computer-science course with at least 65% computer-science content. Programme applicants who have already graduated from a first level degree course in mathematical/scientific subjects or engineering can be admitted to the programme provided that the course had a computer-science content of, as a rule, at least 50%. They must also perform additional assignments, to be specified on an individual basis, worth up to 30 ECTS credits.
Admission is based solely on credentials and academic excellence.
As the program is taught entirely in English, the TOEFL, IELTS or the Cambridge Certificate for English language proficiency is required for all candidates who meet any of the following criteria:
- Candidates who do not have English as the de facto language in their country (i.e. countries other Australia, Bahamas, Canada, New Zealand, UK, and USA)
- Citizens of Australia, Bahamas, Canada, New Zealand, UK, and USA whose first language is not English (i.e. those who have lived in countries other than those mentioned here and who have not obtained a school diploma which conforms to one of the national certificates of these countries - e.g. High school diploma, IB diploma, A-levels and so on).
Exemptions are granted to applicants who meet any of the following criteria:
- Candidates who have earned a bachelor’s degree from universities in Australia, Bahamas, Canada, New Zealand, UK, and US
- Candidates who have earned degrees from English-language degree programs in Germany
The minimum required language skill level is upper B2 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (please view here for details). This corresponds to a TOEFL score of 79 or higher on the internet-based test and to an IELTS score of 6.5. Scores must be submitted from a test taken within the last 24 months. The TOEFL code for the university is 7977 ("Fachhochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg"). No German language skills are required for the programme.