Munich Center of the Learning Sciences

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Application - Procedure

Before the selection procedure starts (Step 0)

Please make sure to start looking for a potential MCLS supervisor as early as possible. Once you found a potential supervisor make sure that he/she is ready to provide a MCLS Recommendation Letter for you via the online application tool (he/she will receive an e-mail with further instructions once you entered their contact information and submitted your application in the online application tool) by March 15.
In case you do not manage to find a potential MCLS supervisor who is willing to provide an MCLS Recommendation Letter, you may participate in the pre-screening period. This implies submitting your application early (Feb 15). In this case, the reference letter from your previous professor must be uploaded by Feb 25.

Program start is in October.

Selection Procedure

                                           Step 1
                  Step 1a ---------------------- Step 1b      
           (Applicant & previous professor & MCLS member)           
                           Submit documents online     
                      without                           with                                        Step 3                                        Step 5
                      MCLS Recommendation Letter                                    (Program)                                 (Program)
               February 15                            March 01                           Review Stage                          Final decision   
                                   l--- pre-screening period ---l     May 15                 April           April/May        May/June
---------------- O --------------------------------- O ---------- O ----------------- O --------------- O ----------------- O
Step 0                                                                        Step 2                                         Step 4
(Applicant)                                                        (InternationalApplicants)               (Applicant & Program)
Look for potential                                          Submit documents (hardcopy)               Interview Stage
MCLS supervisor

Step 1: Application Stage - Submit documents ONLINE

  • Step 1a: Submit documents by February 15 if you do not have an MCLS Recommendation Letter
    Submit all required documents but the MCLS Recommendation Letter in the required format by February 15, 11:59pm (UTC+1; later submission are not considered for the pre-screening) via the Online Application Tool and indicate your interest to participate in the pre-screening period (Tab: Reference Letter in the Online Tool).
    • Your referee (previous professor) must upload his/her reference letter by February 25. Incomplete applications (i.e. those without a reference letter by Feb 25) cannot be considered for the pre-screening period.
    • During February 26 and March 15 complete applications (incl. the upload from a referee) will be made available to potential MCLS supervisors.
    • In the event that one of the MCLS members considers supervising your doctoral project, he/she will upload an MCLS recommendation letter until March 15 and thereby complete your application documents.

  • Step 1b: Submit documents by March 01  if you do have an MCLS Recommendation Letter
    Submit all required documents in the required format by March 01, 11:59pm (UTC+1) via the Online Application Tool.
    Your referee (previous professor) and your potential supervisor must upload their reference letter / MCLS Recommendation Letter by March 15. 

Step 2: Submit HARDCOPIES (for international students, who do not hold either German citizenship and/or do not hold a prior German degree: university entrance qualification, Bachelor, or Master; more info here):

  • If you are considered an international student and want to profit from assistance with your request for admission directed to the International Office (IO), please make sure to send the required hardcopies to the Program (not to the IO directly).
    We offer assistance for all applications we receive by May 15 (we confirm the arrival of the documents via mail)
    Should you not be able to hold this deadline, please contact the coordination immediately. 
    More information on required documents here.

Step 3: Review Stage

We will review the applications based on the:

  • submission of an MCLS Recommendation Letter (submission of application occurred by March 01 and upload from potential supervisor occurred by March 15 - either through the upload form in the application tool or during the pre-screeing period, if you participated therein by submitting your otherwise complete application by February 15)
  • submission of a reference letter from a previous professor (submission of application occurred by February 15 (participation in pre-screening period)/March 01 (MCLS Recommendation Letter available) and upload from referee occurred by February 25 (participation in pre-screening period)/March 15 (MCLS Recommendation Letter available))
  • quality of the research proposal
  • quality of the motivation letter

Step 4: Interview Stage

Successful applicants in the document review stage will be invited to an interview. The interviews will presumably take place in May. The interviews can be conducted in person or online.

In the interview candidates have to deliver a short presentation of their master thesis research (or equivalent), as well as their proposed doctoral research project. The main criteria for evaluation are scientific skills, empirical research experience, and the relevance of the topic to the learning sciences field. The selection committee consists of MCLS members. English proficiency is also validated during the interview.

Step 5: Final Decision

We will inform you about the final decision regarding your acceptance or rejection (presumably in May/June; in July the latest).

If you are an international student, you need an additional acceptance letter from the International Office to start your studies (i.e. upon enrollment) and to apply for your VISA (the program acceptance letter is not always sufficient to get your VISA)

  • In case you have not sent the hardcopies to our program by May 15, please take care of this process yourself. In this case please check which documents you need in the International Office directly.