General information about the grade-based selection process
Mind and Brain is a competitive master’s program with approx. 400 to 450 applicants for 30-40 places each year. Admission is based almost exclusively on the grade point average (GPA) of the applicant’s bachelor’s (!) degree.
Please read about an option for a minor grade improvement here:
Although there is no minimum passing grade (numerus clausus) for an application, previous application rounds have shown that successful applicants for the Brain Track needed at least a GPA of 1.3 (German grade) or better. Equivalent grades to 1.3 in other grading systems are First class (British grading system) or 3.8 (American or any other grading systems with 4.0 as best and 2.0 as lowest passing grade).
Successful applicants for the Mind Track needed at least a GPA of 1.4 (German grade) or better. Equivalent grades of 1.4 in other grading systems are First class (British grading system) or 3.7 (American or any other grading system with 4.0 as best and 2.0 as lowest passing grade).
The cut-offs for a successful application vary slightly from year to year. But for applicants with a GPA of less than 1.6 (German grade) the chances of getting accepted are close to zero. Equivalent grades to 1.6 in other grading systems are First class (British grading system) or 3.6 (American or any other grading system with 4.0 as best and 2.0 as lowest passing grade).
How to convert the grade point average (GPA) of an international degree
To estimate the chances of an application it is imperative that foreign applicants determine the equivalent of their GPA in the German grading system. For the calculation of the equivalent of their GPA in the German grading system, applicants must use the “Modified Bavarian Formula” explained below! Applicants should not use any kind of grade converter! Most grade converters are designed to convert single class grades and are not made for the conversion of the overall grade point average of a degree!
“Modified Bavarian Formula”:
The result is the equivalent of the applicant's GPA in the German grading system.
How to convert a foreign GPA by using the Modified Bavarian Formula
Applicants substract their GPA (Nd) from the maximum possible score (Nmax) and divide the result by the difference of maximum possible score (Nmax) and lowest passing grade (Nmin) at their home university. The result (quotient) will have to multiplied by 3 and to the result 1 has to be added.
Applicants need to know what is the maximum possible score in their university’s grading system (Nmax) and what is the lowest passing grade (Nmin). They neeed to check back with their registrar’s office regarding Nmax and Nmin at their university!
Applicants have to make clear to their registrar that the Nmax and Nmin information has to apply to the Grade Point Average (GPA). Sometimes, Nmax and Nmin information can be found on transcripts which apply to single class grades only that cannot be used for the GPA conversion!
Applicants with a serious illness or disability can turn in a hardship application. In some rare cases also particularly difficult social circumstances or family issues can be taken into account.
You can find detailed information about requests for hardship provision here:
The following document is available only in German and spells out in detail in which cases a hardship application is possible:
Please note: A hardship application may only be made by applicants from Germany, the EU, the EEA countries of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, and by foreign applicants with a German higher education entrance qualification (Abitur).
Applicants having questions regarding a hardship application specifically, can turn to Humboldt Universität's Disability Advisory Service for help: