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Admission Procedure

Each year, SLE accepts 20 graduate students for its twelve-month study programme. Guest students are also admitted and may attend individual courses.

Applicants should have a university master’s degree in subjects relevant to development cooperation and demonstrate that they have worked on development-related topics during their degree course. The range of suitable disciplines is immense. Natural and earth sciences such as agriculture, landscape management, environmental studies, geography and geology are highly relevant. Business studies, economics, sociology, politics, cultural studies and law are also suitable qualifications. Ethnology, psychology and other disciplines may also be suitable in individual cases.

Applicants should speak fluent German and English, and preferably one other UN language. They should also have theoretical and practical experience of development studies issues and become familiar with developing and transition countries during internships or working visits.

Admission requirements

  • university or vocational college degree (Master, Diplom, state examination, PhD)
  • citizenship of an EU, a developing or a transition country
  • very good English and excellent German (CEFR: C1), as well as a good command of at least one of the following languages: French, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Chinese, Arabic
  • demonstrable interest in and commitment to development policy
  • internship, work or study stays in developing or transition countries
  • suitable state of health for long trips to developing countries (where poor health care and increased health risks frequently prevail)

Admissions committee

Twenty graduates are selected annually for the graduate study programme on the basis of their knowledge, experience, motivation and personal suitability.

The final decision on admission is made by the admissions committee, which is made up of representatives of SLE, organisations in the field (GIZ, NGOs, consulting firms), the university faculty and the Albrecht Daniel Thaer Institute, and one student from the current cohort.

Admissions process and criteria

During the pre-admission phase in September of each year, candidates are assessed along set categories on the basis of their written application.

The overall impression of the application determines selection for the main admission phase. The selection criteria include involvement in development topics, personal motivation, argumentation, study grades, language skills, age and previous work experience (e.g., internships or work placements).

The pre-admissions committee selects approximately 50 candidates for the main admission phase.

During this phase in mid-October, candidates present themselves in person at SLE. From written essays, short presentations, interviews and language tests, the admissions committee forms an impression of candidates' analytical skills, personality, motivation, team competence, development expertise, suitability for the profession, and writing and language skills.

Click here for the statutes of the SLE STUDIES.

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