four students listening in class

Scholarships offer highly qualified candidates financial and non-material support for their studies. A variety of scholarship opportunities exist for (future) Brandt School students. This scholarship page gives an overview of scholarships that are available to MPP candidates.

The DAAD's Helmut-Schmidt-Programme, funded by the German Federal Foreign Office, offers a limited number of scholarships to highly qualified applicants to acquire a Master’s degree in Master programmes, such as the Master of Public Policy at the Brandt School.

We have also listed scholarship opportunties offered by other institutions, such as governments or foundations. This overview is by no means comprehensive, and MPP candidates are encouraged to research different scholarship and financing opportunities available to them.


The Willy Brandt School of Public Policy is a partner in the DAAD's Helmut-Schmidt-Programme, funded by the German Federal Foreign Office (Master’s Scholarships for Public Policy and Good Governance). The Programme supports future leaders from developing countries, who seek responsible positions to promote democracy and social justice in their home countries or regions. It offers the chance to acquire a Master’s degree in practice-oriented programmes of particular relevance for the social, political and economic development in the students’ countries of origin. 

The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) offers a limited number of scholarships to highly qualified applicants from Africa, Latin America, most Asian countries and a number of European countries (list of eligible countries). Helmut-Schmidt scholarships include stipends for cost of living and a tuition waiver from the Brandt School. The current call for applications can be found on the DAAD's Helmut-Schmidt-Programme website.                                                              

Who can be supported and what are the requirements?

Main selection criteria for Helmut-Schmidt Scholarship applications to the Master of Public Policy (MPP) are:

  • A conclusive account of your academic, professional and personal motivation for studying MPP in Germany
  • Your motivation clearly relates to the goals of the Helmut-Schmidt-Programme
  • At least one year of professional experience relevant to the MPP
  • Strong analytical skills and pronounced interest in solving political problems
  • A first higher education degree completed with above-average grades (upper third of graduates), in the fields of Social and Political Sciences, Law, Economics, Public Policy and Administration

You are not eligible:

  • If your most recent university degree has been obtained more than six years before your application for the scholarship (date of issue before January 1st, 2018)
  • When you have resided in a country that is not included in the DAC list of developing and emerging countries (see OECD website) for more than 15 months at the time of the application deadline.

Candidates who already hold a Master’s degree must make a well-argued case as to why they should be funded for another postgraduate degree.

Dates and Deadlines

The deadline for applications for the Helmut-Schmidt-Programme for the student intake October 2024 has already passed.

Applications for the Helmut-Schmidt-Programme for student intake in October 2025 will be open from June 1st until July 31st, 2024.

Please note that all applications for a Helmut-Schmidt DAAD scholarship have to be submitted directly to the Brandt School via our online application portal within the application period. Paper-based applications will not be accepted. No additional application to the DAAD is required.

Application Checklist

The following documents are required for an application for the MPP at the Brandt School with a Helmut-Schmidt-Programme scholarship and have to be uploaded to your online application. Please also check the DAAD's call for application for more details on the documents. 

DAAD Checklist Form

The DAAD provides a checklist formin order to make sure that you have all the forms and documents required for applying correctly. This form holds helpful information and specifications on the required documents.

You need to fill and submit this document. Please make sure to sign it by hand, indicating place and date. We strongly recommend you to print the form, fill and sign it manually and then upload a scan or photo to your online application portfolio. This way, you can already keep the signed original hard-copy, which would be required at a later point in time, in case your application gets shortlisted.

Please note that online applications lacking this form cannot be considered. 

DAAD Application Form

The DAAD Application form"Application for a research/study scholarship" needs to be filled and uploaded to your online application portfolio. Please fill the form electronically, if possible. If hand-written, please make sure that your information is legible. 

Hints for filling in the DAAD form:

  • Cover page: please check "Other programmes" on the first page and specify "Helmut-Schmidt-Programme"
  • Question no. 7 (host university): 1. First choice of programme; 2. Second choice of programme if you apply for more than just one Master programme
  • Question no. 10: Study/research projects in Germany: you are free to either leave this section in blank or to write a short summary of your study focus

Letter of Motivation

Please upload a personal statement of purpose with your online application. This letter of motivation should not exceed two pages.

If you are applying for two master programs: Please rank the courses in order of preference in your motivation letter, i.e. why your first choice of master’s course is your first choice and why your second choice is your second choice. For each choice of course, please provide clear reasons why you think it will advance you academically and professionally. You must submit the same letter of motivation to both courses you are applying for. If you only apply for one master program, please elaborate on this choice.

In any case, the statement should include a precise account of your academic, professional and personal reasons why you want to study the Master program/s of your choice, and how your profile is alligned to the Helmut-Schmidt-Programme's goals.

Please  include the date of issue of your letter and upload this document to your online application portfolio.

Curriculum Vitae

The DAAD requires applicants to upload a curriculum vitae in reverse chronological order without any unexplained gaps including exact information on your studies, and on your practical experience. The CV must be in the europass CV format. Please upload this document to your online application portfolio.

Please keep in mind, that gaps of three months or more must be explained.

Please include the date of issue (the europass template does not include a date, please add it yourself).

Diplomas, Degree Certificates and Transcripts

Applicants must upload scans or files of the following diplomas, documents, certificates, and transcripts to their online application portfolio:

  • Secondary Education Certificate (Abitur, High School Diploma, etc.)
  • University degree certificate(s)
  • Official transcripts from all colleges, professional schools, and universities (please also add a description of the grading system if not available on the transcript or its appendix)

All documents not issued in German or English must be accompanied by certified German or English translations (i.e. either made by a sworn translator or issued by the educational institution itself).

Note: Simple (i.e., non-certified) hard copies of diplomas and certificates cannot be accepted. A certified true copy is a copy (often a photocopy) of a primary document that has on it an endorsement, a stamp or a certificate which serves as proof for this document being a true copy of the primary document. Certified true copies can be obtained from German Embassies/Consulates or other official authorities in your country of residence, e.g. public notaries or the universities/schools in question.  

Please note: Scans/files of all of these documents are sufficient for the online application. If your application makes it to the shortlist, you will get notified and you will be asked to send us true certified hard copies of your documents via postal mail. Please do not sent true certified hard copies via postal mail before you are asked to do so, as we will not be able to return documents.

Proof of First Professional Experience

All applicants have to submit a proof of relevant professional experience (minimum: one year) or internships and/or proof of relevant political activities or service to your community, such as volunteering or work for charities or NGOs, on headed paper, including an original (not scanned) or code certified digital signature, the date of issue and a stamp. If necessary, please provide a certified translation.

We require the following information about your work experience:

  • Name of the company or organization
  • Position held
  • Duration: When did you work / since when are you working for the employer (start and end date)
  • Type of Employment: Full time / part time, hours per week, paid / voluntary
  • Job Specifications: Field of expertise, area of work, key duties, etc.

If your one year of work experience was not completed within one company or organization (for example two six-month internships), please provide separate documents for all occupations, totaling a minimum of  one year.

In case, you have indicated more than one year of professional experience on your CV: Please note that you should upload proofs of work-experience (in the shape and form indicated above) for all those program-relevant occupations you want us to take into consideration when assessing your application.

If you want us to take into consideration any political activities or service to your community, such as volunteering or work for charities or NGOs, please provide proofs of experience, if possible also on headed paper, signed, dated and stamped.

Please uploads scans of these documents to your online application portfolio.


Important note 1

The DAAD wants to know what you are doing at the moment of your application. If you are currently working in a sector not relevant to the MPP and the Helmut-Schmidt-Programme, please make sure to upload a current work experience proof in addition to the one/s for your relevant work experience.

If you are currently studying and not working, please provide a current letter of reference from your university (see section “Letter of Reference” below).

Important note 2

All documents you provide must be written in English or German. If your documents are written in another language, you must provide a sworn translation (compare section "Diplomas, Degree Certificates and Transcripts" for detailed information).

Letter of Reference

All applications must be accompanied by one current letter of reference. The letter should ideally be from your current employer. If you are currently studying, the letter can also be from a university lecturer.

In any case, the letter has to be on headed paper, in-cluding an original (not scanned) or code certified digital signature, the date of issue and a stamp. If necessary, please provide a certified translation into either English or German.

Please upload a scan of the letter with your online application.

Proof of English Proficiency

Proof of English proficiency (Test scores must not be older than two years at the time of application).  The Brandt School  accepts the following tests, including their online versions.

  • TOEFL Internet, (Online Version: TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition): minimum of 90 points
  • IELTS Academic Test, (Online Version: IELTS Indicator): minimum of 6.5 points overall and in all sub-categories
  • one of the following language certificates: Cambridge English C1 Advanced (CAE) or Cambridge English C2 Proficiency (CPE).


Important note 1
Candidates who received their degree from an English-language college or university only need to present an official document or letter issued by the university stating that English has been the medium of instruction. If the information "medium of instruction: English" or similar is to be found on the Transcript of Records or its appendix, the corresponding page should be uploaded as a proof of English proficiency. In this case, an English test result is obsolete. On the other hand, please note that an excellent test-result will always contribute to your application's excellence. 

Important note 2

A scan/file of any of these documents is sufficient for your online application portfolio.

However, if your application makes it to the shortlist, you will get informed and the following will apply:

  • TOEFL-tests: please ask the test-center to submit an official hard copy via postal mail to the Brandt School. Our TOEFL institution code is 1350.
  • IELTS tests: we are able to verify your result online. You don't need to take any action.
  • Cambridge English C1 Advanced (CAE) or Cambridge English C2 Proficiency (CPE). Please send a true-certified hard copy of this document to us via postal mail. Details can be found in the section "Diplomas, Degree Certificates and Transcripts".

  • Medium of instruction letter: in case you have uploaded a medium of instruction letter by your university, please make sure to include the original letter or a true-certified hard copy to your parcel for the postal mail. Details can be found in the section "Diplomas, Degree Certificates and Transcripts".

  • Medium of instruction: information to be found on the Transcript of Records or its appendix/supplement: Details can be found in the section "Diplomas, Degree Certificates and Transcripts".

German language certificates: Please note that the MPP at the Brandt School is taught entirely in English and that German proficiency is not a requirement for admission. However, if you have any German proficiency, please upload your most recent certificate (merged into one file with the proof of English proficiency document of your choice).

Copy of Your Passport

Applicants are required to upload a scan of their international passport. Please send copies of the page containing your photo, your name, date and place of birth.

If you don't have an international passport yet, please provide a scan of your national ID-card with the respective information. Please note that you will need an international passport for your travels to Germany, though.

Further Information

After Your Application

If your online application for the intake 2025 is shortlisted, you will be notified in the fall of 2024.

We will ask you to send us true certified hard copies of certain documents (Secondary Education Certificate, University degree certificate(s) and official transcripts) via postal mail to:

Universitaet Erfurt
Willy Brandt School
Nordhaeuser Str. 63
99089 Erfurt

Please send neither the original documents nor simple copies without certification via postal mail. 

Please do not sent true certified hard copies via postal mail before you are asked to do so, as we will not be able to return documents.

Final decisions regarding scholarship awards are made in November or December. Representatives of both DAAD and Brandt School are responsible for the final admission decision to the scholarship program. Please understand that Brandt School cannot inform you about the status of your application during the selection process.

All Helmut-Schmidt scholars will be invited to attend an additional German language course of generally four months, starting in June of the respective year, in order to acquire basic knowledge of the everyday language in Germany. Please note that German proficiency is not an admission requirement for the MPP at the Brandt School, as classes are taught entirely in English.


The DAAD offers an FAQ-document on its website.

Other Scholarship Opportunities

The list belows gives an overview of scholarships offered by a variety of institutions. These scholarships are seperate from your application to the MPP. The application deadlines and requirements vary, so be sure to inform yourself about which scholarships fit to you and your profile well in advance.


The German national scholarship is the Deutschlandstipendium ('Germany scholarship'). The scholarship is open to German nationals, as well as to foreign applicants who are going to start their studies in Germany and already have a final admission for a German university. 

The Deutschlandstipendium provides financial and non-material support to high-achieving and committed students from all over the world. Modelled after the principle of public-private partnership, businesses, foundations or private individuals sponsor young talent with a pledge of 150 euros per month. The Federal Government matches this amount with another 150 euros.

The Scholarship

The scholarship is awarded without consideration of personal or parent income and one’s nationality is not material to award either. The scholarship funds do not count towards grants awarded under the Federal Training Assistance Act (BAföG). There are no social insurance contributions payable.

Funding is normally granted for at least two semesters but may be provided for a maximum time which covers the standard period of study. At intervals of two semesters the university reviews whether the scholarship holder still meets the award criteria and whether private funding will continue to be available.

More information regarding the Deutschlandstipendium can be found on the university's website, the flyer provided by the BMFB and on their website.

How to Apply

The Deutschlandstipendium is awarded by the universities. Applicants must meet the requirements of the individual institutions. In addition to academic achievement, the criteria for selecting scholarship recipients include social commitment and personal achievements, such as a student overcoming challenges or obstacles in his or her social or family background.

The application period for the Deutschlandstipendium is from July 1 to August 11, 2024. To apply, applicants must fill out the online application form and upload a letter of motivation detailing why they should receive the scholarship, an overview of their grades, as well as a current CV.

Applications are open to those already enrolled at a German university, as well as those who will begin their studies in the Wintersemester 2024/2025. The committee generally announces the results in October.

If you have any questions regarding your application for the Deutschlandstipendium, please contact the university: deutschlandstipendium(at)

Local Governmental Scholarships

The governments of some countries provide scholarships to their citizens for graduate study programs.

One example is Kazakhstan. Kazakh citizens between the ages of 18 and 35 with a GPA of 4.5 or higher and a score of 90 points or higher on their National University Test are eligible to apply for the so-called "Bolashak" study abroad scholarship. 

Please check to see if the government of your home country might provide such opportunities as well.

Other Scholarship Offering Institutions

Scholarship Offering Institutions

You may apply for scholarships offered by outside institutions. Please be aware that these institutions have their own application deadlines and procedures. In many cases, up to ten months or even more may pass between your first contact with a scholarship-awarding institution and a final decision on your application. Thus, if you depend on such support, please start the application process as soon as possible. Parallel to that you should be applying for admission to our program. Ideally, you should start preparing both as early as November if you wish to begin your studies in October the next year.

The following list is by no means exhaustive but rather is meant to give you an initial idea of what types of institutions may provide scholarships.

Scholarships awarded to German citizens and to residents who have received their secondary education in Germany ("Bildungsinländer") and foreign students eligible for BAföG according to §8 Section 1-3 BAföG:

Scholarships awarded to EU nationals not educated in Germany:

Scholarships awarded to prospective students from abroad (all nationalities):

Scholarships awarded to non-EU nationals:

We have prepared a comprehensive overview of relevant scholarship information to help you decide which scholarship may be right for you. You will also find information regarding application deadlines and requirements.

Download Scholarship Information Overview (PDF)