B. Application process and enrollment
Applying to a university abroad is usually a rather lengthy and complicated process. For your convenience, we have divided your progress in applying to the Abbe School of Photonics into three easy-to-master steps. Most of the steps can be done comfortably online.
Step 1: Submitting your application (online)
After you have completed your application file, you may submit your application. Your online application needs to be handed in until the deadline. At the end of this process you will receive the "Application for Admission" form which you have to print out, sign it and then (this has to be done only after beeing acepted by the ASP evaluation committee) send it as a scanned copy to - please note: this document has to be sent to us via email only if you are accepted.
Please do not send any application materials via post, unless we have specifically asked for it!
After submission, the Selection Commission will make its admissions after each priority deadline, respectively. This process lasts about 4-8 weeks, respectively. (In case, that a sufficient number of applications is submitted before the deadlines, we will start earlier with the evaluation procedure and decision sending.)
If your application to the Abbe School of Photonics has been accepted, you will receive an Acceptance Letter. You will need this letter in order to apply for a visa at the German Embassy or Consulate. With this letter a detailed explanation (in German and English) is attached. This explanation contains specific information regarding the program, language requirements and costs. It will be sent via email only.
Step 2: Submitting further documents (online & postal)
After being accepted by the Abbe School of Photonics you will receive an email from our University (Master Service Center) asking you for further documents for enrollment. Please, simply follow the instructions given to you in this email and send the requested documents which are necessary for the enrollment. Also, the Master Service Center will send you an Admission letter which you should keep because you´ll need it for the enrollment process once you are here.
Step 3: Enrollment
Finally, admitted students have to come to Jena to open a new chapter in their academic career by completing the process of enrollment. This process will be done in the International office of our university. This has to be done in person.
After getting acceptance by our Abbe School of Photonics selection committee your documents will be reviewed by the University´s central admission office (Master Service Center). For this, they will send you an email and will inform you about what is necessary for enrolling to our university. The Abbe School of Photonics acceptance letter you´ll need for applying for a Visa and the Friedrich Schiller University´s admission letter for the enrollment when you arrive here. But don´t worry about all this information: more details will be provided via email to guide you through the process!
After you received both letters and have sent all the documents which were requested, you are ready to start your studies in Jena. You will be issued your student ID card and finally become a full-scale student. This final process is called Enrollment. It has to be one in person.
Concluding, you first have to be accepted by the selection committee as a sign of your qualification, then you will be admitted by the Central University Administration (Master Service Center) in order to officially check your application materials for completeness. If all your documents which are necessary for the enrollment are complete, you can enroll in person to the Friedrich Schiller University Jena and become a "Master of Science in Photonics" student.
A certified translation or a certified copy is an official translation or copy of a document which is issued or legally attested by a public agency, an auditing agency or any other public authorities (e.g. the Administration Office or Examination Office of your university, a notary, the embassy etc.). An apostil as proof of authenticity is not required. For your application at the Abbe School of Photonics you just have to upload certified translations of required documents, if they are not available in English or German language.
All documents marked with an asterisk (*) in the list of required documents have to be sent/given to the Friedrich Schiller University Jena before the time of enrollment as certified copies. The documents need to be signed and stamped to be accepted as certified.
We understand that the application procedure asks for a lot of data and documents and we thank you very much for your efforts. This information and these documents are generally required for the application/enrollment to German universities.
All documents mandatory for application are:
- Curriculum Vitae
- Letter of motivation (should be comprised of 500 words (maximum) and be typed)
- School leaving certificate with grades*
- Academic degrees* and/ or
- (Temporary) Transcript of Records with grades*
- official English language certificate*
- short Course description of all of your courses in engineering fundamentals, physics and optics for applicants who have no degree in B.Sc. in Physics
If available, you might also wish to submit these voluntary documents too:
- Passport photo
- Language proficiency certificates of other foreign languages
- References from former employments
- Professional qualifications
If you apply for an Abbe School of Photonics scholarship, please also read the corresponding FAQ question.
For the acceptance and admission process the Abbe School of Photonics works together with other offices within the university. Therefore, we need you to upload your documents in separate files in order to provide them to the offices and committees responsible for your acceptance, admission, enrollment and services at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena without violating your rights of privacy. For example, your Letter of Motivation is only of interest to our Selection Committee, your passport only for the International Office, etc. Providing all of these documents in separate individual files is necessary for your process of being accepted, admitted and enrolled and helps to speed up the process for you.
Please note: All documents need to be digitized and, with the exception of the passport photo, be provided as a PDF document, preferably in black & white or grey scale with a maximum of 5 MB file size each. If those documents are not issued in English or German language, a certified translation is needed as well.
Please note: An incomplete application file will not be processed and willingly providing us with incorrect data may also lead to a retrospective refusal.
In order to apply for an Abbe School of Photonics scholarship you will need to provide, together with your regular application, the following additional mandatory documents:
- two Academic Letters of Recommendation from previous or current professors.
Yes, after your acceptance to the Abbe School of Photonics you will be asked for a few more documents to gain admission and complete the entire enrollment process. After acceptance to the Abbe School of Photonics you will be notified separately about this issue.
Documents mandatory for admission and enrollment are:
- Passport photo.
- Certificate of Name Change* if you are married or have changed your name for any other reason
- Higher education entrance qualification* (if you took one; special test to enter university, only in some countries)
- Certificate of the Feststellungsprüfung* only if you attended a Studienkolleg* (preparatory course) in the Federal Republic of Germany or took the Feststellungsprüfung (assessment test)
- Academic Evaluation Centre* for Chinese, Mongolian and Vietnamese applicants.
Again, these documents have to be submitted as digitized PDF files and, if not issued in English or German, together with a certified translation. Please do not send any documents by postal mail unless you are specifically asked to.
All documents marked with an asterisk (*) will have to be shown as original or certified copies at the time of enrollment at the University Jena.
show Content B 7. I want to submit my language certificate at a later time. What should I pay attention to?
We would like to ask you not to submit your language certificate e.g. by using TOEFL/TSE institution code of the Friedrich Schiller University Jena. Instead, please make a scan of the certificate and send it directly to the Abbe School of Photonics via e-mail.
Please note: We can accept screenshots of your online announcement of your results only as a temporary proof of your test results and also need the scan (as PDF file) of your official result sheet as soon as possible. As your English language proficiency is taken into consideration at the evaluation process of your application, the final decision about your file by the Selection Committee of the Abbe School of Photonics can only be made after the scan of your official test result has been received.
The "Common European Framework of Reference" (CEFR) indicates your level of proficiency of your foreign language independent of the language you are learning or the textbook series you are using. Modern European textbooks state the level of language proficiency aimed by a remark about the CEFR level. The levels "A1" and "A2" indicate beginners, "B1" and "B2" intermediate and "C1" and "C2" almost or equal native speaker's proficiency.
With the "School Leaving Certificate" you must provide the school certificate with which you gained qualification for admission to a university or another higher academic institution (e.g. the Abitur in Germany,e.g. secondary school leaving licence, baccalaureate, A-levels, high school graduation certificate, senior school certificate (e.g. WASC) etc.).
If you took a placement or assessment test to enter university, this is a separate document you have to upload ("Higher education entrance qualification").
show Content B 10. Which system of grades or marks is needed for the application? Our current study program differs to that of the USA or Germany. In which system should I provide my GPA/score?
Please provide your grades according to the system your school leaving certificate uses. If there is no explanation on the certificate itself, please provide some additional information about this in the additional free-text field in the section "further documents" at the end of our Application Assistant.
We must know your performance relative to the system of grades that was applied for your academic qualification. Since these systems differ strongly around the world, we must know the range of grades, in particular the best and the worst grade that is achievable. With achievable, we mean the worst grade with which you still pass the studies. In addition to the grade you achieved, this helps us mapping your grade to a unified scale.
- In Germany, you can finish a study within the range of grades from 1.0 (best) to 4.0 (worst). With 5.0, you would fail.
- Some systems measure the achievable points and have a threshold of points which you need to pass . If a system allows e.g. for a maximum of 95 points, but 65 points are required to pass, you enter 95 (best) and 65 (worst).
If your systems uses letters instead of numbers, please map them to a numerical scale. Use the Grade Point Average.
- US universities typically use a letter system from A to F, but you need at least a D to pass. You would map this according to the following table:
Grade Point Average
A / A+
D- / F
Application procedures at German universities require the complete educational background of an applicant. For admission and enrollment to the Friedrich Schiller University Jena, your full educational record - starting from elementary school until today - is needed. For this reason, we ask you to provide every academic level and degree you have in your CV.
show Content B 12. I have previously changed my field of study. Do I have to provide any documents in this case?
Even if you changed your field or courses of studies, please provide information about this time and - if applicable - provide a transcript of records for the courses you attended within the cancelled or changed program. Furthermore, a short description of the reason for changing your studies will be needed as well.
If you are interested in applying for an Abbe School of Photonics scholarship, please upload two academic letters of recommendation from current or former professors. Please make sure that your professors signed your letters of recommendation and that they contain a date and an official headline from the university or a stamp.
If you are unable to upload these documents, you have the possibility to provide contact information for each professor in the Application Assistant. After submission of your application, your professors will receive a notification from our system to submit the letter themselves.
We also have a template that your professors may use here. The template is, however, not required.
We will not inform you when the recommendation letters are sent, but we will ask you for support in reminding your referees in case they are late in submitting the letters. We are expecting the letters to be sent two weeks behind the deadline latest.
show Content B 14. The Letter of Recommendation is enclosed in a sealed letter, which I am not allowed to open. What should I do? Should I send it via postal mail?
Yes, please forward this document via regular mail to us.
In order to receive your student identity card the university requires your photo. The photo is needed as a JPEG file and it has to meet biometric standards: meaning a high quality photo (3x4cm at 300dpi which equals 355x475 pixel) of your face only, without sunglasses hats, etc., except for religious reasons. The face should be centered and photo borderless, focused and sharp. You will need a biometrical photo as well for your residence permit here in Germany.
show Content B 16. I am from China, Vietnam or Mongolia and have to provide a certificate from the Academic Evaluation Center (APS). Where do I find more information about this requirement?
Mongolian, Chinese and Vietnamese applicants need to provide a certificate from the Academic Evaluation Center (APS) of the German Embassy. The APS will verify your academic documents awarded in your home country and may also interview you for validation of your qualifications. The APS provides the fastest procedure with the issuance of your German visa. Considering this, please apply as fast as possible.
You will find more information here:
- Mongolian applicants: Information about APS documents in Mongolian language (German)
- Chinese applicants: Information about APS documents in Chinese language (German)
- Vietnamese applicants: Information about APS documents in Vietnamese language (German)
If your academic degree was not awarded in your home country, you do not have to provide this certificate.
show Content B 17. I cannot submit my application. My status says I have not uploaded all documents. What shall I do now?
You should first check your application carefully. An upload might have failed or something may not have been saved correctly.
While working with the Online Application System you will notice some fields that are marked in bold. These fields must be filled in in order to proceed with the application process. If one of these fields is left empty or the required document is not uploaded, you cannot submit your application. Please check and complete this information and try to submit your application again. If a document or data is not available or you still face technical problems, contact us.
Please note: An incomplete application file will not be processed and willingly providing us with incorrect data may also lead to a retrospective refusal.
show Content B 18. I have already submitted my application, but I noticed some mistakes in it/ forgot to upload a document. What shall I do? .
Please contact the Abbe School of Photonics immediately so that the information can be edited, new documents can be uploaded or your file can be reopened. However, since this is a rather complicated process, it is advisable to submit your application only after carefully checking that all data and required documents are submitted.
Since we have a large number of applicants, we ask for your patience and understanding that the evaluation process can take a few weeks time. However, the Selection Committee members will do their best to review the applications as fast as possible. Behind each deadline, it takes about 4 - 8 weeks to evaluate all the applications, depending on the numbers of applicants (compare B1).
You will receive an answer as soon as the evaluation of your application is completed. Please understand that requests on the application status cannot be answered.
After you have been acceped by the Abbe School of Photonics, you'll receive an Acceptance Letter as a pdf-file via Email. Just print it. If the consulate/ embassy needs a proof of authenticity, contact us via
Later on, you´ll receive another Admission letter from the University main administration (Master Service Center) via Email. They will inform you which documents are necessary for the enrollment.
- B 1. How will the application process to the Abbe School of Photonics proceed?
- B 2. Summary: What to keep in mind about Admission and Enrollment?
- B 3. What do you mean by certified translations or certified documents?
- B 4. Which documents should I prepare for my application?
- B 5. Are there any additional mandatory documents for applying for an ASP scholarship?
- B 6. After being accepted - what documents do I need?
- B 7. I want to submit my language certificate at a later time. What should I pay attention to?
- B 8. What is the "Common European Framework of Reference" (CEFR)?
- B 9. What is the "School Leaving Certificate"?
- B 10. Which system of grades or marks is needed for the application? Our current study program differs to that of the USA or Germany. In which system should I provide my GPA/score?
- B 11. Should I provide all of my academic degrees or only the most applicable?
- B 12. I have previously changed my field of study. Do I have to provide any documents in this case?
- B 13. How should/can I provide my "Academic Letters of Recommendation"?
- B 14. The Letter of Recommendation is enclosed in a sealed letter, which I am not allowed to open. What should I do? Should I send it via postal mail?
- B 15. What kind of passport photo should I submit?
- B 16. I am from China, Vietnam or Mongolia and have to provide a certificate from the Academic Evaluation Center (APS). Where do I find more information about this requirement?
- B 17. I cannot submit my application. My status says I have not uploaded all documents. What shall I do now?
- B 18. I have already submitted my application, but I noticed some mistakes in it/ forgot to upload a document. What shall I do? .
- B 19. When will I know if I have been admitted?
- B 20. I didn't receive any Acceptance/Admission Letter. What should I do?