B. Application process and enrollment
Applying to a university abroad is usually a rather lengthy and complicated process. For your convenience, we have, therefore, divided your application to the Abbe School of Photonics into three easy steps. Most of these can comfortably be done 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 must be printed out, signed, and sent to as a scanned copy after you have been accepted by the ASP evaluation committee. Please send this document to us via email, and only do so once you have been formally 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. This process takes 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. A detailed explanation (in German and English) will be attached to this letter, containing 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 your enrollment. Simply follow the instructions given to you in this email and send the requested documents. The Master Service Center will also send you an Admission letter which you should keep because you will need it for the enrollment process once you are here.
Step 3: Enrollment
Finally, admitted students will complete the process of enrollment here in Jena in the International office of our university. This is usually done exclusively in person. However, in accordance with our University’s current Covid-19 regulations, this process is now managed via postal service.
After having been accepted by the Abbe School of Photonics, you will receive an email from our University (Master Service Center) asking you for further documents for your enrollment. Simply follow the instructions in this email and send the requested documents. The Master Service Center will also send you an Admission letter, which you will need for the enrollment process once you are here.
After being accepted 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, you will be sent an email to inform you about what is necessary to enroll at our university. You will need the Abbe School of Photonics acceptance letter for Visa applications, and the Friedrich Schiller University’s admission letter for your enrollment upon your arrival. But don’t worry about all this information now: more details will be provided via email to guide you through this process!
After you have received both letters and 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. This is usually done exclusively in person. However, in accordance with our University’s current Covid-19 regulations, this process is now managed via postal service.
In conclusion, first you must be accepted by the selection committee, who will assess your qualifications. Then, you will be admitted by the Central University Administration (Master Service Center), who will check your application documents for completeness. Finally, if all necessary documents are complete, you can enroll in person at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena and become a "Master of Science in Photonics" student.
A certified translation or copy is an official translation or copy of a document which is issued, or legally attested for, by a public agency, an auditing agency, or any other public authority (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. Certified translations of the required documents must be uploaded as part of your application to the Abbe School of Photonics if they are not available in English or German.
All those documents marked with an asterisk (*) on the list of required documents must be handed in 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 is generally required for the application/enrollment to German universities.
These are the mandatory documents for the application:
- Curriculum Vitae
- Letter of motivation (a maximum of 500 words, to 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 your courses in engineering fundamentals, physics, and optics (for applicants who do not have a B.Sc. in Physics)
If available, you might also wish to submit these voluntary documents:
- 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 read the corresponding FAQ question.
The Abbe School of Photonics works on the acceptance and admission process together with other offices within the university. Therefore, we need you to upload your documents in separate files in order to distribute them among the offices and committees responsible for your acceptance, admission, enrollment, and services at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena without violating your privacy. For example, your Letter of Motivation is only of interest to our Selection Committee, your passport only to the International Office, etc. Providing these documents separately in individual files is necessary for your process of acceptance, admission, and enrollment and it helps speed up the process for you.
Please note: All documents need to be digitalized and, with the exception of the passport photo, provided as a PDF document, preferably in black & white or grey scale with a maximum of 5 MB file size each. If documents are not issued in English or German, a certified translation is needed as well.
Please note: An incomplete application file will not be processed. Similarly, 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 the following additional mandatory documents on top of your regular application:
- 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 applicable)
- 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 must be submitted as digitized PDF files and with them, if not issued in English or German, a certified translation. Please do not send any documents by post unless you are specifically asked to do so.
All documents marked with an asterisk (*) will have to be shown as originals 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 scan the certificate and send it directly to the Abbe School of Photonics via e-mail.
Please note: We can accept screenshots of the online announcement of your results only as temporary proof of your test results. We need the scanned PDF file of your official result sheet as soon as possible. Since your English language proficiency is taken into consideration at the evaluation process of your application, the Selection Committee of the Abbe School of Photonics cannot make its final decision about your file until after your scanned official test result has been received.
The "Common European Framework of Reference" (CEFR) indicates the level of your proficiency in a foreign language. You will find, for example, that most modern European textbooks use the CEFR to indicate their level of language proficiency. The levels "A1" and "A2" represent beginner levels, "B1" and "B2" intermediate, and "C1" and "C2" almost or equal to native speaker's proficiency.
For more detailed information about the CEFR please refer to the Language Policy Division of the Council of Europe.
The "School Leaving Certificate" provides you with the necessary qualification for admission to a university or other higher academic institution (e.g., Abitur, 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 to be uploaded ("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 of your school leaving certificate. If there is no explanation on the certificate itself, please provide some additional information about this in the additional free-text field of 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 system uses letters instead of numbers, please transcribe them into 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 at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena, your full educational record is needed - starting from elementary school until today. For this reason, we ask you to provide every academic level and degree you have obtained 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?
If you have changed your field or course of studies, please provide information about this time and - if applicable -a transcript of records for the courses you attended within the cancelled or changed program. A short description of the reasons 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 your current or former professors. Please make sure that they contain your professors' signature, a date, and the official headline or stamp of your university.
If you are unable to upload these documents yourself, you have the possibility to provide us with your professors’ contact information in the Application Assistant. After your application is submitted, 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 mandatory.
You will not be informed of the arrival of the letters. We ask, that you make sure to remind your referees in case they are late in submitting them. We expect the letters to be submitted no later than two weeks after the deadline.
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.
The photo for your student ID card must meet biometric standards: It should be a high quality (3 x 4 cm at 300 dpi which equals 355 x 475 pixel) frontal portrait of your uncovered face (no sunglasses, hats, etc., except for religious reasons) in front of a plain, bright background. The photo should be borderless, focused, and centered. You will need at least 2 copies: one for your student ID and one for your German residence permit.
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 the academic documents awarded to you in your home country and may also interview you for validation of your qualifications. The APS provides the fastest way to issue your German visa. Considering this, please apply as soon 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 certain fields marked bold. These fields must be filled in to proceed with the application process. Should one of these fields be left empty or the required document not be uploaded, you will not be able to 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 if you are still facing technical problems, please contact us.
Please note: An incomplete application file will not be processed. Intentionally 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 check all required data and documents carefully before submitting your application.
Due to the large number of applications, we ask for your patience and understanding during your wait for admission. While the Selection Committee do their best to review all applications as fast as possible, this process can take between 4 to 8 weeks depending on the number of applicants. (see B1)
You will receive an answer as soon as the evaluation of your application is completed. Once more, we ask for your understanding and cooperation, as queries about the status of your application cannot be answered before then.
Once you have been accepted by the Abbe School of Photonics, you will receive an Acceptance Letter via email to print out. Should the consulate/ embassy need proof of authenticity, simply contact us at .
You will, then, receive your Admission letter from the University main administration (Master Service Center) via email, containing further information on the necessary documents for your 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?