DAAD Study Scholarship (German Academic Exchange)

History   |   Description   |    Eligibility   |    How to   |   Application   |    Checklist

History and Purpose

The DAAD (Deutscher Academischer Austauch Dienst), founded in 1925 and re-founded following WWII, is a private, publicly funded, self-governing organization of higher education institutions in Germany. Based in Bonn, DAAD promotes international academic relations and cooperation by offering programs and funding for students, faculty, researchers and others in higher education and represents the German higher education system abroad, helping to build ties between institutions around the world. The DAAD’s five-fold mission includes promoting academic and research partnerships between Germany and other countries; providing Germans with international and intercultural experiences; enhancing internationalization of German higher education; promoting scholarship in German language, literature, art and knowledge of cultural heritage; and supporting the process of economic and democratic reform in developing countries and in the transition countries of Middle and Eastern Europe. US applications are administered through the New York office.

Description of the DAAD Study Scholarship

Study Scholarships are available to highly qualified graduating seniors and recent graduates from all disciplines to do independent study or to complete a full Master’s degree at a German university in Germany. The Study Scholarship is for 10 months and must take place during the German academic year (from October 1 – July 31) immediately following a senior’s graduation. Students may receive an extension of up to one year for Master’s degrees that are longer than one year. The scholarship includes a monthly stipend of approximately €750, health insurance, a flat rate subsidy for travel costs (see website for amounts), and a limited rent subsidy.

  • Candidates who wish to pursue independent study must have a well-defined study or research project that makes a stay in Germany essential, and should have an invitation from an academic partner at a German university or research institution.
  • Candidates for a Master’s program must be able to explain why a particular program has been chosen and how it will further the candidate’s educational and career goals. Candidates must apply to the German university of choice separately, but need not have already gained acceptance to be awarded a DAAD.

All disciplines of study are welcomed. Students pursuing degrees in the fields of music, drama, direction, dance, choreography, art, design, and film must include portfolio materials with their applications. Note that applications in performing arts have a different deadline than that in other fields.

Proficiency in German is not required for all courses of study, but applicants in the humanities and social sciences should have a good command of German. While candidates with strong German language skills in general will be most competitive, many universities in Germany offer course study in English. Also, research in the sciences is often conducted in English-speaking labs. Students who have good reasons for pursuing their field of study in Germany, and have German proficiency commensurate with the requirements of their academic plan, are encouraged to apply. All DAAD scholars will be expected to improve their German while in country, of course.

(Note: The DAAD offers many additional opportunities for students to study or do research in Germany such as the Undergraduate Scholarship, RISE, and Summer Language Programs. Students interested in these opportunities may apply directly and should consult Mount Holyoke’s MCGI website.)

Eligibility Requirements and Rules for Nomination

 

Applicants must have/be:

  • Seniors or graduates within six years (alumnae may apply directly or through campus)
  • US citizenship or international students with two years of attendance at a US college
  • Proficiency in German appropriate to plan of study (ordinarily minimum of two years)
  • Strong academic standing with at least a 3.5 GPA
  • MHC may nominate an unlimited number of candidates

How to apply

All applicants currently enrolled at MHC must apply through a campus process, facilitated by Fellowships Advisor (FA) Christine Overstreet and Senior Administrative Assistant Marianne Taylor, and be endorsed by the College (represented by the Committee on Fellowships which is chaired by the Dean of Studies). The campus process includes submission of all application materials on time to the FA who will offer guidance on essays; an interview with the Committee; and final revision and delivery of the application to the FA if the candidate is endorsed. The FA will then send the application to DAAD with an accompanying endorsement letter. Note that the deadline for submission of materials for the campus process is much earlier than the DAAD deadline. Applicants applying for a Master’s program must apply separately to that program, although they need not have received an acceptance letter yet to be considered for the DAAD.

Application components

  • Completed application form, submitted online and printed & signed (available online from the DAAD website)
  • CV or resume in chronological, tabular form with name appearing on each page
  • A research/study proposal (not part of online application)
  • For Master’s program: explaining why particular program has been chosen and how it will further applicant’s academic and career goals (two page maximum, double spaced, name on each page)
  • For Independent study: a well-defined study or research project that makes a stay in Germany essential and references an invitation from an academic partner at a German university or research institution (five page maximum, double spaced, name on each page
  • Evidence of contact with German institution (for independent study only - can be an email in German)
  • DAAD language evaluation(completed by a German language instructor; form on DAAD website) – print out
  • Original transcripts from all undergraduate study (sent to FA directly, who will make necessary copies)
  • Two recommendations from Mount Holyoke College faculty, typed on letterhead, signed in ink
  • Supplemental materials (portfolio) for Performing Arts, Fine Art, Design, Film, Music

Campus Process and Checklist

Please note that for all deadlines, submission time is 12:00 noon

All fields 

Checklist
Timeframe Task(s) to Complete
July/August investigate university programs/research institutions
  draft essays/seek feedback from German faculty, other faculty, and FA
September 30 Application and all accompanying materials due to FA
  Faculty recommendations due to FA (may be word docs at this point)
October 7-11 Interviews with Committee on Fellowships; endorsed candidates then revise materials as suggested
Music/Art fields:  
October 25 Revised final application submitted online and printed version, signed, delivered to FA with NO STAPLES, single sided (FA will make copies)
November 1 FA mails all application materials, with duplicates to DAAD
Non Music/Art fields:  
November 8 Revised final application submitted online and printed version, signed, delivered to FA with NO STAPLES, single sided (FA will make copies)
November 15 FA mails all application materials, with duplicates to DAAD
All fields:  
March Awards announced – candidates notified via email – tell your FA!