Answers to your frequently asked questions

Application & Admission

What does it mean to notarize application documents and where?
Notarization is literally a legal way of certifying document copies. The notarized copy must contain a statement of notarization indicating that the copy corresponds to the original document, with the signature of the notary and official stamp with an emblem. There should be an official seal usually round and contain an emblem. Notarization can be done by lawyers, at high court or much better at the German Embassy in your home country.

Please find detailed information about notarization on tum.de.
What documents do I need to apply for admission to the programme?
  • Passport style photo (as for ID)
  • Complete and current Résumé (CV)
  • Letter of motivation: Please describe your personal reasons and your particular interests and motivation for undertaking post-graduate studies in Cartography at TUM, TUW, TUD and UT on 1 to 2 pages.
  • Subject and grade transcript of studies to date (officially certified copy): Please do not send original certificates, only officially certified copies including translation into English. TUM does not assume any liability for unsolicited original certificates.
  • Two letters of recommendation (original documents): Two original letters of recommendation have to be submitted from faculty members, who are familiar with your work in the major area of your graduate study. If that work occurred some time ago, a recommendation from those people familiar with your professional performance is acceptable. If applicants do not have access to the recommendation letters itself, referees can send the letter directly by email to the programme coordinator via info@cartographymaster.eu.
  • English language certificate
  • Application for admission or for enrolment from TUMonline system
  • If applicable:
  • Chinese, Mongolian and Vietnamese applicants have to submit a valid APS certificate (original) from the German Embassy in China/Mongolia/Vietnam
  • Applicants with a qualification for postgraduate studies (e.g. a bachelor's degree) obtained in a country outside of the EU/EWG are required to have their application documents proofed before submission by the University Application Service for International Students (uni-assist e.V.). Uni-assist will issue a VPD certificate. 
Are there any study background limitations to apply for the Cartography M.Sc.?
Applications are open to all candidates with an above-average Bachelor degree or its equivalent in science or engineering. As selection and admission is highly competitive, preference is given to students with the background in cartography, geography, geodesy, geoinformation, geology or computer science.
Do I need to apply every semester to the partner universities?
No, the school will facilitate the application and admissions on the student’s behalf after the first semester. You are only required to finish the registration procedures at the university by paying the enrolment fees and signing up for the student services. More information will be communicated to you at every end of the semester before the new semester commences.
Is there a specific form required for the recommendation letters?
There is no template for the letter of recommendation. The referee should refer to your relationship, your personality, your qualification for the programme such as analytical skills, linguistic and social competencies and describe strengths and weaknesses.
Applicants can upload the recommendation letters in the TUMonline application portal. If applicants do not have access to the letters itself, the referees can send the recommendation letters by email directly to info@cartographymaster.eu.
I got 87 points in the aptitude assessment test. How are these points calculated?
Admission to this programme is highly competitive. Selection will be made on the basis of the documents of application.

Students will be selected based on the following selection criteria:
  • Academic qualification and academic potential (knowledge in cartography, informatics, mathematics, geodesy, other geo, natural and environmental sciences will be scored by maximum 50 points).
  • Final grade on diploma/degree (1.5 point for each tenth better than 3.0, if applicable grade converted into German grading system, therewith maximum 30 points).
  • Motivation (maximum 20 points).
  • Letters of recommendation (maximum 20 points).
The scores will be summed and an overall score will be generated. Candidates who have obtained at least 80 points will receive a confirmation of the passed aptitude test. With candidates who have been selected for a scholarship, an additional interview might be conducted. Unsuitable applicants with a total score of less than 60 points will receive a reasoned decision rejecting the right to appeal. All other candidates (between 60 and 80 points) may be asked to attend an interview either in person, by Skype, by video-telephone conference, or by telephone.

To ensure a fair and balanced procedure other facts will be considered additionally. These are the country criteria (at maximum 3 candidates per country), cultural and linguistic backgrounds. Moreover, the gender aspect has to be considered in the selections (minimum of 40% female students).
I have sent all my application documents, but they have not been completely checked yet. What does that mean?
When all required application documents have been filled out completely and received by the specified deadline, they will be processed by the Admissions and Enrolment Office of TUM. Due to the large number of applicants the process may take several weeks. You can check the status of your application in your TUMonline account.
My application documents online are showing a cross X and labeled not OK. What does that mean?
This means that the document has either not been properly submitted and you will receive an email describing the issue. In most cases this happens when documents are not correctly notarized and the university cannot verify the authenticity of such document. Please refer to notarization question above.
Can I defer my admission to the next academic year?
Theoretically it is possible. However there are procedures and agreements to be put up by all the members of the consortium and the applicant should provide valid and sufficient reasons why they cannot attend. Please consult the course coordinator for further advice on info@cartographymaster.eu.
How do I obtain my admission letter from TUM?
Admitted students can download the admission letter from the TUMonline application system. Due to the high number of applicants at the university, verification and processing of student admission status may take a little longer than expected. Applicants get emails informing them on the application status and after this it can take a while until the admission letter is available online.
I got admission to the Cartography M.Sc. programme. What documents do I need to enrol to the programme?
Until the course start you need to submit:
‒ Passport style photo (as for ID)
‒ The copy of the passport
‒ Evidence of student health insurance (issued by a compulsory health insurance company)
‒ Degree certificate (certified copy)
‒ Diploma (certified copy)

For applicants who have already studied in Germany for minimum one semester (e.g. Erasmus exchange students):
‒ Enrolment certification of university last attended
‒ Study process certificate 

Upon Arrival

Do I arrange all visas by myself?
Yes, students have to arrange all visas by themselves but we will assist when necessary. Student visas to Austria will be handled once you are enroled at TUM in the first semester.
Why is it necessary to register at the Residence Registration office?
In Germany, any person residing in a city, town or village for more than three months has to register within 7 days of moving into a new home. It is then of absolute importance that you place your name on your letter box at your new residence, as your life-long tax-identification number of Germany will be sent to you by mail.
When you register, you will be asked about your church affiliation. If you are a member of the Catholic or Protestant church, you will automatically be submitted to pay German church tax. If you happen to hold principle residency in a different city within Germany, please note that Munich claims a percentage of the annual basic rent for second home taxation. According to Bavarian Registration Law, confirmation of your registration must be presented to your landlord.
Where do I register and apply for residence permit?
The Residence Registration Office (Bürgerbüro) is in charge of your registration and also provides registration certificates. It is part of the Department of Public Order (Kreisverwaltungsreferat or KVR) and has six office locations in Munich. You may choose the office that has the most convenient location for you.
Please note that if you move to a Munich suburb, the local city hall (Rathaus) will be in charge of registration and the local district office (Landratsamt) will be in charge of issuing the relevant residence permit.
Is my travel insurance sufficient for health insurance needed to enrol at the university?
While your travel insurance was sufficient until you reach Germany, a German insurance is mandatory while staying and studying in Germany. You cannot enrol at the university (except EU&EEA citizens) or apply for resident permit unless you have a German state health insurance. You will need to apply for it before registering your address in Germany. There are two kinds of health insurances: Public (e.g. TK, Barmer, AOK) and Private (e.g. Care Concept). The public insurance is likely to be more economical than the private health insurance and much easier to apply for but a public insurance will not be accepted when you apply for a visa for Austria. Please find more information in our Health Insurance section on the website.
Do I need to speak German?
For the Master programme and university life knowledge of English language is sufficient. However we would like to advise you to grab the opportunity and pick up some German language as this will help you interact with other people in the community. All universities offering German language courses on all levels.
Does the universities have accommodation on campus?
Unfortunately TUM, TUW and TUD  does not have any accommodation facilities for students on campus. Students would have to search for accommodation on their own. However, all universities offering advice to students on how to successfully search for accommodation. For more information please see the accommodation information within the Student Life sections of each city the website.
What course materials do I need for the M.Sc. course?
There are no special course materials needed for the course but however we recommend students to have good computers/ laptops due to a lot of software and data processing operations.

During Studies

Can I work during the semester or summer break?
Students from the European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) have free access to the German job market and are practically equivalent to German students. International students from other countries can work a total of 120 full or 240 half days per year. If you want to work more, you need a permit from the "Agentur für Arbeit" (Federal Employment Agency) and the foreigners' authority. Whether you are issued a work permit largely depends on the condition of the local job market. It is also very important to be able to balance the work and studies since the Cartography M.Sc. programme is full time and school work is highly demanding.
Does the university arrange accommodation for students at the partner universities?
Due to high demand in student accommodation in Munich, Vienna and Dresden, it is very difficult for the staff to organize accommodation for students in the different cities. This is also because the accommodation facilities are normally run by independent organizations and students have to make sure that they apply for accommodation themselves early enough. However, we offer advice and referrals from our previous intakes. If you plan to stay at ITC for the master´s thesis, accommodation is organized and you get a room in the ITC hotel.
Can I decide to not go to one of the partner universities and do the same courses at TUM?
It is obligatory for every student to attend at least the first 3 semesters at the respective universities. This is due to the arrangement and organization of the joint programme. Every semester has different modules and students need to obtain 30 credits at every university to successfully complete the programme. The modules offered at different universities cannot be substituted with any other module at another university.
Is there any option to do the courses on part time?
The Cartography M.Sc. programme is a full time study programme. This means all our modules are offered on full time basis and it is therefore not possible to take modules part time.


Which topic can I select for my thesis research?
In principle, you are free to choose a topic you are interested in most. You may select a topic that is proposed by one of the 4 partner universities (see: https://gip.itc.utwente.nl/default/research/msctopics-carto) but we also welcome very much your own ideas for a Master thesis research topic. We suggest that you discuss your ideas well in time with any staff member who is involved in the Cartography programme. In order to make sure that a topic meets academic and Cartography M.Sc. programme standards all topic proposals will have to be approved by the Steering Committee.
Who will be my thesis supervisors?
First of all, you will be choosing a thesis topic and not a supervisor. The Steering Committee will appoint a first supervisor of one of the 4 partner universities who is knowledgeable in the topic domain. In addition, the Steering Committee will also appoint a second supervisor from a partner university that is not the same as the university of the first supervisor. You may also have (an) additional supervisor(s) if you do your thesis research with a company or other organization / institute. However, the scientific responsibility always rests with the supervisor of one of the 4 partner universities. Your supervisors are available to advice you during the 4th Semester, which starts on 1 April and ends before 1 October.
Where can I do my thesis research?
In principle, you write your thesis at the partner university that employs your first supervisor. Therefore, you can do your thesis research in either Enschede, Dresden, Vienna or Munich. Erasmus Mundus scholarship students from Germany or Austria must write their thesis at the University of Twente in Enschede. If you do your thesis research with a company or other organization / institute you may also get a place to work on your thesis over there, but, formally, you are writing it at one of the partner universities. You will have to register at the partner university where you will do your thesis research (and always also at TUM). When doing so, you must comply with all procedures and regulations of the partner university concerned.
What degree will I receive after completion of the master programme?
The qualification finally awarded to the students is the joint degree “Master of Science (M.Sc.) in Cartography”.
How long does it take until I receive my final degree certificate and diploma?
After successful graduation, TUM will prepare all documents. As all partner universities will sign the same documents, the preparation of the documents can take up to 2 months. However, a pre-certificate can be issued within one day after graduation. Once all documents are signed, you will receive an e-mail from TUM that you can pick up your documents or TUM can send it by mail to any address you provide. A graduation ceremony at TUM for all students graduated at the Department of Civil, Geo and Environmental engineering will take place every year in July.
Do I need to withdrawel from university after graduation?
You are always enroled at TUM for the whole time of your studies and TUM will automatically de-register you at the end of the semester in which you passed the final examination (end of March or end of September). However, you can apply for immediate withdrawal for good reasons (e.g. you already found a job and you do not want to have student status anymore). In this case, withdrawal occurs on the day of the application. Please see: https://www.tum.de/en/studies/completing-your-studies/withdrawal-from-university/
Do I need to deregister from the city hall upon completion of my studies?
Yes, once you plan to leave Germany definitely, please remember to deregister at your local registration office. It is especially important for third-country-nationals if planning to apply for another visa at a later date.

Graduate opportunities

Where are current graduates of the programme working?
The alumni statistics shows that 88% of the graduates found a job related to the programme, in public sector (20%), private sector (40%) or in academic institutions (15%). The statistics reveals that most graduates are staying for their first job in Europe, indicating a strong need for cartographers within Europe, particularly in the consortium countries. Please find more details about our alumni here.
After graduation, will I be eligible to pursue a PhD in one of the Consortium universities?
Yes. Graduates are eligible to pursue a PhD. For graduates the possibility for doctoral studies is also offered within the partner universities.

Cannot find your answer ?

Student handbook
Did you check out our student handbook already?
It provides you with detailed information on regulations regarding the Master programme in Cartography.
Email Support
If questions remain, please contact programme coordinator Juliane Cron.