Max Planck School Matter to Life
Online Application
3-year M.S.-to-Ph.D. program

Instructions for applying online

Applying to the Max Planck School Matter to Life is a two-step process.

To begin the application process, you must first register here.

After you have registered, you will receive an e-mail confirmation.

This e-mail contains your Applicant ID, which is required in the second step of the application process where you will upload your Letter of Motivation and Curriculum Vitae (CV) with supporting documents.

Please refer to our FAQs page for more information.


By the time of admission into the program, applicants must have completed a Master's degree (M.S., M.Sc.) in one of the following fields: physics, chemistry, biology, materials science, or engineering (including any sub-fields, e.g. bioengineering, biotechnology). If you are currently obtaining your degree, please input your grade point average to-date on the registration page and submit an unofficial, current transcript of records in the document upload step. Official transcripts are only required after graduation.

To be considered competitive, applicants should have a grade point average (GPA) that is within the top 15% of their class (e.g. 3.4/4.0 in the 4.0 grading scale); however, this is not a hard rule as applications are looked at on the whole.

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test is mandatory for all students. A scanned version of unofficial test scores should be included in the upload of your CV with supporting documents. Official test scores will be required to be sent in if you are admitted into the school. Please note: The GRE test is required for admission to the program, but not for the application submission. If you cannot complete the test before applying, please indicate that it will be taken at a later date.

Solid knowledge of the English language is necessary for success in the program. If English is not the applicant’s native language, an internationally-accepted language test such as the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or a C1 Advanced/Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) is mandatory. For the TOEFL exam, a minimum score of 90 is required for the Internet-based test, 570 for the paper-based test, or 230 for computer-based test. For IELTS, an overall band score of at least 6.5, with a minimum score of 6 in each exam section is required. The C1 Advanced score should be at least a C. Test scores are valid for five years from the application deadline (i.e. the test score is valid if taken after December 01, 2013 for a December 01, 2018 application deadline).

To support your application, you will need at least two referees to write a letter of recommendation on your behalf who can attest to your academic, professional, and/or research abilities in the context of your interest in pursuing a graduate degree. At least one referee should not be a member of the Max Planck Gesellschaft. You will add the contact data of the referees when registering and they will be contacted automatically. Please note: The English language test is required for admission to the program, but not for the application submission. If you cannot complete the test before applying, please indicate that it will be taken at a later date.

Your application will also include your Curriculum Vitae (CV) with supporting documents (all educational diplomas, all academic transcripts, English language test qualification, GRE test results) and a 3-4 page Letter of Motivation (in English). Please see the upload page for more details. You will receive the link to this page via e-mail after registering.

Important dates

Regular Admission Application Deadline is March 31, 2019 at midnight (CEST). You will receive our decision by June 2019.
• School year starts in 2019 (exact date determined with supervisor).

Further Questions?

Contact the coordination office:


If you have received your Applicant ID, please include this in the subject line of your e-mail.

This registration system has been created by GWDG, Göttingen / Germany.