Frequently Asked Questions
You can find helpful answers to questions considering the application process for the study programme »Master of Integrated Design«.
[awp_accordion title=”What does the KISD M.A. program cost in tuition and fees? What if I decide to study abroad in the third semester for the dual degree option?” state=”closed”]
The fee for all students (EU and non-EU citizens) is approximately 250 Euros per semester, which includes an unlimited regional public transportation ticket. Depending on your accommodation costs, you should calculate an additional 700 to 800 Euros per month for food, housing, etc.
Please be aware that to obtain the German student visa, you will have to prove via a bank statement that you have at least 8,700 Euros per year set aside for living costs. More information on this and more can be found in detail on the Study In Germany website.
If you decide to do the dual degree abroad, you will only have to pay the normal semester fee plus any additional costs for housing etc. There are scholarships available for German citizens but any other scholarship will have to be researched independently, as KISD does not offer any financial aid for studying abroad. Check the DAAD website to search for specific scholarship options.
[awp_accordion title=”Can I start in the Winter Term?” state=”closed”]
The M.A. program is only available beginning in the Summer Term (March of every year) and we only offer the opportunity to apply to the M.A. program “Integrated Design” once a year in the Winter Term (deadline October 1st).
[awp_accordion title=”I did not achieve 210 credit points from my previous studies. Can I still apply?” state=”closed”]
Yes, you can but you have to be very convincing. Additionally, it is highly recommended to have at least six months of work experience in a design-relevant area after your bachelor studies.
[awp_accordion title=”I did not study design in my bachelor degree. Can I still apply?” state=”closed”]
Yes, but you have to be very convincing. Why do you want to study Integrated Design? What makes you a good fit for KISD? What can you bring from your past experiences to the program and how does studying at KISD fit into your overall goals? Please explain this clearly in your motivational letter and/or your portfolio.
[awp_accordion title=”I studied something very specific design-wise in my bachelor degree. Can I still apply?” state=”closed”]
Yes! The KISD M.A. program encourages people from all backgrounds who wish to either have a deeper dive into their previously studied field or to pivot and relate their previous work to something more theoretical or academic. For example, we have a student who studied Architecture in their bachelor degree and are now writing their thesis analyzing how to design spaces to evoke specific marketing goals for companies. We also have a student who studied International Relations in their bachelor degree and is now diving into the use and benefit of design thinking and service design tools in organizations.
In the end, we want to see who you are and your passion – we are interested in seeing how you narrate your own story and what you hope to achieve at KISD.
[awp_accordion title=”Can I receive some feedback about my portfolio before I apply?” state=”closed”]
Unfortunately, we are not able to give individual feedback for the portfolios because of the large number of applications. We apologize for any inconvenience.
[awp_accordion title=”What are you looking for in my portfolio?” state=”closed”]
The portfolio should be representative of you – your interests and your previous work. We are not specific about the medium used since we look for students who can demonstrate their passion and independent drive to complete projects from beginning to end.
The work you present does not have to relate to what you want to pursue for your M.A. degree at KISD – we just want to see what kind of person you are, what you are capable of, and what has driven you in the past.
[awp_accordion title=”How can I know how many credit points I have achieved from my previous studies?” state=”closed”]
Usually, every university gives you information about your national credit points vs. ECTS credit points. Most programs that last three years or more cover the required amount, but you should check with your home university.
[awp_accordion title=”Can I work during the M.A. program?” state=”closed”]
The M.A. program is full-time; however, depending on your visa, you will be able to work up to 20 hours part-time on the side. Many students also have part-time internships. That being said, your work should not interfere with your studies.
[awp_accordion title=”What are the English Language requirements?” state=”closed”]
We recognize all international recognized English certificates and do not have a specific deadline for the amount of time that they need to be valid.
The following are the requirements:
CEFR: B2 level
TOEFL: B2 level – 72 to 94 Points (internet-based version, UniAssist code: 2727)
IELTS: B2 level – 6.0 Points
Please note that all M.A. students will have to write a substantial research-based thesis in English to complete the program, so a good grasp of English is required.
[awp_accordion title=”What if I am not a native English speaker but completed my B.A. in English – do I still need to prove my English Language proficiency?” state=”closed”]
No, if you studied your Bachelor degree in English, you simply need to submit your transcript to prove that the courses were in English and write us a letter stating that your studies were in English and submit it along with your other application documents.
[awp_accordion title=”What if I am a native English speaker? How do I prove my English Language proficiency?” state=”closed”]
Please just write us a letter stating your citizenship or any other proof of native English proficiency and submit that along with your other application documents.
[awp_accordion title=”Where can I find information about housing?” state=”closed”]
You can find information about student housing on the TH Köln website housing page. Additionally, there are special allocated student apartments throughout Cologne made available by StudentenWerk. Renting a room in a shared flat (called a “WG” for short, in German) can cost approximately 300 to 500 euros per month. Once you are accepted, there will be more information sent to you by the KISD main office to help you in your search.
Please note that due to the number of students in Cologne, finding accommodation can take some time. When accepted to KISD, you can contact the TH Köln International Office and KISD student Facebook groups to inquire about rooms for rent.
Please be aware that there are scams targeting international students – for this reason, we do not recommend transferring money to book an apartment before meeting the people and seeing the place in person.
[awp_accordion title=”Does KISD offer scholarships?” state=”closed”]
Unfortunately, there are no KISD scholarships available.
There are, however, scholarships available for students by the German government and other entities. All information can be found here:
Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD)
Deutsche Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)
Stiftungen in Deutschland
[awp_accordion title=”Can I learn German at KISD?” state=”closed”]
Yes, we offer German courses especially for designers at KISD. You will be able to sign up for them as soon as you arrive. Other options are free classes at TH Köln, which require you to take a language placement test upon your arrival, and the Volkshochschule, which are inexpensive.
We recommend a taking basic German course before arrival, since most government and administrative documents in Germany are in German and it will help you adjust to living in Cologne.
[awp_accordion title=”Is it possible to receive a conditional acceptance letter for my scholarship application?” state=”closed”]
Yes, it is possible. Please contact the Application Assessment Team: firstname.lastname@example.org
[awp_accordion title=”Is it possible to receive an explanation for the refusal letter?” state=”closed”]
Unfortunately, we are not able to give individual explanations for the refusals because of the large number of applications. We apologize for any inconvenience that may cause and encourage you to apply again next year.
[awp_accordion title=”What is UniAssist? Is it a part of KISD or TH Köln?” state=”closed”]
UniAssist is a German government certification entity founded to make the application procedure for international student applicants standard. They act as the liaison between international student applicants and the university regarding official paperwork and eligibility. They are completely separate from KISD and TH Köln and have a different application process.
Please note that if you are from Germany, you do not have to apply to UniAssist. Please double check your eligibility. Specific country requirements can be found on their site: http://www.uni-assist.de/several-countries.html
[awp_accordion title=”When do I have to apply to UniAssist and how does it work?” state=”closed”]
You have to apply to UniAssist at the same time that you apply to KISD if you are an international or non-German student. They will check your national degree qualifications and let the university know if you are eligible.
You can apply online but please be aware that you have to send apostilled (i.e. government official) copies of your documents in order to be considered. Once you have paid the UniAssist processing fee, you will receive an account number. Please insert this number into your KISD application before saving and hitting send. Please note that the application for Uni-Assist opens to KISD M.A. students on September 1st.
All further questions can be answered on their FAQ website: http://www.uni-assist.de/FAQ-en.html