Q&A about the Max Weber Program

The Max Weber Program supports talented students in Bavaria. We have put together the most frequently asked questions and answers about the program.

General information on application and funding in the Max Weber Program

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Admission via the MB exam is only possible after graduation from a Bavarian school. However, students at Bavarian universities who are proposed or who apply proactively do not have to have a school degree from Bavaria.

Yes, a scholarship from the Max Weber Program does not affect the BAföG claim.

Yes, a precondition for funding in the Max Weber Program is the beginning of your studies at a Bavarian university before the age of 23.

However, this age limit includes, for example, the care of one's own children, compulsory and voluntary services, training pe­ri­ods, access to higher education through second-chance education and study pe­ri­ods abroad. On the other hand, au pair stays, work & travel or periods of employment, for example, are not counted.

No, if you have passed the MB exam successfully, you will only qualify for the Max Weber Program. Irrespective of this, proposals for scholarships by the German Academic Scholarship Foundation are made directly by head teachers.

Yes, that is possible. You can be recommended or apply via any access route once:

  • MB exam
  • proposal via an examination office
  • proposal by a university teacher
  • proposal by an Elite Graduate Program
  • self-nomination

The last four access routes are only open after you have started your studies.

No. Anyone who possesses the nationality of a member state of the European Union or who belongs to a state with which the so-called reciprocity is guaranteed may apply.

If you are unsure about this, please directly ask the Max Weber Program. Preconditions for participation in the application process are sufficient knowledge of German (at least B2 / C1 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages).

Students may be accepted as scholars of both the Max Weber Program and one of the Federal Govern­ment's 13 scholarship foundations, such as the German Academic Scholarship Foundation. A double fi­nan­cial support, however, is not possible.

In principle, a Deutsch­land­stipendium is not compatible with a scholarship in the Max Weber Program. It is possible, however, to combine the funding provided by the Max Weber Program with the non-financial support of the Deutsch­land­stipendium (if offered).

Students who complete an integrated degree program can be supported in the Max Weber Program, provided the other requirements are met. Exceptions are courses of study at vocational academies or administrative colleges (for example at the Hochschule für den öffentlichen Dienst in Bavaria), which are also not eligible under the BAföG. If you are unsure whether your education is eligible, please ask the Max Weber Program.

You can apply if you have stud­ied a sub­ject or sub­jects other than your cur­rent one for a max­imum of three se­mes­ters. It is gen­erally not possi­ble to apply with a sec­ond de­gree.

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Application of pupils

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Pupils who have achieved very good results in their A-levels ex­ams at Ba­varian grammar schools can take part in the so-called Minis­terial­beauftrag­ten­prüfung (MB ex­am). At tech­ni­cal se­condary schools and voca­tio­nal col­leges they can take part in the Eliteprüfung (elite ex­am). The exam must take place in the year of your higher education entrance qualification.

If you have successfully completed this exam, you will be offered a scholarship in the Max Weber Pro­gram, provided sufficient places are available. A pre­con­di­­tion is that you have enrolled at a Bavarian university before the age of 23.

Anyone who has passed one of these exams, but is initially excluded from the program due to limited places, will participate in the follow-up procedure. News that you may follow up will not reach you before No­vem­ber of each year.

The Minis­terial­beauftrag­ten­prüfung (MB exam) is car­ried out at all Ba­varian schools. It is aimed at grad­uates of grammar schools. The exam must be taken in the year of the uni­versi­ty en­trance quali­fica­tion. Fur­ther in­for­mation can be found here.

The elite exam is offe­red at tech­ni­cal se­condary schools and voca­tio­nal col­leges across Bavaria. The exam must be taken in the year of the uni­versi­ty ent­rance qua­lifi­cati­on. Further in­for­ma­tion can be found here.

Schools answer questions on the MB exam. The respective ministry officials are responsible for communicating the examination results. The Max We­ber Pro­gram can­not pro­vide in­for­mation on exam­ina­tion dates or re­sults.

No, the prerequisite for a grant is that you start your studies by the age of 23 at a Bavarian university. In any case, you must take the examination in the year of your higher education entrance qualification.

No, to be eligible for the Max Weber Program, you must study at a Bavarian university, even if your de­sired study course is not offered here. Even if the only positive answer is from a university outside Ba­va­ria after applying to several universities, there is no funding.

If you begin your studies outside of Bavaria, however, you are eligible for a grant from the Max Weber Program if you later transfer to a Bavarian uni­ver­si­ty (for example for a master's degree) before the age of 23. The funding of a second degree is not planned.

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Application of students

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No. An appli­cation is only possi­ble if you study­ for at least two further se­mes­ters within the (regu­lar) period of study at the start of fund­ing (1 April). In con­secu­tive de­gree pro­grammes, this refers to the Mas­ter's de­gree and not to the period of study of the Bach­elor's de­gree.

The nomination period ends on November 1 of each year. From this date, the Max Weber team will record all nominations and mail the nominees by mid-De­cem­ber. If you have not received any mail before, please first ask your exa­mi­na­tion office and then contact the Max Weber Program.

Please submit all application documents on time for 15 January. Only complete documents can be considered.

The reference should come from a university teacher or a research fellow with PhD. It is important that you know the person from your studies.

The reference usually includes one to two pages and contains a professional and personal assessment as well as a recommendation.

In order to main­tain the con­fiden­tiality of the refer­ence, it is in­tend­ed that the ex­perts send the refer­ence di­rectly to us by e-mail (mwp-bewer­bung@studienstif­tung.de). We will then add it to your appli­cation doc­uments. It is there­fore im­pera­tive that the re­view con­tains your name, ad­dress and pro­cess­ing num­ber.

Yes, in this case we need an­other refer­ence from you. Your uni­versi­ty teacher's pro­posal counts as a nomi­nation for the Max We­ber Pro­gram. In order to com­plete your appli­cation doc­uments, we thus re­quire an­other signed ref­er­ence (from the main sub­ject) on the sub­ject-related excel­lence from a uni­versi­ty teacher or doc­toral re­search assis­tant other than the pro­poser.

There is a on­e-week grace period until 22 Janu­ary for the refer­ence. If we do not re­ceive the refer­ence by this dead­line, the appli­cation doc­uments will be con­sidered in­com­plete. Only com­plete appli­cati­ons can be con­sidered.

As far as the form of the references is concerned, there are no specific requirements. Usually, the following points are dealt with in references:

  • name and date of birth of the candidate
  • From what context and since when is the student known to the referee?
  • professional and personal assessment compared to other students
  • possibly extra-university engagement (if known)
  • final rating, possibly also by percentage classification / recommendation

A reference for students is usually one to two pages long and is written in German or English. The reference must be signed.

No. The detailed curriculum vitae gives the members of the selection com­mit­tee first indications of reasons for decisions that have influenced your life. Documents containing only a tabular CV do not fulfill the formal application requirements.

If a large number of applications are received, a pre-selection will be made on the basis of the written documents. Criteria are the fulfillment of the formal re­qui­re­ments, grades and references. The personal profile of the applicant plays no role in the pre­selec­tion. Candidates who are rejected in the pre­selec­tion will receive a notification by mail.

Ap­pli­cants who meet the for­mal re­quirements will be invit­ed to an as­sess­ment semi­nar, which will take place over a week­end. Invi­ta­tions to the as­sess­ment semi­nar will be sent from the be­gin­ning of Feb­ruary.

The selection seminar starts at noon on Saturday (face-to-face) or on Saturday morning (digital). On Sunday, the seminar ends at lunchtime.

In the course of the selec­tion pro­cess, you will take part in a sub­ject-related and a gen­eral dis­cussion of about 30 minutes each. In addi­tion, you will par­tici­pate in group rounds, dur­ing which you will also give a short presenta­tion and mod­erate the sub­se­quent dis­cussion. 

The members of the selection committee are alumni of the Max Weber Program and/or the Studienstiftung, mentors or other individuals familiar with the program.

In order to obtain a positive answer, you must convince the committee during the seminar in the following five areas:

  • intellectual ability
  • commitment and motivation
  • communication and articulation skills
  • social skills
  • extracurricular interests and social involvement.

No, the selec­tion pro­cess of the Max We­ber Pro­gram is not social­ly selec­tive. Ap­pli­cants from aca­demic fami­lies and non-academic and / or immi­grant fami­lies have the same chances of being ac­cept­ed into the Max We­ber Pro­gram. We wel­come as di­verse a field of appli­cants as possi­ble.

The invitation to an assessment seminar will be sent from the beginning of February by e-mail to the address you indicated in your application documents. Please also check your spam folder! If you have not received any feedback by mid-February, please contact the Max Weber Program.

You can indicate when applying if you are tied up on certain dates. The Max Weber Program tries to take that into account. Once the seminars have been scheduled, no change is possible.

No. You are a guest of the Max Weber Program!

The assessment seminars usually end on Saturday around 9:00 pm to 9:30 pm. If you want to return home then you can do that. However, the Max Weber Program recommends that you take the opportunity to socialize with your fellow students.

Location requests cannot be taken into account, as there is not always a suitable committee member for each subject on site. When allocating the assessment seminars, the Max Weber Program can only take into account urgent appointment requests, for example due to exam dates.

If you have further questions about the procedure, please contact the Max Weber Program:

Max Weber-Programm Bayern
Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes
Ahrstraße 41
53175 Bonn

Send an e-mail to the Max Weber-Program:

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