Helmut-Schmidt-Programme (Master’s Scholarships for Public Policy and Good Governance)

Objectives of the Helmut-Schmidt-Programme

The aim of the programme is to further qualify future leaders from the areas of politics, law, business and administration based on the principles of good governance, and to prepare them for their future professional activities in a practice-oriented manner. Highly qualified graduates who have obtained a first higher education degree are offered the opportunity to obtain a master’s degree in subjects that are particularly significant with regard to social, political and economic development in their countries of origin. The skills and experiences gained in Germany will enable the funded individuals to contribute to establishing economic and social forms that are democratically-oriented and designed to overcome social inequalities in their home countries. With the Helmut-Schmidt-Programme, the DAAD strives to contribute to promoting good governance and civil society structures in developing and emerging countries.

M.A. Governance and Public Policy

As one of only eight institutions of higher learning in Germany, the University of Passau and its study programme in Governance and Public Policy (M.A.) has been a proud member of the Helmut-Schmidt-Programme network since 2010.
The study programme Governance and Public Policy (M.A.) has a two-year-curriculum. In their first term, students will get acquainted with the foundations of governance research as well as with the basics of statehood and Good Governance in order to provide a theoretical framework in which the following interdisciplinary classes are embedded. In these Master classes, students will focus on topics from areas of Comparative Politics/Public Policy, Global Governance, European Integration, Recent European History, European and International Law as well as Political Institutions and Social Transformation. This curriculum is complemented by various classes to enhance the students’ occupational skills, e. g. courses on methods in the social sciences, presentation techniques, and paper writing.

Although, the M.A. Governance and Public Policy is officially announced as a bilingual programme, Helmut-Schmidt-Programme scholarship holders are given the opportunity to study the whole scheme in the English language.

The Scholarship

Study Programme

  • Preceding German language course in Germany (or digitally in the country of origin, depending on the latest pandemic regulations), usually lasting 6 months (April to September)
  • 2 years master programme in Governance and Public Policy
  • Additional support by the Helmut-Schmidt-Programme team and extracurricular activities


  • Monthly scholarship rate of 931€
  • Health insurance cover in Germany
  • Appropriate travel allowances
  • A study and research grant


Please apply via our application portal from 1 June until 31 July 2022.

Who can apply?

The programme is open for future leaders who would like to become actively involved in further social and economic development in their home countries and regions. It is addressed at young graduates, as well as junior managers with job experience (specific requirements apply for some of the participating courses of study, these must be taken into account). The general success of the programme and its alumni shows that candidates with some work experience (including internships and part-time jobs) in, for example, an administration office, governmental structures, NGOs or international organisations tend to particularly benefit from this scholarship opportunity. Political or social involvement (privately, in projects or societies) is also considered an asset.

Entry requirements

The scholarship programme is open to highly qualified graduates from developing and emerging countries (list of countries) who want to actively contribute to the social and economic development of their home countries. Apart from an at least upper second level bachelor’s degree in the field of social sciences, political science, law, economics and in public administration, there are certain other formal prerequisites for applying successfully.

Moreover, applicants who have resided in a country that is not included in the DAC list of developing and emerging countries for more than 15 months at the time of the application deadline and applicants who obtained their most recent higher education degree more than six years before submitting their application, are not eligible for a Helmut-Schmidt-Programme scholarship.

Applicants who already hold a master’s degree in a similar discipline can only be considered in well-justified cases, if they can explain conclusively, why they would like to obtain another master’s degree.

Practical/professional experience

Applicants must have acquired at least 4 months of professional/practical experience in a field relevant to our program or social/political engagement.

How to apply?

Applying might seem simple at first glance. But you have to pay attention to your application files to be complete and valid. Therefore, please have a look at our application manual before you upload your files to our application portal. Applications via e-mail or as postal item won’t be considered!

IMPORTANT: You can apply with up to two out of the eight master’s programmes within the Helmut-Schmidt-Programme network. If you decide to do so, you need to submit your application with each institution separately, regardless whether it is your first or second choice. Write a single letter of motivation for both university courses you choose, justifying your first and second priority choice. Application procedures may vary between the institutions, so prepare your application package carefully and according to the respective formal standards of the universities of your choice!

The application period at the University of Passau for the 2023/2024 academic session starts on 1 June 2022 and ends on 31 July 2022. Please refrain from handing in applications before or after that period.

Application documents

All information about the required documents for application are available on the DAAD website.

Language requirements:

  • electronic copies of of a language certificate, testifying your English language skills equivalent to at least level B2 of the “Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). In case the general medium of instruction at your previous university was English it is sufficient to attach a confirmation of your university on officially headed paper. We do not accept certificates issued more than two years ago.
  • If available, electronic copies of a language certificate, testifying your German language skills on officially headed paper.

Practical/professional experience:

  • Working time certificates for any listed internships, volunteer work and work experience must be included. These must be signed and bear the date, letterhead and stamp. Each experience had to be at least 4 months to be considered.

Documents that are not originally in the English or German language have to be handed in with an official English or German translation.

Please prepare all documents carefully and follow the instructions on our application portal.

Please submit only legible copies of your documents. Also consider that illegible documents can lead to a formal rejection.
In case your application is sent to more than two universities or if nonspecific priorities are given, your application will not be accepted.

Selection procedure and further schedule

Because of the vast number of applications, we receive each year, only complete and formally correct applications that reach us within the given application period will be considered for a scholarship.  Please also note that applications may be rejected for formal reasons, if you submit any documents that are difficult to read.

We also have to dutifully point out the fact that any kind of forgery within your application, e. g. forged diplomas, applying for more than two Helmut-Schmidt-Programme universities in Germany at the same time etc., will lead to an immediate expulsion from the application process. Applications that do not contain a clear prioritisation in the DAAD form and the letter of motivation, will be excluded from the selection process.

After careful evaluation of your application by our staff, a joint committee of DAAD representatives and members of the Passau Helmut-Schmidt-Programme team will meet in October/November 2022 to pick the scholarship holders for the winter 2023/2024 academic session. You will be notified about the result of your application by mid to late December 2022 at the latest.

Between August and December 2022, we reserve the right to request you for a video interview. Please make sure that you’ll be available via e-mail to fix an appointment.

For more information please open this link
Apply Here


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