24 months
17250 EUR/year
17250 EUR/year
Tuition fee
Apply date
Start date


In the Hertie School's Master of Data Science for Public Policy (MDS), learn how to turn data into governance solutions that transform challenges for the common good.

Visit the official programme website for more information


Today's complex issues call for a new generation of policymakers and problem solvers 

The Hertie School 's Master of Data Science for Public Policy (MDS) brings together passionate students from both technical and social science backgrounds to deepen their analytical skills and develop an in-depth understanding of the policy world. During this two-year master's, learn how to leverage algorithmic decision-making to tackle some of the most complex challenges of our time with data-driven solutions. At the Hertie School in Berlin the worlds of policy and data intersect in and outside the classroom, empowering you to build a unique profile for your career from day one.

Key facts

  • Two-year, full-time programme
  • Taught entirely in English, in the heart of vibrant Berlin
  • Practice-oriented curriculum that incorporates skills workshops and a summer internship
  • Support and teaching from professors at the university's Data Science Lab
  • Earn an MSc degree that qualifies for a job-seeking visa (up to 18 months) after graduating from the Hertie School
Get a head start on your career

Career development and practical training are integrated into the MDS curriculum. In addition to taking two professional development workshops to develop your soft competencies, you will also complete a summer internship between your first and second year of study. To help you meet future employers, the school has established relationships with a range of institutions such as ministries, international companies and NGOs.

At the Hertie School, we know that career planning is a lifelong matter. Our dedicated career team is here for you – both during your time at the Hertie School and after you graduate. Schedule a one-on-one career counselling session or take part in group workshops, alumni panels and other exclusive events.

Berlin – an exciting city for students

Explore one of the coolest European capitals with your public transport ticket! With your student ID, not only can you use Berlin's extensive network of buses, trams, trains and subway lines to discover the city at a discount, but you can also take part in many cultural and social events at specially reduced rates. From art, music and politics, to shopping, trying different international cuisines, exploring nature and more, Berlin has something for everyone.

Apply today

The MDS programme is open to graduates from all academic disciplines. Academic performance, personal suitability, prior quantitative training and motivation are taken into account when evaluating applications. Admission offers and scholarships are awarded on a rolling basis. If you wish to apply for financial assistance from the university, we encourage you to apply by the priority deadline on 1 February so that you can receive an admissions decision and start planning your move to Berlin sooner. Applications will be accepted until 1 May.

About the Hertie School

The Hertie School is an international teaching and research centre of excellence located in vibrant and cosmopolitan Berlin.

Our motto is Understand today. Shape tomorrow. We attract a highly talented student body from diverse national and disciplinary backgrounds—united by a desire to make a difference and to bring about a better future. We offer them a study environment characterised by close interaction with faculty, lively public debates and engagement with current policy developments. As a member of the Global Public Policy Network (GPPN), the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs (APSIA) and CIVICA – the European University of Social Sciences, the Hertie School gives students access to an exciting global network that includes the London School of Economics and Political Science, Sciences Po in Paris, Columbia University in New York and many other excellent public policy schools worldwide.

As an ambassador of good governance and public stewardship, the Hertie School is a hub for top scholars, experts and representatives from the spheres of politics, business and civil society, who contribute to events at the school. Our students actively contribute to these debates and regularly spearhead their own initiatives to foster the public good.

Programme Structure

Semester 1

  • Data structures and algorithms
  • Introduction to data science
  • Public policy
  • Economics

Semester 2

  • Mathematics for data science
  • Causal inference
  • Machine learning
  • Law and governance

Summer internship

Semesters 3 and 4

  • Two data science concentration electives
  • Two governance and managmeent for data science electives
  • Two portfolio electives (can be chosen from our public policy and international affairs electives as well)
  • Master's thesis


The MDS programme is open to graduates from all disciplines. We are looking for well-rounded applicants with a very good first degree, prior quantitative training or demonstrated technical aptitude, as well as strong motivation to combine interests in data and governance. Relevant professional experience, civic engagement and international experience will strengthen your application.

Key information


  • Full-time
    • 24 months

Start dates & application deadlines

More details
  • Priority deadline: 1 February
  • Final deadline: 1 May
Priority deadline applicants receive admission and financial aid decisions sooner.


120 ECTS


On Campus

Academic requirements

We are not aware of any academic requirements for this programme.

Other requirements

General requirements

Please upload the required documents to the online application portal:

  • Current CV indicating your academic background, work experience, voluntary activities. Please do not include a photo in your CV.
  • Letter of motivation (500-900 words) explaining your specific interest in the study programme. 
  • Copies of official academic transcripts of all attended universities. Every transcript must include a transcript key (an explanation of the grading system). If not in English, we require a certified translation into English. 
  • Two letters of reference. If you completed your last degree in 2020 or later, you must submit two academic letters. If you completed your last degree in 2018/2019, you can replace one academic letter with a professional one. Graduates from 2017 or earlier can provide two professional letters.
  • Copy of English proficiency certificate by 1 June 2022 (for non-native speakers who did not complete their entire undergraduate degree in English).

Work experience

Work experience is not required for admission but can boost your application. In additional to full-time work experience, we also consider internships, volunteering, civic engagement and other extracurricular activities for an applicant's personal suitability to join the MDS programme.

Technological requirements

Applicants must demonstrate prior quantitative or technical understanding, for example in statistics, mathematics and/or coding. This does not necessarily need to be formal university courses, however, and can include extracurricular activities such as hackathons, personal projects and more. If you have questions about this requirement, please reach out to us at grad-admissions@hertie-school.org.

Tuition Fee

To alway see correct tuition fees
  • International

    17250 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 34500 EUR for the full programme during 24 months.
  • National

    17250 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 34500 EUR for the full programme during 24 months.

Living costs for Berlin

836 - 1340 EUR /month
Living costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


The Hertie School is committed to attracting the best students from around the world. To achieve this goal we provide financial support to students in the form of full and partial scholarships. Currently about 50% of our students receive funding directly from the school. Most students rely on a mixture of tuition waivers, external scholarships, personal savings, support from family members, loans and student jobs to finance their studies.

If you wish to apply for financial assistance, we encourage you to apply by the priority deadline on 1 February so that you can receive admissions and financial aid decision sooner, and start planning your move to Berlin.

Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

Fresh content

Updated in the last 3 months

Check the official programme website for potential updates.

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Master of Data Science for Public Policy
Hertie School


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