Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) by M.Sc. Candidates
What is the email address for questions concerning M.Sc. Studies?
Please write to Ms. Michal Kiri.
Can one apply for undergraduate studies (B.Sc.)?
No. Only graduate studies, M.Sc. or Ph.D. degree programs, are offered at the Feinberg Graduate School.
Can you advise me where and what to study for my bachelorís degree in order to improve my chances of being accepted for graduate studies at the Feinberg Graduate School?
We are unable to advise you about where to study. We accept applications from graduates of all institutions of higher learning in Israel (including colleges) and accredited institutions of higher learning abroad, providing the candidate distinguished him/herself in one of the majors offered by the Feinberg Graduate School.
I heard that English is the language of instruction at the Feinberg School. Is that true?
Thatís correct. English is the language of instruction (except in certain science teaching courses). Moreover, research proposals, papers and theses (excluding the Science Teaching Department) are submitted in English.
Are citizens of other countries eligible for admissions?
Definitely. Please take into account that in the event foreign students are accepted for studies, their entrance permits to Israel and student visas are conditional upon the consent of the Israeli Ministry of the Interior and subject to its regulations as stipulated by law.
What are the tuition costs?
Most of the students accepted to the masterís degree program receive a monthly stipend that includes tuition costs. In other words, students accepted for studies essentially are not required to pay tuition.
In that case, what is the amount of the stipend?
The website of the Feinberg Graduate School has a detailed table indicating the amounts awarded to the students.
Is it possible to work while attending classes?
FGS M.Sc. students are NOT allowed to work. They are required to devote all their time to studies and research. The only exceptions are involvement with PERACH, young@science, Garden of Science etc..
I donít need a scholarship. Can I forgo it?
It isnít possible to waive a scholarship in advance, with the hope that it will improve the chances of being accepted. Only someone who has already been accepted can waive the scholarship. Moreover, agreement on the part of the graduate school regarding relinquishment of the scholarship does not mean that it consents to anything less than fulltime concentration on the studies.
My employer is ready to finance my studies and allow me to devote all my time to studies and research. Does this present a problem?
First of all, you have to go through all the selection stages, be accepted, and only then check out the matter. Relinquishment of the scholarship is not taken into account when considering the candidates. Students are required to devote all their time to the program and to sign an agreement in respect to intellectual property rights. For more information on the Intellectual Property issue please consult the website of the VP for Technology Transfer.
I heard that there is a program for degree students without a scholarship. Is that true?
Do you have dormitories?
Yes. Singles and couples (without children) can live in the dorms. Assignment is based on availability and it is impossible to guarantee a room without a roommate in advance. The price is very reasonable. For reservations one needs to contact the FGS office AFTER being accepted to the program.
Can minors who completed their bachelor degree be admitted?
Definitely. If their candidacy is considered suitable, they will be admitted for studies (the fact that they are minors has no bearing on their acceptance).
Iím serving as a conscript soldier. Can I be accepted?
Yes. BUT only if you can show a written commitment from the IDF stating that you will be allowed to be registered and study as a Full-Time Student.
I am a career soldier. What about me?
The case is similar to that of conscript soldiers, but career soldiers who are accepted to the graduate school cannot be awarded stipends.
Are there age limitations on acceptance?
There is no age limit.
When does the academic year begin for masterís degree studies?
After the Jewish high holy days. Usually, towards the end of October.
When does registration for admission to masterís degree studies open?
Applications for admission can be submitted for the following academic year starting in November.
What is the application deadline for master degree studies?
The end of March of the relevant year.
How much is the registration fee?
There is no registration fee for the Feinberg Graduate School.
How do you apply?
You may file an application via the Feinberg Graduate School homepage on the Weizmann Institute of Science website. After submitting the application form electronically, all the required documents and material must be mailed (by post) to the Feinberg Graduate School. When the completed application sent by email is received, a password will be sent to the applicantís email address. The password may be used for online monitoring of the progress of the application procedure.
How can I send you the required documents?
You can send it via the regular postal service, a delivery service, in person or through a friend or relative. The material is not to be faxed (excepting for letters of recommendation) since the quality of the fax does not always suffice. Submission of the material by email is possible, but not recommended. Letters of recommendations may be sent via email.
I missed the final date for applying, but I have a good reason. What can I do?
This really is a problem. If you believe that you can convince us to consider the circumstances of the delay, you must send us a detailed explanation by email, including the department you wish to enter, the name of the university where you received your bachelorís degree and your grade point average. Clearly, you should include your telephone number (including mobile) so that we can contact you. Telephone queries will not be answered.
Can studies be started in the second semester?
M.Sc. students must begin their studies on the official opening day of the first semester of the academic year.
What happens if Iím accepted, but decide to postpone my studies for a year?
We are unable to guarantee you a place in the coming year. Even though the Admissions Committee will not have to reconvene, you will have to resubmit your application and update anything pertinent in your file. For your information, your file will be included with all those of candidates deemed suitable for admission and your acceptance will be dependent upon your overall ranking.
Last year I was accepted for master degree studies, but I waived it. Am I guaranteed admission this year?
No. Your acceptance this year is not guaranteed. (See response to previous FAQ). You must submit a new updated application and hope that you will receive a high ranking this year too.
Can I cancel my candidacy?
Yes, at any time.
I would like to apply to more than one major. What do I have to do?
Send us two files (one for each field). At the same time, please enclose a letter describing your reasons for wishing to study in other majors, along with all the documents you are to send. If necessary, we will contact you or we may simply consider your candidacy for each of the majors (separately).
Do I have to seek a thesis supervisor prior to submitting my application?
Absolutely not! The search for a thesis supervisor takes place only towards the end of the first year of studies.
I know exactly what I want to research and with which research team (the research team head is ready to accept me). Can I skip the rotations and immediately begin research work under the scientist I mentioned? (Obviously, I will complete all the course requirements.)
It really isnít relevant. Acceptance to master degree level studies is specific to a major in the graduate school and not to one research team or another. Research work may only be started after completing all the requisites in the first year of graduate studies.
How does someone apply for the direct Ph.D. program?
Please read the relevant page at this site.
Do you recognize courses or credits from other universities?
Each Board of Studies has the right to recognize or not recognize previously studied courses and/or credits. A request for recognition of courses or credits may only be submitted after having been accepted.
My B.Sc. is from a college. What are my chances of being accepted?
College graduates are also eligible to apply. Candidates are considered based on their personal achievements and in comparison to the other applicants. By the way, in the past there were graduate students who completed their masterís degrees at colleges and went on to study for their doctorate at the Weizmann Institute of Science.
Is there a track for a masterís degree without a thesis?
The Feinberg Graduate School does NOT offer such a program.
I heard that someone who once took part in the DeShalit Ulpana study program or attended the summer session or was a guest student at the Weizmann Institute is guaranteed admission. Is that correct?
Once again let us make it clear, every candidate is considered individually and in comparison to the other candidates.
I heard that everything is dependent upon the grade point average. Is that true?
No. Thatís not true. However, there is a minimum threshold (85) so anything below that is likely to be rejected. Moreover, when classifying the applicants, the Boards of Studies are entitled to set a different threshold, specifying that the Admissions Committee will consider only higher averages.
I still havenít completed all my courses for my bachelorís degree. Does it matter?
In most cases the applicants do not have their final grade transcripts at the time of applying. However, an up-to-date transcript and grade point average are indispensable. We review the grade transcript and examine specific parameters that we deem important.
Who should I ask for a letter of recommendation?
It is desirable to request it from a member of the teaching or research staff where you studied for your bachelorís degree. Additional letters of recommendation may be beneficial (however letters from high school teachers, sports coaches, public officials, etc. will not be considered). In relevant cases, recommendations from employers in the fields of research and development will be accepted.
May one of the reference letters be from a Weizmann Institute scientist?
Iím not able to obtain a letter of recommendation. Does that mean I have no chance of being accepted?
It does not preclude it. The letter of recommendation is only one of the parameters taken into account when the decision regarding acceptance is made.
How can letters of recommendation be submitted to you?
Letters of recommendations may be sent by post, fax or email to the Feinberg Graduate School by those writing them. Applicants may also send the letters of recommendation they received (in sealed envelopes). Please see the instructions at the website.
What happens if a letter of recommendation is received at the Graduate School before the application forms and other material arrive?
The letter will be filed in a special folder and awaits the arrival of the rest of the material.
May I ask that the letter of recommendation sent to you be sent on to another place? I really donít want to bother the person about writing another letter. May I photocopy it and save you the bother too?
Letters of recommendation sent to the Feinberg Graduate School may not be sent to anybody else and may not be photocopied!
I applied online. How do I know that the data was received?
Immediately upon inputting the data (usually within a few days) a password will be sent to your email address. It will enable you to monitor the progress of the registration and selection process via internet. You may contact us by email with any questions. (Telephone calls will only be handled under very special circumstances.)
I received an email message that my application was received. Whatís next?
You must send the relevant documents/material: A copy of your B.Sc. certificate (if your studies have been completed), an updated grade transcript, one passport photos, a photocopy of your identity card or the title page of your passport and letters of recommendation (in sealed envelops). As mentioned above, it is your responsibility to monitor, via the internet, the progress of the registration process and to verify whether the documents, including letters of recommendation, arrived.
I still havenít sent all the required material. Is it so important?
Without an updated grade transcript, photocopy of your ID or passport, and photos (and preferably at least one letter of recommendation), we will not continue the selection process. Your file will be placed on hold until it is complete.
What about certification of a bachelorís degree?
We are aware that not all the applicants are entitled to a bachelorís degree at the time of applying. In the event the applicant is accepted, he/she must submit it to the Graduate School during the first semester of studies.
Do I have to send originals of the documents or will copies suffice?
It is preferable to send originals or a certified copy of the original.
I completed my Bachelor of Science degree abroad. Do I have to translate the documents?
If the documents are in languages other than Hebrew or English, it is necessary to provide a certified English translation of them.
I forgot my password. What should I do?
Send an email to the Feinberg Graduate School.
What are the Boards of Studies?
The Boards of Studies are responsible for the study programs in the research fields in which the Weizmann Institute of Science is involved (Physical Sciences, Chemical Sciences, Life Sciences, Math & CS, and Science Teaching. Weizmann Institute faculty members sit on the Boards of Studies.
What is the Admissions Committee?
Each Board of Studies appoints an Admissions Committee to assist it in selecting the applicants. The committees is usually comprised of one to four scientists from the relevant field to which the applicant wishes to be accepted. During the interview (usually lasting 30 minutes to an hour Ė depending on the requested area of study), the candidates are tested on their knowledge in the relevant field. Other parameters, such as: reasoning, creativity, analytical approach, etc., are also evaluated.
Is everyone asked to appear before an Admissions Committee?
Not every applicant is asked to appear before an Admissions Committee. Some applicants are rejected based solely on the evaluation of the Board of Studies and the Dean, without being interviewed by the Admissions Committee.
How can I prepare myself for the Admissions Committee interview?
The most important thing is to come to the interview relaxed, to be yourself and not get uptight. You are expected to demonstrate the knowledge you have acquired in the relevant field, thinking ability and creativity.
I saw on the website that all the material I sent arrived, but I still have not received an appointment for the Admissions Committee interview. Should I be worried?
No. You just have to wait. It may take some time.
I was finally summoned to the Admissions Committee. What should I do?
You have to confirm your participation (by notifying the Feinberg Graduate School by email or by phone).
The date set for my interview is inconvenient for me. What can I do?
This is a problem. We handle the applications of hundreds of candidates and are unable to accommodate each and every one. Nevertheless, we are aware that special circumstances may arise. The request to change the interview date should be made via email or by phone. There is a good chance that a change will be approved in the following cases: reserve army call up, scheduled exams in another institution of learning, illness or mourning. We highly recommend that you enclose with your file a letter stating the period of time (or particular dates) that you will not be available for an interview.
Iíll be abroad on the date that was scheduled for me to appear before the Admissions Committee...
In that event, it is advisable to notify the Graduate School in advance. We may be able to find a solution (however, we can not guarantee it).
The date of the interview is suitable, but the hour isnít (and I have a very good reason). Can it be changed?
You have to contact us by email and elaborate. In a few exceptional cases the time slot may be changed.
What happens if I donít come for the interview?
In the event that prior notification was not given (or the reason offered is not acceptable), we look upon it as if the applicant cancelled his/her candidacy.
I am a foreign candidate residing abroad. It is difficult for me to spend so much on a flight just for an interview. What can I do?
In this case, it is not necessary to come for an interview, but the Graduate School must receive your GRE scores, including the GRE subject exam in the relevant area of studies, as well as your TOEFL score. However, you should take into account that an interview can improve your chances (even though the interview is by no means a guarantee of admission to the program).
I was very nervous/sick at the interview (my interview didnít really reflect my true ability). May I have another chance?
It should be noted that having a ďbad feelingĒ after leaving an interview is not always realistic. Unfortunately, we are not able to schedule another interview for you. In the event your candidacy is rejected, you may appeal it. (See below)
My application was rejected. How can I reverse the decision?
The only option available to you is to send (by post) a written appeal. We will notify you of our decision in writing/or orally after deliberating your appeal. Please take into account that the procedure may take several weeks. Experience shows that appeals are not often successful.
I was interviewed by the Admissions Committee a long time ago, but I havenít heard from you. Whatís happening?
Your candidacy is awaiting a decision by the Board of Studies and the Dean of the Graduate School. We will notify you as soon as possible. (Please try to be patient).
I was informed that I am on the waiting list. What does that mean?
Your candidacy has been found suitable, but unfortunately, the number of available places is limited. Since every year some of the qualified candidates accepted to the Graduate School relinquish their places, we prepare a waiting list (for each major separately) and every time a place becomes available, we contact the next in line and offer them the vacancy.
Iím on the waiting list. What can I do to improve my chances?
There is nothing for you to do but wait patiently. Please refrain from phoning to ask about your place on the list since we do not provide that information. Also take into account that we do not approve of contacts made on your behalf to the Graduate School through any third parties. It isnít appropriate (and certainly does not help).
How long is the waiting list in effect?
The waiting list is in effect until the end of the first day of classes. There is always the possibility that a student that has been accepted simply does not show up for studies, without giving prior notice or an explanation. In this case we contact everyone who has not appeared and if they really do not intend to study at the Weizmann Institute of Science, we offer their place to the next on the list.
I was informed that my candidacy was rejected due to lack of space. Iím willing to waive the stipend...
Waiving the stipend wonít help.
My candidacy was rejected due to a lack of space. Will I be accepted next year?
You certainly are welcome to submit your application again. It is most probable that you wonít be asked to reappear before the Admissions Committee, but your application will be ranked with those of all the other applicants.
How long am I supposed to wait before receiving a reply from the Graduate School?
You may monitor online the progress made in processing your application and any interim (such as placement on the waiting list) or final decisions (acceptance or rejection). There are certain cases when the decision is made immediately. For others, especially when Admissions Committees are involved, the response may take time due to the need for ranking the candidates. In any event, the Graduate School makes every effort to expedite the reply.
I have a specific question that is not covered here. How can I get an answer?
Questions may be directed to the Graduate School via email to Ms. Michal Kiri. We will endeavor to respond as soon as possible.