[Translate to Englisch:] Bewerbung Design Thinking Basic Track

Application for the Design Thinking Basic Track

The Design Thinking Basic Track program is open for students and recent graduates from all disciplines and universities. From the end of May until the middle of August / from the end of November until the middle of February you can apply for the upcoming semester. Applications for the summer semester 2021 are now closed.

Sign up for our application reminder and we will inform you via email once the application period for the winter semester 2021/22 starts.

To apply, you need to upload all necessary documents including your CV, your confirmation of enrollment and your personal T-Profile on our application platform.

+++Here you can find current information about the measures taken by the HPI School of Design Thinking concerning the coronavirus pandemic. +++


The application process


Application process Basic Track

Download our infosheet: How to apply for the Basic Track

After the application period for the summer semester 2021 comes to and end, we will thoroughly screen all applications together with our coaching team. At the end of February 2021, we will then inform you about the status of your application.

Applicants who pass the first selection round will receive an invitation to one of our virtual  D-Camp workshops. The D-Camp workshops will take place between March 1st and 4th, 2021 - Save the date!

Important dates for applicants of the summer semester 2021:

15 Februar 2021: Application deadline

End of February 2021: First round of selection (HPI D-School internal)

Virtual D-Camps:

D-Camp I: 1-2 March 2021, 8:30 am - 12:30 pm (CET)

D-Camp II: 1-2 March, 2021, 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm (CET)

D-Camp III: 3-4 March, 2021, 8:30 am - 12:30 pm (CET)

D-Camp IV: 3-4 March, 2021, 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm (CET)

End of March 2021: Announcement of the final admission decision

27 April 2021: (preliminary date for) Start of the summer semester


Basic Track in the summer semester 2021

In the summer semester 2021, the Basic Track will take place mainly in an online format with live inputs from our program team, live coaching and virtual teamwork. We will use a combination of different digital tools and platforms, such as Miro, openHPI, Slack and Zoom.

The Basic Track program is open to students and graduates from all disciplines and universities worldwide, regardless of where they are located in the 2021 summer semester. You do not have to be in Potsdam to participate.

If the situation regarding the Corona pandemic allows it, the workshop spaces of the HPI D-School can also be used for teamwork according to a hybrid learning concept and in compliance with the applicable hygiene measures. Our equipment enables teamwork and collaboration between team members who are on site and team members who participate virtually.

Weekly structure of the Basic Track:

Weekly Structure Basic Track
Click to enlarge

The mandatory program days are Tuesday and Friday, from 9:30 am to 2:30 pm (including lunch break) plus eight hours of self-directed team work, which teams can flexibly arrange together with their coaches.

Please also check our FAQ.


General information about the Basic Track-Programm

All students in the Basic Track contribute a participation fee of 750 Euros, which helps the organization to offset the expenses of the program. For current HPI students, PhD candidates, and employees of HPI, the participation in the Basic Track program is free of charge.

The Design Thinking Basic Track is an official certificate study program of the University of Potsdam.

Unfortunately, participation in the Basic Track program is not acknowledged as official educational leave by the state of Brandenburg.

Key data about the Basic Track program:

  • Students can participate in either the summer or the winter semester
  • The program follows the structure of the academic year
  • All students begin with the Basic Track program
  • Interested students may continue with the optional Advanced Track to further consolidate and enrich their knowledge and skills
  • Participation in the Advanced Track is possible either directly after completion of the Basic Track or up to three semesters later
  • Both Basic Track and Advanced Track require two full days of attendance per week
  • Students work in small, multidisciplinary, international teams
  • Students work closely with, and take advantage of mentorship from our large team of experienced coaches
  • Projects are carried out in cooperation with partner organizations from business, politics and society
  • After completing the program, graduates receive a HPI D-School certificate of attendance
  • Students and alumni enjoy the benefits of the international HPI D-School network

You can find answers to frequently asked questions on our FAQ page.

What kind of applicants are we looking for?

We are looking for creative thinkers, so-called “T-shaped people.” These are people who are prepared to see the world and its inhabitants from new and different perspectives. Selected applicants get the unique opportunity to enter into an intensive exchange with engaged people from different cultures, universities, and areas of specialization. Through the open, motivated and experimentally creative collaboration of five to six students per team, students develop innovative solutions for real problems from business and society along with our organizational partners. We accept a maximum of 80 students in the Basic Track each semester.



(Employed) professionals

HPI students


Elisabeth Höpner

HPI School of Design Thinking
Program Coordinator

Tel.: +49 -331-5509-507

E-Mail an HPI D-School Office

Related Information