How to apply for a Masters in Germany
How to apply for a Masters in Germany
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How to apply for a Masters in Germany

Let’s face it – applications, deadlines and requirements are all topics that no one really likes even thinking about. Nowadays, however, they go hand in hand with modern higher education and of course, universities. But rumor has it that in some countries, like Germany, this whole process is just a piece of cake. How is this possible?

First thing when applying in Germany

In general, the simple guide for a successful Masters application at a German university can be described in the following steps:

  1. Choose a German university
  2. Select a suitable Masters course
  3. Submit your application
  4. Get accepted!

On a serious note, the first and most important step is to make the right choice regarding the university and the Masters programme. Public or private, low cost or no cost, for a Master of Science in Mathematics or a Master of Arts in History – these are all a matter of your choice and finances. Check out the Masters Search and see if you can shortlist some interesting Masters opportunities. 

Fill in your Masters checklist 

Assuming that you have a few Masters options before you, then it would be a good time to find out the starting dates and the application process. This way you can form something like a schedule that can easily show you how many months, weeks or even days you can afford to prepare for your application. Add in the application deadlines and there you have it – or maybe you don’t, better luck applying for the next semester! 

Tip: And on that note, keep in mind that most German universities have 15th July set as the final for applications for the autumn/winter semester and 15th January for the spring/summer one. Still, remember that some institutions might have more specific deadlines - in most cases for international students - and that some Masters studies can only be started during one period per year. 

Figure out your application documents

And here comes the fun part – and not only because of the mumbo-jumbo related to documentation, but more or less due to the huge differences in requirements depending on your country of origin. In our dedicated article for a Masters in Germany, you can find a full list of the most common documents required for the majority of nationalities.

In this article, we will focus only on the most important pieces like your language certificate. And since Masters in English and/or German are among the most popular choices, you can make use of either:

  • TestDaF (Test Deutsch als Fremdsprache)
  • DSH (Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang)
  • Goethe-Institut Zertifikat
  • DSD (Deutsches Sprachdiplom der Kultusministerkonferenz)

for German, or:

  • IETLS (International English Language Testing System)
  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)
  • Cambridge certificates (FCE, CAE, CPE)
  • Bachelor in English

for English.

Of course, there is also the level of proficiency which, however, entirely depends on your chosen studies. 

Pay good attention to the likes of having an academic test or an interview as a part of your application, and the process of acquiring a visa/residence permit and health insurance. As a student coming from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, the possibility of having to worry about these is very low. Chances are, however, that you can easily forget your European Health Insurance Card and end up in big trouble!

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Think financing when applying in Germany

Now, one would say that it is best to think about finances before even considering a Masters abroad. But since you are already here, there is no doubt that you have already gone through our guide for Financing your Masters in Germany

Or if you haven’t, then you would now have the opportunity to filter your chosen Masters programmes further depending on both the admission requirements that you can cover and the costs that you can meet! But remember – this is Germany, and even if you think that some financial matters are too worrying, then there are scholarships! Maybe the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) can grab your attention with one of more than 130 funding opportunities for a Masters! 

Go for it!

Ladies and gentleman, time to finally apply for Masters in Germany! The majority of German universities have a unique online system that allows easy step-by-step application. Should you prefer handing in the documentary the old-fashioned way, then you can pay a visit to the admission offices of each chosen university. 

Within a couple of weeks, usually no longer than a month and a half, you can expect a response from the universities which you applied for. In the meantime, you can keep your fingers crossed and inform yourself about your accommodation opportunities in Germany as well. As you can recall from your Bachelor experience, the most affordable options are always a matter of being an early bird – or the earliest one!

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