Masters study program in Germany
Many students prefer Germany for their postgraduation study across the globe. The entire credit goes to the strong economy of the place with a rich historical background. Germany offers a large number of English courses to students worldwide.
The top-ranked universities of Germany are attracting students. This throng of students is much greater than other universities in the USA and UK. Here, the exemption of tuition fees is another compelling reason.
Here is the guide to creating better comprehension of Masters Study in Germany. A student collects many questions before approaching admission, from the student Visa to the German university system works. This guide can answer those questions in the best possible way.
Masters’ / Postgraduate opportunities in Germany
Germany is indeed a blessed land with ideas and history. The land has an indelible association with some of history’s most formidable thinkers. Immanuel Kant, Albert Einstein, and Werner Heisenberg like renowned names are the real gems of this ‘land of ideas’.
Here are a few compelling reasons to choose Germany over many other locations –
- Germany has a rich historical background that derives ingenuity and innovation. The enlightenment and the industrial revolution are the two big reasons behind the development of Germany. Arts, theology, and philosophy contribute to the learning system development of German in various terms like engineering and science.
- Academic freedom, integrity, and rigor of German universities have gone through the inventions. The German thinkers like Wilhelm von Humboldt are responsible people for the development in the 19th century.
- Germany offers a generous post-study work opportunity to the students. The EU and non-EU graduates are getting better explosion to the place. It has around 13% of students who have come here from other locations.
- Top-ranked German universities are providing world-renowned qualifications.
- The cost of living is quite moderate in Germany compared to other European countries. On the other hand, many German universities don’t even charge tuition fees.
With around 400 universities and 20,000-degree programs, Germany is leading the academics. You must explore well before choosing one!
Get a sense of opinion:
Types of German Universities
Four types of German Universities are here –
- Research Universities (Universität): It carries out the original academic work of various subjects like research. They offer Masters and Ph.D. degrees.
- Technical Universities (Technische Universität): Such universities are owning the expertise in science, technology, and engineering research. There are many more qualifications that these universities offer.
- Universities of Applied Science (Fachhochschulen): These universities focus on engineering, business, or a social science like practical subjects. These universities are partnered with different organizations and professionals.
- Colleges of Art, Film, and Music: These colleges are specialized in practical instruction with creative disciplines. If a student seeks admission in such colleges, they need to demonstrate creative skills
The renowned research institutes of Germany are performing important research projects. Max Planck Society runs these institutes and the associated projects. Everything is performed under the partnership with the industry, universities, and businesses. These institutes offer Ph.D. level qualification, not below that.
Private vs Public Universities
16 states (or lander) are there in Germany where each one carries the responsibility of administering the public universities. The state funding and fees of these universities can be handled at the state level educational system.
Around 300 public universities are floating in Germany. A large number of students are enrolled here that can even reach up to 95%, as per the estimation of the DAAD (the official German Academic Exchange Service).
On the other hand, around 120 institutions are private universities. These universities are free to plan their tuition fees and they don’t receive state funding. This can also give them an exemption to charge more fees than public universities.
Public and private universities offer great opportunities to the students where they can develop their careers well. The only difference between these two streams is the fee they charge.
German University cities
German is the ultimate place that welcomes everyone. The student-friendly cities give a warm welcome to education seekers. Berlin and Heidelberg like cities render the amazes that can attract the students enormously. The perfection of the place is awesome and the relaxed atmosphere is indeed suitable for the students.
Some main universities of cities and towns are listed here –
- Frankfurt am Mein
German Masters Degrees
Course Length & Credit Value
The usual duration of German Masters's programs is two-year (approx two to four semesters). The complete degree is worth 120 ECTS credits. These 120 ECTS credits can be classified into two main parts. The modules, exams, and coursework offer 90 ECTS credits whereas the dissertation offers 30 ECTS credits.
German Masters degrees award MA (Master of Arts) or MSc (Master of Science) qualifications. The specialized subjects are also providing alternative degrees. The variation in learning and study creates the main differentiation between the programs. The German Master's degrees are classified into two ways, consecutive and non-consecutive.
- Consecutive Masters Degrees: These programs don’t charge a fee. Students might study for a Masters's program after Graduation in a similar stream. Thus, these degrees follow the close related undergraduate degree.
- Non-consecutive Masters Degrees: These courses are more professional and practical in comparison to other streams. This also charges fees and focuses on a different as well as highly specialized area.
The German Master's degrees require appropriate consecutive Bachelor's degree programs.
There are separate learning modules for German Masters degrees. This content gets different as per the program. It depends on the selection of students where he or she prefers practical workshops, fieldwork, small-group seminars, lectures, or independent study.
Research University includes different seminars and lectures, practical works, reading and independent study, etc. The practical works are performed in the laboratory. On the other hand, the University of Applied Science includes more hands-on training that lacks in the previous one. It further focuses on workshops, organized by external and industry experts. College of Art, Film, and Music include artistic programs with all the practical skills and proficiencies.
Grading and Assessment
The five-point grading system is used in Germany’s Masters Programs and courses. Here, the passing grade may range between 1.0 (or the best) and 4.0 (or narrow pass). Let’s look into the details –
4.0 and 5.0-grade bands are used to mark the failing work when the work doesn’t reach up to the required standards. The final grade is determined by summing up the complete performance of the students across all the modules and dissertation. The calculation is performed with each component weighted as per the ECTS credit level.
Funding and Fee
Public and private universities of Germany are considered as a better academic option as they charge a minimum fee. The Masters in Germany is available for students across the
globe and it offers a fair education to German, EU, and non-EU students. Some exceptions and criteria are mentioned here –
- Private universities charge a fee, although the other German higher education systems are publically funded.
- The state of Baden-Wuerttemberg charges €1,500 per semester to international (non-EU) students.
- Some courses are designed for experienced professionals. A few non-consecutive Master courses charge fees.
It is hard for postgraduate applications to find a centralized portal. Students are expected to find a course of their interest and then apply to their respective universities. A few universities have opted for Uni-Assist to manage the applications, coming across the globe.
No rigid deadline system is applied to the universities. Each one is free to make and apply an own deadline criterion that needs to be applied at least four months in advance (especially if it seeks time to organize a student visa).
The students can create simultaneous applications by keeping enough time to manage and complete them well.
Though it is an individual decision, universities may charge the processing fee from the students that can hardly go up to €50.
Uni-Assist service differs in terms of performance and fees that ultimately reflects on the additional assistance.
A suitable Bachelors's degree is the key requirement for admission into a Masters's in Germany. The Bachelor's degree should be recognized by the German universities. The students are not compelled to get a Bachelors's degree from only Germany University.
Uni-Assist helps the students for getting admission into a German University.
EU’s ENIC –NARIC academic recognition centers can also assist the students in the entire admission process.
If any additional entry requirement exists, students can check for some other requirements that may happen in the restricted places –
- Secondary educational details: Some German universities may seek additional details from the international students to know more about their educational history. You may consider it as a ‘school-leaving certificate’ that is equivalent to the German Hochschulzugangsberechtigung. British GCSEs or A-levels (or their equivalents) like certificates are also fine.
- Interview: If a German university wants to discuss more your experience and application, video interviews may take place.
- Entry tests: Standardized postgraduate admission tests or any other additional entry exam may take place for the competition as well as specialized programs. These tests for business school and MBA programs can also require the score from the recognized tests like GRE or GMAT.
- The above-mentioned details are a complete representation of the requirements that German universities may seek. Not everything is going to be asked or expected. The courses or university can also get satisfied with even a recognized Bachelors's degree.
Since students are coming across the globe, various German Master's degrees are taught in English for better understanding. The students may need to provide a language test score to study in Germany to assure the language. Your course will decide the further path –
- Programs in English: Though it doesn’t seek a proficiency in German, the non-native English speakers need to pass the test to continue the studies. Here, if the students have completed an undergraduate degree course (or a similar one) in the English language, things can vary.
- Programs in German: These programs need to be done by the international applicants who want to attend the courses in the German language. These students should verify their capability in qualification. Now, the score decides whether the student is allowed to take admission in a particular university or not. Some universities can give an exemption to clarify and take further German language training before they commence the degree.
It is always worth to take a German language test whether it is required by the university or not. This is the ultimate opportunity to build up additional language skills by studying abroad. If you are getting additional/parallel course training, it is like an advantage to the international students.
This additional learning and test will help you in making a better relationship with Germany. You can gain the skills and proficiency to add to your resume that will ultimately put additional weight on your performance.
Numerous clauses (the restricted application)
Numerus clausus translates as ‘restricted number’. A few German master programs are subject to this term i.e. numerus clausus. This, somehow, indicates the total number of students that the program can admit.
In this way, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, Dentistry, and Pharmacy fields are much affected.
Here, we are listing the two major types of numerus clausus that German Universities usually apply –
- The centrally restricted (by the German government) subjects are known as zentraler numerus clausus.
- The locally restricted (by universities themselves) subjects are known as lokaler numerus clausus.
This is the University’s task to clarifying the things well in front of every student that which numerus clausus they are applying. The discussion should be made before processing the application.
Application through Uni-Assist
Some German universities have Uni-Assist Internation application portal.
Don’t forget to check the specifically required Masters Program that you need. University may only use Uni-Assist for the specific ones.
Uni-Assist may differ in its performance with different universities and programs. You need to be sure whether they are valid or not. The foreign qualification and transcription need to be understood through recognition and accreditation.
While completing the application, Uni-Assist either forwards the application to the university or generates a VPD (Vorpruefungsdokumentation). This further helps the students in completing the application.
The current set fees of Uni-Assist is €75 where €15 can be added further as the additional university charge within the same semester. Students can use the Uni-Assist service s for multiple applications without incurring any prohibitive cost.
The good news is that some universities can even pay these Uni-Assist fees for you that is further known as ‘cost transfer’.
Every year, several students move towards Germany for their career development. The international students are receiving a warm welcome from the land. The country opens borders with relaxed and effortless immigration agreements with various European countries (Schengen Area).
Here are a few details that you must know regarding German student visa, immigration, and residence (on the basis of individual nationality) –
- The EU, EEA, or Swiss students don’t need a visa for studying Masters Courses in Germany. Still, students need to have a residence permit.
- Apart from the above-mentioned places, students from other countries need a normal visa and residence permit, both.
A tourist visa is not applicable for your studies in Germany, though you can convert this visa into a student applicant visa or student visa. This Visa also helps the students for their short courses if they want to pursue language training like programs.