Study in Germany

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Offline International Desk, DIU

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Study in Germany
« on: June 25, 2012, 04:43:21 PM »
Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a federal parliamentary republic in central and western Europe. The country consists of 16 states and its capital is Berlin, the country's largest city. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate. With 81.8 million inhabitants, it is the most populous member state in the European Union. It is one of the major political powers of the European continent and a technological leader in many fields.

Finding the right university

There are 409 officially recognised institutions of higher education in 165 towns and cities throughout Germany. In total, German universities and colleges offer more than 14,500 degree programmes. And from all of these, you will have to choose one. In the following, we’ve put together some information to help ease the agony of making such a difficult decision.

What kinds of colleges and universities are there?

Deciding on a college or university is somewhat easier as there are only three types to choose from in Germany:

Universities of applied sciences
Colleges of art, film and music

What is the difference between public and private universities?

Most universities and colleges in Germany are public, i.e. they receive funding from the federal government. Some are also financed by the Protestant or Catholic Church. In addition to these subsidised institutions, there are now more than 100 private universities and colleges which confer officially recognised degrees. A majority of these are universities of applied sciences.

Most students in Germany are enrolled at public universities. Only three percent of all students attend a private institution, perhaps due to the fact that private colleges and universities tend to charge high tuition fees. The quality of instruction at both types of universities, however, is comparably high.

Did you know that university education in Germany is not centrally coordinated? Each of the 16 states has its own higher education laws and guidelines. German universities are largely self-regulatory, which means that not all rules apply to every university. Therefore, always enquire about the particular regulations at the university of your choice.

Degree programmes in Germany

Bachelor’s degree (B.A., B.Sc., Bachelor of Engineering, etc.): This is the first-level of academic degree recognised on the international job market. Bachelor’s degree programmes teach students the fundamentals of their subject of study in six to eight semesters. Once you have received your bachelor’s, you can enter professional life or continue studying for the second-level academic qualification – the master’s degree.

Master’s degree (M.A., M.Sc., Master of Engineering, etc.):
This is the second-level of academic qualification you can receive from a German university. If you wish to enter a master’s degree programme, you are required to have a bachelor’s degree (or equivalent academic qualification). Master’s degree programmes last two to four semesters and allow you to deepen and expand your knowledge in a certain subject. After you receive your master’s degree, you can enter professional life or continue studying for the next academic qualification – the doctoral degree.

Doctoral degree:
A doctoral programme, which involves the completion of a research paper (dissertation), concludes with the conferral of a doctoral degree. The duration of doctoral programmes depends on the candidate’s particular area of research. However, most programmes generally take two to five years to complete.

Knowing, what course fits for you

It is not that easy to find the right course at the right university. If you are uncertain and can not make a decision, the following free online tests might be of some help for you:

To test your suitability for studies at a German university:

For technical subjects try:

Admission Requirements:


Deutsch lernen, Bild: Lichtenscheidt/DAAD
If you are enrolled in an English-language degree programme, you generally require no knowledge of German. On the other hand, you must have a good level of proficiency in English.

For degree programmes taught in German, you will need better proficiency in German for the social sciences than in the natural sciences – particularly in terms of writing and speaking.

Degree Recognition

How can you determine whether your higher education entrance qualification will be recognised in Germany? A good place to start is the DAAD online admission database ( Simply enter the country where you received your school-leaving certificate.

Applying to the University

Select the university from the following link:

When do you apply?
Two dates you should mark red in your calendar: January 15th and July 15th. If you wish to begin your studies in the winter semester (October) the submission period is from the beginning of June to 15th July. If you rather prefer to start your studies in the Summer semester (April) the submission period is from the beginning of December to 15th January.


Depending on which country you are from and the purpose of your stay in Germany, you will need a visa for entering Germany. You can apply for it at the German embassy or consulate in your home country. You can find the addresses of the German embassy and the consulate in your home country on the website of the Federal Foreign Office.


Visa Tip: Tip: Student applicants who have not yet been admitted to a German university or Studienkolleg can apply for a Student Applicant Visa. It is valid for three months and can be converted into a residence permit for the purpose of studying once you have been admitted to a higher education institution.

Another type of visa is the Language Course Visa. But beware: This is only valid for the length of the language course. It cannot be converted into a student visa. If you plan to take a language course in connection with your academic studies, this must be stated when you apply for your visa. You have to apply for a student visa or a student applicant visa if the purpose of your stay is to study in Germany.

Most foreign students – except nationals of EU and EEA countries – must, after arriving in Germany and having reported to the registration authority, go to the foreigners authority in their university town to apply for a residence permit for the purpose of studying.

Proof of Financial Resources

At present, foreign students must prove they have at least 8,040 euro per year at their disposal (about 670 euro per month). Proof of financial resources can be provided in various ways. The following forms are generally accepted:

1. Your parents submit documents certifying their income and financial assets.
2. A resident in Germany provides the Aliens’ Registration Office a guarantee to cover your expenses.
3. You submit a bank guarantee.
4. You receive a scholarship from a recognised scholarship provider.
5. A security payment is deposited into a blocked account.

Work Permit

Please note: International students are only allowed to work in Germany under certain conditions. A part-time job may supplement your budget, but it almost certainly won’t be able to cover all your living expenses.

Health Insurance

Health insurance coverage is mandatory for all foreign students, who would like to study in Germany. We explain to you what you should keep in mind and where you can get support concerning medical insurance related questions. (

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