How to Apply at a German University?

The decision to study in Germany is a quite good one, because the time abroad can give many positive experiences and memories. But first of all it is necessary to get a place at the favorite university in Germany. Places at the German universities are very rare and it doesn’t matter if applying for the total studies or just one term, the competition is high. It is therefore important to get all the information very early and to complete all the necessary formalities.

How to Apply at a German UniversityIf you want to do the whole Bachelor- or Master studies in Germany you need to apply the same way as the German students but at most universities the places for international students are very rare. There is no central office for students applications in Germany, therefore it is necessary to apply at the university you want to study. This can be quite confusing because there are many different application procedures depending on university and study program. According to this, one has to achieve different admission requirements, keep to different deadlines and submit different documents.

Therefore it is the first priority to check the webpage from the university or to call the responsible councelor to get the most important information. Which requirements have to be fulfilled, which specialities are there for international students and which documents need to be completed. In this text there can be given a general abstract about the application process but single universities or subjects can differ from that.

Initially, there has to be differentiated between study programs with admission requirements and study programs without. The programs without admission requirements can be studied without special average grades or other assumptions. It is still necessary to apply and to enlist for formal reasons. The other programs have a limit after which one isn’t accepted anymore. In most cases the limit are grades.


With a certain average grade (numerous clausus: NC) one is accepted or not. The NC can differ each year, depending on how many students apply for the program. It is also possible in some cases to upgrade the own average if it isn’t high enough to be accepted. Internships, finished educations, social work or military duty can be charged. Depending on how long the work was and in which area it was absolved it can push the average grade some points higher. If one isn’t sure which activity can be charged, can ask at the university.

With a realistic chance to get the place in the favorite study program, one can start to arrange the application. In every case it has to contain a complete application form from the university and an accredited copy of the final certificate (Abitur or similar degree). International students also need language proof of ability, right of residence and others.

More information can be found on the webpages of the universities. The application often starts with an online-form which has to be filled.

An exception form study programs which are limited in whole Germany. For example the subjects medicine, dentistry, pharmaceutics and animal health. For these subjects the application has to be sent to a central office, provides more information. For all other programs the application has to be sent so the foreign office of the university or one has to apply with uni-assist. Uni-assist helps international students with their application in Germany but also demands money for the service.

If one only wants to do an exchange program for one term the application has to be done with the home university. Normally they also provide all the necessary information and offer meetings.

For all applications it is recommended to send them as early as possible. The deadlines are about half a year before the beginning of the term and if you miss the deadline the application isn’t accepted anymore. It is also a good idea to send it before the last day, to have enough time for missing documents to be handed in.

For those who search for the information in time it should be no problem to hand in a complete application and they can look forward to their time abroad.

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