The application process to a German university varies from university to university. The universities have their own set of requirements and their deadlines could also vary. The below is a general guideline but it’s still best to check with the university you are planning to apply to for the exact requirement.
How do I apply to a German university?
There are 3 ways to apply to a German university;
- direct to the university
- the Foundation for Admission to Higher Education
- the University Application Service for International Students (uni-assist).
If the university is a member of uni-assist, you will need to apply via uni-assist. For applicants from an EU country, Liechtenstein, Iceland or Norway applying to a program with a nationwide restriction, he or she will need to apply to the Foundation for Admission to Higher Education. Otherwise, applicants can apply directly to the university.
Tell me more about the nationwide restriction for certain programs in Germany.
Public universities in Germany have different admission procedures depending on the courses offered. Some courses have restricted admission procedures while others have unrestricted admission procedures.
Unrestricted programs will admit students provided they meet the universities’ requirements. Some programs will require that students complete a pre-internship prior to the start of the Degree program.
For restricted programs, there is a fixed number of applicants that the universities can admit for that particular semester. These programs are also known as Numerus Clausus (NC) programs. Due to the limited spots available, there are many more applicants for those spots as compared to the available spots. Applications are processed by the Foundation for University Admissions (Stiftung für Hochschulzulassung) and students will need to apply via their portal. Examples of NC programs are medicine, pharmacy, veterinary medicine and dentistry.
For students outside of EU, Liechtenstein, Iceland or Norway, they will need to either apply directly to the university or to uni-assist.
What is the meaning of the value for Numerus Clausus (NC)?
The current NC value only refers to the grade point average result of the last person admitted to the program in the previous semester. While it serves as a good reference point, it is possible that an applicant with a lower grade point average result get admitted for the next semester.
What documents do I need for the university application?
The following are documents you will need to prepare for the university application
- Official certificate of a recognised proof of academic qualification (A levels, STPM, IB, etc for Bachelor’s degree)
- Overview of subjects and grades (A levels, STPM, IB, etc for Bachelor’s degree)
- Official certificate of a recognised Bachelor’s degree (for Master’s degree)
- Grading system, school leaving certificate and overview of subjects and grades (for Master’s degree)
- Proof of language proficiency
Some universities will also require one or more of the following documents
- Motivation letter
- Recommendation letter
- Internship proof
- Aptitude test result
- TestAS result
- GMAT result
- Passport copy
As a rule of thumb, all documents in a foreign language has to be translated into German or English. If the documents are in English, you will not need to translate them into German. Document translations have to be done by a translator who is certified by the German embassy. Do check with the German embassy in your home country to get the list of certified translators in your area.
How much does the application cost?
For uni-assist, the first application will cost € 75 and subsequent applications will cost € 30.
For direct application, the application fee is decided by the university.
In both cases, the application will only be processed after the application fee is paid.
When should I apply?
There are 2 semesters in a year, winter semester and summer semester. The application deadline for winter semester is usually on the 15th July while the application deadline for summer semester is usually on the 15th Jan.