Applying to a German University – useful tips

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If you are an international student who is struggling to understand how to apply to a German university, we would advise you to read this article.

Applying to a German University? Here’s what you need to do

If you’re planning to apply to a German university to study abroad as an international student, you’re making the best decision of your life. 

Wondering why?
Simply because Germany is a remarkable place to pursue your studies abroad and make some great memories. However, getting through the admission process is not an easy task. For international students, the seats are limited in German universities, and it does not matter if you’re applying for a complete term or just a part of it – the competition to get through is very high. 

Therefore, it is essential to understand how to apply to a German university and fulfill all the requirements as per the deadlines. In this post, we will tell you everything about applying to a German university. Pick up your notebook and start creating notes now. Don’t miss out on any important information.

How to apply for a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree?

Don’t get hassled. The process is not very cumbersome. It is almost like the application process followed by German students. However, must keep in mind that the seats for international students are very limited. 

There is no centralized office where you can apply. You’ll have to check the admission process of each German university as it may differ and apply individually. At this point, you might get confused with several admission requirements, so it is a good practice to maintain a separate “to do” list for each. You may have to abide by different timelines and fill different forms for each university. 

The first step is to contact the university’s helpdesk, student counselor, or check their website for the contact information. Make sure you get answers to the following questions:

  • What are the requirements you need to fulfill?
  • What are the documents you need to submit?
  • What are the application deadlines?
  • What are the details of the courses being offered to international students?
  • What is the eligibility criteria based on your country’s secondary school certificate?

The content mentioned on the application may be common for German students and international students. However, the actual requirements may be different for both. 

There are two types of study courses available for international students – with admission requirements and without admission requirements (you do not need specific grades to apply). However, even in case of the latter, you must get yourself listed as a part of the study course.

What is the relevance of grades?

Based on a particular average grade (NC or numerous clausus), it will be decided if you, as an international student, will be accepted at a German university or not. The NC keeps changing from year to year and depends on how many students are applying during the course of that year. 

You will be happy to know that you can increase your average score if it is not at par with the NC. By doing social work, internships, completing your educations or serving in the military, you can push your average grade by a few points.

For more information, you can get in touch with the university you are planning to apply to.

Here’s what you should do if you are sure that you meet the requirements

Once you feel that you’re ready to apply to a German university of your choice and meet the requirement, you can begin the application process. The common aspects of the application process of almost all Germany universities are – an application form duly filled by the international students and a valid certificate (equivalent to the German Abitur). Other requirements that international students must fulfil are – proof of proficiency in German language and residence. 

The best place where you will be able to find elaborate details about the application process is the German university’s official website.

Are there any exceptions?

Medicines, pharmaceuticals, dentistry, and animal health are some subjects for which the study program application process is an exception. In case of these, you need to send your application to the central office.

For more information on this, visit

For all other study programs, you need to apply to the foreign wing of the university or leverage uni-assist, a paid service which helps international students apply to different German universities. 

If you’re planning to take part in an exchange program for a single term, you can apply to your country’s university.


In the end, the entire application process trickles down to the deadlines. Most application processes begin almost six months before the starting of the term. So, it best to be on your toes and start the application process as soon as you collect the first round of information. Be sure about not missing the deadlines, you won’t get a chance to apply once the deadlines are over. 

Don’t sit on the application till the last day. Hurry makes worry. By keeping things pending till the last moment, you may miss out on essential documents.

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