Think automotive, think Germany. Think aerospace, think Germany. Think science and technology, think Germany. Think research and innovation, think Germany. Think study abroad, think Germany.
Many students interested in science and technology think Germany when considering studying abroad because this relatively small country produces the second largest number of science and technology graduates in the world.
Germany is a predominantly urbanized country home to 28 Fortune 500 companies. The production and service industries in Germany cater to more than 500 million consumers worldwide. According to the OECD, Germany has the highest labour productivity in the world. The fourth largest automotive manufacturer, Germany also leads in the production and export of machines and appliances, electrical products and equipment, metal, pharmaceuticals, food products, rubber and plastics. As for employment, Germany has one of the most dynamic job markets.
Germany’s public and private educational institutions are the third most popular destination in the world for higher studies, and around 12% of Germany’s student population are international students. It is home to some of the oldest universities in the world, including Heidelberg University (founded in 1386!), with degree programs that are globally recognized and respected..
German master’s programs can be divided into four types:
Research Universities: These are public universities which offer master’s degrees and PhDs in multiple fields.
Technical Universities: These are a subgroup of research universities primarily focused on the areas of engineering, science and technology.
Universities of Applied Sciences: Together with private organizations in Germany, these private universities offer degrees in engineering, business and social sciences. However, most of these universities do not offer PhD programs.
Colleges of Art, Film and Music: Focusing on creative fields, these institutions may be part of either research universities or universities of applied sciences. Candidates will only qualify if they have exceptional creative skills and extensive experience in a relevant creative field.
German master’s degrees are divided into consecutive and non-consecutive programs. Consecutive programs are a continuation of the knowledge gained during a student’s undergrad experience and non-consecutive programs require a few years of work experience after undergrad and may not be related to a student’s undergrad education.
Geographically and demographically, Germany is quite different from India. Students will learn to speak a new language, taste new cuisines and gather memories that will last for a lifetime. Those who are intimidated by a foreign atmosphere should be comforted by the fact that most Germans speak English and the fact that there are plenty of international cuisines available in most German cities. A peaceful country with a low crime rate, Germany is a welcome place for all with some of the most friendly immigration laws in Europe.
Applicants need a ‘Hochschulzugangsberechtigung’ (HZB). Sound complicated? Translated into English, an HZB is a ‘Higher Education Entrance Qualification,’ or, an undergraduate degree. However, specific requirements may differ based on the university, the program and an applicant’s previous place of study. Though the GRE is not a requisite, some universities may require GRE/GMAT scores. Language requirements, however, are very stringent.
Since most courses are delivered in German, knowledge of the German language is imperative and an English language test is also required. Applicants may take the following tests to prove their proficiency:
For English: Choose between the IELTS and TOEFL
For German: Choose between Telc German B1, Telc C1 Hochschule or TestDaF (Test Deutsch als Fremdsprach or ‘Test of German as a Foreign Language’). Besides these, a few language certifications by Goethe are also accepted for university studies.
Before rushing to the nearest Goethe-Institute/Max Muller Bhavan to learn German, students should be sure to find out which test is accepted by their desired university.
How to Apply?
Applications may be submitted directly or through Uni Assist, an online portal which performs the initial screening of international applications for 180 German universities. The application itself should be complete with all supporting documents such as degrees, diplomas, and other academic certificates, a copy of the applicant’s passport, language proficiency test scores and an application fee. Specific document requirements and application fees will vary between universities.
Intakes and Deadlines
German universities have only two intakes in the year, the summer intake for the summer semester running from March to August or April to September, and the winter intake for the winter semester spanning September to February or October to March. The deadlines fall before January 15 for the summer intakes and before July 15 for the winter. Universities set their deadlines at their own discretion and students are advised to apply at least four months in advance to give time to apply for a visa.
Top Universities in Germany
Some of the top universities in Germany include:
• RWTH Aachen
• TU Berlin
• TU Braunschweig
• TU Darmstadt
• TU Dresden
• Leibniz Universität Hannover
• Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
• TU München
• Universität Stuttgart
Student Visa and Work Permit
The German visa process is long, so early application is highly recommended. Applicants who have secured admission to a German university should apply for a Student Visa and applicants awaiting confirmation from a university should apply for an Applicant Visa. A student visa costs about 60 Euros and applicants will be required to present all visa related documents during the visa interview.
International graduates from German universities have a chance to tap into the full potential of the abundant job market in Germany. After graduating with a master’s degree, students can work for a year and a half and gain valuable international work experience. Students are also allowed to work part time (20 hours per week) during the course of their program, earning between 80 to 100 Euros per week.
A master’s degree from a German university can do wonders for a graduate’s profile and set them on a course of great career accomplishment. German degrees are globally accepted, and in many cases a graduate can find a preferred position at a German company.
A German master’s program spans from 18 to 24 months. Of the 120 ECTS credits, 90 will be earned through coursework and modules, and the remaining 30 are allotted to completing a dissertation.
The German government funds its state universities. So, irrespective of whether a student is local or foreign, there is an opportunity to study free of cost or at a very nominal tuition at public universities. There are required semester contributions for the other facilities available at the universities which can amount to 150 to 200 Euros per semester. Private universities, however, do have fees which can amount to 20,000 Euros per year. Apart from tuition, students are required to pay living expenses which can roughly be around 800 to 900 Euros per month.
If you are interested in pursuing a master’s degree in Germany, the hub of research and innovation, and have further questions, please reach out to our representatives for personalized guidance tailored to your academic and professional profile.
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