It’s no wonder that Germany is one of Europe’s top postgraduate study destinations, with a robust economy supporting a historic higher education system and a huge number of English-language courses. In fact, outside of the United Kingdom and the United States, Germany boasts more top-ranked Masters in Management universities than any other country. Even better, the bulk of German master’s degrees is free of charge.
This blog provides comprehensive and up-to-date information on German Master’s programs. We’ve covered the basics of the German university system, as well as postgraduate applications and fees, eligibility, and so on. We’re also keeping an eye on the impact of the coronavirus on German students. So, let us begin our blog with German universities.
In Germany, there are approximately 500 universities with over 20,000-degree programs. That’s a plethora of options! Here’s how to sort through your choices by looking at the types of universities in Germany:
Types of German university
German universities are divided into four categories:
- Universities that conduct original academic work (i.e. research) in a variety of areas are known as research universities. They provide a variety of masters and doctoral degrees.
- Historically, technical universities (Technische Universität) have focused on research in science, technology, and engineering. Many now provide certifications in a variety of fields.
- Applied science universities (Fachhochschulen) concentrate on practical courses including engineering, business, and social science. They frequently collaborate with businesses or professional associations.
- Art, film, and music colleges provide specialized practical training in creative disciplines. Candidates are usually expected to show that they have the necessary creative talents and expertise.
German Masters degrees
Following the Bologna Process, German postgraduate education follows a standard European structure. For Masters in Germany, the majority of master’s degrees are taught (postgraduate research is undertaken at the PhD level). You’ll finish a number of academic modules or other course components before embarking on your own dissertation or project.
Course duration and credit value
In Germany, master’s programs typically run for two years (or two to four semesters of study). You might be unaware but your degree will have 120 ECTS credits in total. Modules, homework, and tests will be used to obtain 90 of these points. The remaining 30 will be given to you as a dissertation reward.
Types of degrees
Most German master’s degrees award MA (Master of Arts) or MSc (Master of Science) degrees as taught courses. For some specific subjects, alternative degree titles may be used. The major distinction between programs is how you learn about them. German master’s degrees can be classified as either consecutive or non-consecutive postgraduate courses.
- Consecutive Master’s degrees are earned after completing a closely related undergraduate degree (for example, after completing a BSc in Chemistry or Biology, you might pursue an MSc in Biochemistry). Typically, there are no fees associated with these classes.
- Non-concurrent master’s degrees concentrate on a distinct or more specialized subject. A practical or professional background, as well as an undergraduate degree, may be required for this course. Fees are more likely to be charged for certain courses.
The majority of German master’s degrees are two-year programs that require a bachelor’s degree.
Criteria for admission
In Germany, a good Bachelor’s degree is the main criterion for entrance to a Master’s program. This does not need to come from Germany, but it must be accepted by the German university to which you are applying.
If you apply to a German institution through Uni-Assist, they will double-check your credentials. One of the EU’s ENIC-NARIC academic recognition centres may also be able to assist you. Universities may impose additional requirements for admission in some instances (this is more likely for programs with restricted places). It might be necessary to:
- Details of your secondary education — Some highly competitive programs may want more information about an overseas student’s educational background. This is usually in the form of a school-leaving certificate,’ which is comparable to the Hochschulzugangsberechtigung in Germany. GCSEs or A-levels (or their equivalents) from the United Kingdom are usually acceptable.
- An interview – German universities may like to speak with you about your qualifications and experience. For international students, video interviews are sometimes possible.
- Entrance exams – You may be required to take an additional entrance exam or a standardized postgraduate admissions test for competitive (or specialized) programs. This can be used to check your existing training in professional fields. A score from a recognized test, such as the GMAT or GRE, is likely to be required by business schools and MBA programs.
If the following list appears to be lengthy or frightening, don’t be concerned. Many courses will be satisfied with a recognized Bachelor’s degree, as colleges are unlikely to demand all of them. Before you apply, your university should make any additional requirements known to you.
Many master’s degrees in Germany are taught in English, making them more accessible to overseas students. If neither English nor German is your first language, you may be required to give a language test score in order to study in Germany. This will be determined by the course you are taking:
- English-language programs will not require German proficiency. Non-native English speakers, on the other hand, maybe need to take an English language test (exceptions will normally be made if you have completed an undergraduate degree, or another course, in English).
- Mostly, international applicants will be required to take a German language test before being admitted to a German program. Some courses will accept a lower application score, allowing students to pursue additional German language training before beginning their degree (or do so during the early stages of their Masters).
Even if your course doesn’t need a German exam, it’s still a good idea to use your time abroad to improve your language abilities. In addition to their degree programs, most colleges provide language courses. This will make your time in Germany much more exciting and fulfilling – besides, learning a second language is a terrific way to get more out of your international master’s program and reflect the experience on your resume.
Funding and fees
Germany is known for its progressive approach to higher education: students from all nationalities pay free tuition fees at public universities in 15 of the country’s 16 states. This means that whether you are a German, EU, or non-EU student, you can study for a Master’s degree in Germany for free. However, there are the following exceptions that may apply:
- Private universities may continue to charge fees. However, the majority of German higher education is subsidized by the government.
- International (non-EU) students in Baden-Württemberg are charged €1,500 per semester.
- Some Masters will levy fees if they are not consecutive. This is a tiny selection of courses, many of which are geared toward seasoned professionals.
A master’s degree in Germany is a great foundation for further postgraduate study at the doctoral level. Subject to the renewal of your visa and/or residence permit, you should be able to continue in the country and undertake another course of study. By the time you finish your Master’s degree, you’ll be familiar with the German university system and have most likely honed your German language skills.