How do I apply for a master’s degree in Germany in 2022?

Written by Michael Nz. on January 31, 2022

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Study in Germany

In 2014, 16 states of Germany eliminated tuition fees for undergraduate students at all public universities in Germany. This means that today both national and international students at public universities in Germany can study for free, with only a small fee to cover administrative and other costs per semester.

So, if you are considering a  master’s degree in Germany? fees shouldn’t be a deterrent to your search. Therefore, this article will give you a quick guide to types of Masters in Germany, language requirements, how to apply, and how to get a  student visa .


  • Types of Masters in Germany
  • Language requirements if you want to study a Master in Germany
  • Applying to study a master’s degree in Germany
  • When to apply
  • Student visas to study in Germany.

Types of Masters in Germany

Master’s degrees in Germany are generally classified as “consecutive” or “non-consecutive”. Those in the first category are designed to build on academic knowledge gained during a related bachelor’s degree.

Non-consecutive programs tend to focus more on professional development, often requiring applicants to have both a bachelor’s degree and some relevant work experience. Most masters in Germany take four semesters (two years) to complete, although some are shorter or longer.

Language requirements if you want to study a Master in Germany.

Most courses are taught in German, requiring international applicants to provide proof of language proficiency. Two tests are available for this purpose: the Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang (DSH, which stands for “German University Entrance Test”) and the TestDaF (formerly Test Deutsch als Fremdsprache, which stands for “Test of German as a Foreign Language”). “)

The DSH is offered only in Germany, at various universities, while the TestDaF can be taken at centers in more than 90 worldwide. As always, check that the universities you want to apply to accept the test you intend to take.

While German remains the main language of instruction in general, a growing selection of English-taught programs is available, particularly at the Master’s level and for students participating in short-term exchange programs.

The searchable database of courses taught in English is provided by the  German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).  If you decide to study in English and it is not your first language, you will need to prove your proficiency with an English language test such as  IELTS  or  TOEFL.

Applying to study a master’s degree in Germany

To apply to study for a master’s degree in Germany, the first word to become familiar with is  Hochschulzugangsberechtigung  (abbreviated as HZB), which stands for “higher education entrance qualification”.

A university degree obtained in another country is generally accepted as a suitable HZB for admission to a master’s degree in Germany, but the specific requirements will vary depending on the course, the institution, and where you have previously studied.

For some master’s degrees, applicants must have earned a minimum number of credits in specific fields of study. These conditions are established by the department that offers the program.

Applications for master’s programs are sent directly to the university or through the Uni Assist online portal. 

This is a centralized service, which selects the applicants and transmits those who meet all the requirements to the chosen institutions, for further evaluation.

Not all German universities use this service, and those that do may require applicants to complete their own application process as well.

Each institution will set the specific required documents and application process, but you will normally be required to submit an official copy of your academic transcripts, a passport photo, a copy of your passport, and a copy of your language proficiency test results. ( if it is applicable). An application fee may be charged.

When to apply

At many German universities, it is possible to apply for admission twice a year, to begin studies either in the winter or summer semester. The summer semester runs from March to August at the Fachhochschulen and from April to September at the universities; The winter semester is from September to February and from October to March, respectively.

In general, requests for winter registrations must be made by July 15 and requests for summer registrations by January 15. However, application deadlines vary between institutions, and the same institution may set different deadlines for each master’s program – be sure to check carefully the specific dates for your chosen course. It is recommended that applications be submitted at least six weeks before the deadline, to ensure time for corrections or additions if the information is missing.

Student visas to study in Germany.

Students from EU, EEA, or Swiss countries do not need a visa to study in Germany. These students simply need to register at the nearest registry office upon arrival to obtain a residence permit. This also applies to students from other countries, including Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, New Zealand, South Korea, and the United States. Students from Andorra, Brazil, El Salvador, Honduras, Monaco, and San Marino can also follow this path, as long as they do not intend to work during their stay in Germany.

Students from other places will need to apply for a visa before arriving in Germany, through the nearest German embassy. Those already accepted to a program can apply for a  student visa, while those awaiting confirmation or entrance exams in session will need an applicant visa.

Visas can take several months, so apply as soon as possible. Visa applicants will be required to present a valid passport; confirmation from a German university that an application is in process or completed; health insurance; and proof of adequate funds to cover living expenses.

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