Germany is one of the top destinations in the world for international students. Most, if not all, public universities in the country do not require tuition fees for bachelor’s degrees. Both domestic and international students are only required to pay a small administration fee per semester. Private universities, on the other hand, will likely charge you international student fees, but there are quite a few private universities where you can enroll for a bachelor’s in Germany that are very budget-friendly as well. This allows international students to take advantage of Germany’s world-class quality of education at a lower price.
Germany is very welcoming towards international students. Their straightforward application processes make it very quick and easy to obtain a degree at any of their world-class universities. Below is a guide on how to get started on your undergraduate studies in Germany. Let’s take a look at how you can obtain a bachelor’s degree in Germany!
Admission Requirements When Applying for a Bachelor’s Degree
The following are commonly required documents for undergraduate admissions in Germany.
The application form is the first thing that you need to have when you want to apply for a bachelor’s degree in Germany. It tells the university all about yourself and is the most essential part of your application. It contains your personal information, desired course/s, educational history, and other important details. All universities have an application form unique to them, and downloadable PDFs of these are usually available on their sites.
University Admission Qualification
A university admission qualification certifies that you are ready for higher education at a university level. It is equivalent to a school-leaving certificate, or a high school diploma plus a university entrance exam certificate, university certificate, or post-secondary school certificate.
It lets the university know if you are qualified to apply for all available courses (general qualification) or only certain courses (subject-restricted qualification). Use this website to check if your secondary school certificate can be used for study in Germany.
This document contains all your grades from secondary and post-secondary school (if applicable). This document should come with a certified translation if written in a language other than English. An academic transcript is one of the bases to check if you are qualified to get a bachelor’s degree in Germany.
Other documents German universities may ask for include a curriculum vitae, motivational letter, reference letters, and a copy of your passport/s.
Language Proficiency Tests Needed for Bachelor’s Programs
Aside from the mentioned documents, a good command of the German language is a must-have for a bachelor’s degree in Germany. While certain universities may have English courses available, they will most likely be combined with German-taught courses. This is why most universities in Germany require proof of proficiency in the German language.
There are several recognized German language certificates accepted by universities. These are the Goethe Certificate (C2 Level or above), the TestDaF Certificate (4 points or above in all four sections), and the DSH Certificate (Level 2 or above).
Goethe is arguably the best exam of the three. Its worldwide recognition and partnerships with institutions all over the world make it the most accessible. TestDaF, on the other hand, is considered more difficult than Goethe but signifies a more complete grasp of the language. This is because you need to pass all four sections to pass the test. DSH, lastly, is often considered the easiest of the three, but its downside is that it can only be taken in Germany.
For information on test locations and dates, you should contact the local European language institutes or German embassies in your area.
You also have the option to take German preparatory courses at your chosen university before starting your undergraduate degree. However, this is usually more time-consuming and expensive than just learning German back home. We highly recommend learning the language before applying for undergraduate studies in Germany to save some money.
If your chosen course is taught in English, you may be asked for proof of English language proficiency as well. This can be in the form of IELTS (6.5+) or TOEFL (550+). If you come from a country whose first language is English, this is not necessary.
Check Also: Germany Programs for International Students
Steps to Apply for a Bachelor’s Degree in Germany
In Germany, universities usually accept incoming bachelor’s students twice a year. Standard application periods usually open in either July (winter semester) or January (summer semester). Keep in mind, however, that all universities are different and may have varying deadlines or requirements. Some will only accept admissions once a year, some will have different application processes depending on the applied degree, and some will require mailing your application rather than submitting it online. Thus, we highly recommend that you take the first step before doing anything else!
Step 1. Know where to apply
The first general step in applying for a bachelor’s degree in Germany is knowing where you want to go. This means doing a lot of research on universities beforehand. You should consider the university’s location, international student community, available courses, reputation, and other factors you care about. Then, compile them into a list in order of priority and visit their websites. There, you should find a comprehensive list of their requirements and prerequisites for admission.
These are some of the most popular universities in Germany:
If you scroll through these pages, you will notice that their application processes vary greatly from one another. This is why it’s so important to make a list and visit their sites individually before starting your application. There is no standard procedure for any of these universities, and you might just end up having all your applications submitted late or rejected if you jump straight in without looking!
Step 2. Figure out the language
While researching each university, you should also figure out the language situation. Some may require proof of German and/or English fluency, some may ask for proof before or after the application, some may prefer a different German language exam over others, etc. For this step, we recommend having a German certificate ready before application—even if you don’t manage to get into a university, your language certificate will not expire.
Step 3. Compile your application documents
Once you’ve figured out what universities to apply to, it’s time to put together your application. Again, make sure to read through all of your applied university’s websites to ensure you have all the necessary documents and have followed all instructions. Thankfully, most of these websites are very helpful and will have everything you need on one page. Make sure to submit your application as early as possible to allow ample time for the last step.
Step 4. Prepare your finances
After you’ve submitted your application, it’s time to figure out your finances. There are two things you need to do.
First, you’ll need to look at all available scholarship options at your university. German universities tend to be very generous and will usually have scholarships available for international students. You should look into it to ease the burden on your wallet.
Second, start saving up and securing money in your bank account. You will need a minimum balance of €10,322 to apply for a German student visa. This amount ensures you will have enough money to both study and live comfortably in Germany.
Even if you get accepted to your university of choice, you will not be able to attend if you do not secure a student visa. Having sufficient funds is the crucial last step of your journey to Germany.
We hope that this article provides you with helpful information about applying for an undergraduate degree in Germany. To find out more about your study options, take a look at the Available Courses as well as check out more articles and tips in the Study in Germany section!