Lots of students from all over the world consider Germany a place to continue their postgraduate studies because of the country’s high standard of living, rich culture, and reputation of its top universities. One of the major reasons why international students pursue studying here is because of the numerous job opportunities awaiting graduates once they finish their master’s degree.

All the factors mentioned above are what make international students continue their studies in Germany. But how does one begin planning for their postgraduate studies? In this article, we will delve into the general steps on how to apply for a master’s studies, as well as some tips and information that may help you in getting admitted.

Master’s Degree Admission Requirements

The requirements will differ depending on whether the aspiring master’s student is applying for an on-campus or online learning experience for their postgraduate studies. For on-campus experience, a student certainly needs a student visa for their whole stay while studying in Germany.

Most universities will require students to submit the following: an undergraduate degree, curriculum vitae, letter of motivation, proof of English proficiency, and a valid ID. Additional requirements may differ from one university to another such as a bachelor’s degree that is equivalent to a certain number of European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS). A good example of this is the Steinbeis University School of Management and Innovation (SMI) Berlin and the International Graduate Center (IGC).

Further requirements may be asked depending on the field of study the student applied for. For example, Gisma University of Applied Sciences requires students to take an additional exam from a professional accounting agency such as the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants or Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. Some universities may even require the applicant to have work experience relating to the master’s degree, such as in Berlin School of Business and Innovation (BSBI) with their program M.Sc. International Health Management. HTW University of Applied Sciences Berlin requires applicants of some programs to pass an academic assessment test of their own.

Simply put, individuals who want to get a master’s program in Germany should prepare the necessary documents. While submission of complete documents will not automatically get you into a university, it is still a good practice to provide all the required documents with complete details as this will make the assessment and verification of your documents much faster.

Language Proficiency Tests Needed for Master’s Studies

Most universities in Germany will require aspiring students to present proof of their proficiency in English or German. There are many ways how you can attend a master’s program – either take up a degree that is fully taught in English or German or you can take up classes that require both proficiency in the languages.

When taking a master’s program in Germany, the applicant will be required to prove they have enough knowledge of the German language to understand the program. Some examples of certificates accepted are from language proficiency exams such as Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang (DSH), Deutsches Sprachdiplom der Kultusministerkonferenz (DSD), Großes Deutsches Sprachdiplom (GDS), and Test Deutsch als Fremdsprache (TestDaF). Much like the English language requirements, the required level of proficiency reflected by these certificates may vary from one university to another.

To show English proficiency for fully taught or mixed-taught English programs, universities will require the applicant to provide a certificate showing their English skills. Certificates could be issued by Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE), Duolingo, International English Language Testing System (IELTS), and other recognized international standardized tests for English language proficiency for non-native English language speakers. Some of these may also require an application fee.

It must be noted that most ask for TOEFL and IELTS English proficiency certificates such as Arden University Berlin, Steinbeis University School of Management and Innovation Berlin, and SRH Hochschule Berlin. Schools like Hertie School, Arden University Berlin, and CBS International Business School also accept CPE aside from the previously mentioned English competency exams.

In a few cases, some universities may allow aspiring students to apply without any English language proficiency certificate provided that they submit another document that will show proof of English competency. For example, Berlin School of Business and Innovation may waive this requirement if they are a native English speaker, a student who has completed their education in English, a holder of an International Baccalaureate diploma, a candidate that can submit a Medium of Instruction (MOI) letter, have a West African Senior School Certificate (WAEC), or have a WAEC English Language component of level 6 or above.

Check Also: Germany Programs for International Students

Master’s Degree Application Process

Follow the general guidelines on how to apply for a master’s program to kickstart your journey to pursuing postgraduate studies in Germany.

Step 1. Meet the Application Requirements

Each university has its own set of requirements. Be sure that all documents the university is requiring you to submit are all obtained and updated. Before even submitting the documents, double-check each one of them to see if all details are inputted. If not, ask for a modified version of the document/s. It is way better to have all mistakes corrected rather than submitting unchecked documents. More often than not, if the document lacks information, the admissions committee will ask for another document.

Step 2. Fill Out the Application Form

Depending on the university, the school may require applicants to send in their applications through a website-embedded form, an application portal, and on rare occasions through email. It must be noted that all of these are online applications just in different forms.

Some examples of universities with the online application form are the International University of Applied Sciences (IU), the EU Business School in Munich, and HOCHSCHULE FRESENIUS. An example of a university using an email application is the EU Business School in Munich. Some universities that use application portals are Hertie School, International Master of Science in Sustainable and Innovative Natural Resource Management (SINReM), and RWTH Business School. Whatever the application method is, check their website for the application procedure and make sure that you follow them closely.

Step 3. Pay the Application Fee

If the university requires you to pay an application fee, you should pay the application fee once you have applied. The application fee in Germany charges up to 100 euros, more or less.

Step 4. Once Accepted, Apply for a Student Visa

If you have been accepted, the next step is to apply for a student visa in Germany. The application process for a student visa is another long process, you need to prepare the necessary documents, go to the German embassy in your country, and apply. Once your student visa for Germany has been granted, then you will be granted permission to enter Germany to study for your master’s.


FINAL TIP: When searching for universities, aside from checking out the master’s programs section, also look into the university’s About Us, Admissions, Future Students, or Apply Now section. From what to expect to scholarship and academic opportunities, these sections will provide you with the necessary information you are looking for.


We hope that this article provides you with in-depth information about applying for a Master’s degree in Germany. To know 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!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

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