Germany is popular for providing nominal education to students. This attracts a lot of study abroad aspirants. However, the pressing question of, “how to study in Germany'' perplexes a lot of students. w.r.t the admission process. Studying in Germany can be a lucrative decision for plenty of reasons like excellent education system, amazing student life, cultural diversity, numerous courses and globally recognised degrees from highly regarded German universities. However, in order to enjoy the perks of studying in Germany, you must fulfill all the Germany university admission requirements for international students. The current article will help you understand all of them in detail.
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How to Study in Germany as an International Student?
Germany attracts students from all over the world. Each year, the number of students applying for German universities seems to be on the rise.
In order to pursue higher education in Germany, it is extremely critical to stay aware of all the expected criteria of the country. Be it eligibility for universities or visa requirements or language proficiency scores, or any criteria that is essential, a student must be equipped to fulfill all of them.
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Let us learn about the requirements one by one -
Requirements for Fulfilling Eligibility Criteria for German Universities
One of the first Germany university admission requirements for international students is to fulfil the minimum eligibility criteria.
Let us learn about the main eligibility requirements asked by most universities in Germany -
Higher Education Entrance Qualification
Your chance of being able to study in Germany depends on whether you possess a “Hochschulzugangsberechtigung” – or “University entrance qualification”. It is a school-leaving certificate which qualifies you for university study.
You should find out if your university entrance qualification is recognised. If you are unable to meet the German university entrance qualification, you can attend a foundation course (“Studienkolleg”) before you are allowed to enrol at your university.
The DAAD entrance qualification database can help you with this. It will help you find out if you are eligible to study in Germany.
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You can use My GUIDE, a service provided by DAAD, which helps you to find a study programme based on your academic background and interests.
You have the option to assess your ability to cope up with courses offered in Germany with the Test for Foreign Students (TestAS). The TestAS is a standardised exam which allows universities to compare the scholastic aptitude of their prospective students.
The TestAS is for international students who wish to apply for admission to an undergraduate degree programme at a German university. It is mandatory to provide TestAS scores in some universities while other universities do not require it. TestAS recognition varies from university to university.
Read: Public Universities in Germany
Documents Required for Admission to German Universities
There are certain documents which students must have in place before applying to the universities of their choice. The required documents can be found on your desired university’s website.
However, some of the most common documents international students require while taking admission to German universities are mentioned below:
- Valid photo ID or passport
- Completed application form
- Educational Documents
- Transcripts (if required)
- Scores of Entrance Exams (if applicable)
- Language Proficiency test scores
- SOPs and LORs
- Other documents
Document requirements can vary depending on the course, university etc that you choose. Hence it is very crucial to always double check with the university of your choice on all the documents.
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German University Admission Requirements for Language
Most degree courses in Germany are taught in German language. Hence, students are required to have some working knowledge of the German language.
You can prove your German language proficiency by taking one of the following entrance exam for Germany -
- TestDaF - This is offered in over 100 countries. It is possible to take this test from your home country.
- DSH - This test is only offered in Germany by many universities.
- Goethe-Zertifikat C2, the Telc Deutsch C1 examination, Deutsches Sprachdiplom (level II) of the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs are usually also recognised by German universities. The German language level required to study in Germany is mostly B2 to C2.
You won’t be expected to know German if you intend on enrolling in an international degree programme. You will then have to give English language proficiency tests like IELTS or TOEFL.
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What is the Germany IELTS Requirement?
IELTS is a language proficiency test that is required for availing a student visa for Germany as well as for getting admitted to the university of your choice.
Most universities in Germany accept an IELTS Score that is 5 or more than 5.
Let us have a look at some of the top German universities and their IELTS band score requirements -
Required IELTS score
In addition to the above universities, you can take a look at various other universities across the best student cities in Germany.
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It is important to note that the student profile plays an important role in getting admission in German universities. It is always advisable to have a good CGPA and good scores in language proficiency tests and get relevant SOPs and LORs.
An overall good academic record can be very beneficial for students in getting admission at some of the best universities in Germany.
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Additional Germany Admission Requirements
There are some additional requirements that students must have in place when they decide on studying in Germany. All the information about the additional requirements is summarised below.
The most important factor in Germany university requirements is having a student visa. Visa requirements for students in Germany can vary depending on your home country, the duration of your stay and purpose of your stay.
Entering Germany Without a Visa
If you are from the EU, Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein or Switzerland, you will not need a visa to study in Germany.
Similarly, there are few more countries which fall under exceptions of not needing a visa in Germany.
You can check out if your country needs a visa in Germany on the Federal Foreign Office website.
Entering Germany With a Visa
If citizens from your country do need to obtain a visa for studying in Germany, you should apply for a student visa as soon as possible. You may typically be issued with a Schengen visa or a national visa.
You can apply to two types of visas:
- Student Visa (If you have been already accepted to a german university)
- Prospective student visa (If you are waiting for your letter of acceptance)
The documents required to apply for student visa:
- Valid passport
- Proof of health insurance
- Proof of sufficient funds
- Academic transcripts and language test scores
- If applicable: letter of acceptance from your higher education institution
- If applying for a prospective student visa: a recognised higher education entrance qualification
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Since visa procedures can take a lot of time, it is recommended that you start your application well in advance. You can apply for a prospective student visa if you have not yet been accepted to a university and convert it to a residence permit for studying once you are in Germany.
Proof of Financial Resources
In order to get your student visa, you will have to prove that you have at least EUR 10,332 to support yourself while living in Germany. The document you need is called a “Finanzierungsnachweis”, or proof of financial resources. You might also need to provide this document when you apply for a residence permit in Germany.
There are a number of ways to show that you can finance your studies. The following forms of proof are possible:
- Your parents can submit documents certifying their income and financial assets.
- Someone with permanent residence in Germany can guarantee the Alien Registration Office to cover your expenses.
- A security payment can be deposited into a blocked account.
- You can present a bank guarantee.
- You can present a scholarship award notification from a recognised scholarship provider.
Using a ‘blocked account’ specially designed for students can be very helpful in Germany. It’s called a “blocked account” because the money deposited into the account cannot be withdrawn until you have arrived in Germany.
Make sure to inquire at the German embassy in your country as to which form of financial proof is required!
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Once you have found a room or a flat in Germany, you have to go to the Einwohnermeldeamt (residents' registration office) within two weeks and register yourself. You will then receive a registration certificate which confirms that you are registered at a particular address.
The registration certificate is needed on various occasions, for example when opening a bank account, applying for a library card or a parking permit etc.
Students from the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland do not need a residence permit. They receive a certificate showing that they have the right to live in Germany when they register with the residents' registration office.
- If you are not from the aforementioned countries, you must report to the Ausländerbehörde (foreigners' office) and apply for a residence permit.
- International students require a residence permit for the purpose of studying if they have already been accepted to a higher education institution.
- A chip card will be issued to you on which your passport photograph and fingerprints may be stored. It acts as proof that you have a residence permit.
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A student residence permit is issued for a period of up to two years. It must be extended in a timely manner before the end of this period. Whether it is extended depends on whether you study regularly, i.e. take exams and gain credit points. The foreigners' office checks whether you are taking your studies seriously and will be able to graduate within an appropriate time frame.
If you want to study in Germany, you will need health insurance. It is a crucial part of Germany university requirements. International students are not permitted to enrol at German higher education institutions without it.
With the help of health insurance, the costs of medical care and medications do not have to be paid privately in the event of an accident or illness. International students must present proof that they have health insurance when they enrol.
Public health insurance plans from the following countries are also valid in Germany:
- Member states of EU
If your health insurance policy from your home country is not recognised in Germany, you will have to sign up for coverage in Germany. A public health insurance policy costs about 110 euros a month until you reach the age of 30 or have completed your 14th subject-related semester at university. After that, the monthly premium jumps to 190 euros or more per month.
Know About Studying in Germany
It is very important to understand all the requirements and eligibility to study in Germany before applying to the country’s best universities. This will help you save a lot of trouble. Before you make up your mind to study in some of the most sought after student cities in Germany, just fulfill the criteria for getting admitted as well. Once you’re aware, start applying.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Germany University Requirements
Take a look at some of the commonly asked questions by students intending to pursue higher education in Germany -
Ques. What are the requirements to study in Germany for Indian students?
Ans. Requirements to study in Germany for Indian students include - an entrance qualification, academic transcripts, proof of language proficiency, ID or valid passport copies. Other requirements include student visa, residence permit and health insurance.
Ques. What is the Germany IELTS requirement?
Ans. An overall band of 6.5 is the minimum requirement for most of the technical courses in Germany.
Ques. Is the GRE required for Germany?
Ans. GRE is not compulsory for most of the universities in Germany.
Ques. What is the minimum CGPA required for MS in Germany?
Ans. The minimum CGPA required to do an MS in Germany is 7 or 70%. However, if you want to get admission to a top university, you need the best score in IELTS, and your CGPA must be around 8.5.
Ques. How to study in Germany without knowing the native language?
Ans. You will be able to pursue higher education in Germany if you have a working knowledge of German language. Now there are courses and fields of study that don’t expect you to know German. But most universities have the language criteria as a requirement.
Ques. How to apply for German universities from India?
Ans. Whether you’re from India or from any other part of the world, the essential requirements of the application and admission process will remain exactly the same. Make sure to access all the important information before you start applying.