Germany has long enjoyed the prestige of being a haven for higher education – especially in the field of applied sciences. Historically, the country is famous for its Nobel laureates in fields ranging from natural sciences to physics to the more recent – nanotechnology. And as the country continues to strive towards development with its emphasis on research and development, there remains little doubt that Germany is the country for pursuing your masters – especially if research is what interests you. But where to start? What to do? Here’s a quick look at the basic structure of the PG programs in Germany, the eligibility criteria as well as the application process. We also look at the top universities in Germany for your benefit across the most popular courses.
Like the UG Course structure, the PG courses are also divided among two semesters – the Winter Semester which starts in October and the Summer Semester, which starts in May. It is important to note here that though it is not a rule, most of the PG courses in Germany only have Winter Intakes. In other words, the PG courses usually start in the month of October.
The other thing important to understand regarding the structure of the PG courses is the kinds of universities that offer the courses.
Broadly speaking, German Universities are of two types:
- Universities (including Universities of Technology, abbr. TU) which are primarily research-based institutions. These are the universities that can award a doctorate degree.
- Universities of Applied Sciences (Fachhochschulen, abbr. FH), which do not have the right to award a doctorate. These are basically universities that offer more practice-oriented courses which include engineering, business administration, social sciences and/or design. The graduates from these universities, however, in principle eligible for applying for a doctoral program.
Irrespective of the kind of university, the PG programs offered would fall under two categories,
- The International Programs, which are essentially English taught programs, designed specially to cater to the International Community. These programs have developed steadfastly over the past decade, to further attract the best minds from across the globe.
- The German Taught Programs. These programs are not limited to German students and most of the universities would be willing to offer you a seat in the same. The reason they are thus classified is simple – these are programs taught in German language and require a rather high level of proficiency in the language.
Universities in Germany are often funded by the state but not necessarily regulated by it. In other words, Universities in Germany have a right to decide their own eligibility criteria and cut off. Every university, hence, might have some unique eligibility criteria and it is always advisable to check with the university office for the specific program’s eligibility criteria.
Speaking broadly, for a master’s program in Germany, you would need to have completed the German equivalent of a bachelor’s degree in the relevant subjects. Meaning, a 4-year engineering degree from any recognized Indian University makes you eligible to apply for an MS degree in engineering/ design/subject from a German University. Some of the universities would also accept a 3-year degree. For this, it is always better to reach out directly to the university’s international admissions office and get your degree recognized.
Apart from the basic requirement, the universities might also require you to have cleared and scored a certain level in GMAT/GRE. Similarly, for International Courses, IELTS/TOEFL would be a requirement and might also require a basic knowledge of the German language. For German Taught Programs, a rather high level of proficiency in the language is required and you can accordingly take a TestDAF/ DSH to be eligible for the same. Again, always check with the University for the Tests required to apply to the course of your choice.
The application process for PG courses (MBA/MS/MA) in Germany is similar to the application process for UG courses. Essentially, these are the steps you ought to follow
- Check for the eligibility
- Apply for tests
- Create a document packet complete with transcripts, statement of purpose, letters of recommendation and certified test score (as required)
- Understand whether the university is a member of Uni-Assist; if it is a member then apply via Uni Assist, or else apply directly to the university.
The admissions for Winter Semesters usually start in the month of February and closes by May. The universities, in turn, confirm admissions by early July, giving you enough time for Visa Processing.
It is important to note that you would have to show proof of funds for at least the first year of study for your German Student Visa. Accordingly, it is advisable to prepare the same alongside your applications.
Tuition and other fees
Education in Germany is relatively cheaper than in other European cities. Most of the state-funded universities do offer free of charge higher education programs. Some highly specialized courses, however, might attract fees. Again, though not necessary, broadly speaking, MBA programs in Germany are paid programs.
Apart from the tuition fee, you would be required to pay the semester fee which might vary from €50 - €250, depending on the course/university.
Living in Germany, on the other hand, is on par with most of the European cities and the cost of living in Germany is approximately €700 – €1000 per month. There are lots of scholarship programs available for pursuing Higher Education in Germany as well. Read about them, find out a program that suits your program choice and apply.
Working while studying and after
Again, it depends on the course you have applied for. As a student, you are permitted to work for 120 days in a year. The program, however, might restrict your working while studying so it is better to check.
After your Master’s program, you are permitted to stay on in Germany for 18 months to look for meaningful employment in the chosen field. If you get a job, it is usually easy to get a German Student Visa. You might also have an opportunity to apply for and get admitted in an industry-backed research program.
Simply put, a post-graduation from Germany would open up a multitude of opportunities for you. So explore the opportunities, prepare your documents and get going.
Here are a few important links to help you get started
- Universities in Germany offering PG Courses
- German Academic Exchange Service
- Scholarships for Indian Students
All the best!
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