Study in Germany: Understanding the Bachelor Programs

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Srishti Chatterjee
Study Abroad Expert
Updated on Mar 26, 2020 13:15 IST

Germany is called the land of ideas. Accepted worldwide for its academic excellence, the country has seen a steady rise in the International Student Community. Indian students have added considerably to that pool, especially students for technical education (read engineering). As per the Shiksha Study Abroad database, Germany ranks top as a favoured destination for undergraduate courses in engineering. The reasons to study in Germany are many and the chances are that is you have decided on pursuing your bachelors from Germany, you would need to know that basic structure, procedure, and documentation trail and we endeavour to explain the same for you.


Much like India, German under-graduate degree courses are popularly divided under the Bachelors of Arts (B.A.), Bachelors of Science (B.Sc.) and Bachelors of Engineering (B.Eng.). These courses, depending on the subject and nature of the course, are of 3 to 4 years duration.

There are specialized universities called the Technical Universities (abbr. TU) offering research-based courses. These are usually universities for higher education and offer doctoral programs. For bachelor programs, there are Universities of Applied Sciences (Fachhochschulen, abbr. FH) which are basically practice based universities as well as Universities for Arts and Languages. These universities combined offer courses in engineering, business administration, social sciences, and design. Yet another class of universities in Germany offer courses in subjects like medicine, veterinary sciences, dentistry, and pharmacy.

Tuition and Other Fees

Universities in Germany are of two broad categories – Public and Private Universities. As per the new policy, all public universities, are mandated to offer free under-graduate courses. What it implies is that there is no tuition fee for an undergraduate course in Germany. The same however is not applicable to postgraduate/ doctoral degree courses.

Apart from the tuition fee, however, there is a semester fee which might be applicable for the students for both bachelors and masters programs. This varies from university to university.

Academic Term and Admission Cycle

The Academic Term in Germany is divided into two semesters – the winter & the summer semester. The Winter Semester starts from October and ends in March. The Summer Semester starts from April and ends by September. Admissions to these semesters usually start six months in advance.

The application process for the Winter Semester starts usually by early May and close by July of that year. In other words, if you are planning to start your bachelors from Germany in October 2019, the application deadline for that session would be July 2019. The notice of admission is sent by August or early September.

For the Summer Semester, the application process starts from Early December with the last date for applications usually being January 15th of the year. Explaining it further, to start your study in Germany from April 2019, January 15, 2019, would be the deadline for your application. The result for the Summer Term would be shared by February/ March accordingly.

Eligibility Criteria

Different Universities in Germany have varied eligibility criterion for their undergraduate courses. While some might require you to undertake a Preparatory (Studienkolleg) Course, a few courses have equivalent eligibility certifications that would match up your qualifications/ requirements and accordingly certify your candidature.

For students applying for engineering/ natural sciences, you are eligible for direct admission to the course if,

  • You have cleared your JEE Advanced, or
  • You have completed one year of specific course from a recognized university, or
  • You have cleared the Feststellungsprüfung

In other words, if you have completed one year of Mechanical Engineering from a recognized university in India, you can apply for a Mechanical Engineering course in Germany. Same applies for a B.Sc in Physics, etc. Alternately, you are also eligible for applying for a degree course in a subject you have cleared the Feststellungsprüfung in. Read more about the eligibility for undergraduate studies in Germany.

It is important to note that while some universities might label a course under Humanities, the other might label it under social sciences. It is hence advisable to get the clarification of the preparatory course from the university itself.

Admission/ Language Tests

Universities across Germany have varied admission guidelines. It is thus advisable to check the universities you are applying to, to understand the admission tests/ language tests.

Earlier, all undergraduate courses in Germany were offered in German Language and thus mandated a candidate to showcase the proficiency in the said language. This was done by means of the different German Language Proficiency Tests like the TestDAF and DSH.

In recent years, however, many universities in Germany are offering English taught programs for its international students. Often labelled as International Courses, these subjects would require you to show English proficiency. Also, while a very high score of German Language Proficiency might not be required, the university might still ask for a basic grade of DSH 2, etc.

Hence, for Language Proficiency, if you plan to study in Germany, you must be proficient in English and have a basic understanding of the German language as well. Many universities offer a preparatory language course as part of the orientation program.

As far as the standardized tests go, Germany also has a TestAS – a standardized scholastic aptitude test. This test may be a part of the requirements of the University. Notably, this is not a standard feature and students are advised to get in touch with the universities to understand the eligibility criteria as well as the admission tests required.

To sum up, Germany offers a variety of courses for the undergraduate degree. With language no more a barrier, the quality education in Germany has become more accessible to students in India. While this article discusses the broad guidelines that pertain to the admission in undergraduate courses, it is important that you go through the various university pages, understand the individual admission criteria and accordingly process your applications for admissions to Universities in Germany.

All the best or as they say in Germany – Alles Gute!

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About the Author
Srishti Chatterjee
Study Abroad Expert

Srishti has spent six years in the Education industry helping study abroad aspirants draft their application documents for their dream universities. Experienced in creating impressive SOP, LOR, and Essays, she knows... Read Full Bio


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