Study in Germany: Know top universities, courses and admission cycle
Updated on Jun 22, 2018 - 6:38 p.m. IST by Team Careers360

Study in Germany: With an enrollment of 358,900 (an increase of 5.5% over the previous year) in 2017, studying in Germany is an attractive proposition for international students. The number of Indian students studying in Germany grew to 13,540, making India the second biggest source of foreign students. A well-funded and robust research ecosystem, low tuition rates, ready availability of English-taught Master’s and a high standard of living are some of the factors that make studying in Germany an attractive prospect for Indian students.

With an expertise in developing and manufacturing industrial goods, Germany leads the way in R&D sector. This has put the country on the top of global cutting edge research with institutes like Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft (Applied) and Academies of Science (Basic Sciences). Germany is well on its way to becoming a biotechnology hub with more than 29000 people already employed in this fast emerging field. 

Germany is one of the few countries which has embraced the international students community by making it a part of their agenda to increase the number of foreign students studying in Germany. Incorporating an international study program in its curriculum, providing stable work visa to stay in Germany after studies, and becoming the first European Nation to get the Blue Card Bill passed are some of the measures taken by the government to make it easier to study in Germany.


Study in Germany: Country Introduction

Germany officially called the Federal Republic of Germany, is a sovereign state in central-western Europe. Along with being the world's 4th largest economy by nominal GDP, it has a largely temperate seasonal climate. A global leader in several industrial and technological sectors, it is both the world's third-largest exporter and importer of goods. A developed country with a very high standard of living, it upholds a social security and universal health care system, environmental protection, and a tuition-free university education with a large number of Indian students coming to study in Germany

With a rich, complex history and an invigorating culture, Germany is home to some of the most influential and successful artists, philosophers, musicians, athletes, entrepreneurs, scientists, engineers and inventors. To study in Germany in STEM is prestigious since it is a leader in science research and technology with more than 100 Nobel laureates.


Top 20 Universities to Study in Germany 2018

Germany offers innovative and international programs through its 45 Nationally Funded Universities, which occupy a high position in world rankings. There are about 300 international degree programmes taught in English to students studying in Germany, known for its precision engineering and pure sciences. German Education System is highly focused on its international domain, proven by the fact that every University in Germany has incorporated an international study program in its curriculum. To study in Germany is to study in top universities like Technical University of Munich, Ludwig-Maximilians, Ruprecht-Karls and KIT.


Study in Germany: University Rankings by QS



QS Rank




Technical University of Munich




Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München




Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg




KIT, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology




Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin




Freie Universitaet Berlin




RWTH Aachen University




Technische Universität Berlin (TU Berlin)




Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen




Albert-Ludwigs-Universitaet Freiburg




University of Göttingen




Universität Hamburg




Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn




Universität Frankfurt am Main




Universität Stuttgart




Technische Universität Darmstadt




Technische Universität Dresden




Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg




Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster




University of Cologne



Study in Germany:  Admission Cycle

Understanding the admission cycle is very important as it helps the students in preparing their application to study in Germany. So students should have a good understanding of the admission cycle of German universities. For students aspiring to study in Germany from India, the application deadline is several months before the start of the semester. The university will only accept applications that are fully completed and submitted before the application deadline. Earlier the student contacts the foreign student’s office, the better it is as the student will then have plenty of time to obtain missing documents to study in Germany. Below are the deadlines to study in Germany for courses starting in the winter semester (usually October):

  • Application deadline: usually from the end of May to the 15 July

  • The letter of acceptance to study in Germany will be sent in August/September.

  • Notification of rejection will be sent in September and October.

  • For courses starting in the summer semester (March/April):

  • Application deadline: beginning of December to the 15 January

  • The letter of acceptance will be sent in February/March.

  • Notification of rejection will be sent in March/April.

Some universities have different deadlines and accept applications only for the winter semester while some deadlines end earlier than shown here. After deciding on the universities of your choice, make sure to check their website for detailed admission guidelines and deadlines. The deadlines for undergraduate and postgraduate courses to study in Germany are similar.


Admission Cycle to Study in Germany


Application Deadline


Summer Semester

Winter Semester

Technical University of Munich

Mid January

Mid July


Result Announced - Mid February

Result Announced - Mid August


Semester Starts - April

Semester Starts - October

Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München

Summer Semester - Mid January

Winter Semester - Mid July


Semester Starts - April

Semester Starts - October


Semester Ends - Late September

Semester Ends - Late March

Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg

Summer Semester - 15 January

Winter Semester - 15 July


Application Starts - 1 December

Application Starts - 1 June


Results - 4-8 weeks after deadline

Results - 4-8 weeks after deadline


Semester - 15 April to 27 July

Semester - 15 October to 9 February

KIT, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

Summer Semester (Application Deadline for different programmes)

Winter Semester (Application Deadline for different programmes)


Bachelor: application not possible

Bachelor: July, 15th


Preparatory Course: January, 15th

Preparatory Course: July, 15th


German Language Course (preparatory course): January, 15th

German Language Course (preparatory course): July, 15th


Master with NC (restricted admission): January, 15th

Master with NC (restricted admission): July, 15th


Master without NC: March, 31st,

Master without NC: September, 30th


Master Water Science and Engineering: December, 15th

Master Optics & Photonics: April, 30th


Semester - 1 April to 30 September

Master Water Science and Engineering: June 15th



Semester - 1 October to 31 March

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Summer Semester

Winter Semester


Semester - 1 April to 30 September

Semester - 1 October to 31 March


Bachelors and Masters - 1 Dec to 15 January

Bachelors - 1 June to 15 July



Masters (restricted)- 1 May to 31 May



Masters (not restricted)- 1 May to 15 July

Study in Germany: Eligibility Criteria

The eligibility criteria to study in Germany for different levels of study differ according to educational qualification, country of the applicant and the universities that the student has applied to. Students aspiring to study in Germany from India should be well-versed with the eligibility criteria of different universities so that their application does not get rejected.


Undergraduate Courses

German Universities have high standards and most of the top universities require either a year of Bachelors study in India or IITJEE or FA exam marks to be eligible to study in Germany. In addition, students aspiring to study in Germany from India need to appear for IELTS or TOEFL to prove their efficiency in the language. Not every Secondary School diploma directly qualifies the student to study in Germany. An assessment of student’s qualification can be made through

  • admission database of the German Academic Exchange Service and

  • information system on recognition of foreign qualifications (anabin)

Postgraduate Courses

The DAAD database on admission requirements allows international students wanting to study in Germany to check whether they meet the requirements for the degree programme of their choice. The foreign office of Germany maintains a database of Indian Universities and degrees for student aspiring to study in Germany from India. This list, however, is not exhaustive but can be helpful to know whether the degree and university of student wanting to study in Germany is recognised or not.

Students aspiring to study in Germany from India are expected to have at least 70 – 75% from a reputed Indian University. For some universities, students are also required to appear for GRE and a score of above 300 is acceptable to study in Germany. Additionally, IELTS (6.0) or TOEFL (100) is also required to study in Germany


Germany Study Visa cycle

Germany gets a fair share of Indian students for aspiring to study in Germany from India. University of Stuttgart, University of Regensburg, Technical University of Berlin and University of Duisburg-Essen remain most sought after universities by students wanting to study in Germany.

Application for Germany Study Visa should be filled after the acceptance to a course. For students, there are three types of Germany study visa: a language course visa, a study applicant’s visa and the visa for study purposes or student visa. To study in Germany for more than 90 days, a Long Term Visa (Student Visa) is required. What’s also important is your passport and other original certificates. Applicants can schedule the appointment for Germany Study Visa using the website, e-mail or calling the call centre. Applicants will have to appear for a personal interview directly at the German Embassy with the necessary documents. Due to the high number of applicants, it is recommended that the applicants apply in advance to study in Germany. A passport and other original certificates are also required for the process to study in Germany


Documents Required

In order to apply for a Germany study visa, following documents are required

  • a valid passport,

  • acceptance to a university recognised in Germany

  • evidence of previous academic performance

  • proof that complete financial support for a year to study in Germany is guaranteed

  • a complete medical check-up from a qualified medical doctor concerning illnesses or drugs

A final interview will be conducted before getting the Germany study visa to gauge the communication skills and clarity of student in relation to his/her study plans. However, this is a simple interview where the answers should not be limited to a few words since the objective is to see the excitement levels of students aspiring to study in Germany from India.


After arrival, kindly register yourself at the Resident Registration Bureau and the Office for foreigners’ Affairs, where proof of complete financial support while studying in Germany is required. The residence permit is valid for a year and has to be renewed each year to study in Germany.


Germany Study Cost: Living Expenses

In 2014, Germany abolished tuition fees for undergraduate students at all public universities. This means that international undergraduates aspiring to study in Germany can study for free with just a small fee to cover administration and other costs per semester. However, this does not include the living expenses for students aspiring to study in Germany from India. Moreover, this does not include the Masters programmes and private universities, which charge a considerable amount from students to study in Germany


While many students can study in Germany for free, living expenses are unavoidable. Germany study cost differs depending on the region. Ex- Munich is considered the most expensive city to live in with costs averaging about €10,800 (US$13,250) per year. By comparison, the average annual living costs in Germany are around €9,600 (US$10,800).

Rent will be the largest monthly expense of Germany study cost, though this is cheaper if you live in a shared flat (average rent of €280/US$340 per month) or a student hall of residence (€234/US$290 per month). Due to the high demand, student hall should be booked in advance and there should be a backup in case of being put on the waiting list to study in Germany.


Based on data from DAAD, other average monthly costs are as follows:

  • €168 (US$205) for food

  • €42 (US$52) for clothes

  • €94 (US$115) for transport

  • €31 (US$38) for telephone, Internet and TV license

  • €20 (US$25) for work/study materials

In order to fulfill the requirements for German study visa, proof of access to €8,700 (US$10,680) per year or €725 (US$890) per month is needed to study in Germany. A health insurance is a pre-requisite for studying in Germany. If your health insurance isn’t valid, expect to pay around €80 (US$97) per month to cover the cost of studying in Germany.


Study in Germany: Scholarship

Even though Germany study cost is low for undergraduate programmes in Public institutions, this is a very small percentage (not including the living expenses). Hence, a scholarship would be a good idea for students aspiring to study in Germany from India. A number of top scholarships in Germany are available which help students with tuition fees and living expenses. The scholarships to study in Germany can be divided into three groups based on the funding:

  • Government funded scholarship

  1. DAAD scholarship

  2. Erasmus+ (funded by EU)

  • Non-Government funded scholarship

  1. Heinrich Böll Scholarships for International Students

  2. Humboldt Research Fellowships for Postdoctoral Researchers

  3. Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) Scholarships

  4. Bayer Foundation Scholarships

  5. Otto Bayer Scholarship

  6. Carl Duisberg Scholarship

  7. Jeff Schell Scholarship

  8. Hermann Strenger Scholarship

  9. Kurt Hansen Scholarship

  10. Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions

  11. Research networks (ITN): Support for Innovative Training Networks

  12. Individual fellowships (IF)

  13. Research and Innovation Staff Exchanges (RISE)

  14. COFUND Programmes

  15. DKFZ Postdoc Program

  16. Deutschland Stipendium

  • University specific scholarships

  • Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences (BIGSSS)

  • Frankfurt School of Finance and Management Doctoral Tuition Waivers

  • FRIAS COFUND Fellowship Programme (FCFP) for International Researchers

  • HHL International MSc Scholarship for Effective and Responsible Leadership

  • Humboldt University International Research Fellowships

  • International Doctoral Positions at Graduate School of East and Southeast European Studies

  • Universität Hamburg Merit Scholarships

  • AICES Scholarships RWTH Aachen University scholarships

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