< Study in Germany guide

How to shortlist universities in Germany?

A guide on finding which Masters / Bachelors or PhD programs in Germany suit your requirements and are attainable with your profile.

January 4, 2024

Thinking of going for higher studies in Germany? If you want to find a Bachelors, Masters, PhD, MBA or other types of programs but don't know where to begin, then this article is for you.

Types of universities in Germany

There are 2 types of universities in Germany: (Technische) Universität and Fachhochschule.

What is Fachhochschule? Fachhochscule (FH) is a university of applied sciences, which focuses on practical courses to prepare you for the industry. Universität is more research oriented. The degree awarded at both places are equal. FH do not offer a PhD though.

Note: Hochschule für angewandte Wissenschaften (University of Applied Sciences), abbreviated “HAW”, or a name combining "Hochschule" with their main academic field, such as “Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft” (HTW) are also Fachhochschules. This is just another way of naming.

Where to search for Masters programs in Germany?

The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) lists all the study programs available in Germany. Here you can filter by language, subject, intake, level (i.e. undergraduate / postgraduate) and more.

DAAD has built an app to interactively filter programs based on eligibility criteria: https://www.myguide.de/en/

Eligibility criteria for Masters in Germany:

  • Test of english language - IELTS / TOEFL
  • Undergraduate degree or equivalent with 180 credits. Read this article if you have a 3 year program.
  • GRE for selected programs.
  • Minimum GPA of 6. For top institutions, a grade equivalent of 8 or higher might be required.
  • If you're applying to a course in German, then a test of German language such as TestDaF, DSH or Goethe certificate would be needed.

Programs have specific requirements, be sure to check the university website before applying.

Strategies for shortlisting programs

How do you find if your profile has a chance of admit or not? Apply these 3 strategies to narrow down your search:

  • Compare against previous admits - search for students from that university and program on LinkedIn. If there are international students with similar profiles, then you have a good chance.
  • Use a profile evaluator tool - RateMyChances will give you a sense of whether the university is within your reach.
  • Look for open admission / unrestricted criteria - Keep a split of average, moderate and safe universities. Programs with open admission are a good bet as a backup option.

After selecting universities, the next step is preparing to apply.

Other useful links

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