Graduate School in Germany Webinar

Applying to Grad School in Germany - The Main Steps

Choosing the Right University

Universities in Germany are mainly divided into two Parts:

  • Technical University (TU): focuses more on theory and research

  • University of Applied Sciences (FA/HAW): focuses more on practical knowledge

To know more about the differences between the two types of universities, check:

Preparing University Application

Applications' requirements may differ from one university to another, but the common requirements are:

  • CV/Motivation Letter: Nay can help review your CV or motivation letter. For more information check:

  • Degree document and official Academic Transcript

  • Recommendation Letters

  • Internship/training certificates

  • Higher Education Entrance Qualification: required to enroll in any Germany University. To check if your degree (Bachelor/Masters) meets the requirements in Germany and allows you to enroll in a German University, Check one of the following:

          • DAAD's database on admission requirements:

  • Language Certificates:

          • if the program is in German: B2-C1 Level of German Language is usually required. You can prove that either through:

              • German Language Certificate from:

                  • Goethe Institut

                  • telc B2

                  • TestDaF

                  • DSH 1

              • Proof of successful placement in B2 level (if the University offers placement tests as an option)

          • if the program is in English:

              • TOEFL/IELTS are required:

                  • To register for TOEFL and GRE, go to the official ETS website:

                  • When you register for any of the two exams, make sure to include which universities you want to send the scores to, if you choose the universities during registration, the

results will be sent for free. If you want to send them later (after registration), you

won’t be able to send them for free. You can choose up to 4 universities during


              • Waivers for Students with degrees obtained in English as a language of study: students graduating with a Bachelor degree with English as the teaching language can get a waiver at many schools. This waiver is not typically stated online, reach out to your program contact person to check about this requirement.

  • Deadlines: Typical deadlines* for Masters Programs in German Universities are:

              • 15 July for the winter semester

              • 15 January for the summer semester

*deadlines may vary a lot between one university and another (especially for non-EU citizens), so always check the university's website

  • GRE: some universities may require GRE for some of the majors. Registration for GRE follows the same process as TOEFL. To register, check:

  • Module Description/Course Catalogue: some universities may require a course catalog or description which includes the syllabus (structure) of the courses obtained during undergraduate studies. The purpose of this is to check whether the student acquired all the necessary knowledge for his graduate studies. If not, extra courses may be added to his master's program.

Submitting the Application

Typically, you can submit your university application using one of two methods (the university decides which method you should follow)

  • Directly through the university's online portal

  • Through uni-assist at:

        • if using uni-assist, some of the documents must be sent by post not only online

        • send documents 8 weeks before the deadline

        • you only send and upload documents once even if applying to several universities

Applying for Scholarships

  • You can check also all other scholarships offered for international students at:


  • International students (Non-EU citizens) can work in Germany without obtaining any additional work permit but with some restrictions:

        • maximum allowed working hours are 20 hrs per week *

        • maximum allowed working days are 120 full days per year or 240 half days per year

        • if the students want to work more than 20 hrs. per week, they must get permission from the Agentur für Arbeit (Federal Employment Agency) and the Ausländerbehörde (foreigners' office).

        • they are not allowed to work as freelancers

        • they are not allowed to be self-employed

        • Students do not pay any taxes if they earn a max. of 450 EUR per month. If they earn more than 450 EUR, they will need a tax number, and a certain amount will be deducted every month as taxes.

        • As of July 2021, the minimum wage was defined as 9,6 EUR per hour. However, how much you earn depends more on your skills, industry, and region in which you are working.

  • Types of Jobs care vary:

        • Side Jobs: like tutoring, babysitting, waiting tables, etc.

        • Hiwi Jobs (student Assistants): This often involves working as a research assistant, but it can also include other tasks like working in libraries, fundraising events, or teaching.

        • Internships: Internships less than 3 months might or might not be paid, but any internship for more than 3 months is paid in Germany. Internships, however, if they are not mandatory or a part of your academic program, are calculated among the 120 full days you are allowed to work per year.

*an exception for the 20 hrs. rule is working as an academic assistant. There is no limit on the number of days for academic assistants, but they still have to inform the foreigners' office.

Tuition Fees & Cost of Living

  • In general, many universities in Germany are public, so there are no tuition fees. However, students pay a semester contribution which ranges between 100-320 EUR per semester. This fee usually includes a semester ticket, which is a transportation ticket that allows students to use public transportations all over the city or region specified by the university.

  • Cost of Living varies a lot between one region and another. In general, it is about 820 EUR per month. To check living costs per location in Germany, you can use:

Preparing Visa Application

Students must apply for a national Visa, which requires:

  • Online application form, available at:

  • Passport

  • CV

  • Motivation Letter

  • Language Certificate (either English or German depending on your program)

  • Admission Letter from the university

  • Address (any place you will stay in when you travel: friend's house, Airbnb, hotel room, etc. )

  • Authenticated Official Degree Document and Transcript:

    1. Authenticate both documents from the Ministry of Education* and Ministry of Foreign Affairs

    2. Book an appointment at VFS Global to authenticate the documents from the German Embassy at:

(take your admission letter to the appointment to get your papers authenticated for free or else you must pay 60$ for each document)

*Only students with a degree from the Lebanese University do not have to authenticate their degree from the Ministry of Education.

You can find here a comparison for all the providers:

Tip: many blocked accounts providers (Fintiba, Expatrio, etc.), offer a value package for students which includes, in addition to the blocked account, health, and travel insurance.

(it takes around 25 days after you submit your papers to get a visa)

First Steps in Germany

First Steps in Germany include:

  • Finding Accommodation:

      • check the student dorms or student unions and apply as early as possible because there is a long waiting list. The application is for free with no obligation so you can still decide not to rent when you get an offer. You can check the dorms for your respective university at:

  • In case you still didn’t get a dorm, check these websites:













  • Registering Address: Since you are staying more than 3 months, you need to register your address at the residents’ registration office at the Citizens' Service (Bürgerservice).

  1. Find a house

  2. Sign the contract

  3. Get a landlord confirmation: wohnungsgeberbestätigung, this paper is usually signed by the landlord.

  4. Bring the landlord confirmation and your passport to the Registration Office.

Note: You have 14 days after your move-in date to register your address for free. After this time, you may have to pay a fine.

  • Obtaining Resident Permit: You must apply for a resident permit BEFORE your Visa expires. 2-3 days after registering your address, you can book an appointment for a resident permit. You will need:

        • Passport + Visa

        • Enrollment Certificate at University

        • Proof of income (Same for Visa App)

        • Proof of Health insurance

        • Biometric Passport Photo

Resident Permit can take some time to be issued, so it is always recommended to take an appointment 6 weeks before the visa expires. It is best to apply between October-November.

Studying with a Child

It is possible for international students with children to study in Germany. You may bring your child with you with a family visa. To apply, you must meet certain conditions:

  • Have a valid residence permit

  • Have sufficient financial resources

  • Have health insurance

  • Have proof of housing

  • Have confirmation of admission to your higher education institution

More information on requirements and available nursery/financial support offers from universities can be found at: