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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Applying for a Master's in Germany

I have been living in Germany for about one year now, and the majority of my time here has been spent preparing to apply to German universities. From getting a student application visa to taking the TestDaF, it was all in hopes of someday getting my master's in Germany.

Well, now that the applications have been sent, all that is left to do is wait. And although I do not know if I have been accepted, I figured I could still write about the application process and my experience.

Required Documents

This varies depending on the university, but from the schools that I looked at, there were specific documents that each of them required. These include:

  • Schulzeugnis (High School Diploma/Transcript)
    • This was the most annoying for me, as my high school does would not mail my transcript to Germany. So, I had to pay $5 to have it sent to my mother, then she forwarded it to me.
  • Studienzeugnis* (Bachelor's Transcript)
    • The university where I got my Bachelor's allows alumni to request official transcripts online. It was then mailed directly to my German address within one week.
  • Passkopie (Copy of Passport)
  • Nachweis über ausreichende Deutschkenntnisse* (Certificate of German Proficiency)
    • Most universities require TestDaF-4 or DSH-2. I took the TestDaF and received two 4's and two 5's, which means I have TestDaF-4.
  • Nachweis über ausreichende Englischkenntnisse* (Certificate of English Proficiency)
    • If your Bachelor's courses were taught in English, then this is not necessary.
*these documents had to be certified (amitlich beglaubigt)


If you did not complete your Bachelor's in Germany, then you must apply for your master's via uni-assist.

First, you will fill out a couple pages of online forms regarding your past education, internships, and jobs -- pretty basic stuff. Then you will reach an upload section where you have to upload a copy of each of the documents your specific program requires.

After that is done, you have to print a form that confirms your completed online application. Once this is printed out, you can officially send off your electronic application.

applying for a Master's in Germany via uni-assist

But you are not done yet-- the next step is to pay the application fee, which is 68 Euros for non-EU residents. Then, you need to prepare your physical application.

Sign that form you printed off earlier, and put it in an envelope with a physical copy of each of the required documents. Also make sure to include a printed off receipt that shows you paid the fee. Once that is done, then you can seal that envelope up, mail it off to Berlin, and breathe a sigh of relief.

Now it is just a waiting game.

applying for a Master's in Germany at Leuphana

I mailed off my application on May 3. I received confirmation from uni-assist that they received it on May 6, but I will probably not receive an official response from the university for another 1-2 months.

mailing off my Master's application in Germany

Wish me luck!


  1. Best of luck!

    I just got into my Masters program in Germany and I feel SO relieved. TU Muenchen actually did not use UniAssist for their applications, but I did begin filling out a couple of others through UniAssist before I got accepted as back ups.

    What programs are you applying for?

    Viel Gluck! So impressed you are studying in German (my program is in English).

    1. Thanks! That is nice that you found an English program! What is it in?

      Unfortunately I couldn't find any English programs that really interested me. I also wanted to stay at the university where I studied at during my Bachelor's (Leuphana in Lüneburg) and do their program in Kulturwissenschaften und Digitale Medien, which is mostly German. They do have random courses in English, though, which I will definitely take whenever possible!

  2. Thanks so much for this post! I'm going through the same thing but all the way over in the US. I'm moving in July and am trying to get into LMU in Munich in Teaching English as a Foreign Language. On Tuesday I get to wake up at 3AM to call the international office!

    I really enjoy your blog (and Alex's too!). Ya'll have been so helpful these last few months as I have tried to get my life in order for the big move!

    1. I am happy to hear that my post has been helpful! That sounds like a cool program too! Having to do it all from the US definitely makes it a little more difficult though, as I can easily visit or call German universities anytime.

      Make sure to give keep me updated on what is going on!

  3. Hi!

    I just wanted to ask where you had your documents certified? I am also planning to take my Master's in Germany and I've come across certification several times.

    Thanks a lot!

  4. The only documents that had to be certified for me were my proof of German proficiency and my Bachelor's degree transcript. Since I took the TestDaF, they just needed my official TestDaF ID number (they then verify the results with the company), so I didn't have to get that certified.

    And I just requested an "official transcript" from my Bachelor's university in the US, and they sent me my Bachelor's transcript in an envelope with a stamp on the outside to show it had never been opened. Without opening it, I sent that directly to uni-assist, and they accepted it as certified...

    So, sorry, but I do not know where one gets that done in Germany!

  5. I noticed on your post about applying that the high school diploma didn’t have to be beglaubigt. Did you send in the diploma and the transcript? Did you somehow get a copy of the diploma from your high school? Did it not have to be beglaubigt because it was still in a sealed envelope from the high school? Thanks for your help!

  6. Both my high school and college transcripts were in sealed envelopes from the schools. Neither were properly "amtlich beglaubigt", but they were each accepted anyways. I am not sure that would work in every situation, but it worked for me.

  7. Raffaella De LucaJuly 2, 2015 at 2:44 PM

    Hi I just came across your blog and it's so informative! I am in the very preliminary stages of my research but was wondering... If you plan to apply for a Master's taught in English do you still need the German proficiency exam? It would be great to hear from you about this, in the meantime Happy Fourth of July!

  8. No. If the program is entirely in English, then they usually do not require knowledge of German (although, they will usually encourage/require you to take classes during your studies).

    Happy Fourth to you too! :)


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