Navigating Germany: The University Application Checklist

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All that glitters is not always gold. I’ve learned this several times and I learned it again while applying to German universities. As I said in my previous post, this website is where you begin your academic journey to Germany but before you jump in, check out this checklist of things you should have or keep in mind while making your applications.

  1. Proof of English language skills: Basically, if you can read this blog post in English without any translation then you don’t necessarily need IELTS to study in English right? Well, not all German universities want a word-of-mouth guarantee that your English is good enough. Hence, the IELTS requirement. If you’re applying for a postgraduate degree, however, certain universities would accept an official letter from your undergraduate university which states that you studied in English. I won’t advise you to depend on this because you’ll be limiting yourself to only a few universities. To increase your chances of getting admitted, just take the test, it’s worth it.

  2. Motivational letter: This is just as important as your cover letter for job applications. Since universities in Germany are free of charge, most of them get thousands of applications per semester but can only admit a few people. Hence, this is where you convince the university that you’re the right fit. You can download specific information on how to write a letter of motivation for university applications here.

    writing a letter

  3. Curriculum Vitae – You read that right. I know it’s beginning to sound like you’re making a job application but that’s part of the drill. This is basically your typical curriculum vitae. However, there are certain things you have to keep in mind if you’re drafting your CV for a German university application. Here, you can create your CV following the European guideline for free!

  4. Uni-assist – Generally, most German universities have no application fees so you can decide to focus on such universities in order to avoid paying for your application. However, a few universities require that you get your certificates verified through uni-assist and make the application via their portal. The verification of your documents costs 75€ and this covers the cost of application to one (1) university. After your documents have been verified, each subsequent application via uni-assist will cost you 30€. As I stated earlier, not all universities require uni-assist verifications so make sure you confirm on the specific university application portal, if this is a requirement or not. Nevertheless, whether or not you’re making your application through uni-assist, you’ll need to get your documents notarized before you can use them to make any application.

These are four general requirements for most universities. However, this list is not exhaustive as each university has its own specific requirements which you must fulfill to increase your chances of getting admitted. Ensure you check all the requirements carefully and that you meet them because the admissions are quite competitive. As a rule of thumb, apply to at least five universities. I applied to ten universities and guess how many admissions I actually got?

PS: I started this blog series to share insights and FREE tips for relocating to Germany. Take it from me, leaving the country legally is cheaper and easier than most people think. Beyond sharing my story (and those of my friends) so you can learn from real experiences, I’ll occasionally share useful resources through newsletters during this series. The resources would all be FREE and trust me, you’ll need them. All you have to do is subscribe to my newsletters so you won’t miss any of them.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. David

    Hi Dikachi,

    Thanks for sharing this, its really motivating and well detailed. I just need few clarifications. I studied German Language as my first degree with a B2 Certificate, do I still IETSL? I’m almost done with my Masters program too, won’t it be tougher applying for phd or should I apply for another Masters? I’m really interested in content writing and marketing also any courses to recommend?

    1. Dikachi

      Hi David,
      Thanks for reading! Glad you found it helpful. If your German language skills are good, I would recommend that you study in German and not in English language. That way, you’ll have much more opportunities both academically and career-wise. If that’s the case, you also don’t need to write IELTS; your B2 German language certificate should be enough. However, this totally depends on the specific requirements of your university and program of interest. Also, if you want to make a career switch, I would recommend a second master’s degree in marketing rather than a Ph.D. A Ph.D. would be more appropriate if you want to switch to an academic career. I’ll write more about career stuff in subsequent posts. For recommended courses, check out my Linkedin profile where I listed all the marketing-related short courses I have participated in. I can totally recommend those! I hope I answered all your questions. Enjoy the weekend!


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