What are the Admission Requirements for Masters in Germany? International Students Complete Guide (2021)

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Did you know how to understand and complete the requirements for a successful master’s admission in Germany? This article will explain the details, lets get started:

The German education system is one the best in the world and it is the first non-English speaking country that offers the most English speaking programs for international students at its public universities. Of course, international students can attend programs in the German language too. Most of these English-taught programs are masters. The admission requirements for master’s programs in Germany differ for each university and study program. However, in most cases, your high school education and bachelor’s degree will be used to assess if you fulfill the admission requirements or not. Moreover, there are other important requirements for admission to a master’s degree program in Germany. This article will help you determine if you fulfill the minimum requirement for entry to a specific German university for a master’s. Below is all the information international students will need about admission criteria and requirements for master’s programs in Germany.

It is important to know that the eligibility criteria and admission requirements to study in Germany are two different things. You must be eligible to study in Germany (explained in section 1) and then you must be eligible to apply to a study program in a German university (explain in section 2). Once you are eligible then you need to prepare your requirements for admission and apply.

1. High School Education Requirements

To study master’s as an international student, the first and foremost requirement is if your high school qualification is equivalent to the German university entrance qualification (Hochschulzugangsberechtigung). University entrance qualification is the high school degree (12 or 13 years of education) with sufficient grades which are accepted to enter university in your home country. Examples of such certificates are British GCSEs, A-levels or their equivalents. Although this is not the case the bachelor’s international applicants where a student has to go through a foundation course (Studienkollege). The process to apply for studying bachelor’s in Germany is a little different and I’ll focus on that in another article.

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How to Check High School Eligibility Criteria?

To check if your country’s high school education is accepted as an equivalent please check the Anabin website. The Anabin website is only available in German. A cool tip: use google chrome browser. Right-click and select translate to English and you could see the translation of the whole website in English. If every time you do an action and it reloads in German, continue the process. I’ll publish an article soon.

Your school education must be recognized in Germany

1. High school diploma (12-13 years)
2. High school transcript of records (50%+ grades)

(Certified/Notarized copies*)

2. Bachelor’s Degree Requirements

The most important document to provide for admission to a master’s degree in Germany is a suitable bachelor’s degree. If you completed a bachelor’s degree in a foreign country outside of Germany then it must be recognized in Germany. To check if your degree is recognized in Germany you must visit Anabin website. In case your certificate or diploma is not recognized, you should look for a similar degree that is mentioned on the Anabin website get it verified for comparison to a German bachelor’s degree in order to gain access to higher education in Germany.

Moreover, there are special requirements for some universities regarding your bachelor’s degree. And every program has its specific requisite requirements.

Your bachelor’s education must be recognized in Germany

3. Bachelor’s degree – relevant to your intended master’s program
4. Bachelor’s transcript of records


3. Grades and ECTS (Credit hours) Requirements

Most universities will need you to have an above-average CGPA and expect you to have studied sufficient credit hours of related courses to your master’s program.

The grades requirement on German universities’ websites is mentioned in German grading format where 1.0 is the best and 4.0 is the margin pass. Most German universities require a minimum grade of 2.5. Therefore, we advise students to check all these requirements from the international office of the university which you are applying to.

Bachelor’s credit hours and grades equivalent to:

– 180 to 220 ECTS (European Credit Transfer Score)
– A minimum of 2.5 German Grades

Some German universities accept lower grades than 2.5

More information about ECTS and grades conversion to German is coming soon.

4.1 English Language Requirements

Proof of language proficiency is also a common requirement for masters in Germany. German universities offer more than 1400 master study programs are offered in the English language specifically to international students. These master programs require English language proficiency certificate such as IELTS, TOFEL, Cambridge or equivalent. The minimum required scores of English language proficiency tests vary for each university. Check this article to know what IELTS score is required by most of the German universities (coming soon).

Some universities accept equivalent certificates as well. You may be able to submit a proficiency letter from your previous university if your medium of instruction was English. Want to study in Germany without IELTS, check this (coming soon).

English Language Requirements for Master in Germany

Students from English-speaking countries like the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand are exempted from submitting English proficiency. Some universities have added other universities to this list.

Note, for some programs you will be asked to provide proof of both German and English language proficiency as the program will be taught using a dual-language system.

Some programs are completely in English but the university might ask you to submit at least A1 to understand the basics and communicate with locals when you reach Germany.

IELTS, TOEFL, Cambridge or equivalent are accepted.

Some universities accept a proficiency letter from your previous university while native English speakers are exempted.

Some programs are bilingual and require both English and German proficiency. Find exact information on the university website.

4.2 German Language Requirements

German taught programs are also open to international students. If you are not applying to English-taught programs but prefer programs being taught in German, you are required to submit a score of German language proficiency test.

Generally, accepted German language proficiency certificate are:

  • TestDaF (Test Deutsch als Fremdsprache)
  • Telc (The European Language Certificates)
  • DSH (Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang)
  • Goethe-Institut certificate (Zertifikat)
  • Or others
German Language Requirements
Even if you are not required, you must do it anyway as it will help you a lot throughout your stay in Germany. Maybe start learning German here in your free time >>

German language proficiency levels are divided as A1, A2, B1, B2, C1 and C2 known as CEFR levels. Where A1 the basic level while C2 is the highest level. Depending on the university, you might be asked to submit higher-level German language proficiency certificate as B2, C1 or maybe C2. 

You’ll find specific German language requirements on the master programs websites of the universities.

If you don’t know where to start learning German, contact us at Leazear and we can guide you better according to your geography.

5. Motivational Letter / Statement of Purpose

A motivational letter is also known as a Statement of Purpose (SOP) or Letter of Motivation (LOM). It is required by most German universities to find if the prospective student would be the best match for their master’s degree program and university or not. For your information, a motivational letter is the most important part of the admission process and writing this letter should be taken very seriously. Consider this a chance from the university to stand out of the pack. Universities do give some guidelines to follow when writing a motivational letter, therefore, must follow them. In this article, you could know more about the importance of the motivational letter for master admission in Germany.

6. Letter(s) of Recommendation

German universities require also need one or more letter(s) of recommendation (LOR) from your professor(s) and/or employer. The letter(s) of recommendation must be written, duly signed and stamped by the person mentioned in the requirement. It’s generally a professor, assistant professors whom you studied from, or dean/director of the university you previously studied at. Learn more in this article about the letter of recommendation for master admission in Germany.

7. Other Admission Requirement for Master’s in Germany You Might Face

In some cases, universities with restricted places may set additional entry requirements. These might ask you for the following.


German universities may want to discuss your application and experience. Video interviews can sometimes be arranged for international students.

Entry Test

It rare but some programs conduct an online entry test to check the level of competency if the prospective student would be able to complete the degree.


Programs with the high competition may ask you to take an additional entrance exam or standardized postgraduate admissions test. This can be used in professional subjects to check your existing training. Business schools and MBA programs are also likely to ask for a GMAT score and technical universities might ask for a GRE score. Want to know how to find a master’s in Germany with a GRE/GMAT score, Check this (Coming soon). 

Your university should make any additional requirements clear to you before you apply. In fact, you can read about the admissions criteria and application process for individual German Master’s degree programs at Prephub’s programs search portal (right now it is not live as our development and data team is working on it).

8. Special Admission Restriction (In Some Cases) 

You must check if the program you selected has admission restrictions. If there is an admission restriction that means you cannot directly enroll in that program just because you fulfill the minimum requirements criteria. The reason for restricted admission is that there are more prospective students than available seats. There are two types of admission restrictions in Germany.

Admission Application

A) Local admission restrictions:

Some degree programs only have admission restrictions at particular higher education institutions. These are frequently described as NC degree programs. 

B) Germany-wide admission restrictions:

Degree programs such as medicine, pharmacy, veterinary medicine, and dentistry are so popular that admission restrictions apply at all German higher education institutions. 

That is why we recommend students ask the international office of the desired university directly if they could not find the relevant information on the university/program website.

To find out if you fulfill the admission criteria for a German university and which study programs will best suit your profile according to career interests, contact us at Leazear.com/contact-us.

Learn more Leazear

Coming to Germany as an international student is not easy but it’s going to be a lot easier with Leazear. We are a startup from Germany and understand complex bureaucratic processes international students have to go through – from admission application, through visa and settling in Germany. We have been through the same complexities and we don’t want these hurdles to continue in the digitization era. Therefore, are developing a web application PrepHub, that will guide the international students step-by-step through the complete process of applying to Germany.

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