blog author img

Posted by : Shreyasee Sarkar

Author Designation : Junior Counselor

Masters in Germany

Germany is a popular destination for international students to pursue a Master's degree. Germany has more top-ranked universities than any other country outside the UK or USA. Better yet, most of the Masters study in Germany is free. There are over 400 higher education institutions in Germany, of which 59 universities feature in the World University Rankings. In Europe, German universities have always been highly regarded. And ‘always’, in this case, means since 1386 when they opened the first university in Heidelberg. And today, they care about higher education just as much: each year, Germany spends an average of 14,200 USD for each student (an amount higher than the OECD average of 11,800 USD).

Why study a Masters in Germany?

  • A history of innovation and ingenuity - Germany's developments in science and engineering are as renowned as its contributions to philosophy, theology and the arts.
  • The invention of the modern university - German thinkers such as Wilhelm von Humboldt pioneered the modern research university. Their philosophy emphasised academic freedom, rigour and integrity.
  • A proudly international outlook - Around 11% of students in Germany come from abroad. The country also offers generous post-study work opportunities to both EU and non-EU graduates.
  • World-renowned qualifications - Germany has more top-ranked universities than any country besides the UK and the USA. Its degrees are recognised and respected worldwide.
  • Affordability - The majority of postgraduate education in Germany is free. There are no tuition fees at most German universities. Living costs in Germany are also modest in comparison to other European countries.
  • Perfect place to study if you’re into Tech, Engineering, Arts, or Humanities - German universities have consistently performed well in the field of Engineering & Technology. The country has a strong industrial and technological base which, combined with the strong partnerships between universities and industry, leads to high-performing, innovative study programmes perfect for tech enthusiasts.  At the same time, German universities also excel in fields like philosophy, literature, and history. Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, and Heidegger are just some German names that changed these fields forever.

Where can you study a Masters in Germany ?

With more than 500 universities, there is plenty of choice for anyone wanting to study a Masters in Germany.

You'll find that universities in Germany are divided into four categories.

  • Research Universities (Universität) carry out academic research in various subjects. They award a range of Masters and PhD degrees.
  • Technical Universities (Technische Universität) traditionally specialise in science, technology and engineering research.
  • Universities of Applied Science (Fachhochschulen) focus on practical subjects such as Engineering, Business and Social Science
  • Colleges of Art, Film and Music offer specialised practical instruction in creative disciplines.

We have a complete guide on the top Masters universities in Germany in which we look at, in detail, about each of these different kinds of postgradute institutions. We also look at the 30 best universities in the country. To give you an overview, here are the top five universities for a Masters in Germany.

Language requirements

A large number of German Masters degrees are taught in English, making them more accessible to international students.

However, you may need to provide a language test score to study in Germany if neither English or German is your first language. This will depend on your course:

  • Programmes in English will not require proficiency in German. However, non-native English speakers may still be required to take an English language test. Exceptions will normally be made if you have completed an undergraduate degree, or other course, in English.
  • If you'll be studying in German you'll probably have to take a German language test. If you already have a qualification studied in German, this may be accepted as proof of proficiency. Some courses will accept a lower score at the application stage. This means you can take further German language training before you start your degree (or do so during the early stages of your Masters).

Even if your course doesn’t require a German test, it’s still worth taking the opportunity to build up your language skills whilst studying abroad. Most universities offer language courses in parallel to their degree programmes.

Guide to Student Visas for Masters in Germany

Applying for a visa

You should begin your visa application at a German embassy or consulate in your home country.

Both types of German study visa will require you to demonstrate that you are entering the country as a student (or prospective student):

  • For a Prospective Student Visa you'll need to provide entrance qualifications suitable for a Master’s degree (such as a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent)
  • For a Student Visa you'll need to provide proof of admission to a German university

Visa application checklist

You'll normally need the following documents and other materials to apply for a visa for postgraduate study in Germany:

  • Proof of admission to a Master’s degree at a recognised German university (for a Student Visa)
  • Proof of qualifications suitable for admission to a Master’s degree, such as a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent undergraduate qualification (for a Student Applicant Visa)
  • Proof of financial resources to support yourself whilst you study
  • Proof of language qualifications required for your course
  • Proof of health insurance for the duration of your degree
  • Your passport (this must not be due to expire before the end of your Masters)
  • Two passport photos for your visa and residence documents

The standard fee for a German student visa application is €75. It can take several months to issue a student visa, so make sure to apply in plenty of time!


Students in Germany either live in halls of residence or in private accommodation. In contrast to many other countries, Germany's universities do not automatically allocate a room when you register for your course. If you're looking in major cities such as Munich, Cologne or Hamburg, you should allow yourself enough time to find accommodation, starting before you leave home.

On average, students will pay between €246-595 per month in rent. Accommodation options include:

  • Halls of residence (or dormitory)
    A room in a dormitory costs an average of €246 per month. Depending on the university, this can include health insurance and a Semesterticket for using local public transport. The Studentenwerk of your university can help you find a room in a dormitory.
  • Wohngemeinschaften, referred simply as WG (private shared flats) which are the most popular form of accommodation. The average monthly cost is €363, though this will vary according to location.
  • Living in a flat of your own
    This is the most expensive option– a small flat in a cheaper area of Germany such as Leipzig may cost as little as €379, but you could pay €595 or more in large cities such as Frankfurt or Munich.

Living costs

Something that makes Germany great for students is that compared to other European countries, Germany is not overly expensive. Cost of living (including food, accommodation, clothing, entertainment) is on par with the EU average and relatively low compared to Scandinavian countries.

Excluding the Semesterbeitrag (and tuition fees if your institution does charge them), the recommended monthly budget for international students in Germany is around €867. This amount can vary from city to city, and depending on your lifestyle! Student discounts and deals are widely available. These can be helpful of you are on a budget. The International Student Identity Card (ISIC) is also handy as it can offer a wide range of useful discounts while you’re studying in Germany.

For more details contact us.