Shortlisting Universities for Masters in Germany

4 min readShortlisting Universities for Masters in Germany

Shortlisting any university can be a tedious task for a student who wishes to pursue higher education in foreign countries. You have to keep in mind enumerable factors and decide what suits you while shortlisting universities for Masters in Germany.

Germany is a world-famous destination for students for higher education and work opportunity. However, many universities and educational institutions offer a master’s degree. You have to choose which is the best one for you.

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In this blog, we can use a procedure to shortlist universities for a master’s in Germany.

Step 1 – Prepare to make a database:

Take pen and paper or excel or any relevant resources to make a list of universities, courses, deadlines, requirements and anything else you may find essential and note down in a way you can compare one another.

Step 2 – Deciding on the type of university:

Understand clearly the difference between “normal” University, Technical University (TU) and University of Applied Science (UAS). Google to find out the differences.

In short, a “normal” University has intense research and theoretical inclination. It makes one ready to do a PhD later or work in R&D. There is less practical stuff here. They value your CGPA (and sometimes research publications) more than your work experience during admission.

A technical university (TU) is the same as a “normal” University but is more concentrated on STEM subjects (google it). There will be more minor arts, history or similar topics here.

University of Applied Science (UAS) are more practical oriented and have fewer theoretical subjects. After doing MS in a UAS, one might find it challenging to do a PhD later. A work experience will boost your profile when you apply. The job scope, however, will not be much different.

Step 3.1 – DAAD

DAAD contains a database of all courses and resources related to studies in Germany. I wouldn’t recommend this as the only source of searching for classes, but this is a start. Go to and search for the courses using the filter provided. Filter mainly using the options “degree”, “field of study”, “subjects” and “language”.

If you want to, you may provide the keywords, but there are chances of having the course you prefer in some other keyword.

Best Universities In Germany [2021 List]

When you have done this, you will have limited the number of courses to less than 100. Go through each class’s name, open the link you think is good for you, and check the course contents and its purpose.

If you find it matching with your interests, find out the course duration, contents of the course, the semester in which it is offered, deadlines, fees, German or English level requirements. Sometimes, even the academic needs such as the number of credits required in each subject.

But please note that DAAD is not a well organised or regularly updated database.

Step 3.2 – CHE Ranking

DAAD is used to get a general idea of the courses. But there are chances that you missed a couple of universities there. Hence, we found the CHE Rankings to be excellent. Go to CHE ranking website, select the subject of your preference (e.g. Mechanical Engineering) and select the type of university/degree (University stands for “normal” University or TU and UAS is a university of applied science).

Click on show rankings, and they will ask you to register (you have to do that). You now get a list of all universities that offer a degree in the field you selected. This list will be much more extensive than the one you got from DAAD because it contains universities that offer courses in the German language and not just English taught ones. This is a comparatively tiring process but is failproof.

Step 4 – University Website

This is the best source of information. The website contains updated and correct details on absolutely everything you need – from a list of courses, requirements, deadlines, people to contact, FAQ etc.

Once you are on the website, search for the course of interest: go to the list of degree programs they are offering, find the one suitable for you, open the link, and thoroughly read the entire contents. Note down important points and any wrong information you got from DAAD. Especially make a note of documents required, application process (if it is through uni-assist or direct), language requirements, deadlines and everything. If you have any doubts, send an email to the international office or the address they mentioned. Here you will get accurate information, and they almost always reply. 

Step 5 – Shortlisting

After these steps, you have an overall idea of the courses offered, requirements etc. Now, you may have several courses in hand to apply. My recommendation: Apply to all so that you get several opportunities to choose from.

Otherwise, you can select one of the following standard criteria to decide.

  1. Location of university: If it is industrialised or a township, you may have more part-time opportunities
  2.  Living expense: Some are very concerned about the money they spend. The overall costs can be low (e.g. Bayreuth – you can find a room as cheap as 155 euros). Others are somewhat expensive.
  3.  The reputation of the university: Google reviews will answer these questions for you.
  4.  Other criteria: If you go to CHE rankings, you can find a list of categories (overall study situation, successful completion of course in time (%) etc.) with which you can compare the universities.

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We have answered some questions for your help.

Q1. How long do German universities take to respond to applications?

Ans. Students can expect to receive a response within 4-6 weeks of the application deadline, be it July or January.

Q2. Which master’s degree is most in-demand in Germany?

Ans. Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, Automotive Engineering, and Chemical Engineering are some of the most sought-after courses of Masters in German universities.

Q3. What is needed to apply to German universities?

Ans. The usual documents you need for enrolment are:

  1. Your passport with visa or residence permit.
  2. Several passport photos.
  3. Completed registration form
  4. Proof of higher education entrance qualification, either original certificates or officially certified copies and translations.
  5. Notice of admission.

We truly hope we were able to resolve any queries you might have had.

Good luck!