© Colourbox

The first step to study at a German university is to get to know the German university system. Depending on the course of study, there are various options that are related directly to the enrollment process.


There are three different types of higher education institutions in Germany. Each has its own admission criteria for students who are interested.

This option is for students who are looking for a scientific, academic and more theoretical education. Universities offer a wide range of degree programs with the focus usually related to research. However, there are also universities that specialize in certain fields such as the Technical Hochschulen (TH) or the Technical Universities (TU), Medical Universities or Pedagogical Universities.

Fachhochschulen are often presented as universities of applied sciences. Although they offer fewer courses than universities, they differ mainly in their practical approach. They offer specialized education with a practical and applied orientation, which are determined by concrete requirements of the professional world. Many courses are also offered at universities, but at a Fachhochschule they have a more practical focus in terms of the labor market.

This field is for students who are interested in studying art, fashion, design, music and film. Here, the focus is on both theory and practice, and prior knowledge in the area of interest is usually required.


In addition to the different institutions, there are also three different university degrees, depending on the program and faculty.

Bachelor is the first level of higher education recognized in the labor market. It has a duration of 6 to 8 semesters and is modular. After the bachelor's degree, students can enter the workforce in their field or continue their education and do the master's degree. Thus, in order to do the master's degree, one must have completed the bachelor's degree.

At a few universities you can still take the Diplom degree, especially in engineering courses, and Magister in social sciences. the title Diplom-Ingenieur, for example, is recognized worldwide and is awarded after 5-6 semesters of study and the submission of a final thesis. However, since the European higher education reform (also known as the Bologna Process), most universities have changed their education system from Diplom or Magister to Bachelor and Master in order to standardize the academic education system in Europe.

In addition to the two degrees mentioned above, there is also the state examination. This consists of an examination developed and coordinated by the State Board of Education that students can take to graduate with degrees in medicine, law, education or pharmacy, and entitles them to practice as doctors, lawyers and, in some cases, teachers or pharmacists. It is like a stately professional license in the field of related education.

After the master's degree, diploma or state examination, one can do a doctorate.

There are two grading systems in Germany. On the one hand, grades 1 to 6 are assigned, with 1 being the best and 6 the worst. This is the most common system, also at universities. On the other hand, there is the system from 1 to 15, where 1 is the worst and 15 is the best grade.


Many German universities offer courses leading to an internationally recognised qualification, covering a wide range of options: undergraduate, graduate und postgraduate courses (Bachelor’s, Master’s, PhD). All courses maintain high academic standards and are well organised; they are taught in English and supplemented with German courses.