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Applying to German Universities

Akash Gupta

Akash Gupta

I am from Mumbai, I am currently pursuing Masters in Astrophysics at LMU Munich and have completed my B.Tech in Mechanical Engineering from IIT Bhilai. I've been part of this vibrant community since 2019 and have met some really nice people sharing the similar journey!

Contents

I have briefly summarized the application process in steps, I tried to be as straightforward as possible. Here are some steps.

Application Process

Looking for universities

Look for university list using QS ranking, a better way is to go to the DAAD website (DAAD programs) and filter using degree, the language of instructions, etc. Also, I have made a list of English-taught Physics courses when I was applying.

Getting eligible

Check for deadlines and entry requirements/tests like TOEFL and GREs and arrange the scores as required.

The exams required to be eligible for admissions depend on the university. All universities have their own criteria of doing so. We already did a session on which exams should be taken to be completely safe for any university abroad. For the video click here(33:24).

Uni-Assist and VPD

Since universities receive applications in large volumes, few of them use this service called “Uni-Assist”. Uni-assist verifies your documents according to rules laid down by universities and gives feedback from your docs in another document called “VPD”. For this, they charge a fee which you can see from their website. After you get your VPD, you apply to the university (check the university website for the exact process, sometimes it might be different). Note that not all universities use Uni-Assist, but if a university uses uni-assist, you have no choice.

Postal/Online Applications

Germany loves posts, almost everything here works by post (I legit got my Health Insurance OTP and link by post xD). So, this is how in general uni application works, you fill up a form online, take a printout and attach all the required documents (like 12th certificate, bachelor degree, TOEFL, etc, basically whatever docs they require) and put all in an envelope and send it. All the photocopies must be notarized (discussed later). But few unis have all online applications too now (again check uni website).

Notarization

Any photocopies of original documents must be attested by a lawyer/advocate. I am adding an image of what I did in my case, by any chance if you live in Mumbai you can go near Borivali (W) court and there are a lot of advocates and few of them do this type of notary for uni applications regularly. You need as many notarized copies as the number of universities you are applying for. I took like 100 copies in total (all docs) and bargained for a 5 rs per page (try doing this, else they charge 10-20rs per page).

Sending Post

Usually, charges for a courier are ~2.5k Rs but use this DHL-Epress/MS-in-Germany offer, earlier their price was around ~1k and they delivered docs in 2-3 working days. Usually, you’ll receive a notification from uni that they have received your post.

All the best

You are more or less done, anything that can stop you is your engineering background. All the best.

LMU Application

The administration and application process is pretty old-fashioned, confusing, and time taking, this is even true for any official work like requesting a copy of transcripts for that matter. So, for application at LMU, you have to apply to two separate places as an International Student. As it has a different way, it is written seperately.

First

This thing is common to all applicants irrespective of Faculties, the application to International Office (IO). They mostly ask for your officially notarized documents and they verify your documents and give you a “Conditional Admit”, the condition being your faculty should accept you. Everyone gets this admit once their documents are in order and correct. Please note: rejection from IO does not mean you are rejected, it means some of your documents might not be correct or missing, in that case, you can contact them and send the docs again.

Note: Complete all these formalities before the deadline.

Second

You need to apply to your faculty, which is the main thing. The Faculty of Physics offers many master courses like MSc Physics, MSc Astrophysics, Msc Meteorology, Msc Theoretical & Mathematical Physics (TMP), and Msc Quantum Science & Technology. You can apply to any one or all of them. For each program, they have a separate application portal, like in Msc physics you need to fill an online form but in Msc Astrophysics you need to mail your application with a pdf of supporting docs and a questionnaire (check website). Again, complete all application processes before the deadline. Normally, they do not give any decision before the deadline for application has passed, you’ll only get a reply 10-15 days after the deadline.

Both of these are mutually exclusive events and you need to get acceptance from both. An acceptance letter from the Physics faculty together with IO acceptance is called an “Unconditional Admit” (they have a separate visa section for unconditional and conditional admits). After your acceptance you need to do something called “Immatrikulation”, usually, it’s done offline, after you arrive but due to Corona it could be done remotely, you need to send your docs by post again and pay the semester contribution fee. After this, you get your LMU ID and other important credentials.

2 thoughts on “Applying to German Universities”

  1. Dear Akash,
    I want to get admitted to LMU or some other good institutions next year, after completing my undergraduate degree. I want to ask you about my statement of purpose.
    Please tell me if this is a good idea:
    I wish to study Quantum field theory, and General Relativity in future. Also I wish to study the utility of group theory and representations in Quantum physics as well as in General Relativity. So to this end I decided to grasp some important results of the theories and mention in my SOP that I want to understand them in more detail with the ultimate goal of deeply understanding Quantum physics and General Relativity.

    Could you let me have your advice on this matter?

  2. I’m no expert, your SOP could be even better, judging from your discription of it.
    for eg. one obvious question that comes to my mind is “WHY?”

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