FAQs Studying Engineering in Germany


Alexandra Raunig (University of Applied Scienes Offenburg, coordinator at Graduate School) and Philipp Miessner (RWTH Aachen University, Coordinator for International Relations at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering) answered your questions about studying Engineering in Germany!


  • Requirements and application procedure
  • Scholarships
  • Master’s programmes in English
  • PhD Programmes

Requirements and application procedure

I’m a third year studying Geophysics at Azerbaijan State Oil Academy. I would like to know about the process for applying for scholarships for international students. More precisely, what documents are required for students study in Geophysics to apply for Master’s degree programmes? In other words, what are the first steps of the process in my field of studies?

For any kind of scholarships for a study programme in Germany, we would like to encourage you to have a very close look at the DAAD scholarship databank where you will find lots of information on different kinds of scholarships as well as hints about the application process etc.

Regarding your question about an application for a Master´s Degree Programme: As the requirements vary from programme to programme and university to university, we would recommend you to check all the universities / programmes of interest (you should start with theDAAD databank).
Please inform yourself very well about the course content, specialization – and application requirements before you then apply.

What are the admission criteria for masters in automotive & mechanical engineering courses? Also what is the weightage of following in admission process?
1) TestDaf (which German language level is commonly required for master’s programme in German & English)
2) GRE score (Does any college accept it for admission? If yes, can you please provide List of those universities for above courses)
3) AGPA/Aggregate score of B.E. (how much is normally required?)
4) TOFEL/IELTS (which type of university requires it)?

Concerning admission to automotive / mechanical engineering at RWTH Aachen University (likely similar at TU-9 universities, but please check with the respective homepages):
1) Test DaF 4×4 points (or equivalent tests),
2) GRE Score – we do not need GRE scores;
3) AGPA: Not required;
4) TOEFL/IELTS: not needed (since our graduate programmes are currently offered in German only).

I have applied to some master courses in Automotive Engineering. But as far as the discussions in the social networking sites, getting admitted to German universities seemed to be tough. I am an Automotive professional with 5.5 years of experience in Auto MNC OEM. I would like to know the chances of getting admit and what criteria being expected by the universities apart from the general requirement.

Our admission criteria in mechanical engineering at RWTH Aachen University are mostly based on the depth of your previously-acquired knowledge in specific engineering fields (e.g. in Mechanics, Mathematics, Machine Design, Fluid Mechanics, Thermodynamics etc.). We do not have a grade requirement for our Mechanical Engineering master programmes (or a GRE minimum score, for that matter). German language skills are also mandatory.

I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering from a country that doesn’t belong to the E.U. What do I need to do to become my diploma as valid in Germany so that I can be accepted in Master’s programme?

At our university (RWTH Aachen University), our International Office is in charge of determining whether your diploma is sufficient for an application for one of our programmes. If the diploma is in itself accepted (e.g. as an equivalent to a EU bachelor’s degree), you would still need to meet your programme’s admission criteria. I imagine this to be quite similar at other universities in Germany.

If you apply e.g. from Colombia, you would need to get an apostille and send it along with the rest of your application documents…
Many universities offer a first online application…
At Offenburg University of Applied Sciences, you may apply through our online application system OASIS

Is it mandatory to have complete German knowledge to participate in research activities at RWTH and other TU9 universities? If I have limited German proficiency, will I still be allowed to work at the university research institutions?

In Mechanical Engineering at RWTH at least, our programmes on the Bachelor/Master level are predominantly German-taught. Therefore, we require a sound proficiency in German at the time of application (e.g. Test DaF 4×4 points). If you wish to come to RWTH as an exchange student doing primarily research (e.g. thesis work), you may do so in English (if your supervisor agrees). If you join us as a doctoral candidate, you may also conduct your project in English – if your supervising professor agrees. In all cases, German knowledge is highly recommended in order for you to communicate with fellow students, co-workers, colleagues and to get along in daily life in Aachen.

There are also a lot of programmes, mainly Master’s Degree Programmes, taught in English – you may have a very close look at the DAAD database. For example: Offenburg University of AS offers four international Master´s Degree programmes in English, where you can live in German(y) and study in English. However, even if it is not required for your study course, it is very helpful and important for your daily life in Germany to be able to communicate in German outside of the campus. That is why e.g. Offenburg University of AS offers German language courses in the summer before the beginning of the semester and also during the whole study course.

I would like to do my Masters, I would like to know about the admission procedures in details and want to know whether I will get the scholarships for studying my masters too.

At Offenburg University of AS we offer the international Master’s Degree Programme Communication and Media Engineering. You can have a closer look at the website.
If you like the programme, please apply online. Once you have passed the first stage, you will be asked to hand in your paper based application documents.

There are no tuition fees at institutions of higher education in the state of Baden-Württemberg. Generally there are no scholarships offered by universities, but there are many possibilities to get a scholarship. For more information please have a very close look at the DAAD website.

Which is the highest age to apply to a Masters Programme in Germany?

There is no legal age limit for our Master’s programmes. However, it might be disadvantageous if you have not been in an educational programme or environment for a while. In my opinion it might be tricky to switch back to a learning-focused way of living.


I want to study Mechanical Engineering in a German university. Which is the best university for my field? Could you please tell me what are my chances of getting a scholarship for undergraduate course in Germany?

The choice of the “best-suited university” depends on your individual interests and preferences (e.g. specializations offered in your programme). The well-reputed technical universities in Germany have formed a strategic alliance, the TU-9. Find more information on their website. Scholarship opportunities depend on the university and your programme.

As far as we know, the DAAD application deadline is 1st of October and yes after successful application one could enrol in September/October 2014. But my plan is to enrol in this year or till January 2014 and I also need funding. Is it possible to get funding this year if I produce a letter of acceptance from some university?

At RWTH in Mechanical Engineering, many doctoral candidates work as research assistants at a professor’s institute – funding is therefore not so much an issue, as they will receive a regular salary. You may find scholarship opportunities in the DAAD database. At RWTH, we have adatabase for scholarships as well – I am sure other universities offer similar databases.

I think one of the big issues for everyone on studying abroad is “Money”. Is the salary as a research assistant enough to afford the cost of living in Germany while doing the master?

Graduate students often work as student assistants, earning 300-400€ a month (consider that, in Aachen, a student needs perhaps 700€ a month, including rent – so the amount is not as insubstantial). However, doctoral students working as research assistants receive a common salary for engineers in industry. Thus, the salary of a research assistant is quite sufficient to make a living in Aachen / Germany.

In Germany, compared to other European countries, the living costs are quite reasonable, however it depends a lot on the region / city in which you live. In smaller cities like Offenburg, a monthly budget of about 750 EUR should be sufficient.

As a student, you may work during 120 full days per year in any kind of job to be able to earn some additional living funds.

Master’s programmes in English

What is the duration of engineering programmes in Germany?

At RWTH Aachen University, our Bachelor programmes in Mechanical Engineering take 3.5 years to complete (7 semesters). Other engineering programmes (e.g. electrical engineering) take only 6 semesters to complete on the Bachelor’s level. Our mechanical engineering Master’s programme takes 3 semesters to complete (in electrical engineering at RWTH, 4 semesters). So at RWTH: 10 semesters until your master’s (7+3) in Mechanical Engineering. If I am not mistaken, a Bachelor programme duration of 6 semesters, followed up on by a master’s programme of 4 semesters, is far more common than our “7+3” structure.

Is there any chance to receive a complete portfolio of all the Master programmes that will start next winter semester 2013?


Here’s a link for all of our programmes at RWTH.

Offenburg University of AS offers four English taught Master´s Degree Programmes. You may also check for general information in Germany

PhD Programmes

I want to know the steps to follow to enter a doctoral programme in Germany.

There are many different opportunities to do a PhD programme in Germany. Lots of information can be found in the DAAD database

I want to know if studying at Hochschule or Fachhochschule would pave a way for PhD in Germany? Or is only a degree from TUs and universities valid for a PhD study? Thank you.

At RWTH / Mechanical Engineering, you may also apply for admission to a doctorate if you have a “Fachhochschul”-degree (Master of Science, Master of Engineering etc.). However, our faculty will ask you, in this case, to complete some additional exams before the prerequisites for doctoral “study” are accredited. By the way, this procedure is very similar to the procedure international (that is: non-EU) degree holders will have to apply for.

Graduating from a Hochschule or Fachhochschule will enable you to pursue a PhD, in cooperation with a university. At Offenburg University of AS e.g. there exists a cooperation with Freiburg university and we do indeed have about 20 (also international) PhD students.

Source: study-in.de/en/

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