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Why is there a Master's degree application pre-check carried out by uni-assist?

In the course of the Bologna Reform, the courses that many German universities were offering were developed into Bachelor's and Master's degrees, but simultaneously there was also a sharp increase in the number of highly-specialised Master's degrees being offered, with these degrees making very specific demands on the applicant with regard to his/her previous education. This means that any Bachelor's degrees that an applicant needs to have taken in order to gain eligibility to these Master's degree programmes must match the particular requirements listed in the profile of the Master's degree that the applicant wishes to take. Furthermore, candidates are often required to prove that they have completed work experience and to demonstrate convincingly (e.g. via a letter of motivation and/or letter of recommendation) why they are especially suited to this study programme.

For the universities, this means that during the procedure of admitting applicants to Master's degrees, certain criteria - sometimes purely formal in nature, but sometimes also highly specific - have to be checked. Logistically this is a demanding process, involving many different individuals, administration officers at the admission centres and professors from the individual faculties. A lot of the universities get uni-assist to pre-check and document the formal criteria for Master's degree applications. uni-assist collects individual and overall grades, documents all relevant criteria and transfers all final data to an Internet-based portal, where our contacts at the universities can have applications processed and evaluated in a decentralized process.

Why does uni-assist check Master's degree applications from German applicants as well?

Master's degrees are internationally-orientated study programmes. Unlike Bachelor's degree programmes, with Master's degrees there are usually no separate admission procedures: German and non-German applicants are often seen as one group and admitted as such, because both non-German and German Bachelor's degrees have to be thoroughly checked to see whether or not the profile of each particular degree actually matches the profile of the Master's degree that is being applied for. Since a large number of applications have to be processed in the space of a few weeks during the processing phase, uni-assist noticeably takes the weight off the universities.  At the same time, uni-assist also offers study applicants the advantage of being able to apply to several universities via a central point with just one set of application documents. Of course this benefit increases bearing in mind the growing number of universities that are joining up to uni-assist.

Which universities get uni-assist to pre-check German and non-German Master's degree applications for them?

A lot of universities ask uni-assist to pre-check the Master's degree applications sent in by their foreign study applicants. But there are also some universities (see list below) that ask uni-assist to pre-check Master's degree applications submitted by all types of applicant, i.e. applicants who have gained their Bachelor's degree abroad, and applicants who have gained their degree in Germany (note: when applying for a Master's degree it is your Bachelor's degree, or equivalent thereof, that is the deciding factor. If you have a German 'Abitur' and subsequently gained your Bachelor's degree abroad, then for the purposes of your Master's degree application you come under category foreign study applicant).

A list of these universities:

  • Technische Universität Berlin - for all Master's degrees (applicants who are completing or have completed their Bachelor's degree at Technische Universität Berlin send their application directly to the university)
  • International Psychoanalytic University Berlin - for the Master's degree programme Klinische Psychologie
  • Philipps-Universität Marburg - for all Master's degrees
  • Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main - for all Master's degrees
  • Universität Potsdam - for all Master's degrees (except for Master's programmes for Teachers Profession or jointly offered Master's degree programmes)
  • Universität zu Köln - for Master's degrees in the Faculty of Philosophy
  • Hochschule für Wirtschaft und Umwelt Nürtingen-Geislingen - for all Master's degrees
  • Justus-Liebig Universität Gießen - for all Master's degrees for certain applicants*

Who has to pay for the processing?

uni-assist's member universities have the option of bearing the costs for Master's degree applications themselves. For universities that have chosen to do this, applicants can apply for a Master's degree free of charge.

In the following list, you can see which universities have made their Master's degree applications free for all or some types of applicant.  Caution: sometimes the universities do not bear the costs for all Master's degrees!

  • Technische Universität Berlin - all Master's degree applications are free of charge for all applicants
  • Universität Marburg - all Master's degree applications are free of charge for all applicants
  • Universität Frankfurt/Main - all Master's degree applications are free of charge for all applicants
  • Universität Potsdam - all Master's degree applications are free of charge for all applicants (except European Masters in Clinical Linguistics)
  • Universität Kassel - applications for the Master's degree "Labour Policies and Globalisation" and "Global Political Economy" are free of charge for all applicants (here, it is only possible to apply directly via the university). Applications for REMENA are free of charge for applicants who are completing or have completed their Bachelor's degree in Germany (applications have to be sent to uni-assist)
  • Universität Köln - Master's degree applications for the Faculty of Philosophy are free of charge for EU citizens and applicants who have gained their Bachelor's degree in Germany
  • Hochschule für Wirtschaft und Umwelt Nürtingen-Geislingen - applications for the Master's degree "Internationales Management" are free of charge for all applicants

Which documents need to be handed in for a Master's degree application?

As a basic principle, we recommend that you seek advice directly from your chosen university before you apply for a Master's. Here we are only able to give you limited, basic information about applying for a Master's via uni-assist:

You generally have to apply for a Master's degree in paper format, however it is advisable to use our online application service first if possible (applying online is obligatory for certain universities, because their applicants are asked certain additional questions and/or asked to upload specific documents). Applicants make one or more applications (depending on personal requirements) via their online account, print the forms out and then send them to uni-assist electronically once they have been printed. (Caution: only send your electronic application once you are certain that you don't want to submit any further applications for that particular university and semester!)

For those universities and Master's degree courses where the university does not bear the processing costs (see list above), you must transfer the processing fee to uni-assist before the application deadline. The list of costs is the same as for non-German Bachelor's degree applications.

Once you have submitted your application(s) electronically, please send your printed, signed and fully filled application form(s) to uni-assist by post. Should you need to make changes or add information to an application that has already been submitted electronically, please do this by hand. Along with your application, be sure to send uni-assist officially authenticated copies of your Bachelor's degree certificate (or equivalent) and transcript containing an overview of the units and marks making up your entire time in higher education. In order to be admitted to study for a Master's, you generally have to show that you have successfully completed a Bachelor's degree by having followed an accredited degree programme at an accredited university, and in an academic field related to the one in which your chosen Master's degree lies.

Not all universities accept an application based on preliminary certificates (for further information on this, please refer to the university of your choice). Documents in English (and quite often in French) unaccompanied by a translation are generally accepted. As for certificates in other languages, as well as submitting copies of the originals you also have to hand in officially authenticated copies of their translations. Translations must be carried out by a state-registered, sworn translator. The majority of universities do not require secondary school leaving certificates (e.g. Abitur, A-Level) for a Master's degree application. For most universities, submitting a Bachelor's degree certificate is sufficient.

Very few universities allow their applicants for Master's degree programmes to hand in simple copies of all certificates (please ask about this option directly at your chosen university).

Any required certificates proving the applicant's linguistic competencies should also come in officially authenticated copies (unless it is possible for the language institutions to allow uni-assist online access to the test results). Additionally, you usually have to submit a CV, letter of motivation, letter of recommendation and employment/work placement reports as well. It is often acceptable to submit a straightforward copy of these (please refer to your chosen university for more information here).

Is it possible to apply just online for a Master's degree, i.e. without needing to submit a paper application?

A few universities allow certain types of applicants to just submit their application(s) online.  Please see the following list of universities that allow certain groups of applicants to do this:

  • Universität Frankfurt/Main - applicants who are completing or have completed their Bachelor's degree at Frankfurt Uni
  • Universität Marburg - applicants who are completing or have completed their Bachelor's degree at Marburg Uni

*The following applicants for Master programmes at Julius Liebig University Giessen please apply directly at University Giessen:

  • Internal applicants i.e. students who have obtained or are going to obtain a Bachelors degree or equivalent at JLU apply directly at JLU.
  • External applicants i.e. interested students who have obtained a Bachelors degree or equivalent at another German university and have acquired a university entrance qualification in Germany (Abitur) apply directly at JLU.

*The following applicants for Master programmes at Julius Liebig University Giessen please apply at uni-assist:

  • Applicants who have obtained a Bachelors degree or equivalent at a German university or a university outside of Germany and  have acquired a university entrance qualification outside of Germany (secondary school leaving certificate, and in accordance with the country of origin a  university entrance examination/proof of study years) send their application to uni-assist.
  • Applicants who have obtained a Bachelors degree or equivalent at a university outside of Germany and have acquired a university entrance qualification in Germany (Abitur) send their application to uni-assist.

 


Updated:  2010-12-03
 

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