I am in my second year of a BSc in Physics in India. I want to pursue my physics graduate degree (MS) in Germany. I want to know what graduate schools are looking for in my application there.

  • What I mean is, what criteria do they use to find out who is good at physics and research. what are they looking for in my applications? Dec 31 '17 at 9:30
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    As I commented on a similar question: An MSc is not considered a graduate degree in Germany, but as the second part of an undergraduate study that prepares for the research-only PhD. As such, you only need to satisfy the formal requirements (i.e., an equivalent of that university's BSc, possibly including specific courses). For details, you need to look at the specific university's examination regulations (Prüfungsordnung in German). Dec 31 '17 at 9:51
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    Thank you very much. @ChristianClason. I think u should have posted that as the formal answer to this question. Dec 31 '17 at 9:54
  • @ChristianClason Can you also tell me if universities(like yours) look for anything specifc while selecting cadidates for the physics M.Sc program? Dec 31 '17 at 9:56
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    @PranavSinghal It's a completely formal procedure: If you meet the requirements set out in the regulations, you're in. None of the universities I know have limited admissions to Masters programs (in physics at least), although most have a minimum grade on the BSc (equivalent). Dec 31 '17 at 10:15

This seems to be a common misconception: An MSc is not considered a graduate degree in Germany but the second part of an undergraduate study that prepares for the research-only PhD. As such, the universities are required by law to admit all applicants that satisfy the formal requirements as specified in the examination regulations (Prüfungsordnung in German). (The only exception is if the number of applicants exceeds the capacity of the department, which to my knowledge is not the case for physics in most places.)

These regulations vary somewhat between universities and disciplines (and even different courses of study within a discipline), so you really need to look at the one of the specific university you're interested in (or google Masters physics admission $UNIVERSITY, if you don't know enough German), but it boils down to holding a sufficiently successful Bachelor's degree that is reasonably similar to the one offered by that university. What this means depends on the course of study, but as a rough guideline

  1. the degree must be recognized as equivalent to a Bachelor's in scope (number of credits, mostly 180 ECTS) and depth (university-level);
  2. the transcript must show certain courses deemed crucial by the department (the regulations will contain the list of courses, whose contents can then be looked up in the Modulhandbuch);
  3. the diploma must show a minimum grade (again, this will be given in the regulations; I've often seen 3.0 or better according to the German grading system which goes from 1.0 (best) to 4.0 (barely passing).)

In addition, you need to

  1. show proficiency in the teaching language as given in the regulations (this could be either German, English, or both). Most regulations I've seen also explicitly require a German language certificate for the Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang (DSH).

Although these requirements will be checked on a purely formal level, there's usually some leeway in the proceedings; e.g, if you are missing some courses from point 2, you might be admitted under the condition that you catch up on them within the first year, and a grade worse than required by point 3 might be compensated for by a brief oral examination where you show that your academic performance from here on is likely to be better than in the past. (But it's important to stress that this is not required if you already meet all the formal requirements.)

As an example, you can look at the admissions page of the TU Munich (which is regarded as one of the more "professionalized", as these things go).

  • ty for the answer, this is what I was looking for. Can u also tell me if I need to learn German? Dec 31 '17 at 10:56
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    That depends very much on the course of study (again, look at the Prüfungsordnung) -- for some, the teaching language is German, in which case yes, for others its English, in which case you need to show proficiency in that. (Needless to say, learning German is highly recommended if you want to spend several years in the country...) Dec 31 '17 at 10:59
  • @PranavSinghal Actually, yes, (some) German language proficiency is often a separate, explicit, requirement. Dec 31 '17 at 11:10
  • Do colleges in germany ask for gre scores? subject and general? Jan 6 '18 at 16:38
  • Again, this very much depends on the university and the degree. You really need to ask the specific admissions office what precisely they require. But, yes, some do (in which case it's usually the general, not the subject), although many don't (or only list it as one possibility of demonstrating the necessary language proficiency). Jan 6 '18 at 17:30

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