I am finishing up my Bachelors in Physics from a US university and have applied to graduate programs in both USA and Germany (PhD programs in USA and Masters in Germany, because German uni's require a Masters to apply to their PhD programs). For German universities, I will be able to apply only to their winter semester that starts in October, because the summer semester starts in April, and I am still in school during this time. I was accepted to couple PhD programs in the US, but I have to accept the offer by mid-April. However, the deadlines for the winter semester of German uni's isn't until July. I was wondering if German universities get this question every year, and if there is any way to know the decisions from Germany before I have to accept the offers from US.

  • 1
    Different countries different systems, YOU have to decide...
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Apr 5, 2018 at 5:14
  • 2
    If your ultimate goal is to get a PhD and you've already been accepted to two, I don't see why you want to wait to hear back about Master's applications. Commented Apr 5, 2018 at 7:16
  • While it may be sensible to not try and catch up with the summer semester (moving to foreign country plus catching up with courses is a tough proposition), it would make sense to find out whether any labwork or research practica or block courses are on during summer break that you could attend already. And yes, I'd think the universities are used to this question.
    – cbeleites
    Commented Apr 5, 2018 at 15:18

1 Answer 1


Most universities in Germany are aware of this problem but there is no common system so the only way to find out if you can get an early decision is to ask the university you applied at directly. If your program is "zulassungsbeschränkt" it means they only accept the best X applicants so it is not possible to be accepted before the deadline but there are many programs which accept all students meeting certain requirements.

Be aware that having (even a good) Masters degree is no guarantee to get a PhD position in Germany. Only a small fraction of Master students continue to do a PhD and, if you do not have scholarship, you need to find a professor who is willing to supervise you and has funding available.

  • Quick check of a few universities: none of them (currently) has any Zulassungsbeschränkung for Physics Master studies, but you may have to pass some test.
    – cbeleites
    Commented Apr 5, 2018 at 15:15

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