Differentiating University Courses in Germany and Picking the Best

Graduation Moi

You’ve decided you want to study a course, but it is offered at two Universities, which one do you choose and why? (If you haven’t chosen a concrete course yet read: Choosing a study course)

When looking at most course offers, you find the study course (Studienverlauf). But what should you be looking at in it?

Here are a few things to help you identify the best study course to pick when you’re looking at various offered by various Universities.



You’ve decided you want to undertake an international course in Germany. Check the Studienverlauf and check what language major courses are offered in.

If you’re checking for a Masters program which doesn’t offer a Studienverlauf but a Modulhandbuch instead. List the subjects you would be interested in and check what language they are offered in.

Some universities are notorious for offering “international” courses that have all major classes in German while all courses offered in English are mainly “useless” in relation to your degree. To identify “major” classes, look at the number of credit points allocated to the class.

In some cases, it will be easier to take up the German course instead of the international one.


Modules/Subjects per semester

How many subjects are you required to undertake per semester?

Most bachelor courses have a recommended time plan that shows how many courses you should take a semester in order to graduate on time. For those with no given Studienverlauf, check the total number of classes you need to undertake and divide by the semesters they recommend and that will be an estimate.

A good course should offer between 6-8 modules/subjects per semester. Remember to look at the number of credit points each class offers, the higher the number of credits the higher the work load. A class offering 2 credits requires less engagement than one with 6 or 12 for example.

The migration officials calculate that you should acquire at least 20 credit points per semester, earning 28-30credits a semester is quite normal.


Internship and Thesis Schedule

When have they planned for an internship and the thesis?

Some Universities in hopes of attracting more applicants plan the shortest time possible for their courses e.g. an engineering degree in 3years. In such cases, they will tend to schedule the internship and thesis in the midst of “normal”semester schedules. It is practically impossible to undertake a full time internship or work on a thesis while still having to attend classes and prepare for 4-6 subjects.


Application process

This might not be directly related to the content of the course but it can make you rethink applying to the said University.

Universities will generally allow direct applications, but some demand that foreign students use Uni-Assist e.V. The issue with Uni-Assist, they have set rules that they apply to everyone equally. They aren’t as flexible as the Universities.

One example is, an application can’t be accepted via Uni-Assist if you don’t have Studienkolleg or a year at the University in Kenya and the mean grade should be C+ or higher. On the other hand, if you apply directly to the University, they tend to be more flexible making it possible to join a University without Studienkolleg and/or a grade higher than C+.

Please check the University website if they accept direct applications before you apply via Uni-Assist.


Refer to the article on Applying to a German University for more on the application process.

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