applying for Physics in Germany Watch

Physiker
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Hi there,

I am a UK student currently in a gap year and am wondering whether anyone has any advice on applying to German universities for a bachelor's degree. There are five universities which I hope to apply to very soon (deadlines for Wintersemester are July 15):

1. Heidelberg
2. LMU München
3. Humboldt Universität Berlin
4. TU München
5. Freiburg

+ Other places I'm interested in are:
-Göttingen
-Tübingen
-Leipzig (Course is in English so this would be a kind of insurance)

So basically Heidelberg, LMU Munich and Humboldt Berlin are the ones I am most concerned about. As for myself, I did the IB at college- scored 38 points overall with 6 in HL German and 7 in HL Physics. I did an A-level in Mathematics in addition to the IB (as my college didn't offer HL Maths) in which I scored a B (retaking this June to get an A).

I have done research on applying but so far all the information seems to be very confusing and contradictory. As the course I am applying to is in German, I presume I will need to take a Goethe Institut, DaF or DSH examination.

Heidelberg for instance says no proof of language is required to study physics (look at "Sprachnachweise" on the link). http://www.physik.uniheidelberg.de/s.../physikstudium
However, there is another part of the website that says I need to do the DSH exam which takes place two weeks before the start of term. Apparently I can be exempt from this if I have Goethe C1 or a DaF certificate.

As you can imagine, applying feels like hell on earth as every German university has a different system so I'm just trying to gather fragments of useful information. Also I will probably take a German language exam in June just so I'm covered.

Please could someone give me some advice on applying, language exams etc.? Also, are German universities selective for subjects like Physics? I've heard from many people that lower grades are accepted and the sorting process is done in the first year (ie. huge drop out rates). If they are selective, would my grades be sufficient?
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Physiker
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It's also worth mentioning that I have 4 (3 uncons) offers through UCAS and the deadlines for replying are in May. I'm not sure what the best course of action is with respect to sorting out my uni place, student finance etc. just in case I have mishaps with Germany. Can I accept a place at a British uni and pull out at the very last minute (ie. mid august)?

P.S. Answer as many or as little questions as you like. Any information anyone has on any of my issues would be useful.
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Trip506
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Hey

As a general rule, you'll need to pass the language exam to get in unless the course is in English. Unless you are living in Germany, then I'de suggest not doing DSH. DSH is however relatively cheap and they are accepted by all univerisites in Germany and they can vary in difficulty.

From my experience, German unis can be sometimes be a bit disorganised. Each uni should have an application page where you download the forms, then you complete them and send them copies of necessary documents (including evidence that you paid Semesterbeitrag). Sometimes in the application they will ask for stuff that wasn't listed on the uni's website, so I found it best to just ask them what they need. For example for my application I had to give my Lebenslauf which wasn't written on the website. Some univerisities also let you get in without a language ceritifcate if you go and speak to the faculty head and convince them you're good enough. I know people who have done this, albeit for lower ranked unis. Apply for the British unis, but ask around and be damn sure that no tuition fees get paid in this time. You can pull out whenever you want (thats what she said), it's great to have that insurance.

Some unis are selective for certain subjects, for example my friend couldn't get into Hannover for Geography, but could for Göttingen. I on the other hand got into Hannover for Informatik with my lame English grades because the subject is Zulassungsfrei, I believe physics is the same there, but will vary uni to uni so look it up on their websites.
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Nathanielle
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(Original post by Physiker)

1. Heidelberg
2. LMU München
3. Humboldt Universität Berlin
4. TU München
5. Freiburg

+ Other places I'm interested in are:
-Göttingen
-Tübingen
-Leipzig (Course is in English so this would be a kind of insurance)
Don't know that much, but LMU and TUM are slightly different in course structure and rules concerning passing exams, so it would really depend on what suits you more. There is of course kind of a rivalry between the two, so it is difficult to here only unbiased views. Munich has in addition (like the others) certain Max-Planck-Insitituts and Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, so as you could e.g. already with your Bachelor Thesis or as a student research assistant come involved in those research institutes, I think in Germany it is more important than in other countries to also look at those opportunities, already at undergraduate level.

The towns are quite different, too. To do a English course as a UK citizen in Germany... why?

You need a German language proof, it is often a Laender-weit requirement.

Please could someone give me some advice on applying, language exams etc.?
Definitely do the German exam. You will need it.

Also, are German universities selective for subjects like Physics? I've heard from many people that lower grades are accepted and the sorting process is done in the first year (ie. huge drop out rates).
Yes, as e.g. TUM gets not that many applications, they don't need to preselect and want give anyone a chance, regardless of former grades. But as TUM is considered as hard, that does not mean it is an easy ride and as German students have to take a huge variety of subjects all counting towards the final average, a student with a grade average of B can still have A*A* in Math and Physics. Hence low entrance requirements don't mean that much. And e.g. in the case of TUM, you have to pass all the exams in the first year, to proceed to second. (Sounds easy, is definitely not.)

If they are selective, would my grades be sufficient?
That depends from university to university.
Your grades sounds totally fine and Physics is not Medicine.
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Particle007
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Hi,

(Original post by Physiker)
1. Heidelberg
2. LMU München
3. Humboldt Universität Berlin
4. TU München
5. Freiburg
I'm studying physics at the LMU München, and I didn't have to apply at all. I just walked in, signed a form and that was everything I had to do. But I'm not sure whether it's the same for international students.

There are websites for international students:
http://www.en.uni-muenchen.de/studen...ide/index.html

But as it was already mentioned, it depends on the university you want to apply to. You definitely need a certificate for German.

And yes, there is a rivalry between the two universities in Munich... it depends on your interests which university is better.


Particle007
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woodpecker
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I don't know much about the other aspects of applying but on the German language requirements...

You're much better off taking some sort of language exam, as almost all universities will require it. DaF is the one I was advised to take for applying to uni in Germany, and it is accepted by all Hochschulen. Officially you need to score at least a 4 in each section (equivalent to C1), but some unis may accept you if you score lower - it's at their discretion.
DSH and Goethe are also acceptable, but I don't know nearly as much about them... you'll probably need a C1 level in these as well though.

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