Guide To Applying for Master’s Degree in Europe

Bharath Study in Germany 4 Comments

The dream of achieving a Post Graduate degree or Masters starts when there is a passion or urge in you to achieve higher levels, to learn in depth, and  experience something more than just the conventional.

Being an Electronics and Communication Engineering graduate and working in an Indian IT company for over 2 years there was something amiss. I was working on projects related to Telecommunication domain, which never managed to impress me since it was just the support doled out to the already existing technologies.

study in europe

My job failed to appeal my interests, which eventually made me lose enthusiasm at work. But I did manage to get a hold on to the various avenues of this vast field, found my love for Telecommunications and wanted to go further deeper into it and  achieve something worthy by research.

So, I decided to do Master’s related to Information and Communication Technology (ICT), a combination of my previous studies (Communications) and my work exposure (IT).

When it comes to Master’s degree people usually go to US. But I found that lucrative option to be costly.  And according to World Economic Forum (WEF), Europe has most competitive countries in the world.

While Switzerland, Singapore and Finland lead the table, the top-ten list is dominated by countries in northern and western Europe – and that despite an ongoing debt crisis in the euro area.

Sweden is also in the top ten, taking fourth position, followed by the Netherlands in fifth, Germany in sixth and Britain in eighth place. So I made up my mind to look up on Europe, especially Germany and Finland where courses are popular and has good employment rate.

There are lot more countries in Europe like Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, Belgium where ample amount of internationalization of Master’s degree has happened i.e. courses  completely taught in English and are being increased everyday with the support of the local and International companies.

Here in the next few posts I am going to share my experiences and the information I collected from different sources while applying to German and other European Universities.

I will post the whole process f Applying for Master’s  Degree in Europe in 3 parts:

  • The  Pre-Application process 
  • The Application process
  • The Visa process.

Unlike the US counterparts where GRE has great amount of significance. European Universities mainly focus on Undergraduate score and then comes TOEFL/IELTS and GRE scores.

Most of the Universities in Europe do NOT require GRE scores. Only a TOEFL/IELTS score will suffice.

Few Universities need GATE score from Indian applicants. Having said that, an additional GATE/GRE score will always supplement your profile and increase your acceptance rate slightly.

Since there is still a adequate time left for the Fall 2013 application deadlines, I will race through the process in the next few weeks. I hope it will simplify the process for others. Do let me know me if any specifics are required.

In this post I am going to discuss about the things that are required for before applying for the Universities.

The application process for most of the European Universities are straightforward, hence can be done without the need of any consultancies.

Document checklist for European Universities:

  1. TOEFL
  2. SOP
  3. LORs
  4. UG Transcript
  5. Curriculum Vitae
  6. GRE/GATE (Optional)
  7. Work certificate
  8. Miscellaneous certificates like Microsoft Certifications, CISCO Certifications of international repute

Same US documents rules apply for Europe as well. A standard SOP of maximum 2 pages and LOR’s are required.

As I mentioned before UG score holds most of your profile weightage, so a handful of universities do not even require SOP nor LOR’s, although there is no harm in sending them and is always recommended to send it even if it is not mentioned.

Curriculum Vitae can be of any format, although few universities prefer an European resume format called Europass CV format. At Europass CV you can download your create a CV in either MS word and PDF format and also update if you sign up for an account. It is of simple process and can be done without much trouble.

Although this is NOT a mandatory format, let me mind you that the same format will be useful for future internships and jobs in Europe.

After all the documents are prepared, it’s time to dig into the most important part of the process – university selection.

In Germany, higher education are offered at three types of Higher Education Institutions:

1. Universities (Universitäten)

These institutions offer the whole range of academic disciplines.

In the German tradition, universities focus in particular on basic research so that advanced stages of study have mainly theoretical orientation and research-oriented components.

2. Universities of Applied Sciences (Fachhochschulen)

These institutions concentrate their study programmes in engineering and other technical disciplines, business-related studies, social work, and design areas.
The common mission of applied research and development implies a distinct application-oriented focus and professional character of studies, which include integrated and supervised work assignments in industry, enterprises or other relevant institutions.

3. Universities of Art/Music (Kunst- und Musikhochschulen)

These institutions offer studies for artistic careers in fine arts, performing arts and music; in such fields as directing, production, writing in theatre, film, and other media; and in a variety of design areas, architecture, media and communication.

Only TU’s and other few universities have the option of continuing with a doctoral degree after Masters is done whereas Universities of Applied Sciences will NOT provide this opportunity.

Ranking System

The German and European Higher Education Institutions are against the ranking of their Institutions. Hence there is no official or clear ranking system in Germany or Europe.

Though Technical Universities (TU) are considered elite Universities compared with others and has great inflow of funding from Government, international companies and highly sophisticated Research Labs set up within the universities or in Research institutions.

You can find these group of 9 German TU’s which are formed as group called TU9.

  1. RWTH Aachen
  2. TU Berlin
  3. TU Braunschweig
  4. TU Darmstadt
  5. TU Dresden
  6. Leibniz Universität Hannover
  7. Karlsruher Institut für Technologie
  8. TU München
  9. Universität Stuttgart

Erasmus Mundus

The Erasmus Mundus programme aims to enhance quality in higher education through scholarships and academic cooperation between Europe and the rest of the world.

Erasmus Mundus comprises three actions:

  1. Joint programmes (Master’s and Doctorates)
  2. Partnerships
  3. Attractiveness projects

These programmes are conducted in consortium with different universities which specialize under that particular course.

These programmes are regarded as most prestigious and costs an arm and leg to get into these programmes i.e, the applicant must be highly meritorious and must have a research oriented profile based on the respective Master’s/Doctorate course application.

These degrees are charged with exorbitant fee, unlike other European programmes.

However, successful applicant mostly get scholarships varying from 25-100% fee waivers. Otherwise it will cost roughly around 5000 Euros per year. An applicant can apply for only 3 courses at once with preferences set.

University Selection

After deciding the area of your interests, you can start finding the University based on different parameters of your choice.

Applicants who have finished their UG course and also students who are in the last semester of their UG can apply for the Universities. Of course there are universities with early start of the Program, so you need to check the University website before applying.

For choosing the Universities there are two very useful websites:

  • www.mastersportal.eu
  • www.daad.de

The first one is for entire European Universities where you can select the courses based on your area of interest, Country, summer or winter admissions, duration of course, fees, etc., just to name a few. There are over 20,000 courses listed in the site.

While the second one is confined to Germany which is an exhaustive website from The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). It is the largest funding organisation in the world supporting the international exchange of students and scholars. It enlists the International Masters and Doctoral Programs that are taught in Germany along with the scholarships listing, guidance to study in Germany for foreigners and et al.,

Similarly you can find the Master’s courses databases with detailed contents for specific countries like Finland, Sweden, etc.,

  • www.studyinsweden.se
  • universityadmissions.fi

Application Package

The app package checklist:

  1. Application form
  2. UG Transcript
  3. TOEFL score
  4. GRE score (optional)
  5. Statement of Purpose (SOP) / Motivation Letter
  6. Letter of Recommendation (LOR’s)
  7. 10th, 12th marks cards
  8. Secondary School Leaving certificate

All these copies have to attested or notarized according to the respective university rules. GRE & GATE scores are optional for almost all the universities, except few where its a mandate.

LOR’s are required in the count of 2 or 3 maximum. Photo copies of TOEFL and GRE scores cards are suffice for almost all the universities albeit few exceptions.

The packages can be sent through Express Easy Student prepaid card offer at discounted prices from DHL, the best for Europe for a price as low as Rs.800.
Then there is Uni-assist, which caters the international students profiles to the German universities. It coordinates between the university and international students.

An applicant can apply for an uni-assist member university via uni-assist website for a fee of 68 Euros for the first application and additional 15 Euros for the subsequent applications in that particular admission season.

For example, if one applies for an university in Fall 2013, it costs 68 Euros for first one and 15 Euros for next universities in the same Fall 2013. In case he applies in Summer 2014, one has to pay 68 Euros again and so on.

At present, 144 state-approved German universities make use of the advantages associated with a uni-assist membership. It is entrusted by its member universities with the preliminary administrative processing and review of foreign student applications.

For more info visit – http://www.uni-assist.de

Except uni-assist member universities and few others, most of the universities do NOT have any application fee or processing fee as such. So one can apply to as many universities as they want and take a chance.

Comments

  1. Hi..i’ve been following your blog from a long tym..its gr8..very helpful.
    I would like to know more about MS in MIS.
    Its pro’s and con’s,job opportunities,cost etc..

  2. Hello Sir,

    I am an international student just recently graduate here in the United States and wants to continue into my study in some of the European universities particularly to study Market Management and how can I go about to do this. Your advice or instructions will be greatly appreciated. You have a fantastic day in your work.

    Regards,
    Johnson Dalton Elias

  3. Great post….. Even though the TU9 is quite famous in germany. There are many other technical universities which are critically as good as any other university in germany. Includes TU Illmenau, TU chemnitz etc.

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