Winter Intake in Germany 2024: Semester, Deadline & Universities

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There are two types of intakes in Germany, namely winter and summer, offered to both international and domestic students. The winter intake is the primary one when most programs accept new students. 

The winter semester in Germany spans from October to March, while the summer semesters are scheduled between April and September. It’s essential to note that specific starting and end dates are provided for applications from international students applying to undergraduate or postgraduate courses, aiding in effective study planning.

At a glance: 

DurationOctober to March
Application start timeEarly June
Application end timeAround 15th July
Acceptance lettersAugust/September
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Intakes in Germany 

Intakes in Germany refer to the period when universities in Germany accept student applications from both international and domestic students to enrol in academic programmes. There are two types of intakes in Germany: Winter and Summer. 

  • Winter Intake:  In Germany, this is the main intake. The winter semester typically begins in October and finishes in March. Most academic programs, both undergraduate and postgraduate, open their admissions for the winter semester. Students usually start their studies in October when they apply for the winter intake.
  • Summer Intake: In Germany, the summer semester is between April to September. Some universities and programmes offer admission during this period even though fewer programs are available for summer than winter intakes. However, there are fewer new student intakes during the summer period, and not all programmes may have places for new students.
Intakes SeasonWinterSummer
Courses available for admissionAlmost all courses (primary intake)Few

Winter Intake in Germany

The winter intake in Germany is when universities start accepting applications for the academic programmes of the semester beginning in January. This intake is from October to March, which aligns with the academic calendar of Germany’s colleges. 

During the winter intake, prospective students can access various undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in different fields. These programmes are designed to meet the needs of domestic and international applicants who wish to study in Germany.

The winter intake is an excellent opportunity for international students, particularly those from countries outside the EU, to apply for a place at German universities. This will allow sufficient time for visa processing, accommodation arrangements, and other necessary preparations before the start of the academic semester.

During the winter intake period, each university and programme sets its specific application deadlines. Potential applicants must carefully examine these deadlines and submit their applications early. Applicants should know their chosen programmes’ admission requirements and procedures, which may vary according to the university and the field of study.

Certain universities may also provide additional support services or educational programmes to facilitate the transition of international students into studying in Germany. Language courses, orientation sessions and assistance with visa applications and residence permits may be part of these activities.

Overview of Winter Intakes in Germany

Application Start TimeEarly June
Application End TimeAround 15th July
DurationOctober to March
Acceptance LetterAugust/September

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Winter Intake in Germany 2024: Semester, Deadline & Universities

Winter Intake Courses in Germany

A wide range of courses in different areas, with various interests and academic objectives for students, are offered during the winter intake at German universities. During the winter intake, there are several generic categories of courses available:

  • Engineering & Technology
  • Business & Management
  • Natural Sciences
  • Social Science & Humanities
  • Healthcare & Medicine
  • Art & Design
  • Language & Linguistics

Top 5 Universities for Winter Intakes in Germany

 Various factors, e.g. academics’ reputation, research facilities, programmes offered and student satisfaction, can determine which universities are the best in Germany for Winter intake. Here is a list of five leading universities consistently ranked amongst the best and offering excellent opportunities to students in the winter intake:

Here are the top 5 universities in Germany

Top Universities Deadline for Winter Intake 2024-25
Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU)15th July 2024
Heidelberg University> UG 30th September 2024 (Without Restriction)15th July 2024 (With Restriction)> PG 15th July 2024
RWTH Aachen UniversityUG & PG – 15th July 2024
Technical University of Munich (TUM)November- December
Free University of Berlin> UG – 15th July 2024> PG – Programme Specific

Requirements for Winter Intakes in Germany

Depending on the university, programme, and level of study, it is possible to have different requirements for winter intake in Germany. To be able to apply for programmes during the winter intake, there are certain specific requirements that foreign students must fulfil. An overview of this is given below: 

  • Academic Requirements:  Most universities require applicants to have completed a secondary school diploma (for undergraduate programs) or a bachelor’s degree (for postgraduate programs) equivalent to the German educational system. Specific subject requirements or minimum grade thresholds may be laid down in some programmes.
  • Language Proficiency:  It’s common to require language skills. Competence in the language is normally required to teach German courses. Applicants may be required to demonstrate their ability through standardised tests such as the TOEFL or the IELTS for courses taught in English.
  • Entrance Exams: Applicants may be required to take additional entrance tests for some programs, especially in medicine, dental science, and pharmacy. These examinations assess the candidate’s skills and knowledge in specific areas of interest for a programme.
  • Academic Transcripts: Applicants must usually provide official transcripts or academic records from their previous institutions. Such transcripts should provide detailed information on the number of courses taken, grades obtained, and applicants’ total academic performance.
  • Letter of Recommendation: Many programs require you to submit letters of recommendation from teachers, professors, or others who have demonstrated your educational ability, character, and suitability for the course.
  • Statement of Purpose:  You may be asked to provide a statement of purpose or personal statement about your academic interests, career goals and reasons for choosing a specific programme or university.
  • Application Fee: Some universities charge an application fee to process applications. Applicants should check the specific requirements and fees for each university or programme they apply to.

Application Process for Winter Intake in Germany

Here are the steps to apply for winter intake in Germany:

1. Research: Look into universities and programs that match your interests and career goals.

2. Check Requirements: Ensure you understand each program’s requirements, like education qualifications and language skills.

3. Apply Online: Fill out the online application form provided by the university or a platform like UniAssist. Submit all required documents, such as transcripts and language certificates.

4. Pay Fees: Some universities charge an application fee. You’ll need to pay this when you submit your application.

5. Track Your Application: You can monitor the status of your application through the university’s online portal or communication channels.

6. Attend Interviews or Exams: Some programs might require interviews or exams. Be ready for these if they’re part of the process.

7. Receive Admission Decision: You’ll hear back from the university about whether you’ve been accepted. This could take a few weeks or months.

8. Accept Offer and Join Program: If you’re accepted, follow the instructions to accept and join the program. Complete any paperwork and pay any necessary fees.

9. Apply for a Visa and Residence Permit: International students may need to apply for a student visa and residence permit. Start this process as soon as you receive your admission offer.

10. Prepare for Arrival: Plan your travel, accommodation, and other logistics for arriving in Germany. Get familiar with your university’s academic calendar, orientation events, and support services.

Summing Up

In Germany, the winter intake offers potential students an excellent opportunity to pursue higher education in a diverse and dynamic learning environment. By understanding the application process, deadlines, and available support services, you can make the admissions process easy and confidently begin your studies.

Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity – contact our LeapScholar Team.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. What is the winter intake in Germany?

Ans.  In Germany, the period when universities accept applications for admission to courses starting in the winter semester between October and March is referred to as the autumn intake.

Q. What are the application deadlines for winter intake in Germany?

Ans.  Depending on the university and programme, the deadline to apply for winter intakes in Germany varies. For programmes starting in the following winter semester, which starts in October, the application deadline is between May and July. However, some universities may have early or late deadlines, potential students should check the particulars of each programme they wish to study. Applications should be drawn up and submitted on time to be considered for admission.

Q. How long is the winter semester in Germany?

Ans.  In Germany, the winter semester is usually between October and March. This period shall cover the beginning of a semester in which students attend classes, participate in educational activities and complete their studies. By the end of the semester in March, students will have plenty of time to settle in and progress in their studies.

Q. How do I apply for a student visa for winter intake in Germany?

Ans.  After being offered admission to a German university, you need to apply for a student’s visa and residence permit. The process of applying for a visa varies according to the student’s country of origin and can be initiated at the nearest German embassy or consulate.

Q. What programmes are available during the winter intake?

Ans.  A wide range of student and professional programmes is available in different fields as part of the winter intake in Germany. These programmes include but are not limited to engineering, business administration, natural sciences, social sciences, humanities, health sciences, arts and language studies. Many universities offer a wide range of learning opportunities for students to meet their interests and career ambitions, with programmes that address the needs of an increasingly globalised labour market.

Q. Is it possible to change programs or universities after being admitted for the Winter Intake in Germany?

Ans.  Yes, after acceptance into the winter intake in Germany, it is possible to modify your programme or university, but there may be a difference in procedures and requirements. In most cases, students would have to notify both their existing university and the new one of their intention to switch. Certain academic criteria and administrative procedures laid down by the relevant institutions may need to be met.

Q. Can I transfer credits from previous studies to a program during the Winter Intake in Germany?

Ans.  Yes, the transfer of credits from previous studies to a course may take place during winter intake in Germany, but there are different procedures and eligibility criteria for each university or programme. Certain universities may accept transfer credits for courses considered comparable in content and level of study. Students interested in transferring credits should contact the university admissions office they wish to apply to for specific information and guidance.

Q. Can I apply for scholarships for winter intake in Germany?

Ans.  Yes, you can apply for a scholarship for the winter intake in Germany. International students can obtain many scholarships to cover tuition fees, living expenses, and other costs. The German government, universities, foundations, and social organisations may also offer these scholarships. Prospective students should research scholarship opportunities and apply according to each scholarship provider’s eligibility criteria and deadlines.

Q. What are the benefits of studying during the Winter Intake in Germany compared to other intakes?

Ans.  There are several advantages to studying in Germany during the winter intake. First, it is aligned with the academic calendar of many countries, making it easy for international students to adjust. Second, the start of the winter semester gives students ample time to settle in, participate in orientation programmes, and explore cultural activities before the start of the semester.

Q. How long does it take to receive an admission decision after applying for the Winter Intake in Germany?

Ans.  The period during which an admission decision can be taken in Germany following an application for winter intake may differ. You will generally receive an answer within a few weeks to several months after the application deadline. Nevertheless, certain universities may notify applicants of their admission status before or at the end of this process. You are advised to check each university’s specific deadlines and keep an eye on their application status regularly.

Q. Can I work while studying in Germany?

Ans.  Yes, while studying, international students are allowed to work part-time in Germany. Students can generally work up to 20 hours per week during the academic semester and fulltime when they are out of class. Experience, additional income, and opportunities to practice language skills can be obtained by working while studying. However, the balance between work commitments and academic responsibilities has to be struck to ensure success in studies.

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