Shortlisting of universities

Shortlisting of universities can be considered as the most crucial aspect in the application process. Follow the below mentioned steps carefully to make a good university shortlist.

Visit DAAD international programs to work on your shortlist. Give ONLY the following filters 1. Masters 2. Winter/Summer. We strongly advise you to refine from giving more filters and thereby making sure that you have gone through all courses of your interest.


Go through all of the courses that interest you. Prepare a comprehensive shortlist in Excel (see sample below) and make sure to include maximum courses of your interest irrespective of the university ranking. Check the requirements for each course from the university website regarding German GPA cut off, IELTS cut off, German language requirements, number of LOR required, direct application or through un assist, GRE requirement etc. and include these details in your excel file.



While preparing the shortlist, do not consider the ranking of the university since all universities and university of applied sciences are considered equally good in Germany. Ranking of the university does not guarantee better chances of getting a job unlike countries such as USA. German job market in particular looks for the skill set of the candidate rather than the university from which the candidate studied. However, if you are looking for a research or teaching career University would be an ideal choice.


Once you have made a comprehensive shortlist, it is time to refine your shortlist. If the requirement at a university asks for “2.5” or “gut” and you have a score of 2.6, you should remove the course from your shortlist. Additionally, you should take help from students who are studying the same course or from consultants or ask in fs2ym community to make sure that you avoid the sure shot rejections. While asking for your chance of acceptance in a particular course in the community, make sure you mention your grade in German system and work experience if any.  Once you have identified the courses that will most probably give you a rejection and have removed the same, you have your final shortlist ready. However, make sure you keep checking DAAD programs for new courses to apply.


Sorting your excel shortlist file with respect to the deadline will help you focus on the upcoming university deadline.


Keep in mind that your primary target is to get an admission in a course from your shortlist. Therefore, make it a point to apply to all the courses in your shortlist. Once you receive your first admit, you can further refine the shortlist and apply to courses which has a higher preference than your first admit.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the difference between a University, a “Fachhochschule” and a Technical University?

The “Fachhochschulen” (University of Applied Sciences) are generally more oriented towards the practical use of theoretical knowledge. Most of their degree programs are in the field of engineering, natural sciences and business administration. Degrees in the field of humanities, social sciences are seldom offered at the “Fachhochschulen”. They maintain close contacts with industry and offer extensive opportunities for internships. On the other hand, “Fachhochschulen” do not award the title of PhD. If you are certain you do not want to pursue an academic career (university teaching etc.) but instead you want to gain as much practical experience as possible, a “Fachhochschule” might be the right place for you to study (source: DAAD).

2. My IELTS score is 6 and the university asks for 6.5. Should I apply?

If the application is through uni assist, there is no point in applying. However, if it is a direct application to the university, they may or may not consider your application. It depends on a number of factors such as your profile, number of applicants to the same course etc. If your grades and other credentials are really good, there is no harm in giving it a try.

Related Links

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