When do German universities send out acceptance letters?

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I applied to a bunch of applications to universities, among them RWTH Aachen, TU München, TU Berlin, Uni Kassel, for the Winter 2016 semester. Two were submitted around January, others around April. I know the process is quite a bit later than with US universities, but perhaps I'm a bit impatient. Anyone know of the period of time in which I can expect an answer from the applied universities?

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This gives you the timelines for the University of Würzburg. Others might vary slightly, not sure - but easy to check. As you can see the time for handing in applications isn´t even over yet (31 May if you garduated before 15 Jan, 15 Jul if you graduated after that). So they don´t even know yet how many applicants they will have.

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1 hour ago, Pandekage said:

I know the process is quite a bit later than with US universities, but perhaps I'm a bit impatient. Anyone know of the period of time in which I can expect an answer from the applied universities?

 

It'll vary by not only school,  but also by programme.  You're going to need to be very patient,  some schools won't let you know till the of August. 

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I think some Universities (like RWTH Aachen) have tried to sync their processes so applicants don't enroll in their 2nd/3rd choice before they have an answer from their 1st choice. The first bunch of letters is expected in early August. Then the accepted applicants have some time to either enroll or pass on the offer. Then the second bunch of letters come etc. This can continue into the semester itself, i.e. October.

But like the others said it can vary even from program to program. Some programs accept every suitable applicant ("nc-frei"), most have their local acceptance process (like the one I described above), others like medicine are centralized with one application for all German unis.

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Wow, that gives around a 1.5 month window for the flight and housing search before the semester start in October. Do most international students preemptively fly over and begin the whole process even before they receive acceptance letters, since I've heard, especially with in demand cities, that one really needs a several month head start on the housing/WG search? Or is the 1.5 month window acceptable? Not all of my applications are "NC-frei" and I would not want to fly over just to be rejected and fly back.

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6 hours ago, Pandekage said:

 Do most international students preemptively fly over and begin the whole process even before they receive acceptance letters,

 

Unlike you, most international students are not citizens of privileged countries who are allowed to apply for a permit after arriving in Germany, but rather need to apply for a visa in their country of origin. It is not unusual for students from certain countries to only arrive a few weeks after the semester starts.
 

6 hours ago, Pandekage said:

since I've heard, especially with in demand cities, that one really needs a several month head start on the housing/WG search? Or is the 1.5 month window acceptable? Not all of my applications are "NC-frei" and I would not want to fly over just to be rejected and fly back.

 

You might want to consider booking a cheap ticket for September to Frankfurt or Munich (or anywhere with a good connection from where you are currently living). Return tickets are usually cheaper than one-way tickets anyway. If you want to go home for Christmas, book a December return. You can then look for a cheap train or bus ticket once you know where you'll be studying. Assuming your grades are better than a 2.5 on the German scale, it is highly unlikely that you will be rejected by all schools.

 

If you prefer to plan ahead, I think your biggest obstacle will be the problem described by sneaker. For example, two years ago a friend of a friend was offered a spot at the TU Berlin, which he accepted and then started looking for a place here. Two weeks later when I saw him, he had received an acceptance letter for RWTH and was getting ready to move there (which then opened up his spot at the TU Berlin).

 

 

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You might also want to call the Universities and ask about last (winter-)semester´s requirements in term of NC. That should give you an idea about your chances of acceptance. It´s unlikely that if the NC used to be say 2.2 it will now be 1.5. Be aware hat the hurdle will often be lower for the summer semester (as there are no new school graduates)

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Thanks for the answers everyone. If it's okay, I'd like to share a bit of bad news, as well as ask if any of you could perhaps clarify why one of my applications was declined. Yep. :( Here's a snippet, outlining the reason for denial, from the letter:

 

"Die Überprüfung der fachlichen Vorbildung anhand der von Ihnen eingereichten Unterlagen hat ergeben, dass Sie aufgrund der nachfolgenden Gründe nicht für den Studiengang geeignet sind: Eine Zulassung zum Master-Studiengang Architektur konnte nicht ausgesprochen werden, da bei den von Ihnen eingereichten Bewerbungsunterlagen keine Prüfungsleistungen mit Angabe von Credit Points beilag. Aus diesem Grunde konnte die Überprüfung der fachlichen Zugangsvoraussetzungen nicht vorgenommen werden."

 

I'm guessing it was requesting a transcript or a final examination result from my bachelors study. I had attached an official transcript as part of my application, and regarding a final examination we didn't really have one as architecture students (just a fancy thesis exhibition, grading of which was reflected in the general course grade). Our university did have a GWR (Graduation Writing Requirement) exam, which I passed, but which I didn't think was what they were asking for. I think I did still attach it though. While I send a inquiry to the university office and await an answer a week later, does anyone here have any idea as to why I was shot down? (in the interest of my other hopeful applications.)

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2 hours ago, Pandekage said:

da bei den von Ihnen eingereichten Bewerbungsunterlagen keine Prüfungsleistungen mit Angabe von Credit Points beilag. Aus diesem Grunde konnte die Überprüfung der fachlichen Zugangsvoraussetzungen nicht vorgenommen werden."

 

It sounds as if they didn't understand your transcripts. Did you send originals or copies?  If you sent copies, did you check the backs of the originals? For example, on the back of my transcripts there is a legend explaing the grading and credit point system. Is there a legend anywhere on your transcripts? 

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I sent an unopened certified copy, but there's a legend in there. It's funny, because on the same day I also received a letter from Uni-Assist, explaining that all of my credentials have been cleared and accepted and would be forwarded to the member unis I applied to (unfortunately this one not among them).

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On 5/24/2016, 4:37:07, Pandekage said:

on the same day I also received a letter from Uni-Assist, explaining that all of my credentials have been cleared and accepted and would be forwarded to the member unis I applied to (unfortunately this one not among them).

Uni-assist only makes sure that your degree itself meets the formal requirements for admission to a German master's degree; uni-assist does not determine whether your previous degree covered the necessary prerequisites.  

 

Contact the Fachbereich directly at the uni that already sent the rejection and ask them what they think is missing. 

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Did you get an answer?

 

what the university told you is that your transcript didn't include how many credit points each exam/course was equated to. In Europe all transcripts work according to ECTS credit points, that's how they standardize transcripts from the whole continent. If they don't see credit points, they can't know if your transcript equals that of an EU student. 

so just ask in the international office how to get your transcript recognized (usually by sending it to the local office of the kulturministerium and they will give you a certificate of equivalence) 

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My daughter applied to TUM in the week before the deadline 15th July. She just got in invitation to a Bewerbungsgespräch -- on the 26th September!!! That means she'll get her acceptance just days before semesterbegin. Crazy --OTOH if the Frist had been earlier she wouldn't  havee been able to apply at all. 

 

ETA: the course is nc-frei and they don't have an upper limit. She is actually qualified to do a Master's in the same course (Landscxhaftsarchitektur) I advised her to start her room search but she is so cautious -- thinks she might still be rejected. Bit it's so very late. I think she should really start seaching and not wait till end September!

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From what I gather, the design/planning programs, if they are impacted, could still be listed as NC frei - the criteria is simply shifted from Abiturnoten to the design portfolio, at least for the masters.

 

I was invited to an interview at the TUM in mid-September too. Really stressful how late the admissions processes are. Luckily I finally received an admit to TU Berlin, so I'll probably end up there. Best of luck to her!

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Yes -- on their admissions page they say they weigh the portfolio and motivations letter as highly as Abitur note. But she really has no worries -- she ha s a great portfolio, a wonderful motivation letter, and a Bachelor with First Class Honours in Spatial  Design, approved  by uni-assist.

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On 18.8.2016, 12:12:53, arunadasi said:

 advised her to start her room search but she is so cautious -- thinks she might still be rejected. Bit it's so very late. I think she should really start seaching and not wait till end September!

Yes, even if she´d be rejected she could find a substitute tenant in no time. Maybe she could arrange with the landlord to walk away from the contract for a reasonable penalty or reserve the right to sublet should her application be rejected?

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