“Ask the Infothek” – When applying for a master’s degree, what do I have to keep in mind?

After successfully completing their bachelor’s degree, many students aim for a master’s degree. But in order to be able to start the continuing studies directly after the bachelor’s degree, some things should be considered and different deadlines should be taken into account.

The content of the master’s program often continues the basic principles of the bachelor’s program and is usually more research-oriented. It represents a higher educational qualification and thus opens up better opportunities in professional life. The Infothek explains what is important and provides useful tips for enrolling in a master’s program.

Get informed early

It is particularly important that you find out about the master’s programs in good time. You can find information about the courses offered on the websites of the relevant university or college. Application deadlines vary greatly depending on the program, university or even college. For example, the application deadline for some programs starts at the beginning of the year, while others start in the spring.

In addition, the application itself is associated with many formalities, which must be sent in a timely fashion by e-mail or post. If necessary, the required documents must also be submitted to the examination office. So plan for this in good time and give yourself enough time for it.

Some universities also offer helpful information events about their Master’s programs. The WiSo, for example, organizes the Master-Day in March, where the Master’s programs are presented and students have the opportunity to ask questions to professors or students.

Check requirements

Get to know the requirements of the corresponding degree program in good time and check which program suits you best.

It should also be noted that some Master’s programs require admission tests. These can be, for example, written work on a given topic or a research disposition. Some programs also require proof of practical experience, e.g. in the form of a 6-week internship.

Search for alternatives

Since feedback on Master’s applications is often slow, it is worth looking for an alternative. On the one hand, you can apply for several Master’s programs and still have an ace up your sleeve in case of a rejection. On the other hand, you can also apply for an internship, which can be done in an exceptional case during the transitional period until the new application is submitted.

Consider obstacles

It should be kept in mind that a Master’s program can only be started once all examination results have been completed. Otherwise, no official enrollment is possible!

Nevertheless, it is possible to apply before the end of the Bachelor’s program, because in exceptional cases students can be admitted to the Master’s program on the basis of a justified application. The regulations for this vary, depending on the faculty and university. The following applies to WiSo:

If students have achieved at least 135 ECTS points in their Bachelor’s program with a standard study period of 6 semesters, 162 ECTS points for Bachelor’s programs with seven semesters of standard study period and 189 ECTS points with 8 semesters of standard study period, they can already start the Master’s program before the end of the BA program.

Proof of having passed the Bachelor’s program must be submitted no later than one year after admission to the program. Admission to the master’s program is therefore initially conditional, as a completed bachelor’s degree is required for admission to the master’s program. If you have already completed your Bachelor’s degree and are lacking achievements for admission to your target program, there may be an exceptional situation in the case of compensable differences. Competences amounting to a maximum of 20 ECTS points can be proven within one year after the start of the Master’s program.

Just like the beginning of the Bachelor’s program, the start of the Master’s program is exciting and perhaps overwhelming at first. This small overview offers a first insight, but nothing replaces your own research at the respective university or college. But once the first obstacles have been overcome and the first semester of the master’s program lies ahead of you, the routines of your studies will quickly return.

With this in mind, we wish you every success in your application for a Master’s degree!