Application Timeline

For all the German universities, the academic year is divided into two semesters. The academic programs can start either in the summer or the winter semester. However, there are no specified dates which mark the beginning of summer or winter semesters. Each university will have its own application timelines which may slightly differ from other universities.

In general, for summer semester the application period will be from the start of December to 15th January. For the winter semester, from the start of April to 15th July.

Application Timeline

You need to plan all the tasks ahead depending on your target semester in order to meet the deadline. Below table gives our recommended action plan for summer and winter intakes.

Winter 2018 Timeline (Approx.)

1st Nov – 15th Jan

Graduate Record Examinations (GRE)

Although this is not mandatory for majority of population who wish to study in Germany, some of the top German universities like TUM and RWTH Aachen have made it mandatory to have a good score in GRE to be able to apply to few of the courses. So, if you are planning to apply to top-notch universities, it is advised that you further boost your profile with a good GRE score. Even if you wish to apply to other universities which don’t mandatorily ask a GRE score, a good score (typically > 300) in GRE will give you an edge over other students with a similar profile.

1st Nov – 15th Jan
1st May – 15th Jul

First University Admit

You are likely to hear about your results after 1-2 months from the application deadline of the university. So be patient, keep your fingers crossed and do celebrate when you get that first admission from a German university. 

1st May – 15th Jul
18th Aug – 20th Aug

Health Checkup

A non mandatory but highly recommended task.

18th Aug – 20th Aug
15th Sep – 15th Oct

Fly to Germany

15th Sep – 15th Oct
wdt_ID Task Typical Time Duration Summer Semester Winter Semester
1 Passport 1-4 weeks 1st Jun - 30th Jun 1st Aug - 30th Sep
2 IELTS 2-8 weeks 15th July - 15th Aug 1st Oct - 30th Oct
3 GRE 4-10 weeks 15th Aug - 15th Sep 1st Nov - 15th Jan
4 Transcripts and Degree Certificate 1-2 weeks 15th Oct - 7th Nov 15th Jan - 31st Jan
5 CV, SOP, LOR 1-3 weeks 1st Nov - 30th Nov 1st Feb - 28th Feb
6 Send Applications* 1-2weeks 15th Nov - 15th Jan 1st Mar - 15th Jul
7 First University Admit - 1st Feb - 15th Mar 1st May - 15th Jul
8 Education Loan** 3-6 weeks 16th Feb - 15th Mar 1st Jun - 30th Jun
9 Blocked Account 1 week 15th Feb - 7th Mar 1st Jul - 7th Jul
10 Travel Insurance 15 - 30 mins 1st Mar 1st Aug


  1. Important: Don’t panic if you aren’t keeping up with above timeline. It is possible to start very late or fall behind few steps in this process and still be through without any trouble (as long as you manage all the tasks).

  2. As you can observe, the timeline for winter semester seems to be much more relaxed when compared to summer semester.

  3. The best time to apply for a university is always as soon as the application period starts.

  4. Starting early is the key. The sooner you get your first admit, the easier will the whole process be.

  5. You can start your blocked account and the Visa process once you get your first admit. Do not wait for the admit from your ambitious university if you’re running out of time.

The actual dates and facts may vary for each individual depending on the course, university, personal situation etc. The above table only gives the most generalized idea about the application timeline.

If you do what you always did, you will get what you always got

- Anonymous