How to Obtain a Free MBA in Germany

Most public universities offer free MBA in Germany to literally everyone, irrespective of their country or background. This article provides a wealth of information on how you can obtain a free MBA in this highly-valued European country. You will find all the requirements, eligibility criteria, and application procedures.

If someone had told you that it is possible to pursue and obtain an MBA in Germany without paying a dime on tuition, you probably wouldn’t have believed them. But it is true. Everyone knows how invested Germany is in technology, research, and innovation. This is why the country has become a great study abroad destination for international students to pursue an MBA. Yet, more than half of the public universities in Germany provide tuition-free MBA programs for both citizens and international students.

Germany is widely known as a country that prioritizes quality education and does its best to ensure everyone gets access to one. It does not matter what degree you are pursuing or the duration of it. Provided you can afford to pay for your living expenses, you can study in Germany absolutely for free.

If you are an international student, we have written an article that can inform you more about German universities and their tuition fees.

Understand that ‘free’, here, does not mean you can send in an application, pack your bags, and travel all the way. You should bear in mind that there are a few fees that are solely on you. Fees like application, registration, semester, student pass, etc. The duration of a semester in German schools is around 5-6 months, and the semester fee can be calculated based on the length of your course of study.

Eligibility Criteria for Studying MBA in Germany

Not everyone is eligible to pursue an MBA. This is why you need to go through the general eligibility criteria, and also the schools’ eligibility criteria to see if you meet the cut. Below are the general eligibility criteria. While each university has its own eligibility criteria, the general criteria for studying for an MBA in Germany are as follows:

  • An undergraduate degree that is equivalent to a German Bachelor’s degree in a relevant discipline ( could be a 4-year or 3-year degree with a 1-year master’s degree), although only a few German universities accept a 3-year bachelor’s degree to study MBA.
  • A valid GMAT/GRE/IELTS/TOEFL score. Meanwhile, it is possible to apply for an MBA in Germany without GMAT since most universities only consider a valid TOEFL score.
  • A basic understanding of the German language. Although most German universities offer MBA programs in English, a few demand German language proficiency to be eligible for admission.
  • A good academic record with at least 60% marks
  • An entrance examination may be required by some schools. This can help them determine if an applicant qualifies for admission.

How to Apply for an MBA in Germany

Before you can apply for an MBA in Germany, you need to select the university that you wish to apply to. Once you have made your choice, you can then go over to the application website and check their eligibility requirements to determine if you meet them.

There are documents that you will need to submit while processing your German MBA application. These documents are crucial requirements that cannot be overlooked. They are as follows:

  • GMAT/Test Score
  • English proficiency record with scores of TOEFL/IELTS depending on which the school demands
  • Mark-sheet/Score card for bachelor’s degree
  • Copy of Passport
  • Letter of Recommendation (minimum of two)
  • Statement of Purpose/Letter of Motivation/Essay. We have written a post to guide you on writing this one.
  • CV/Resume

Your individual application forms for the schools will be submitted along with copies of these documents to apply for an MBA course in Germany.

Things you Should Keep in Mind

Having an undergraduate degree does not automatically check it off as a requirement. What you should be most concerned about is whether or not your undergraduate degree is recognized in Germany. 

If the degree you’ve attained in your home country is not recognized in Germany, you will be required to sit in a two-semesters preparatory course before you commence your regular studies. Again, this depends on the University of your choice.

On the other hand, there are universities that may accept other relevant qualifications or work experiences instead of an undergraduate degree.

free mba in germany

Steps on how to Obtain a Free MBA in Germany

In this section, we have highlighted all the steps and procedures involved in obtaining a free MBA in Germany. They are as follows:

  1. Pick an MBA degree and choose a business school
  2. Start your application
  3. Prepare for your interview

1. Pick an MBA degree and choose a business school

Before applying to an MBA program, you first need to choose an MBA specialization or course of study depending on what your institution of choice offers. There are several options to pick from, below are some of them:

MBA in General Management
MBA in Marketing
MBA in Entrepreneurship
MBA in Human Resource Management
MBA in Engineering Management

Choosing a business school for your MBA degree

Germany has some of the high-ranked business schools in Europe. Below are some of the universities in Germany for free MBA:

  • Technical University of Munich
  • University of Mannheim Business School
  • University of Cologne
  • University of Kiel
  • Ludwig Maximilian University Munich
  • RWTH Aachen University

After you have found the set of schools of your choice, the next step is to start your application. The application process takes place on the school’s website and in most cases, you will be required to pay a nonrefundable application fee.

2. Start your Application

After you have found the school of your choice, head over to the admissions page and create a profile. After you have completed that, you will be sent your login details to the application portal.

On the application page, you will be required to fill in some personal information on an application form. Prior to that, a list of requirements will be made available to you, and the documents listed are to be submitted along with the application form.

As we mentioned earlier, these are the basic documents you should keep in handy before you start any MBA application.

A Strong GMAT Score

GMAT, which stands for Graduate Management Admission Test, is a multiple-choice, computer-based, and computer-adaptive standardized exam that is often required globally for admission to graduate business programs (MBA). This exam measures your ability to assess higher-order reasoning skills (verbal, quantitative, analytical writing, and integrated reasoning).

Different MBA programs usually have their individual GMAT score requirements. It is always a good idea to look at the mean or average GMAT score of admitted applicants to the MBA programs you’re considering applying to. This will give you a good baseline.

The Quantitative and Verbal sections of the GMAT are each scored from 0 to 60, with the average score for Quantitative at 40 and the average score for Verbal at 27. The score business schools and MBA programs pay the most attention to is the combined 200–800 score scale, where the average score is 565.

Check out the average GMAT scores for all test-takers from the three-year period 2017–2019:

SECTION AVERAGE GMAT SCORE
Verbal 27.11
Quantitative 40.38
Integrated Reasoning 4.51
Analytical Writing Assessment 4.45
TOTAL SCORE 564.84

Source:  GMAC

Proof of Language Proficiency (English or German)

Proof of Language Proficiency is a written certificate that proves one’s language proficiency. They include: Language certificate (the proof of proficiency required by most universities) Proof of participation at a completed or currently-attended language course (only rarely accepted as proof of proficiency)

Proof of English proficiency is one of the admissions requirements for MBA programs in Germany. While most programs in Germany are being taught in English, you will be equally expected to have a basic understanding of the German language.

TOEFL (Test of English As A Foreign Language) is one of the most well-known English language certificates. It is a 3-hour exam where students are tested in 4 areas – reading, writing, listening, and speaking. There is a maximum of 30 points for each section, for a total of 120 points. Most MBA programs will require a score between 70 and 90, and the TOEFL certificate is valid for two years. The cost of taking the TOEFL is $205.

IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is another widely recognized language certificate The IELTS academic version has four parts – listening, academic reading, academic writing, and speaking.

IELTS is also a 3-hour exam whose scoring ranges from 0 to 9. Most MBA programs will require at least a 5.5 to 6.5. The cost for the test is $210 to $340, depending on one’s region.

If you are an international student, here is an article that talks about the basics of IELTS, as well as its benefits to you.

For proof of German Language proficiency (if required), the following five German language tests and certificates are recognized by most German schools:

  • TestDaF (TDN 3, 4 or 5) (Test Deutsch als Fremdsprache)
  • DSH II or III (Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang)
  • Goethe-Zertifikat C2
  • telc Deutsch C1 Hochschule (The European Language Certificate)
  • DSD II (Deutsches Sprachdiplom Stufe II)

Mark Sheet/Score Card for Bachelor’s Degree

A bachelor’s degree mark sheet is a transcript-like document that compiles all the marks obtained by a student throughout all the semesters. It contains a list of all the subjects in each semester with their grades and CGPA (Cumulative Grade Point Average) and is issued on completion of the program.

It is proof that the student has completed a degree program in a particular institute by writing the necessary exams, and attending classes, workshops, or seminars as prescribed in the course structure.

A general mark sheet format consists of the following details:

  • Name and Registration Number of the student
  • Institution name and the program the student enrolled in
  • Subjects, their codes, and grades obtained by the student
  • Average Cumulative Grade Point

It is then concluded with the signature of the concerned authority, university stamp, division obtained, issuing date, and the date on which the result was declared.

Letter of Recommendation (minimum of two)

A letter of recommendation is a written document that let others speak for you. It attests that you qualify for the program you are applying to.

If the letter is required to come from professors or academic officials, then they have to focus on the student’s academic skills and achievements. If otherwise, say from an employer, the schools will expect the letter to reflect the skills relevant to the program the student is applying for.

Make sure you ask for recommendation letters well in advance so that they reach your institution of choice right on time and before the deadline.

Statement of Purpose/Letter of Motivation

A statement of purpose and a letter of motivation are among the crucial requirements for any academic application. Many students do not know exactly what to include in a statement of purpose, or letter of motivation, and often make the mistake of taking them as one thing. However, they are very different from each other in the following ways:

In a statement of purpose, you are expected to talk about who you are, what has inspired your academic and professional journey so far, your interests, and your professional goals. This document focuses on you and offers you the chance to say things that would make you shine.

In a letter of motivation, you are expected to focus more on how your program of choice relates to your background and professional plans. You should also include the course you are interested in and your reason for picking it.

In similarity, both documents focus on your background and reasons for applying for a particular program. Ultimately, they should be well-structured and clearly written. Make it concise. The school does not want to read your life story. Try to limit it to 1-2 pages.

Here is what is expected to be included in your letter of motivation/statement of purpose:

  • How you learned about your program of choice and why you want to pursue it at a particular school.
  • What piques your interest in that program’s content, and what makes it the best study option for you.
  • The main factor that convinced you to pick that program (i.e reputation, professors, employment options, etc.)
  • How your previous studies match the program you want to pursue. If they don’t match you should argue why you want to change subject areas.
  • What career you are aiming for after graduation and how this degree fits your plan.

CV/Resume

The CV shows your skills and past experiences. You should include all the jobs and other activities you’ve done in the past in a very concise manner because schools are not interested in a detailed description. They want to see how your experience matches or shows your interest in the program you want to study.

You should focus mainly on your published academic papers, work (paid or unpaid) in academic groups, relevant experiences, etc. We have written an article to guide you on how to write a winning resume and another one to guide you on how to list all your skills.

After getting your documents ready, it is time to submit and wait for the next step.

3. Selection/Admission & Interview

In this stage, the Admissions Committee will go through your application, and you will find out if your admission was accepted, waitlisted, or rejected. This decision can come in a few days, a couple of weeks, or longer ― depending on the institution. If you meet the cut, you will likely be invited for an interview with the Admissions Manager.

The interview is your last chance to show yourself at your best. All attention will be on you as you are being asked questions about yourself, your professional achievements, goals, and ambitions. You should make adequate preparation and give it your best.

4. Start Studies and Earn your MBA

As soon as you have been accepted into the program, the next thing that follows is the commencement of studies. MBA specializations have graduate requirements. These requirements must be met before you are awarded a degree. The duration of an MBA in Germany is usually from 1-2 years. Once completed, graduates will be ready to explore the market for bigger and relatively more exciting opportunities.

Conclusion

If you follow the above steps, ensure that you begin your application process early, and work consistently over the next several months to see that you meet all the requirements, you might just get an acceptance email and an interview invite from one of the business schools offering free MBA in Germany, and be right on your way to bag an MBA.

Free MBA in Germany – FAQs

is MBA free in Germany for international students?

Yes. German public schools offer a no-tuition MBA program to both its citizens and international students.

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