Everything you need to know about applying to university

Andrea Lutz and Dr. Veronika Schmideder from the student advice centre at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich answer key questions on applying to university
PHOTO: LMU | 2017/2


When should I apply for university?

What you need to do if you want to start in the 2018 winter semester depends on your preferred university and of course the subjects and their specific application and admissions criteria. Standardised rules only govern applications for subjects with national restrictions on admissions (medicine, veterinary medicine, dentistry and pharmacy), available online at www.hochschulstart.de. However, you should be aware that many application and registration windows for other subjects close on 15 July 2018. Other deadlines are much earlier, some of them by several months.

We therefore recommend that you start researching information on your preferred degree course from the beginning of 2018 and always straight from the horse’s mouth, i.e. from the preferred university and for the preferred subject.

What if I make a mistake in my application?

The application and registration windows are usually what are known as cut-off periods. That means that errors can no longer be corrected after the application deadline has passed. However, if you notice that you have made mistakes before the window has closed, you should immediately contact the office in charge of the application process. 

How many applications can I make?

Again, this depends on the admissions procedures and the rules of the university or institution. At LMU, you can apply for one course with local admissions restrictions. You may also only apply for one course with national admissions restrictions through the Hochschulstart organisation (that means, for example, you can’t apply for medicine and dentistry at the same time), but you can enter multiple location preferences in this application. At LMU, there are no restrictions for courses with pre-registration, aptitude tests or course orientation procedures and courses without admissions restrictions.

How can I improve my chances of getting a place?

Essentially, by doing as much research as possible on application and admissions procedures and thresholds (‘NC’) and taking a smart approach to application management which provides you with a plan B and a plan C. For courses in high demand, you should apply to several universities. Relevant vocational training can also be beneficial and can boost your Abitur grade, for medicine and pharmacy, for instance. For medicine, you can also boost your Abitur grade by taking the standard assessment test for medicine students.



NC is short for ‘numerus clausus’. This Latin term stands for ‘limited time’ and means the number of applicants admitted to a course should not exceed (by much) the number of places available according to the institution’s calculations.

L.P./C.P. or ECTS are what are known as credit points. They are awarded for courses or activities successfully attended. Each credit point corresponds to a workload of 25 – 30 hours. A bachelor’s degree student usually acquires 180 – 250 ECTS points.

SWS stands for ‘semester week sessions’. If a lecture is marked ‘2 SWS’, it lasts for 2 x 45 minutes per week (not including preparation and revision).

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