Study in Germany: Useful links & tips
To accompany our updated podcast on Studying in Germany, the following resources are provided to assist you.
https://www.study-in-germany.de/en/ – Governmental guide to study in Germany
https://www.study-in-germany.de/en/plan-your-studies/find-programme-and-university/ search tool (same content from HRK)
Information about Entry Requirements
German only: https://anabin.kmk.org/
For students from the UK taking A-Levels:
- You must provide evidence of 3 general, independent subjects at A Level with a minimum grade of C.
- Of these, 2 subjects must be chosen as follows: a language, history, geography, social studies / politics, economics, mathematics, biology, chemistry, physics, computer science (full list here).
- The third subject is a further general education subject, independent of the two subjects chosen above. This can come from the list in the point above, or from this list.
For students from Ireland: Leaving Certs in 6 subjects of which 2 Higher with H5, 4 others with O6, with similar subject requirements to A Levels.
For students in US curriculum: HS diploma and 4 AP with a score of 3 or more in 1 Math – AP Calculus AB or BC, 1 language, 1 science and 1 other one (not all AP exams are recognised). SAT and ACT are no longer accepted.
For IB students, see the updated regulations for students getting their IB results in 2025 or beyond in this pdf.
Many universities work with Uni-Assist https://www.uni-assist.de/en/ to determine whether international qualifications fulfil the German requirements. Some universities do this in-house. It is best to first check with the university you want to apply to.
What if students don’t meet these requirements?
http://www.studienkollegs.de/home.html Foundation year-long course in German (there are two English taught ones at private unis)
There are different tracks depending on which course and which kind of university (research or UAS) you want to go to after. There is a test at the end called “Feststellungsprüfung” translated Assessment exam which assesses your ability to be ready and successful at the course you want to go to. There is the option at some universities that if you speak German fluently but do not fulfil the Abitur requirements that you can only sit this exam without taking the course before.
Costs: 100-400 Euro per Semester Tuition plus housing etc.
For admission to a “Studienkolleg”-course you must meet at least these requirements:
- good knowledge of German (Level B1 of the Common European Framework)
- enough money to live in Germany (proof of financial resources)
- a valid visa
These can be competitive, i.e. Goethe U in Frankfurt has 600 applicants for 200 spots
TestAS is a central standardised aptitude test for foreign students. TestAS gives prospective students information about their individual ranking compared to other applicants. With good results, they can improve their chances of being admitted to studies at a German university. BUT only 40 Universities are using this of which only 6 in NRW use it to replace a Studienkollege. – Administered three times a year (see information below for testing dates) – Cost: 80 euros – Languages: German or English – Testing centres: 281 locations in 76 countries.
Costs of studies:
Generally speaking, there are no tuition fees at state universities however there is a fee to enrol which often includes a public transport ticket for the semester (if not used this can be reimbursed). Ranges from 50-200 Euro per semester. Living expenses vary depending on whether students live in a big city (Munich, Frankfurt, Hamburg) or more rural areas. Note that health insurance is mandatory in Germany.
German and EU citizens can get government funding called BAfOG, which depends on parents income/tax. This is half loan (no interest) and half grant.
Timeline and Applications:
In general, most state universities have an application deadline of July 15 for a semester start in fall (Germans say Wintersemester) in October – Feb and then April – July (Sommersemester).
Some programs and many private universities have earlier deadlines, especially if interviews or other forms of assessments are needed.
Generally speaking, there are 2 forms of admissions in Germany:
- Non-restricted – student simply enrol and get a place 2. restricted – students apply and depending on a combination of NC (Numerus Clausus) Abitur grade and time the student waited to start university (coming from HS directly this is 0 semesters) get offered a place.
- There are then two subcategories:
- institutional restricted courses (often law, psychology, economics, business, etc.)
- national restricted – these are medicine, dentistry, vet med and pharmacy.
The application is often straightforward – an online application plus documents (transcript, german proficiency, proof of ID/Visa) However, Germany is known for bureaucracy and wants everything in a particular way. Official paperwork by mail (no emails or upload)s will be accepted as official, in general.
There are exceptions of course for artistic programs, sports programs and some international programs as well as private universities that often have additional steps such as interview, assessment centre, tests, auditions, fitness tests, etc.