Study in Germany: Useful links & tips

Europe / Guides

To accompany our podcast on Studying in Germany, the following resources are provided by Anna Boyd of Frankfurt International School.

General Resources – Governmental guide to study in Germany there search tool (same content from HRK)


Course finder – find courses offered in Germany also by the language it is taught in. There are currently 251 English-taught UG courses both at private and public universities of which the majority are English or American Studies and Business.


Information about Entry Requirements

German only:

For students from the UK taking A-Levels: 3 A-Level and one AS-Level (can be 4 A Levels) of which 1 Language and 1 Math or natural science (Biology, Chemistry or Physics) plus the right subjects depending on what you want to study: ie. for natural sciences two subjects from Maths, Bio, Chemistry of Physics, for medicine three of these, for technical engineering Maths and one science, for social sciences a social science subject in line with what you want to study, for Economics that and Math.

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: Languages 2 A or 1 A and 1 B HL only (ab initio only 3rd language) SSST allowed. Group 3 SS all allowed, Group 4 only Biology, Chemistry or Physics permitted, Math HL for technical programs required, SL is ok for non-technical programs incl. For Medicine, students must have HL in either Math or a science. Not all subjects are allowed as 6th subject. All courses must be taken over two years continuously.

Many universities work with Uni-Assist 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?

Studienkolleg: 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:

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.