September/October - Major Intake
You can apply for most courses directly through the universities or through the University Application Service for International Students (uni-assist) which is run by the German Student Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). If you want to apply to any of the 169 uni-assist member universities on this list you have to apply online through uni-assit. Places are limited on some courses, such as medicine, dentistry and pharmacy and other life sciences, and you have to apply through the Foundation for Higher Education Admissions.
Always check procedures and deadlines with individual universities; as well as varying between different universities they can also vary between degree courses and whether or not you are from the EU/EEA/Switzerland.
Qualifications needed to study in Germany
If you hold either the German Arbitur or a European higher education entrance qualification that would allow you to enter university in your home country (eg. British A Levels, European Baccalaureate) you can apply directly to a German university and start your degree. You may need to prove you can speak German and there may be other requirements, depending on your country of origin. You can find out about special requirements for students from different countries on the uni-assist admissions database.
If you have qualifications from outside Europe, you may be asked to go on a one-year Studienkolleg course at a university, which focuses on different core subjects and ends in a Feststellungsprüfung assessment of your suitability for a degree course. If you pass, you can then go on to study for a degree in that subject area anywhere in Germany. You can find out more about Studienkolleg courses here. Your qualifications also influence whether you can study any subject or only subjects in specific fields.
Some universities offer students who have been accepted onto a degree course a place on a preparatory course called a propädeutikum. Usually lasting one semester, these courses prepare students for study in their chosen area in Germany and may include information on degree course content, German teaching methods and language skills.
Language skills for admission to German university
Most undergraduate courses will be taught in German although there are some courses taught in English, and English-language Master’s courses are quite common especially in business-related subjects and social sciences. Check the language requirements with the university before applying.
While very few universities will accept students with no prior knowledge of German, language requirements do vary from place to place. Some require only a small amount of German; others a lot. Some universities offer language courses for students but not all. You may need to take a private language course to reach the standard before applying to your chosen university, or take a pre-study language course lasting one semester and ending with a DSH exam (a DSH 2 certificate will allow you onto a degree course).