Planning Your Studies
As with any big step in life, starting university in a foreign country requires some forward planning. However, if you do your research and prepare your application well in advance, the transition to your new life in Bavaria should be smooth and easy.
If you are interested in applying for a degree course, there are certain admission requirements you need to fulfil before you can start with the application process.
Admission Requirements for Bachelor’s Degrees
You need a valid university entrance qualification ("Hochschulzugangsberechtigung") to enrol in any degree course in Bavaria. This is a secondary school-leaving certificate equivalent to the German "Abitur" that entitles you to study at a German university. If you do not have a German university entrance qualification, foreign certificates have to be approved by the university at which you wish to study. The respective university is responsible for recognising individual certificates.
If you acquired your university entrance qualification outside of Germany or obtained an International Baccalaureate or European Baccalaureate in Germany and would like to find out whether this qualification enables you to study in Germany, you can gather information on this issue online before you apply. There are two data bases available which will give you a first estimation and appraisal of your certificate. You can check your certificate here with regard to your country of origin, country-specific criteria and your type of certificate:
Via the anabin data base (available in German only) you will receive a helpful appraisal of your certificate in just a couple of steps.
The DAAD’s data base (available in English and in German) provides you with information on admission requirements for selected countries.
You should know that the details and results supplied by the online data bases are not legally binding. The ultimate decision on the recognition of your certificate is made by the university itself during the admission and/or enrolment procedure. In cases of doubt, the university will consult the Bavarian Zeugnisanerkennungsstelle, the official certificate recognition authority.
If your qualifications do not fulfil the necessary requirements to study at a Bavarian university, you have to pass an additional examination, the "Feststellungsprüfung" (Assessment Test). There are special schools called "Studienkollegs" that prepare you for this examination. Their courses run over two semesters and are usually offered free of charge. In Bavaria, there is one "Studienkolleg" for research universities in Munich and one "Studienkolleg" for universities of applied sciences (website mostly in German) in Coburg. You have to pass an entrance examination successfully to be accepted for a course at a “Studienkolleg”.
Admission Requirements for Master’s and Doctoral Degrees
International applicants for master’s programmes or doctoral degrees generally have to submit university certificates from their home country. Foreign university degrees and certificates are normally accepted if they meet the requirements for the relevant master’s degree course or doctoral degree.
To get a general assessment on whether your certificates permit you to apply for a Master’s or a Doctoral degree in Germany, you can consult the anabin data base (available in German only). In just a few steps, you will receive a helpful appraisal of your certificates.
However, the university itself is always responsible for the recognition of certificates and decides each case on an individual basis.
Before you can enrol in a full-time degree in Germany, you have to demonstrate that you possess the necessary German or other language skills required for the course.
The following successfully accomplished German language certificates are recognised by the universities:
- Deutsches Sprachdiplom der Kultusministerkonferenz – Level 2 (DSD II)
- Zeugnis der Deutschen Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang ausländischer Studienbewerber (DSH)
- Test Deutsch als Fremdsprache für ausländische Studienbewerber (TestDaF)
- Feststellungsprüfung (Assessment Test)
- Goethe-Zertifikat C2: GDS
- telc Deutsch C1 Hochschule
- Großes und Kleines Deutsches Sprachdiplom (GDS/ KDS)
- Zeugnis der Zentralen Oberstufenprüfung (ZOP)
- Other certificates approved in bilateral agreements by the Kultusministerkonferenz (KMK) (Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs) and Hochschulrektorenkonferenz (HRK) (German Rectors’ Conference)
The International Office at your university can provide you with further information on the necessary certificates and language requirements for particular degree courses.