Local admission restrictions

In this context, “local” means a programme that is restricted at one particular higher education institution. By contrast, there are also programmes that are nationally restricted at all higher education institutions nationwide that offer them, such as medicine or pharmacy.

Programmes with local admission restrictions are often referred to as NC programmes. NC stands for numerus clausus, or “closed number”.

Numerus clausus - NC values

NC is often mistakenly understood as a predefined limit, with the remaining available places being allocated up to this limit. In reality, the numerus clausus is only ever calculated retrospectively, i.e. after all applications have been received. If the number of applications exceeds the number of places available, only the best applicants will be accepted. The average grade is calculated from the applications that have been submitted; applicants must achieve at least this grade to be admitted. The NC values from previous semesters are useful for reference, but on no account should they stop you from applying because you do not know what your fellow applicants’ average grades are in the current application and admissions round.

Supposing that, in the previous semester, the NC for a programme was 2.0 but your average grade is lower than 2.0 – it is nevertheless possible that you could secure a place for the current semester, because the latest NC is still to be calculated by the institution and it could be lower than 2.0.

Aside from the average grade, there are other criteria that are important in programmes with restricted admission, particularly waiting time. If you already have a waiting semester, you could still have the chance of a place even if your average grade is lower than the numerus clausus required. Please note: waiting time only includes time in which you were not enrolled at a German institution of higher education.

Other selection criteria

In addition to the numerus clausus, higher education institutions can set other selection criteria, such as applicant interviews, practical experience, weighting of certain grades in the school-leaving certificate, or completing an assessment test. These criteria differ from institution to institution and from subject to subject. Therefore, it is essential you contact the student advisory service at your chosen higher education institution and enquire about specific selection procedures and criteria before you apply.

Degree programmes