Offered by German Rectors' ConferenceOffered by German Rectors' Conference

Choosing a programme

When you first start thinking about what to study, you should have a clear idea of your motivation, interests, and abilities so that you choose a programme that is right for you. We suggest some questions you should ask yourself at the decision-making stage and we advise you who to contact for help and support in making your choice.

In addition to the student advisory service, there are other information and orientation resources available that you may find useful to help you select a programme. If you want to find out more about a specific higher education institution and the programmes it offers, you should consider attending one of its open house days. Many higher education institutions also offer you the opportunity to study for a trial period. This gives you the chance to experience everyday academic life and be sure you have chosen the right programme. Finally, there are a number of higher education orientation tests to help you discover which subjects and programmes suit you best.

You should always remember, however, that these resources complement the advice provided by higher education institutions, and are not a substitute for it.

  • What do I want to study?

    The most important question you will face before starting your studies is: "What do I want to study?" While some students know exactly what they want to study, others don't always have a clear idea of which degree programme is the right one for them. Personal interests, talents, and career aspirations can help make things clearer and aid the decision-making process.

    What do I want to study?
  • Student advisory service

    Each university's student advisory service should be your first port of call if you have any questions regarding your studies. They can provide information about the programmes of study, their content, requirements and prerequisites, as well as admission and applications. They are also able to help with work placements and employment opportunities and will answer any questions you have about financing your studies.

    Student advisory service
  • Types of higher education institutions

    The German university system is characterised by different higher education institution types. Prospective students may choose between primarily research-oriented universities; universities of applied sciences, which are more geared towards practical and applied areas; and art and music institutes, which offer teaching and training in art and music-related subjects. Further types of university include those offering instruction in religion and teacher training.

    Types of higher education institutions
  • Open house days

    Many universities will hold an open house day. Prospective students are able to get to know the university a little better and to experience life there first-hand. There are usually many organised events providing both general information about studying and more detailed information relating to various degree programmes and subject areas. Universities often also hold individual events and visiting days.

    Open house days
  • Trial study periods

    Study taster sessions or programmes for secondary-school pupils offer the opportunity to experience student life first-hand for a brief period. These afford pupils a first insight into university life and their programme of study before they start their studies. A study taster session or school pupil programme can be of value in helping you decide for or against a particular programme.

    Trial study periods
  • Higher education orientation tests

    Orientation tests can help you choose a programme of study. They help you find out more about your own interests and aptitudes and to find the programme of study that best fits your personal interests. Most of the tests are taken as an online questionnaire and vary in length.

    Higher education orientation tests