Offered by German Rectors' ConferenceOffered by German Rectors' Conference

Prerequisites for studying

You may study at a German university or college if your qualifications entitle you to enter higher education. Different regulations apply to German citizens and foreign nationals with German university entrance qualifications, EU citizens, and applicants from countries outside the EU. You should establish which of these groups you belong to before addressing the entry prerequisites.

You must fulfil a number of prerequisites to be able to study at a higher education institution. The most important prerequisite is that you possess a valid higher education entrance qualification. The type of higher education entrance qualification affects which subject you can study and at which higher education institution you can study. The German school-leaving qualifications that allow entry to higher education are the allgemeine Hochschulreife (general higher education entrance qualification), also known as the Abitur; the fachgebundene Hochschulreife (subject-specific higher education entrance qualification), and the Fachhochschulreife (entrance qualification for universities of applied sciences). There is also an option of studying without a formal higher education entrance qualification. All of the German federal states have adopted provisions allowing skilled employees to study without higher education entrance qualifications (Studying without the Abitur).

  • Citizenship

    Prospective students who would like to study at a German university must fulfil certain prerequisites, which vary depending on country of origin and school education. There are different regulations for German citizens and those who obtained their higher education entrance qualification at a German school (Bildungsinländer), EU citizens, and non-EU citizens.

  • Higher education entrance qualification

    Prior to the start of study you must prove that you are authorised to study at a German university. This higher education entrance qualification can be proved on the basis of your school qualifications or any professional training and qualifications. However, a recognised higher education entrance qualification does not always mean that you will be admitted to the degree course.

    Higher education entrance qualification
  • Further prerequisites

    In addition to the higher education entrance qualification, you may need to fulfil some further prerequisites in order to be able to study. These could include foreign language skills or work placements relevant to your particular course of study.

    Further prerequisites