Applying for recognition of a foreign higher education entrance qualification
If you have a foreign or international higher education entrance qualification and would like to study in Germany, you must prove that your qualification is equivalent to the German general or subject-specific higher education entrance qualification (allgemeine/fachgebundene Hochschulreife) when applying for a place to study.
If you are a German citizen with a foreign higher education entrance qualification, you must have your higher entrance education qualification recognised in a separate procedure.
- for studies at a university: the university where you wish to study
- for studies at a teacher training college: the teacher training college where you wish to study
- for studies at a university of applied sciences: the Centre for International Students at the University of Applied Sciences in Konstanz.
- for studies at an art or music college: Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Stuttgart
- for studies at Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University: the university’s Central International Office
- for study placements awarded via the central award scheme: the Stiftung für Hochschulzulassung. This only applies to
- EU citizens,
- citizens of Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein, and
- Citizens of all other countries who live in Germany, should at least one parent be an EU or EEA citizen or should they be married to an EU or EEA citizen or be in a registered civil partnership with an EU or EEA citizen.
Citizens of other countries who acquired their qualification elsewhere should contact the respective institute of higher education directly.
- Equivalent educational background by means of supporting documents or special examination
Should you provide your proof of qualifications directly to higher education access, you must pass a preparatory examination before commencing the course of study. You can attend a preparatory college to help you prepare for this examination and for your course of study.
- Sufficient language ability
The language may for example be German or English depending on the course of study. You normally have to demonstrate your language skills by sitting a language examination. You can attend preparatory German courses in your own country (e.g. at Goethe Institutes or TestDAF centres) or in Germany (e.g. at universities).
Applications to universities and teacher training colleges
The recognition and application procedures are not separate. The institute of higher education you wish to attend will examine your higher education entrance qualification as part of its student admission procedure.
Applications to universities of applied sciences, art colleges or the Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University
The recognition and application procedures are separate. First you must apply to have one of the central authorities recognise your higher education entrance certificate and confirm your language skills.
If this application is successful, you can then apply for a study place as the next step.
Ask the competent authority directly for precise information about the procedure. You will usually find the forms required in the internet.
- Applications to universities and teacher training colleges must be submitted before the application deadlines together with the application for admission:
- for the coming winter semester 15 July
- for the coming summer semester 15 January
N.B. Some institutes of higher education may have alternative application deadlines. Please consult their websites to find out about deadlines and dates.
- Applications to universities of applied sciences, art colleges, music colleges and the Cooperative State University: ask the competent office directly for information about dates and deadlines for admission procedures, applications and admission.
- Higher education entrance qualification from your country including grade sheets, e.g.
- School-leaving certificate
- General Certificate of Education (GCE)
- Certificates from universities and other institutes of higher education (including colleges and academies) including grade sheets
- Should the entrance qualification not entitle direct access to higher education: Certificate confirming that you have passed the assessment examination, including grade sheet
- Statements or certificates including grade sheets for higher education entrance qualification examinations you took abroad, and matriculation or study certificates if available
- Evidence that you have the language skills required for the course you wish to take
- A description of your career to date including a complete tabular representation of the education and training you have undergone
You may have to show additional documents. These will be mentioned in the application for admission.
Note: Certificates and grades sheets must be submitted in German, English or French. Certificates and grade sheets in other languages must be submitted as officially certified translations into one of these languages. Please provide officially certified copies of your certificates, not originals. The copies will be retained by the institutes of higher education.
Ask at the institute of higher education responsible.
depends on the authority performing the check
You will find information about admissions at Study admissions.
The German original version of this text was drafted in close cooperation with the relevant departments. The Wissenschaftsministerium released it on 05.12.2019. Only the German text is legally binding. The Federal State does not assume any liability for the translated texts.
In cases of doubt or if you have any questions or problems, please contact the relevant authorities directly.