Recognition of Secondary School Completion and University Qualification (foreign certificates)
In Germany, you need to obtain a tertiary entrance qualification to study at a university or similar institution. This is generally in the form of a secondary school-leaving certificate. If you come from another country and have obtained your school-leaving certificate abroad, you must prove that your school-leaving certificate (or similar qualifications) is equivalent to the tertiary entrance qualifications required in Germany before being allowed to commence your studies.
If your proof of education is only comparable to the German tertiary entrance qualification to a limited extent, you must sit an examination before being accepted into the course. You are given the opportunity to attend a preparatory college to help you prepare for this examination and the specialised studies.
You must also prove you have the necessary language knowledge – either German or English, depending on the course. This is generally done through a language examination. You can provide evidence of any preparatory German lessons undertaken in your home country (e.g. at Goethe Institutes or TestDaF centres) or in Germany (e.g. at universities).
- Send your application directly to your preferred university, enclosed with copies of your certificates.
- The institution assesses your tertiary entrance qualifications in relation to the entrance application.
Tertiary entrance through a preparatory college
If your certificates do not allow you direct access to universities in Germany, you can catch up on the subject-based tertiary entrance qualifications by attending a preparatory college.
- Apply for the preparatory college with your future university.
- The preparatory college ends with the so-called assessment examination ("Examination to assess the suitability of foreign and stateless course applicants for admission into a course at universities in the Federal Republic of Germany").
- Qualifications enabling tertiary studies in the country of origin (e.g. Matura, Baccalaureat, School-Leaving-Certificate, General-Certificate of Education GCE), including a list of individual grades
- University or other tertiary education certificates obtained (including from colleges, academies) plus the list of individual grades
- certificate of successful completion of the assessment examination, including grades summary (insofar as this has already been filed)
- certifications / certificates (including list of grades) for tertiary entrance examinations successfully completed abroad and – insofar as is available – enrolment confirmations
- proof of knowledge of the German language, insofar as the application is not exclusively for an English-language course
- description of background with a full tabular overview of previous education
Other documents may be required for submission as part of the application.
Based on the German version authorized by Sächsisches Staatsministerium für Wissenschaft und Kunst. 19.11.2018