Short & Sweet

With matriculation – enrolment – your studies officially begin

The certificate confirming enrolment is called an “Immatrikulationsbescheinigung”. It’s an important document that you’ll need on future occasions.

Requirements for your enrolment

Before you can begin studying, you first have to enrol. This procedure is called enrolment or matriculation. Once you’re officially enrolled, you are allowed to attend courses at university, take examinations and obtain an academic degree. Enrolment allows you to gain access to all the facilities at the university. Students are normally required to enrol in person at the Office of Student Affairs („Studentensekretariat“) at the university.

Documents for enrolment

You may enrol if you have received notification of admission from your German university. If the university accepts your for a study place, it will send you the by mail. The letter also includes information concerning the enrolment period.

The enrolment period is often quite short! You will need to present various documents for enrolment.

A student is receiving help and advice
A student is receiving help and advice© DAAD/ Henning Ross

After enrolment

Along with the student ID card, every newly enrolled student receives an account on the university server, e-mail address and password. You will need this information to take advantage of your university’s intranet services, such as the electronic course prospectus, online registration for courses and exams and online course material provided by your instructors. As soon as you are enrolled, you should register with the institute or department responsible for your subject of study. If you’re majoring in more than one subject, you may have to register at several institutes. You can do this at the administrative office in your institute or department. Sometimes they issue you a separate departmental ID (for which you need a passport photo). With this ID card, you can use the facilities reserved for members of the institute, for example, the specialist library.


Once you have enrolled, you will receive a certificate of enrolment which also serves as your provisional student ID. You will have to present this certificate of enrolment to apply for a at the Alien Registration Office. You will also receive an electronic payment slip with which you must pay the semester contribution and possible tuition fees. As soon as the university receives your payment, it will send you your official student ID card by post.

Student ID Card

Every student at university is issued a student ID card. You will need your card to use the library, dining hall, computer rooms, sports facilities, etc. The student ID frequently doubles as a ticket for public transportation in the university town. You can also receive special student discounts with your card, for example, on tickets to cultural events, swimming pools, museums and trade fairs.


Only when you are enrolled (matriculated) are you allowed to attend courses at the university, take exams and obtain an academic degree.

If you are spending more than one semester in Germany, you should definitely pay attention to the deadline for re-registration.