University entrance qualification

If you want to study at a German higher education institution, you need what is called a “Hochschulzugangsberechtigung” – or “university entrance qualification”. This is a school-leaving certificate which qualifies you for university study. If your secondary-school certificate is deemed insufficient for study in Germany, you will have to attend a foundation course (“Studienkolleg”) before you are allowed to enrol.

Short & Sweet

Do you want to know whether you meet the academic requirements of your choice of degree programme? Practical online tools and tests will help you to realistically assess your suitability.

When proving your qualifications, the decisive factor is whether your home country is in the EU or outside of it.

The final decision on admission to the course lies with the university.

For People from non-EU Countries

The first thing to do is to find out whether your university entrance qualification is recognised in Germany. The can help you with this. Simply enter the country where you attained your secondary school-leaving certificate. You will then learn whether your certificate is

  • recognised as qualification for general university admission
  • recognised only for subject-restricted university admission (i. e. for study in a limited subject area)
  • recognised only in combination with one or two years of successful university study in your home country
  • not recognised as university entrance qualification

The DAAD entrance qualification database only provides a general overview. You can obtain more specific data about other countries and certificates at Anabin. This database includes information on how foreign secondary school-leaving certificates are evaluated. On the website, you can specify your country and certificate when searching the database. It provides all relevant information, e. g. whether your certificate will be recognised and whether you will need to fulfil further requirements. The website, however, is only available in German.

Students in front of the university entrance
Students in front of the university entrance© DAAD/Jan Zappner

Check the university’s website and uni-assist

The final decision on admission always rests with the higher education institution at which you are applying. For that reason, you should always inform yourself about the requirements for your chosen degree programme on the university’s website. Many German higher education institutions work together with , a central point of contact for applicants with international educational certificates, which checks and evaluates foreign certificates. For this purpose, uni-assist issues international applicants with a preliminary review documentation (VPD), an official document that proves which higher education institution certificates were submitted and how the grades are to be classified in the German grading system.

A formal university entrance qualification is sometimes not required from talented candidates applying for admission to artistic subjects. Depending on the university, you may have to submit samples of your work or pass an aptitude test instead.

Statement of Comparability (ZAB)

In addition to checking your higher education entrance qualification, you can have your higher education qualification that you did not obtain in Germany, e.g. in your home country, assessed. The Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB) offers the so-called  for this purpose.  This official certificate classifies your university degree from abroad in the German education system. The certificate is issued exclusively in German and contains information such as the name of the university, the degree programme and the university degree.

It also contains general information about university admission. A “Statement of Comparability” may be necessary for admission to a German higher education institution. Please note, however, that a transcript evaluation does not automatically entitle you to admission. You can find detailed instructions on how to apply for a certificate


Keep in mind: A fee will be charged for the certificate evaluation. You should include these costs in your planning if you decide to apply for a “Statement of Comparability”. Find current costs . In certain cases, you can for the certificate evaluation. 


The DAAD service My GUIDE will help you to find a study programme that matches your interests and your academic qualifications. Discover what opportunities await you.

If your School Qualifications don’t meet the Requirements

If your school qualifications are not recognised, then a foundation course, called „Studienkolleg“, is your potential gateway to a German higher education institution. You have to pass an entrance examination to be admitted to a . You need to have a good knowledge of German .

You will be examined in several subjects that are important for your choice of study programme after completing your preparatory course at the Studienkolleg. This examination is called a Feststellungsprüfung, or assessment exam. A language test is a part of it.

Test for International Students (TestAS)

Aptitude Test

Are you uncertain whether you will be able to cope with what is expected of you at a German university? You can check that with the aptitude test for international students (TestAS). It tests your language skills, subject knowledge and cognitive abilities. The test result can also help you make your mind up about a specific study programme. In any case you will be able to more realistically assess your chances of completing your studies successfully.

For EU Nationals

If you come from an EU country (or Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland) and your school-leaving certificate is recognised in that country, it is often recognised in Germany, as well. This also applies if you received an “Abitur” from one of more than 140 German Schools abroad. In that case you have the same status as someone who has been educated to upper secondary level in Germany and you are thereby on an equal footing with German citizens.

Do I meet the Requirements? You can check here:

Requirements for your Degree Programme

In principle, you must have school leaving qualifications that entitle you to study at university in your home country. Upper secondary school qualifications that are treated like the German Abitur include, for instance, the High School Diploma, Matura, A-Levels and Bachillerato.

If you come from the European Union, the European Economic Area or Switzerland you do not require a visa or other documentation to enter Germany and study here. However, if you plan to stay longer than three months in the country, you have to register with the local residents‘ registration office. You have to prove that you are able to self-fund your study programme and that you have health insurance. Note: citizens of the European Economic Area Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway have the same entrance rights as EU citizens.

Proof of your German Language Skills


You can find out via the internet or directly from the higher education institution itself what you need to pay your way to studying at a German university.

If you do not currently meet the requirements, there are ways of closing those gaps.