Girl wants to find out more about Admission Criteria and Enrollment

Admission Criteria and Enrollment

When you apply for German universities, you will need to prove that you have what it takes to succeed. Most courses have detailed admission procedures which sift out unqualified applicants, and satisfy German legal requirements. So expect a bit of paperwork. This blog introduces the major elements for university applications, to help you cover every angle.

University Admission Criteria

What are the requirements to get admission in Germany?

German universities are like those almost anywhere else: they need to know that the students they are admitting have the skills and passion required to thrive during their study period.

In fact, leading German universities are especially keen to assess applicants to ensure that all classes have a high ability level.

When you start the application process, you'll come across a series of "admissions criteria." These vary between courses and universities, but they tend to have these elements in common. It's very rare to find a course that doesn't require some variation on this template:

A Completely filled-out Application Form

This is the core of any application. Forms vary, but will always require personal information such as your name, address, and age. There will be questions about your prior qualifications and academic history, as well as spaces to explain your motivation to study.

It's important to fill this out completely accurately as any discrepancies could rule your application invalid. So take time and read each question carefully.

You can apply to a German university online in almost all cases. This tends to be the preferred option, as it allows you to erase mistakes easily and save your form to complete at a later date.

University Entrance Qualification

To study at German universities, all applicants require what is known as a "Hochschulzugangsberechtigung" (or HZB).

This qualification proves that applicants have reached high school graduation level, and that they have the knowledge required to matriculate.

Most international school leaving certificates are valid, but to be sure, double check the DAAD's database of valid HZBs.

Recognized academic certificates

Most applicants will also have to supply documents providing that they possess the right academic credentials.

This will entail scanning accurate copies of your certificates, or photocopying them using a high-quality device, and mailing them to your German university (usually with your application form).

The actual certificates will vary between countries. For example, UK A Level requirements for German universities typically specify 3 or 4 A Levels, with a foreign language and one of the sciences.

Other Admission requirements

In some cases, universities will demand that all applicants can prove that they speak German fluently. In this case, foreign applicants may have to obtain a Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang (DSH) certificate.

At Masters level, applicants may also require an English speaking certificate. At that level, few applicants from outside the EU are admitted without an IELTS qualification or its equivalent. But remember: at BA level, German speaking is much more important.

Students must also have a valid visa before they will be accepted. This generally requires the creation of a "blocked account" holding at least 10,236 EUR, and purchasing some form of health insurance. And it will also be necessary to send a copy of your passport, along with a few passport photos.

Application Form

If you have any worries about getting this right, consult the uni-assist service. Run by major universities, it offers unbiased, professional help for overseas applicants.

Enrollment at a German University

Is that the final answer to the question “How do I get into university in Germany”? Not quite.

When you've completed the application process and been accepted, that's not the end of the story. Students must also enroll on German courses before their term of study commences.

Enrollment isn't a particularly complex process, but the details vary from institution to institution - so pay attention to the fine print when making a schedule of things to do.

Importantly, students will need to pay an enrollment fee, which usually totals around 200 EUR. This has to be paid again at the start of each semester, when you will receive a Semesterticket, which provides access to university facilities like computer rooms and libraries.

Tip:The Semesterticket also entitles students to free public transport, which is a huge bonus if living costs are an issue.

What is the difference between admitted and enrolled?

What does it mean to be enrolled in a university? Actually, there are some important differences between admission and enrollment.

Even if you have received a letter of acceptance, you have not been "enrolled" at your German university. Technically, you have been "admitted" - which means that the university is satisfied that you meet its requirements.

Enrollment is a separate process, which proves that you have the other requirements to study in Germany (such as health insurance), and includes the enrollment fee. It provides a document called the Immatrikulationsbescheinigung (enrollment confirmation).

Basically, this proves to German authorities, employers, and landlords that you are an active student. So it's an important document.

Required Documents for Enrolling

Before you can acquire a Semesterticket or a student ID card, you will need to present certain documents to the admissions office at your university. Generally speaking, enrollment will have the following elements:

  • Presentation of your passport and passport photos to obtain a university ID card
  • Proof that you have a valid residency permit (and health insurance)
  • The completion of your application form, if any outstanding details remain Submission of your academic certificates
  • Proof of German proficiency (this is sometimes not required after your application has been accepted, but you should keep the documents just in case)
  • Presentation of your acceptance letter, proving that you have a place at the university
  • Proof that you have obtained the required health insurance coverage

Pin the list on the wall

It's usually a good idea to make a list of these documents and pin it on your wall. Tick off each element before you leave to enroll, as if one is missing, you'll need to find it before the process can be completed.

Re-Registration

We mentioned this briefly earlier, but it's important to remember when studying in Germany. Every semester, students must re-register for their course. This entails paying a semester fee, but won't require you to submit all of your documents again. Instead, most students can re-register by presenting their student ID card and making the payment. It's not intended to be a time-consuming task, or a tool for catching out lazy students.

Most students take care of re-registration before the end of the previous semester. It's a good idea to plan ahead, as late payments incur an additional fee to cover administration costs.