Common German School Degrees
Before German students enter the university system, they must obtain a certificate called the Hochschulzugangsberechtigung (HZB).
The HZB certifies that individuals have completed high school studies to a level required to graduate to higher education. It records both general graduation, along with a detailed breakdown of the student's achievements. So universities find it very useful when admitting applicants.
For most Germans, the HZB translates to an Abitur. This is the qualification that pupils receive when they graduate from the Gymnasium, which is Germany's equivalent of high school.
Not all students will take that route. Others may enter Realschuleor Hauptschule, which provide vocation-based education. It's a relatively complex system, but if you want to learn more, our pages on the German school system explain how everything works.
How can I get admission in Germany as an undergraduate?
International students will need to obtain an HZB which is equivalent to the Abitur, and this may mean taking additional German courses before applying.
To find out what is required, contact a university you are interested in attending, and ask for their eligibility requirements. All courses will require you to fill out an application form, and most will require students to provide copies of their certificates, a letter of motivation, and recommendation letters.
Tip:Importantly, international students cannot study in Germany without a valid visa. They also need to obtain health insurance and will probably require a "blocked account" to prove they can support themselves financially.