Language level required to study in Germany

Proficiency in German or English is a key factor for your success in your university studies in Germany.Lessons at German universities are taught primarily in German.

For this reason, universities in Germany always require foreign students to study, proving that they have a recognized language certificate

Language level required to study in Germany
Language level required to study in Germany

What language level is required to study in Germany

You cannot start a university study in Germany without knowing the level of language required to study in Germany if the specialization you want to study is taught in whole or in part in German.

To prove your proficiency in the German language, to start university study, you need to submit a certificate to pass the German language test.

If you do not wish to take the test, you must have an educational certificate that you have previously studied in German.

However, if you are an international student intending to study in Germany, it is necessary to know the basics of German because most international courses in Germany are taught in English as a language of instruction.

The language level required to study Bachelor in Germany

Language level required to study bachelor's degree in Germany

To study a bachelor's degree in Germany in German, you must prove that you are fluent in the language at least CEFR or DSH II level C1.

The language level required to study Masters in Germany

To study a bachelor's degree in Germany in German, you must prove that you are fluent in the language at least DSH I or DSH II level.

Language level required to study PhD in Germany

The German language requirements for pursuing a PhD study in Germany are regulated independently by the admission regulations within the university where you will be studying.

What certificates are accepted to prove proficiency in German to start university studies in Germany

The highest certificates recognized by German higher education institutions, as proof of German language proficiency for CEFR level c1 are:

  • DSH certificate (Level 2-above).
  • TestDaF certificate (minimum 4 points in 4 sections).
  • GDS certificate (level C2 above).
  • Language certificate for the Conference of Ministers of Education (level 2 with C2 in each of its sections).

Certificates recognized as proof of the German language are:

  • Qualification for admission to the German university "Abitur".
  • Certificate of assessment exam "Feststellungsprüfungszeugnis".
  • Goethe-Institut Test Certificate. Proof of passing any of the following Goethe-Institut tests:
    • New Goethe Certificate Exam C2: Major in German.
    • Central Advanced Language Test of the Goethe-Institut (until 2011).
    • Goethe C2 Certificate: Diploma of German Grand Exam (since 2012).
  • Certificate telc Deutsch C1 Hochschule (which is equivalent to TestDaF).
  • Telc Deutch B1 certificate (accepted only by faculties of arts and music).
  • Österreichisches Sprachdiplom (ÖSD Zertifikat C1).

Language certificates accepted to study a course require German at DSH I level:

  • DSH certificate (Level 1-above).
  • TestDaF certificate (minimum 14 points).
  • GDS certificate (C1 Level-above).
  • Certificate of passing telc Deutsch C1 Hochschule.
  • UNIcert III.
  • Language certificate for the Conference of Ministers of Education (level 2 with C1 in each of its sections).

Foreign educational certificates through which you can get an exemption from the German language requirements to start university studies in Germany are:

  • German language certificate in the French Baccalaureate Diploma.
    This high school diploma is obtained by completing a bilingual German and French branch of a high school.
  • The United States Advanced Placement Exam (AP Exam) in German.
  • Certificate of completion of school at the highest level of secondary education for the German-speaking community of the Kingdom of Belgium.
  • High school graduation certificates from the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.
  • Certificates from secondary schools in the autonomous province of Bozen-South Tyrol (Italy). This is appropriate if German is the language of instruction.
  • School Leaving Certificate from the International German Department of Liceo Gimnasiale "Luigi Galvani" (Bologna, Italy).
  • Diploma of departure from German-Irish bilingual secondary school from St. Killian German School in Dublin (Ireland).

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English language requirement to study in Germany

English language requirement to study in Germany

Each institution of higher education in Germany has its own requirements regarding English proficiency for non-native English speakers.

What language level is required to study in Germany to prove proficiency in English to start university study in Germany

Generally accepted English language certificates as proof of your English proficiency

  • Educational certificate from a school where teaching is conducted in English. You must have completed at least 5(B1)/6(B2) years of study at a school whose main language of instruction was English.
  • IELTS scores. You must have obtained a 4.5 (B1) or 5.0 (B2) score in IELTS.
  • Cambridge certificates of English. Any of the following, depending on the requirements of the institution of higher education:
    • B1 primer (rarely).
    • B2 first.
    • C1 is advanced.
    • Mastery of C2.
  • TOEFL grades. Proof that you have obtained 450(B1)/500(B2) in the paper test PbT, 130(B1)/170(B2) in the computer-based CbT test, and 60(B1)/80(B2) in IbT – an Internet-based test when passing the TOEFL test.
  • UNIcert® as a minimum of I (B1) or II(B2).
  • TOEIC Certificate.
  • University entrance qualifications obtained in an English-speaking country.
  • A university degree was obtained from a higher education in which the language of instruction is English.

German language exams accepted in Germany

What is DSH Test

"A Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang (DSH) test" "German Language Test for University Admission (DSH)"

The DSH Test Certificate (Level II – III) is the highest certificate accepted by German universities in Germany, as proof of German language proficiency for admission to the university.

The DSH test consists of two parts:

  • Oral exam (30%).
  • Written exam (70%).

DSH offers certification for the following levels of German language proficiency:

  • Basic German language – a (1, 2).
  • Intermediate German – B1 (DSH1).
  • Advanced German – C1 (DSH2) and C2 (DSH3).

See for more on the official webpage of the DSH test.

What is TestDaF?

"TestDaF" test assesses German language proficiency for international students who will study at German universities, TestDaF There are 80 foreign countries where you can find licensed TestDaF centers. .

The TestDaF certificate (4×4) is recognized by most German higher education institutions, as proof of German language proficiency.

TestDaF has 4 sections:

  • Reading exam.
  • Writing exam.
  • Listening exam.
  • Conversation exam.

TestDaF provides exams and certificates for levels 3-5 "Niveaustufe" in 4 sections, equal to CEFR levels B2.1 – C1.3:

  • TDN 3
  • TDN 4
  • TDN 5

See more on the Official Webpage of TestDaF.

What is the Großes Deutsches Sprachdiplom (GDS) test?

"The Main German Language Test (GDS)" is a test that evaluates the German language of non-German speakers, equivalent to the level CEFR, C2.

Goethe-Zertifikat C2: Großes Deutsches Sprachdiplom (GDS) are commonly listed among the certificates accepted for university admission by German universities.

The GDS test can be taken at any Goethe-Institut centre in any country.

What is telc testing?

The "telc" t is a standard exam based on the CEFR standard for telc gGmbH that offers an exam and certificate of German language skills for non-German speakers.

Best Specialties in Germany

German Language Placement Test Online

If you want to determine your level of German online for free, you can take this test.

German Language Placement Test

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