Applicants from non-EU countries

Your application

Step by step

How do I choose a degree programme?

We are pleased that you are interested in studying at the University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE). When choosing your future degree programme, you should ask yourself the following questions:

  • What am I interested in studying?
  • Does the University of Duisburg-Essen offer my chosen degree programmes?
  • Do I have an alternative (second choice of programme)?
  • Does my chosen programme have admission restrictions (numerus clausus)?
  • Does the degree programme begin in the winter and/or the summer semester?
  • Are there any language and/or special admission requirements?
  • Where and by when do I have to apply?
  • Which documents should I send with my application? (The documents to be submitted are listed on the respective application portal.)

What are the admission requirements?

Everyone who wants to study at a German university must have the necessary educational background to qualify for university entrance. This generally means a secondary school certificate (in some cases in combination with an entrance examination) but sometimes you must also provide evidence of previous study, possibly even to graduate level.

The University of Duisburg-Essen is responsible for checking that university entrance qualifications and further entrance requirements are met. If your qualifications from your previous education are considered equivalent to the German Abitur school-leaving examination, you have direct access to higher education. If your certificates do not entitle you to enter higher education directly, you may be required to take a preparatory course at a Studienkolleg. The University of Duisburg-Essen unfortunately does not have its own Studienkolleg. On the Studienkollegs in Germany website, you will find details of locations and admission requirements.

What level of German do I need?

The language of instruction at the University of Duisburg-Essen is German (except in the English-language degree programmes). You must therefore have a good knowledge of German if you want to study successfully. The majority of foreign applicants are required to provide evidence of German proficiency to DSH 2 level (with just a few exceptions for certain programmes) before they begin full academic study. You may present one of the following as evidence of your proficiency in German:

  • German language test for entrance to higher education with an overall level of at least DSH 2 (taken at a German university),
  • German language diploma (level II) of the KMK Standing Conference (DSD II) (Kultusministerkonferenz),
  • telc C1 Hochschule certificate with an overall of ausreichend or higher,
  • TestDaF certificate in ALL subsections to level TDN 4 or higher,
  • Zentrale Oberstufenprüfung (ZOP) certificate from the Goethe Institute,
  • Kleines Deutsches Sprachdiplom and/or Großes Deutsches Sprachdiplom,
  • Successful completion of the Studienkolleg assessment test,
  • Completed degree programme in German Studies within the EU or the CIS countries (further countries may be specified by the DSH commission).

Please note the current DSH3 requirements for the following study programmes:

Medicine (state examination)


Business Administration Duisburg (M. Sc.)


German as a foreign and second language 
(double degree M.A.)



Are there any other language requirements?

For many degree programmes, proof of other language skills is essential. You can find out the language requirements of the various programmes from the descriptions on the study courses pages.

Please note: you cannot apply for admission to ISE degree programmes at the University of Duisburg-Essen without basic knowledge of the English language. Candidates are expected to have acquired English language skills equivalent to the levels of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages specified below in their home countries:

  • B1 (for bachelor’s programmes)
  • B2 (for master’s programmes) 

Please provide proof of your language skills in the form of a certificate (TOEFL, IELTS, Medium of Instruction).


Can I apply without adequate knowledge of German?

If you do not have a certificate proving the required German language proficiency for direct admission for a degree programme without admission restrictions (F), you can apply for a German language course.

Please note: you CANNOT apply for German language courses in preparation of a degree programme with admission restrictions (NC/Orts-NC)!

An application is possible within the application periods in the application portals. Once your eligibility for university admission – and, in the case of master’s courses, your subject-specific aptitude has been established, you will receive a letter of admission for a language course.

You are then able to enrol at the University of Duisburg-Essen as a German language student for the time you are learning German. You will then be issued your semester documents, including your student identity card, semester ticket and access to the University facilities (canteens, library, IT services, university sport, etc.).

Attending the language programme is by no means part of the full degree programme. During the German course you concentrate entirely on learning the language and on the German language examination. When you have successfully completed the German course, it is essential that you make a renewed application for your chosen degree programme by the applicable deadlines.

Unfortunately, the University of Duisburg-Essen does not offer any preparatory German courses. Please find a list of accepted language course providers here.


New DSH-requirements

With effect from March 2015, the minimum language requirement for registration for the DSH-examination has been raised to C1 on the CEFR. Applications for an examination place must be accompanied by proof that level C1 has already been successfully completed. This may come in the form of a certificate or explicit confirmation from a language school that the level C1 has been successfully completed. This proof must be submitted at the time of application for the DSH-examination. Confirmations which only state the number and/or hours of German classes taken will no longer be accepted.

Downloads and links

Information on DSH exams at UDE

DSH-regulations at UDE

Language course providers

Information on TestDaF


How do I apply?


Dates and deadlines

NC courses bachelor's / master's:

1 May - 15 July (winter)
1 November - 15 January (summer)

Courses without admission restrictions bachelor's / master's:

1 May - 15 September (winter)
1 November - 15 March (summer)


Application for Bachelor's programmes

Applicants who would like to apply for a German-language bachelor's degree (including medicine) and applicants for a bachelor's degree as part of the International Studies in Engineering (ISE) programme must first use the Uni-Assist application portal.

Application for Master's programmes

Applicants who would like to apply for a master’s course and those who would like to apply for a master’s course as part of the International Studies in Engineering (ISE) programme must first use UDE's application portal.

Applicants who wish to apply for the Master of Science in Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy and the Master of Science in Work, Health and Education must use the Uni-Assist application portal.


Application for a higher semester

If you would like to enrol at our university for a higher semester, this is possible provided that you have already earned credits that can be recognised for the desired course of study. In addition, you should be able to prove that you already have the language skills requiered for specific the course.


You can find information on the recognition of previously earned credits as well as the application process here: Registrar's Office

Application for a higher semester in ISE

Initially, please apply for admission via the regular process and wait for the result.

If you fulfil all requirements for direct admission to the study course of your choice, you will receive the official admission letter for the first semester and can apply for the recognition of your previous studies afterwards. Your application for the recognition of credits can only be processed after you have received your admission letter.

Please find further information and a link to the application form for recognition of previous studies at the website of the Examinations Office: .


International Office

Essen Campus

WST B 06.05
Berliner Platz 6-8
45127 Essen

Duisburg Campus

Geibelstraße 41
Building SG 027

47057 Duisburg

Front Office

Initial consultation hours

Here you can find our consultation hours overview. 


For queries please contact the person in charge at the International Office.