Step 3 – 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),
  • 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).

Are there any other language requirements?

For many degree programmes evidence 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.

Can I apply without adequate knowledge of German?

If you have not yet achieved the necessary level of proficiency in German for your chosen programme at the time of making your application, you cannot be admitted to full academic study. However, you can acquire the required language skills by attending German courses.

In this case you may apply in the usual way for your chosen subject. You can make this application at any time during the year. As soon as your higher education entrance qualification has been assessed, you receive a letter of acceptance for a language course. You are then able to enrol at the University of Duisburg-Essen as a German course student for the time in which you are learning German. You are then issued your semester documents, including your student identity card, semester ticket and access to the University facilities (Mensa dining halls, 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 possible language course providers close to the campus in the download section.