How to apply to a university in Baden-Württemberg

A convincing application submitted on time is the first step to a successful academic career. There are different processes and requirements at different universities. This guideline will highlight what you need to know.

Germany has a very divers educational landscape to ensure that the needs of students, institutions, companies and society as a whole are met. Not surprisingly, this leads to varying requirements for different study programs and academic institutions.
The application processes may differ from the procedures in your home country. The German system has been put in place to ensure that students starting their university career meet the requirements to have the best chances of success in their chosen field of study.

What are the entrance qualifications for a bachelor’s degree?

If you are an EU high school graduate or are a citizen of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland, your high school diploma or equivalent usually qualifies you to study in non-restricted programs in Germany – provided you meet the language requirements. For programs that are restricted by a Numerus Clausus (NC), please check out the following information.

Generally, you need at least your graduation certificate or diploma from your school of secondary education, such as your high school diploma, to study in Germany. The technical term is – for all fans of the German language – Hochschulzugangsberechtigung (HZB).

As a first step, you can search the Anabin database and see whether your country’s secondary education certificate qualifies. Many fields of study have additional requirements such as language tests or admission exams. Make sure to check with your chosen university.

If your secondary school diploma doesn’t qualify you automatically, many universities, Heidelberg as an example, require a so-called Feststellungsprüfung/FSP. This exam evaluates your readiness for your study program. In Baden-Württemberg, three universities offer courses to prepare you for the exam: The KITHeidelberg University and the University of Applied Sciences Konstanz.

When you find that your secondary education diploma is not accepted as a university entrance document, there is no need to worry. Studienkollegs can bridge the gap and provide you with the necessary knowledge and skills to start your university career in Baden-Württemberg.

The portal also offers a preliminary review documentation (VPD) that some universities require. evaluates your certificates and grades for the German system. A VPD can take 4 to 6 weeks, so please allow enough time to meet the deadline at your preferred university in Baden-Württemberg.

As a minimum, the following translated and officially certified documents are required for admission to a bachelor’s degree program in Germany:

  • Secondary school graduation certificate/high school diploma
  • Transcript with grades
  • Proof of language proficiency
  • Certified copies of passport/ID documents
  • References and motivation letter (for certain programs)

Please note that you can only use officially certified copies and translations for your application. Official certifications can be issued – for example –  by the German embassy in your home country.

How to apply for a master’s degree?

If you looked at a master’s degree programs in Baden-Württemberg, you already know what a wide variety of excellent graduate programs the state’s universities, academies, and institutes offer. It is therefore essential to check with the university of your choice about the specific requirements.

To enroll in a master’s degree program, you have to have completed your bachelor’s degree or an equivalent. There are different requirements for graduate programs and some even have a Numerus Clausus. Please contact the university of your choice early to find out what the prerequisites and deadlines are and what documents you need to submit.

In general, master’s programs are either “consecutive” or “non-consecutive”. A consecutive program may be a master’s in physics that builds on your knowledge from your bachelor’s program. This would be a consecutive master’s degree and a bachelor’s degree in physics is required.

A non-consecutive degree still requires a bachelor’s degree but it can be in a related field. For example, the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology offers a master’s degree sports sciences (M.Sc.). Currently, students with a bachelor’s degree in a related field may apply. Non-consecutive degrees often require students to have relevant work experience or, in the case of the master’s program in sports science, to pass a physical fitness exam.

Some universities work with the portal The portal also provides guidance for prospective students during the application process.

As a minimum, you’ll need the following documents:

  • A translated and officially certified copy of your bachelor’s degree
  • A transcript with your courses and grades
  • Proof of the respective language skills (German and/or English)
  • Certified copies of your passport/ID
  • Relevant academic or work experience (published papers/functions)

If you are planning to apply for different master’s programs at different universities, please check their websites as requirements and deadlines may vary.

Learn German for your studies

If you plan to study in Germany, you have to show that you have the necessary German language skills. You can learn online or attend a German language school before you take the German language test.

Your guide to Studienkollegs

Studienkollegs prepare you for your university studies in Germany if you don’t meet the requirements yet. Follow the 8 steps from application to completion to ensure you choose the right Studienkolleg and increase your chances for academic success.

How to apply to NC programs

You want to study medicine, pharmacy, or data analytics in Germany but found out your field of study is restricted by a Numerus Clausus (NC). Learn more about what an NC is and how to apply for restricted programs.

Applying via

Uni-assist,de is a service that helps with the evaluation of international documents for your application. Some universities partner with for a smooth process.

How direct applications work

Different universities in Baden-Württemberg have different application processes. Here is what you need to know.