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Prep & Foundation Courses

If your school leaving certificate is not recognized in Germany, you will need to attend a preparatory college to gain access to a German university. The preparatory college ends with the assessment test. If you do not feel sufficiently prepared, you can prepare for your studies linguistically and professionally. This option is particularly relevant if you are not required to attend a preparatory college or a preparatory course.


Preparatory colleges are offered at both universities and technical colleges, but not at all universities. These courses prepare students for specific subject areas and cover a wide range of key topics.

If you take the assessment test at a technical college, you are then restricted to studying at technical colleges. However, if you take the test at a university, you can study at both universities and technical colleges. The International Office at your university will help you find the right preparatory college course and prepare for it as best as possible.

Choosing the right preparatory college depends on the university you want to attend. Here is an overview of the different types of preparatory colleges:


  • GD course (for those interested in studying design and art courses)

  • TI course (for those interested in studying technical and engineering courses)

  • SW course (for those interested in studying social science courses)

  • WW course (for those interested in studying economics courses)


  • G course (for prospective students of all humanities and foreign language courses)

  • M course (for prospective students of dentistry, medicine, veterinary medicine, pharmacy, biochemistry, bioinformatics, biology and other medical, biological or pharmaceutical courses)

  • S course (for language studies)

  • T course (for prospective students of all natural science courses, except biochemistry and biology, as well as other mathematical, scientific and technical courses)

  • W course (for prospective students of economics (business administration and economics) and other economic and social science courses)


A valid Visa

good knowledge of German (level B1)

enough money to live in Germany

The preparatory colleges usually last two semesters. However, students with particularly good grades can take the assessment test after just one semester. The weekly lessons consist of 28 to 32 hours.

Although the lessons at most preparatory colleges are free, you must pay the semester fee that all students must pay.



After completing the preparatory college, you must take the "Feststellungsprüfung", which covers various thematic areas relevant to your future field of study. This exam also includes a language test. If you pass the exam successfully, you are eligible to apply for a bachelor's degree program in your subject.

Some preparatory colleges offer the option of taking the Feststellungsprüfung as an "external Feststellungsprüfung". This means that you can take the exam without having previously studied at the preparatory college, but this is often very demanding.

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Applicants for a Master's degree program do not need to attend a preparatory course. Instead, you can take a preparatory course. Even if you want to study for your Bachelor's degree in Germany and do not have to attend a preparatory course, a preparatory course can be helpful.

These introductory courses prepare you for your studies both linguistically and professionally. You will also often receive an introduction to the German study system and academic work, which makes starting your studies much easier.

There are various programs for international students:

  • those who are already admitted to a German university,

  • those who are not yet admitted but meet the formal requirements to study in Germany,

  • those who still have to meet the formal requirements for university entrance qualification.

These courses usually last from a few weeks to one or two semesters.

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