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Higher Education Entrance Qualification

Higher education entrance qualification refers to the level of general education required for enrollment at a university or other institution of higher education in Germany. International applicants to undergraduate degree programs (bachelor or state examination) at universities in Germany need to provide evidence that they possess the necessary qualification for higher education entrance just like German applicants. In Germany this qualification is called the “Abitur.” A secondary school leaving certificate earned in a European Union member state is generally accepted as higher education entrance qualification in Germany.

There are three different types of higher education entrance qualification in Germany. Which one you have depends on what kind of secondary school leaving certificate you earned:

  • Direct general higher education entrance qualification: International applicants whose secondary school leaving certificate is equivalent to the German Abitur may apply directly for admission to a full degree program in Germany. As a rule, this is also true of applicants who have already earned an initial degree (e.g., bachelor) from an accredited higher education institution abroad.
  • Direct field-restricted higher education entrance qualification: As a rule, international applicants with a recognized secondary school leaving certificate that is restricted to specific fields of study or vocational areas may only select fields of study from those areas (e.g., only humanities or only natural sciences). They may apply directly for admission to a degree program in any of these fields of study.
  • Indirect higher education entrance qualification: International applicants whose school leaving certificate is not equivalent to the German Abitur may still be eligible for higher education entrance in Germany if they fulfill one of the two following preconditions:
    • In addition to your school leaving certificate, you provide evidence of having attended an accredited higher education institution abroad. The necessary length of your studies abroad depends on what kind of school leaving certificate you have.
    • In addition to your school leaving certificate, you take a one-year preparatory course at a Studienkolleg in Germany and pass the assessment examination (see the section “Studienkolleg” below for more details).

      Both of these paths lead to field-restricted higher education entrance qualification in Germany. The fields of study you are then qualified to enroll in depend on your field of study abroad or your main subject at the Studienkolleg.
       

The basis for evaluating international school leaving certificates and degrees in Germany is the database of the Standing Conference of the State Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs (Anabin) [de], which is administered by the Central Office for Foreign Education Systems (Zentralstelle für ausländisches Bildungswesen - ZAB) [de] International applicants can check for themselves on this database whether their school leaving certificate or degree earned abroad qualifies them for higher education entrance in Germany. As it is only available in German, please consult the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) database for more information in English.

The International Baccalaureate (IB Diploma) is accepted. The conditions are listed in the Agreement on the Acceptance of the International Baccalaureate Diploma, passed by the Standing Conference of State Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs.

Please note that we cannot evaluate your school leaving certificate or degree until you have submitted your application to the University of Freiburg with all of the necessary supporting documents. It is not possible to have your educational records evaluated before applying.