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Selection process

Restricted admission

If there are not sufficient places for a subject, it has restricted admission (also called NC subject): Only those candidates that are best qualified will gain a place. A distinction is made between national NC subjects, which have restricted admissions at all German institutions, and local NC subjects, which only have restricted admission at a particular institution.
For NC subjects, places are allocated partly on grades and partly based on quotas. Many institutions are currently developing additional criteria and methods for selecting applicants, for example particular subject combinations in the final years of secondary school or one-on-one interviews.

National NC subjects

Important information for those applying to study medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine or pharmacy: these study courses have restricted admission nationally, i.e. at all public universities in Germany. Any German students (or foreign students treated as German students for admission purposes) applying for a first study semester to study one of these four subjects at a German university must send their application via the Stiftung für Hochschulzulassung. You will be treated as a German student for admission purposes if

  • you are a citizen of a member state of the European Union (EU)
  • you are a citizen of a contractual member state of the European Economic Community (i.e. Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway)
  • you are a „Bildungsinländer“, i.e. an applicant who is entitled to study your chosen subject at university in Germany and has gained this entitlement at a German school or university (completion of the Studienkolleg is irrelevant here)
  • in the sense of Art. 2 No. 2 of the Directive 2004/38/EC as defined by the European Parliament and Council on April 29th 2004 (OJ, EC No. L 229 p.35), you belong to the family of a citizen of another member state of the European Union or contractual member state of the European Economic Community, and this citizen is employed in the Federal Republic of Germany. So for example, if you are married to someone who lives and works in Germany and is a citizen of the EU or EEC, you fall into this category.

If none of these points applies to you, you may not apply via the Stiftung für Hochschulzulassung, since either the university or uni-assist will be responsible for processing your application.


Entrance examinations and auditions

For artistic subjects such as music, art, dance or design, in addition to the necessary qualifications, entrance examinations / auditions must be passed to demonstrate a special talent for the relevant subject. In exceptional cases, some art or music colleges may admit candidates who have demonstrated an outstanding talent even if they do not actually have a higher education entrance qualification.


Selection criteria

For other courses, particularly Master's programmes, at many institutions there are additional selection methods and criteria to provide greater differentiation between applications, for example:

  • German proficiency
  • Knowledge of other foreign languages
  • Selection interviews
  • Aptitude tests
  • Motivation letters
  • Recommendation letters


Find out from the institutions whether any of these additional criteria are in place for the courses you want to study. They can also provide the venues and dates for any aptitude tests or selection interviews.

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