German Language Requirements

In order to submit an application for studies at Goethe University you have to present a language certificate proving at least basic knowledge of German at the completed level B1. Please mind that certificates of attendance are not sufficient! You need to have passed an official exam, e.g. Zertifikat Deutsch. In all four language skills (listening, reading, speaking and writing) level B1 must be achieved.


These minimum language skills are sufficient for:

  • Application for Studienkolleg (preparatory courses for higher education)
  • Study preparing language courses (DSH-Vorbereitungskurs)

As an alternative you can also apply for these preparatory courses with a proof of 400 contact hours of German class, which have to be attended in a foreign country. 400 hours of German class in Germany are not sufficient for an application.


If you wish to submit your

  • Application for direct studies (degree courses)


you have to present language certificates at the completed level C1.

The European Reference Scale may help you to identify language certificates from different language schools:

  • Language certificates B1 equal Goethe-Zertifikat B1
  • Language certificates C1 equal Goethe-Zertifikat C1


Prior to commencing your studies you have to successfully pass the DSH (Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang), a language proficiency test for admission to higher education.

You have to pass the DSH with a DSH-2 result to matriculate at Goethe-University.

Excemption from the DSH

You will be exempt from DSH if you present the following language certificates upon application/matriculation:

  • TestDaF with 4 TDN in all test components
  • Goethe-Zertifikat C2
  • KMK-Prüfung: Deutsches Sprachdiplom Stufe II (DSD II), Level C1 in all test components
  • DSH of other universities with a DSH-2 result (Please notice: DSH-certificates that are issued after 1 January 2013 will only be accepted if they are registered by the Hochschulrektorenkonferenz (HRK) according to the new Rahmenordnung Deutsch
  • telc Deutsch C1 Hochschule with following results: „satisfactory“, “good” or “very good”