Frequently asked questions


Are there any grants or scholarships available?

Goethe University does not offer grants or scholarships for students during basic studies. There are, however, numerous other German organisations providing a certain number of scholarships or grants. In order to qualify for such financial support, applicants must demonstrate above-average academic ability and particular social or political commitment – requirements which have to be proven before applying for financial support.
For further information please see the DAAD database.


Do I need an entry visa?

Coming from the EU-Area, Island, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland, you may enter Germany without visa, and only have to present your identity card or your passport.

Citizens of Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, Republic of Korea, New Zealand and the USA also do not need an entry visa. If they wish to stay for more than three months they may apply for the necessary residence permit in Germany.

Nationals from other countries need a visa from their respective home country.

How do I get a student visa?

You have to apply for visa to the German embassy or consulate in your home country.          Important: A tourist visa cannot be changed into a student visa!
It may take up to 2 months until you visa is issued, and the German authorities may ask for additional papers to support your application, such as proof of financial resources or proof of health insurance coverage. Please contact the German mission in your home country to find out which documents are needed.
For additional information see: here

I cannot get my visa on time: what should I do?

Please contact the International Office immediately! We will guide you:
If you are already admitted to a degree program or a Studienkolleg, your application may be extended for another term and you may be given an application certificate.
Important: It is not possible to extend your admission to a certain degree program or to the Studienkolleg, but your application file can be included into next term’s selection procedure.

General information as to studies in Germany

NC – what is that exactly?

NC means numerus clausus and signifies that admission to a certain study program is restricted. As there are more applications than places available a selection procedure takes place before admission is granted.
Some study courses are subject to nationwide admission restrictions administered by (previously ZVS).
For most of the degree programs the university itself carries out one or more selection procedures.

Do I satisfy the NC-requirement in my degree program or not?

This questions cannot be answered before the selection procedure has been completed and the score needed depends on the number of applicants and their overall average grade. The result of last semester’s university selection procedure may be checked here.

Are there any other selection criteria for admission to study?

Yes, our University is increasingly selecting its students on quality and aptitude-related criteria such as interviews or subject-specific aptitude test. Please contact the International Office or faculty and register for the aptitude test. Application procedure via uni-assist

Application procedure via uni-assist

What is uni-assist?

uni-assist is the pre-check-service, which processes international applications for many German universities to facilitate the application and admission procedures at these universities. uni-assist processes all international study applications according to criteria set by Goethe University and forwards the electronic files to our university.

Do I have to send my application to uni-assist?

As a rule, all international study applicants with higher education entrance qualifications other than the German Abitur have to apply via uni-assist.

Please check  the exceptions from this rule!

To which address do I have to send my application?

Please send your complete application file to:

c/o uni-assist e.V.
11507 Berlin

Is online-application possible via uni-assist?

Yes, all relevant information as well as an application portal which helps you to complete your application is available here.

Will somebody help me compile a complete and correct application?

  • Please come personally and seek advice in our advisory services for applicants!
    We check your documents, help you chose your study program, and will assist and guide you in every possible way.

What are the time limits for application?

The application deadlines for study programs:

  • July 15 for winter semester
  • January 15 for summer semester

The application deadlines for the Studienkolleg:

  • April 15 (already!) for winter semester
  • October 15 for (next year’s) summer semester

For applications to the DSH-Course:

  • July15 for Winter Semester
  • January 15 for Summer Semester

To make sure to apply in time please contact the International Office!

Your complete and correct application must be in receipt of uni-assist upon the application deadline. We therefore urgently advise all applicants to send in their applications already 6 weeks before the stated deadline in order to allow for any questions to be clarified before its expiration.

Is it possible to apply to more than one university?

Yes, this is the advantage of the uni-assist application procedure! One full set of documents is sufficient for multiple application.

  • Please check if the higher education institutions of your choice are members of uni-assist: member list of uni-assist
  • For every university you have to fill in, print out and send a separate application form.
  • One set of your full documents is sufficient for multiple application.
  • Pay the application fee and join copy of the bank transfer slip to you application (in order to speed up processing of your application).

Which documents are required for application?

  • Your secondary school leaving certificate and all further certificates which entitle you to study at university in your home country.
  • Higher education certificates and transcripts of any study programs you may have followed or completed.
  • Proof of your German language skills.
  • uni-assist needs officially certified copies of all documents and of the translations thereof (Please never send originals!).

How much do I have to pay for the application via uni-assist?

The basic application fee for the first University chosen is

  • 75 € for all international applicants

with a supplement of € 15 for every additional university of your choice.

How can I pay the fees?

  • Via credit card (Visa/Master Card).
    Click here to get the form "credit card". Fill it in, sign it and send it together with your application.
  • Via money transfer to uni-assist e.V.:
    International bank account no. (IBAN): DE62100208900019055272

    As reason for payment please indicate your name, date of birth, and country of origin.
    Please take care that the full amount is credited to uni-assist. Bank charges incurred have to be paid by you.

What happens after I sent my application to uni-assist?

  • uni-assist checks your application and contacts you directly. If you fulfil the admission requirements for the study program of your choice, uni-assist will inform you accordingly, give you your application number and forward your electronic file to the university/ies of your choice.
    uni-assist will also contact you in case you have to submit any further documents or if any other questions have to be clarified; you yourself may also contact uni-assist.
  • Subsequently your application will undergo a final check at Goethe University and will take part in the selection procedure . Once uni-assist informs you that your data were transmitted to Goethe University you may contact us directly at the International Office for any further question you may have.
  • After the selection procedure you will receive a letter of admission or rejection from the registrar's office (Studierendensekretariat) with supplementary information.

Does uni-assist return my application papers to me?

No, uni-assist cannot return your application papers, and the university receives only an electronic copy of your application file.

What happens to my application papers?

uni-assist stores your application data electronically for four years. The paper file will be destroyed after one year unless you apply again via uni-assist within that year. Data and documents are stored for the exclusive use of uni-assist and the university/ies of your choice. After this period they will be destroyed.  

German language skills

I would like to apply for studies at Goethe University and

1. I have no notion of German at all

  • With the exception of some master programs which are held in English, all applicants have to provide proof of German language skills, at least at the level B1 (basic knowledge).
  • Goethe University currently does not offer language courses for beginners outside of English study programs.
  • You have to acquire basic German knowledge with a minimum level of B1, e.g. Zertifikat Deutsch, either in your home country or in Germany.

2. I am holding a Certificate B1

  • Please come to the our Advisory Service and bring your secondary school leaving certificates and any other documents qualifying you for higher secondary education. We’ll find out whether you qualify for direct access to a degree course or whether you are a candidate for the Studienkolleg.
  • With a B1-Certificate in German you may apply for Studienkolleg (which prepares you for studies in a two semester course, with German being the language of instruction).
  • A B1-Certificate in German is also sufficient for application for the DSH preparatory course, the language course of the University which prepare prospective students for the DSH in one/two semesters.

3. I am holding a Certificate C1 in German

This Certificate qualifies you for application for studies (via uni-assist) and will admit you to sit for the DSH.

4. I already passed the TestDaF

You may prove your proficiency in German with 4 or 5 TDN in all parts of the TestDaF; holders of such certificates are exempt from DSH.
TestDaFcertificates with marks below 4 TDN qualify for admission to the DSH (it is not possible to compensate less than 4 TDN in one test part with higher marks in another!). You will be invited to sit for the DSH.

5. I am fluent in German, but I never passed any exam/got any certificate

You have to prove your German skills when applying for studies.
Please sit for one of the above mentioned exams which qualify for application at any German language school, such as Volkshochschule, Goethe Institute, or TestDaF Institute.

6. I sat for the exam but the Certificate will be issued after the date limit for application

Please send your application to uni-assist with a letter of your language school certifying that you took part in the exam. The results, however, have to be sent in to uni-assist by the application deadline.

What does DSH mean?

DSH (Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang), is the German language proficiency test for admission to higher education.
If you fulfil the admission criteria and if we are able to offer you a place in the degree course of your choice, the Study Administration Services of Goethe University will send you an invitation to sit for the DSH. The DSH usually takes place at the beginning of the semester and the date set is compulsory for all applicants.

Which level of DSH do I need?

For admission to studies at Goethe University you need the DSH 2.

Can I sit for the DSH at another German University?

Yes, the DSH 2-Certificate of any German university will be accepted as German language proficiency proof for studies. However, 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

Is it possible to sit for DSH at Goethe-University without wanting to study there?

Yes, if holding an admission letter to any German university you may sit for DSH at our university. 

Are there exemptions from the DSH?

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

  • Secondary school leaving certificates from a German speaking country
  • Secondary school leaving certificate from a German school abroad
  • Feststellungsprüfung (Higher education entrance qualification and assessment test) from a Studienkolleg
  • 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)

May I repeatedly sit for DSH?

Yes, it is possible to repeat the DSH several times.

Can I go on improving my German skill during studies?

The Goethe-University offers German courses free of charge for all international students during their studies. All relevant information will be given to you at the time of matriculation.
Please make use of this opportunity! Good language skills are a key factor for your success in studies!

Questions as to starting studies at Frankfurt University

Which documents do I have to present at matriculation?

Remember to bring the following documents:

  1. Copy of your letter of admission
  2. Certified copy of your DSH-Certificate or German Certificate which replaces the DSH.
  3. Your passport
  4. Receipt of payment of the semester contribution (copy of payment slip)
  5. Proof of health insurance cover
  6. Application for Goethe Card with photo
  7. For certain degree courses, e.g. American language and literature, English language and literature, etc. you need the result sheet of the assessment test

In addition to that, for the study programs Sport Science (B.A. Sportwissenschaften) and the Teaching Degrees in Sport (L1 L2 L3 L5)

Please mind also the special admission criteria for the study programs Art (Kunst) and Music (Musik.


Should I take part in the orientation program of the International Office?

Yes, please come! The general orientation program organized by the International Office aims at helping you to settle in your new environment and provides information and personal assistance in all questions related to a successful start of studies. For actual dates and places see here.

When do my lectures actually start?

Please find the semester course program with the relevant starting dates of lectures and introductory programs of your faculty here.

When do I have to matriculate/enrol?

The exact dates for matriculation are indicated in your admission letter (Zulassungsbescheid).
Basically, matriculation begins at

  • middle of September for winter semester
  • middle of March for summer semester.

Please remember that prior to matriculation international applicants from non-German-speaking countries have to prove their German skills either a language proficiency test (DSH) or another certificate recognized to replace the DSH.

How about health insurance cover at matriculation?

You have to present proof of your health insurance cover at matriculation.
You may opt for a statutory health insurance company either in Germany or in your home country.
EU-nationals avail themselves either with the European health insurance card or the E 111 form (certifying insurance cover during your stay in another member-state of the EU).
More details here.

What will be the costs incurred by the beginning of my studies?

For each semester, you have to pay a fee of approx. 360 €. This already includes the cost for the semester ticket.

I am EU-citizen: Do I have to register in Frankfurt?

It is required for all persons residing in Germany for more than 3 months to register at the Registration Office (Einwohnermeldeamt or Bürgeramt) in the city where they reside. This rule is also applicable if you decide to move within Germany (Ummeldung).
EU-citizens should register within one week after arrival  at the Einwohnermeldeamt or Bürgeramt at their place of residence.

I come from a country outside the European Union: Where do I have to register?

All international students from outside EU:

  • register first with the Registration Office (Einwohnermeldeamt or Bürgeramt)
  • secondly present themselves at the Immigration Office (Ausländerbehörde) for their residence permit

at their place of residence. For students residing in Frankfurt these would be:

Address and opening hours of Central Registration Office

Bürgeramt (Zentrale) Zeil 3
60313 Frankfurt am Main
Tel.: 069/212 30600
Fax: 069/212 30898
web page

Monday, Thursday: 09:00 - 18:00 h
Tuesday, Wednesday: 07:30 - 13:30 h
Friday: 07:30 – 13:00 h

Address and opening hours of the Immigration Office:

Service-Center Ausländerangelegenheiten (SCA)
Mainzer Landstraße 323-329
60326 Frankfurt am Main
web page

Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 07:30 - 12:30 h
Tuesday: closed
Thursday: 13.00 – 18.00 h

Questions concerning Studienkolleg

What exactly is a Studienkolleg?

If your secondary school leaving certificate does not qualify you for direct admission to studies in Germany, the Goethe University offers preparatory courses for higher education, called Studienkolleg.
In two semesters and in various types of courses, students of the Studienkolleg prepare for the Feststellungsprüfung, the assessment test of the Studienkolleg. The Feststellungsprüfung qualifies you for higher education in Germany in the specific field of studies in which the assessment test is taken.

Do I have to attend Studienkolleg?

Whether you qualify directly for higher education or whether you have to attend preparatory courses at the Studienkolleg depends on your secondary school leaving certificate.
Please come and see us at the International Office; we will advise you!

How do I apply for Studienkolleg?

Please apply via uni-assist with complete documents, and respect the deadlines for application.

What are the German language skills needed for application?

To apply for Studienkolleg you have to provide a language certificate B1 (Zertifikat Deutsch).

Is there an entrance test for Studienkolleg?

Yes, you have to sit an entrance test which is basically a test of German to see whether you are able to follow instructions in German. Click here to find the date for next entrance test as well as a test sample.

What happens if I cannot make it for the entrance test or if I fail?

In this case your admission letter to studies is invalid.
You may however apply again for next semester. Your best option is to apply for transfer of your file (Übernahme) to next semester either at the secretariat of the Studienkollegor at the International Office (for details see below!).

What is Übernahme?

Übernahme means the transfer of your application file to next semester’s selection procedure. Transfer of your file is only possible within a given period of time.
Applications forms are available at the secretariat of the Studienkolleg, or you may contact the International Office. In case you miss the time limit for transfer you have to again apply via uni-assist and again pay the uni-assistfee.

Where and when does the entrance test take place?

Please find the actual dates here. Your letter of admission gives you all necessary information as to the exact place and time of the entrance test. Please fill in the registration form and send it directly to the International Study Center (ISC).

What are the core subject courses offered by the Studienkolleg of the ISC?

The Studienkolleg prepares students for studies in the following fields:

  • G-Course: Language programmes, arts and humanities, sociological, cultural and artistic programs, history, etc.
  • M-Course: medical, biological and pharmaceutical programs
  • T-Course: natural sciences, mathematics and technical programs
  • W-Course: economics and social studies.

How long do I have to attend Studienkolleg?

Studies at Studienkollegnormally require one year (two terms) with weekly lessons of about 30 hours.

Do I have to attend lessons regularly?

Students at the Studienkolleg are obliged to attend lessons regularly and fully, and also sit all regular tests (oral or in writing). The assessment test (Feststellungsprüfung) takes place at the end of the preparatory courses.

Is it possible to sit the assessment test without being a student of the Studienkolleg?

Yes, you may prepare yourself and opt for the so-called Externe Feststellungsprüfung (external assessment test). Please find further information here or ask for details at the International Office.

Am I allowed to work during Studienkolleg?

Students of Studienkolleg with student visa are entitled to work for 120 full days or 240 half days per year. Special regulations apply for your first year in Germany. During this year you are only allowed to work during semester breaks. Please ask the International Office if you are unsure how to proceed. 

Please help us to improve our online-information!
If you have any question and cannot find the answer, please send an e-mail to the International Office.