German language requirements

Alphabet 1219546 1920 504x224

To apply for direct admission to undergraduate study programmes at Goethe University along with your application, you will have to prove German language proficiency at DSH-2 level (Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang). This also applies to Master degree programmes taught in German. The Master Portal lists all requirements for the respective Master study programmes. For the study programmes medicine and dentistry, the DSH-3 level (or equivalent) is required.

Language requirements granting direct admission

Accepted certificates to prove language proficiency at DSH-2 level:

  • DSH-2: at a HRK registered location
  • TestDaF (German as a foreign language test): all results being at least at level TDN 4
  • Goethe certificate C2
  • KMK examination: German language diploma second class (DSD II) with level C1 throughout
  • Telc German C1 higher education: with a result of “satisfactory”, “good” or “very good”
  • KDS and GDS (Kleines/Großes Deutsches Sprachdiplom – small/big German language certificate), Zentrale Oberstufenprüfung (ZOP)
  • Deutsche Sprachprüfung II

Also the following educational qualifications:

  • Feststellungsprüfung (university assessment test; Studienkolleg): with examination part German
  • German Abitur (certification of eligibility for university entrance) or equivalent certificates from Austria, Switzerland or Liechtenstein (with German as first language)
  • Foreign certificates according to KMK-resolution (as of 02.06.1995 in the version from 23./24.03.2016) 
  • Intermediate school leaving certificate ("Mittlere Reife") at a school with German as main language (continuous lessons in German until graduation with the minimum grade „ausreichend“ in German in the school leaving certificate) in combination with one of the following certificates:
    A-Level „German“ of the british General Certificate of Education, Higher Grade in „German“ in the scottish Certificate of Education or Standard Level in "German" of the IB Diploma

In the following cases an individual exemption is possible:

  • completed vocational training (abgeschlossene Berufsausbildung) in Germany
  • German school certificate of completed 10th grade at a German High School (Gymnasium) or secondary school certificate (Realschulabschlusses/Mittlere Reife) from Germany in Deutschland in conjunction with other certificates proving German language proficiency

In those cases please contact Herrn Dr. Wollert, head of the ISZ (Internationales Studienzentrum) at Goethe University Frankfurt.

Language requirements for medicine and dentistry

Accepted certificates to prove language proficiency at DSH-3 level:

  • DSH-3: at a HRK registered location
  • TestDaF (German as a foreign language test): all results being at level TDN 5
  • Goethe certificate C2: with a result of at least „good“
  • Feststellungsprüfung (university assessment test; Studienkolleg): with examination part German with a result of at least „good“

German language requirements for DSH prepatory course
or the prepatory college (Studienkolleg)

If you do not have any of the above mentioned proofs of language proficiency you will have to attend DSH preparatory course first, before starting your studies. Applicants with indirect university entrance qualification have to attend the Studienkolleg (preparatory college). The successful participation in the preparatory college (Studienkolleg) will provide you with the required German language skills.

To apply for DSH preparatory course or preparatory college at Goethe University, you must have German language skills at B1 level (minimum) as stipulated by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (GER). You must prove the above with appropriate documentation and certificates. Certificates merely confirming attendance or participation are not accepted:

  • Certificate B1 (GER) for example of the institutions: Goethe-Institut, ÖSD, UNIcert, telc, DFA-Sprachinstitut
  • DSD-I, Deutsche Sprachprüfung I, (at minimum) TestDaF 4x3
  • Certificate of attendance at a German intensive course at ISZ at the Goethe-University

The DSH is the "Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang" (mandatory German language proficiency examination to assess your qualification for study at a German university). For admission and enrolment at Goethe University you have to prove the minimum level of DSH-2 or an equivalent certificate by the end of the application deadline.

Frequently asked questions concerning the DSH and proof of language skills

X grafik fragezeichen

Can I take the DSH multiple times?

Yes, you can take the DSH multiple times. The examination fee is 105 Euro for applicants who take part in the DSH preparatory courses of the ISZ, and 120 Euro for other applicants.

What should I do if I wish to take a DSH course but don’t get a place?

You can apply for an intensive language course at the Internationales studienzentrum (ISZ) or a language course at a private language school. Please make sure you attend an intensive course (about 20 hours per week).

Where to take the DSH alternatively?  

A number of universities in Germany also offer the DSH for external applicants. The following universities provide this possibility in and around Frankfurt: Frankfurt University of Applied Science, University of Applied Science Darmstadt, Philipps-University Marburg, University of Applied Science Fulda and University of Mannheim.

Please consider that there is a limited number of places available and that the requirements for participation vary among universities. At you can find an overview of all German universities offering the DSH. Please contact the specific universities directly to receive information regarding the conditions of registration.

Can I continue to improve my knowledge of German throughout the course of my studies?

The International Study Centre ISZ offers the opportunity to take a German language course parallel to your main course of study once you register. The centre offers subject-specific as well as general courses. Further information on the courses offered parallel to a main course of study.

I would like to apply, but I don’t yet know any German at all. What does this mean for me?

With the exception of some Master’s programmes in English, all applicants to Goethe University must already have knowledge of German to a level of DSH-2 when they apply. Therefore, you must learn German (in Germany or abroad) and acquire one of the accepted language certificates (see above).