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International Applicants: Preparatory Courses and Exams

Are you abroad and do you want to study at the University Potsdam and earn a degree? The following pages will provide you with important information regarding preparatory courses and exams that may be required for your application or for enrolling at the University of Potsdam.

Preparatory College

Preparatory colleges (Studienkolleg) offer academic courses to those intending to study at a German university. Courses are for international applicants to the Bachelor’s program whose secondary education certificate does not qualify them to directly begin their studies at a German university.

The applicant pages of Uni-Assistwill tell you whether your secondary education certificate is sufficient to qualify you for studying at the University of Potsdam or whether you first need to attend a preparatory college.

Unfortunately there is no preparatory college in Potsdam/Brandenburg at the moment. We therefore recommend that you contact a preparatory college in another federal state to earn the necessary qualifications for studying at a German university. More information on preparatory colleges in Germany can be found here.

If you have questions regarding how the degree programs at the University of Potsdam would fit with the course themes at a preparatory college, the Contact Persons for International Applicants will gladly assist you.

Intensive DSH German Courses with Propaedeutic Components (Preparatory Courses for the German Language University Entrance Examination: DSH)

Studying in a degree program taught in German requires very good knowledge of the language. If you have the direct higher education entry qualification (HZB) but are not yet in possession of a document certifying your required German language proficiency, you can register for a preparatory German language course at the Center for Languages and Key Competencies (Zessko). These DSH-Intensiv German courses with propaedeutic components) prepares you for taking the German Language University Entrance Examination – the DSH exam.

As a participant in the Intensive DSH Courses, you are registered as a student at the University of Potsdam for the duration of one semester. After this semester-long course, the students then take the DSH examination, which costs 130 Euros.

Information on the language proficiency requirements and on the application procedures for participating in the Intensive DSH German Courses can be found here.

DSH Exam Without Participation in the Intensive DSH Course

At the University of Potsdam you may take the German Language University Entrance Examination (Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang: DSH) without prior participation in the preparatory Intensive DSH Course at the University of Potsdam.

More information on the required language proficiency for direct participation in the exam can be found  here.

The University of Potsdam offers the DSH exam twice per year. The exam costs 130 Euros.

The exam for studies beginning in the winter semester takes place in mid-July; if you want to begin your studies in the summer semester, you should take the DSH exam in mid-February.

More information and samples from the exam can be found on the pages of the Center for Languages and Kay Competencies (Zessko) at the University of Potsdam.

There is no legal entitlement to participate in this external exam.
The exam is recognized at all German universities.


Dr. Ulrich Hunger | Dr. Birgit Bismark

Phone:  +49 331/977-1676
Fax:  +49 331/977-1065
E-Mail: ulrich.hunger@​uni-potsdam.nomorespam.de   | birgit.bismark@​uni-potsdam.nomorespam.de

Information on personal and phone office hours can be found here.