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International Applicants: German Language Proficiency for a Degree Course of Study

If you would like to study at the University of Potsdam, you typically need proof of very good German language skills. This page provides information about the various requirements for the degree programs, as well as information about how you can improve your German language skills if necessary before beginning your university studies.

German Language Skills for a Bachelor’s Degree

The bachelor’s degree programs offered at the University of Potsdam are offered in German, which is why very good German skills are an important requirement for successful university studies. Enrollment and the subsequent start of the studies require German language skills at level C1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). You must prove these language skills by taking the German Language Proficiency Exam for Admission to a University (Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang – DHS). Some other certificates may be submitted as well. You can find out here which certificates are accepted.

In duly justified cases, the study and examination regulations of a degree program may also specify a lower level of language skills. This provision currently applies to the bachelor’s program “Applied Cultural and Translation Studies (German-Polish)”, for which the level B2 of the CEFR has been defined.

German Language Skills for a Master’s Degree

Many of the master's degree programs offered at the University of Potsdam are taught in German or contain modules with German as the language of instruction. Therefore, your application requires proof of adequate German language skills. Non-German applicants must provide documentation of their German language skills, which have to be at least level C1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). This proof is provided by taking the German Language Proficiency Exam for Admission to a University (Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang – DHS or at least DHS-2) or an equivalent certificate. You can find out here which certificates are accepted.

Some master’s degree programs may require different German skill levels.

If documentation of language skills corresponding to the DSH-1 level is required, you can also submit a few other certificates. You can find out here which certificates are accepted.

For English-language master’s degree programs, sometimes no German skills, or very limited German skills, are required.

Please consult the application requirements regarding language skills for master’s degree programs in the current courses offered.

German Language Skills for a Doctoral Degree

There are no general requirements for demonstrating German language skills, or other language skills, for doctoral degree programs. Please consult the regulations for a doctoral degree to find out which language requirements apply for your doctoral degree program. Please consult with your supervisor regarding this topic. 

Certificates for Documenting German Language Skills for a University Degree

If documentation of language skills corresponding to the  level C1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) is required, you can submit the following certificates:

  • Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang (DSH) - at least DSH 2
  • Test Deutsch als Fremdsprache (TestDaF) with a minimum of 4 points in each of the 4 categories
  • Assessment test (FSP) by a German preparatory college (Studienkolleg)
  • A university entry examination (Abitur) acquired at a recognized German school abroad
  • Successfully completed final examination of a German-language degree course at a German university or polytechnic university (Fachhochschule)
  • The  Goethe-Institut's Goethe-Zertifikat C2: "Kleines deutsches Sprachdiplom", "Großes deutsches Sprachdiplom" or "Zentrale Oberstufenprüfung"
  • with the result "sehr gut" or "gut" passed telc Deutsch C1 Hochschule
  • Österreichisches Sprachdiplom (ÖSD Zertifikat C1)
  • Language certificate of the Education Ministers' Conference, (Kultusministerkonferenz), Level 2 with C2 in each category
  • The head of the examining committee responsible for the regulation of the DSH at the University of Potsdam will decide whether or not other certificates documenting your language skills (such as a successfully completed degree in German Philology at a recognized foreign university or German as a major subject during studies abroad) will be recognized. You will need to submit a request to this effect. The decision will be made based on a review of your certificate as well as a personal interview. To request a confirmation of your German language skills for a university degree, please contact Ms Ines Behnke in a timely manner. She works at the Center for Languages and Key Competences of the University of Potsdam (Zessko).

If documentation of language skills corresponding to the DSH-1 level is required, you can submit the following certificates:

If you have not yet attained skills at DSH level 1 or 2, you can apply to participate in a DSH intensive course to prepare for the DSH, or to take the DSH, at the University of Potsdam (via uni-assist e. V.).

Whether or not you can apply for the intensive course or to take the DSH depends upon which language certificate you already hold.

Intensive DSH German Courses with Preparatory Components (DSH+)

The University of Potsdam will send you an invitation to take the admissions test for the Intensive DSH German Courses with Preparatory Components (Preparatory Courses for the German Language University Entrance Examination: DSH) if you:

  • are applying to study at the University of Potsdam through uni-assist e.V. (please select "DSH-Deutschkurs").
  • have not yet been able to provide the necessary evidence of German language proficiency required for studying
  • have a minimum of

If you pass the admissions test with very good result, you will be admitted to the Intensive DSH German course. This course takes place over the course of one semester and concludes with the DSH exam.

Samples from the admissions test can be found on the pages of the Center for Languages and Key Competences (Zessko) at the University of Potsdam.

Please note our application deadlines.

DSH without Participation in the Intensive DSH German Courses

The University of Potsdam will send you an invitation for the German Language Examination for University Admissions (DSH), if you:

  • are applying to study at the University of Potsdam through uni-assist e.V. (please select "DSH-Anmeldung Sprachprüfung"),
  • have not yet been able to provide the necessary evidence of German language proficiency required for studying
  • but have at least

Please note our application deadlines if you still need to complete the DSH language proficiency test.

Contact

Dr. Birgit Bismark

Phone:  +49 331 977-113103
Fax:  +49 331 977-1065
E-Mail: birgit.bismark@​uni-potsdam.de

You can find more information on in-person and telephone office hourshere.