General Admission Requirements

General Admission Requirements

The minimal entrance qualification to a German university for an undergraduate degree is a high school graduation certificate, such as the IB, A Levels, Matura, Abitur, Gaokao etc. Here, will we cover the School Graduation Certificate, Polytechnic Diploma and the International Baccalaureate.

Advanced Level (GCE ‘A’ levels)
Ordinary Level (GCE ‘O’ levels)

Also now properly known as the School Graduation Certificate, the certificates can be used for application for all subjects. Students will be admitted directly if the general and subject-related minimum requirements have been met:

4 A level subjects, with at least 3 H2s and 1 H1, of which the candidate should have offered:

  • At least ONE Mathematics or Science subject
  • A Pass in the Second Language/Mother Tongue component
  • A Pass in General Paper or Knowledge and Inquiry
  • A Pass in 2 subjects in the Advanced Level and 3 subjects in the Ordinary Level

In addition, the following requirements must also be met:

  • Applicants must obtain a minimum grade of C for the Ordinary Level subjects
  • Altogether five independent general subjects at the Ordinary Level, comprising English as well as 1 mathematics or science subject
  • Applicants must show their language proficiency skills in the German language proficiency test, DSH or the TestDaF

Subject related min. requirements:

  • At least 2 subjects of the mathematics-science group at the Advanced level if you wish to study Medicine, pharmacy or science or technical subjects, and
  • Economics or Management of Business at the Advanced Level if you wish to study Economics or Business.

Note: The A level certificate has to be sent in along with your O Level certificates – sending in the A level certificate alone will result in your application being rejected, as the O level Higher Mother Tongue or O level + H1 Mother Tongue is required for proof of passing the second language component.

For students from the Integrated Programmes, please include your Secondary 4 Promotional Examination results alongside your O level Higher Mother Tongue or O level + H1 Mother Tongue certificates.

The IB Certificate is recognised for direct entrance into German universities if the candidate has been in school for a minimum of 12 years. Candidates who fail to meet this requirement are required to attend the Studienkolleg before entering university.

Of the six subjects, the following subjects must be offered:

  • TWO languages at Level A or B (with compentency in one language at either “Language A” or “Language B Higher Level”)
  • ONE Science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics),
  • Mathematics (Mathematical Methods or Mathematics Higher Level or Further Mathematics in conjuction with Mathematics Higher Level)
  • ONE Humanities (History, Geography, Economics)

The last subject be any of the above-mentioned subjects or one of the following subjects: Art/Design, Music, Theatre Arts, Film, Literature and Performance, another modern foreign language, Latin, Classical Greek, General Chemistry, Applied Chemistry, Environmental Systems, Computer Science, Design Technology, World Religions, Philosophy, Psychology, Social Anthropology, Business and Organisation.

Either Mathematics or at least ONE science subject should be offered at Higher Level.

Candidates should have achieved at least a grade of 4 for each subject offered. A grade of ‘3’ can be balanced out by scoring a ‘5’ in at least 1 subject of similar difficulty AND if a minimum score of 24 has been achieved.

Your IB grade can be converted into the German grade system using the following equation:

Y = 1 + 3 ((42 – X)/18),

X = IB Grade
Y = German Grade.

A score of 42 to 45 will be immediately graded with a 1,0.

Adapted from the KMK website. The original German document can be found here.

The Standing Conference of Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Laender in the Federal Republic of Germany has, on the 12th of September 1997, decided that diploma holders may get admission for degree courses offered at Fachhochschulen. Applicants with a Polytechnic Diploma (Merit) will be allowed to apply for direct entry to German universities, provided that they have an acceptance from either the National University of Singapore or Nanyang Technological University. Again, acceptance into a degree course is contingent on passing the German language tests as well.

Applicants have to prove that they have 5 independent general GCE ‘O’ Level Passes, comprising 2 languages and one subject of the mathematics-science group.

Diploma holders who do not meet the above-mentioned requirements but wish to apply for entry to a comprehensive university will usually have to spend a year in a Studienkolleg (Preparatory College for higher education in Germany) before they will be admitted directly into the university. Applicants will usually apply to the universities first, and the university will decide if a Studienkolleg is needed – if yes, you will be accepted to the university immediately upon successful complete of the Studienkolleg course. The preparatory course generally lasts 2 semesters and is conducted in German. Students are required to pass an entry test to qualify for the Studienkolleg, and pass the Feststellungspruefung (assessment test, ie. the final exam at the Studienkolleg) before starting their undergraduate studies.

Application to German technical universities will be decided on a case by case basis.

For those looking for a grade conversion formula, the “modified Bavarian formula” can be seen below.

poly grade conversion


Highest possible grade minus grade earned, divided by the highest possible grade
minus lowest possible grade,
multiply the result by 3, and add 1.

This information can be obtain from the website of Technische Universitaet Muenchen (TUM). More details can be found on it.

For graduate studies , i.e. a Master’s Degree or a PhD, the recognition of your previous degree, is one of the decisive factors. Degrees obtained from NUS, SMU and NTU are recognised for direct entrance for graduate studies in Germany.

There are three cases in which you do not have to personally apply at a university or FH:

  • First, in case you have been awarded a DAAD scholarship, the DAAD will handle your application.
  • Second, if you graduated in Germany or from a recognized German high school abroad, or if you come from a country that is a member of the European Union, you can apply like any German national to the Zentralstelle für die Vergabe von Studienplätzen (ZVS) or the Central Admission Office. For more information please go to Here you will find detailed information on what programs are available through ZVS, how to apply for your desired program and what the selection criteria are, and what and where the so called Numerus clausus subjects are, i.e. subjects for which admission restrictions will apply. You could also think about buying the ZVS Guide, which will provide more comprehensive information on the topic. Note that this website is available in German only.
  • The third case is when the university of your choice is one of the more than 50 members of the admission service ASSIST. This service will assist foreign students with their application procedure, will check their applications and will inform them whether their application form is complete. The advantage is that through uni-assist you can apply to several universities with only one set of documents. There is a charge of 87 euros for the first application and of 15 euros for each further application. To find out what universities are uni-assist members and for more information, please check the following website.

Information on Graduate Studies from

For more information on the accreditation of Singaporean degrees and school leaving certificates, please refer to the following link at the DAAD information portal! If you are interested in applying with a non-Singaporean certificate, please check the Anabin Database for more information!

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