Studienkolleg is the preparation for foreign students to obtain entrance qualification(Abitur) to study in Germany.

There are a number of secondary school certificates awarded in other countries which qualify students to study at a university in their respective countries, but which do not qualify them to study at a German University. The course preparation takes two semesters and it depends on the Bachelor studies one intends to pursue. Depending on the performance of the students, students with very good grades can do their final exam after attending the Studienkolleg for only one semester. Please also note that one can only repeat the Studienkolleg once. Failure to pass the final exam, the student will be exmatriculated and will not be in a position to apply for studies at the university of their choice.

Types of Studienkollegs

These are the types of Studienkollegs in Germany:

  • University Studienkolleg
  • University for Applied Sciences Studienkolleg (Applicants wishing to study at Hochschulen / Fachhochschulen)

Students who attended the Studienkolleg at the University for Applied Sciences cannot study at the Universities but only at University of Applied Sciences.

How to join the Studienkolleg: the entrance and final exam

1. Entrance exam (Aufnahmeprüfung)

The spaces available at the Studienkolleg are usually limited and are awarded based on the performance of the entrance exam. The entrance exam consists of the German language and mathematics. The mathematic entrance exam is only for students willing to do technical, mathematical or science studies. In order to get admitted to Studienkolleg, basic knowledge of the German language is required. Applicants are expected to have a knowledge corresponding to level “Zertifikat DaF des Goethe-Instituts” (DaF certificate of the Goethe Institute) or an equivalent.

Most Studienkolleg have sample downloads on their websites for which can help in preparing for the exams. Sample Exams to join Studienkolleg in Germany

2. Final Exam (Festellungsprüfung)

A final exam is required to get the admission to German universities. Depending on the type of Studienkolleg attended, one can choose either to study at a University or at a University of Applied Sciences (Fachhochschule). 

Here is a sample of final exams from the Technical University Studienkolleg in Darmstadt. 

3. External Festellungsprüfung(FSP)

Participants who must join the Studienkolleg have the possibility of preparing for the final exams without attending the lessons offered at the Studienkolleg. This is referred to as "externe Festellungsprüfung". The requirements and conditions vary from Studienkolleg and it is advisable for students to inform themselves as soon as possible. A Kenyan student who is currently studying to become a teacher in Germany managed to successfully pass the FSP without joining the Studienkolleg. Watch her interview here: Studying in Germany to become a Teacher.

Application process

Depending on where one would like to study in Germany, one can apply to different Studienkollegs. You don't have to enroll at the university in the same city where you will go to Studienkolleg. The application process depends on the Studienkolleg. One can apply directly to some Studienkolleg but others do not accept the application direct to the Studienkolleg. In this case, one has to apply directly to the University which will then assign the applicants to the Studienkolleg they should attend.

How much does it cost to attend a Studienkolleg?

Studienkollegs that are run by the state have a registration fee of between 100-400 Euro per semester. Private studienkollegs do however charge for the tuition fee.

There is no tuition for attending a state-run Studienkolleg, although there is usually a fee between 100 and 400 Euro per semester, depending on the Studienkolleg. You also need to pay for health insurance and will need to buy books and other class material. Life in Germany is expensive. You should plan approximately 700 Euro per month for rent, clothes, food etc. Usually you are not allowed to work during the semester while you are attending the Studienkolleg. Although it is possible to work during the semester break, it will not be enough to live on! Students do not usually receive grants. You will need to plan to have enough to live on during your time in Germany.

Courses offered at the Studienkolleg

The university Studienkollegs offer the following specialised courses as preparation for studying at university:

  • M-course: for medical, biological and pharmaceutical degrees
  • T-course: for mathematical, science or technical degrees
  • W-course:for business, economics and social science degrees
  • G-course: for humanity degrees or German studies
  • S-course: for language degrees

The university of applied sciences Studienkollegs offer the following specialised courses as preparation for studying:

  • TI-course: for technical and engineering degrees
  • WW-course: for economics and business degrees
  • GD-course:for design and art degrees
  • SW-course: for social science degrees

Here is an overview of degree courses one can study depending on the course attended at the Studienkolleg.


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