University studies: information for refugees


University studies: information for refugees

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Welcome to Baden-Württemberg!
Baden-Württemberg has the most institutions of higher education of any German state. There are a total of 80 universities, universities of education, art and music academies, universities of applied sciences, and the Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University. You can find an overview of all of the approx. 2,700 opportunities for bachelor’s and master’s study programmes at or

The Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts and the state’s institutions of higher education support refugees who wish to study in Baden-Württemberg. This website offers the necessary information on the topic of university admissions and studies in Baden-Württemberg.

University entrance: eligibility and language requirements

  • Beginning or continuing a study programme in Baden-Württemberg is not legally dependent on a particular residence status. Thus, by higher education law, asylum seekers can also begin or continue a programme of study while their asylum applications are processed as long as the requirements for the study programme itself can be met and verified.

    The minimum requirements for beginning a programme of study are:

    • A recognised certificate granting eligibility for university studies, such as a school-leaving certificate equivalent to a German Abitur or Fachhochschulreife
    • Sufficient language skills for the desired programme of study.

    You can find information about the specific requirements for each individual programme of study on the website of the respective university.

    Verification of eligibility for university studies

    Decisions regarding the recognition of certificates are made by each university as part of the application process; in the case of applications to universities of applied sciences, the decision lies with the Studienkolleg Konstanz (Center for International Students). The Central International Office is responsible for recognising certificates for the Baden-Württemberg State Cooperative University.

    Please enclose the certificate from your home country granting university eligibility with your application – either the original or a certified copy. You must also enclose a German translation by a sworn translator with your application.

    Persons who wish to study but whose certificate does not grant them eligibility to begin studies directly can take an assessment test. Preparatory courses are offered at preparatory colleges (Studienkollegs) at three universities in Baden-Württemberg – KIT in Karlsruhe, Heidelberg University and the University of Konstanz ( These courses are generally one year long and include subject-specific preparation. To find information on whether your school-leaving certificate makes you eligible to study at a university in Baden-Württemberg, visit .

    Recognition of course credits

    If you wish to continue the course of study you began in your home country, please ask the university whether you can receive credit for the course work you have done already.

    Verification of language skills

    The universities recognise the following forms of verification of German language skills:

    • the "Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang" (DSH)
    • the "Test Deutsch als Fremdsprache" (TestDaF)
    • the "Prüfungsteil Deutsch" portion of the assessment test at Studienkolleg preparatory colleges, or
    • the Deutsches Sprachdiplom der Kultusministerkonferenz – Level Two

    Courses that prepare for these language tests are offered at universities and affiliated institutions. For an overview, visit: link

    There are also many programmes of study offered in the English language in Baden-Württemberg. You can find information about these programmes on the websites of each university.

Orientation: finding the right programme of study

  • The universities in Baden-Württemberg offer many different programmes of study. In order to begin a study programme, you must go through an orientation process. The orientation test found at is a good method for discovering your own interests and abilities.

    In addition, you can sign up for courses that prepare you for a study programme, such as “propaedeutics” or preparatory courses. Furthermore, universities offer other forms of orientation, like trial study courses and auditing. The universities provide more information on their websites.

Applications: where, how and when

  • Where:
    To study at a university or university of education, please submit your application directly to the specific institution. As part of the application process, the institution will also verify your eligibility to attend the university or college. Some higher education institutions have outsourced this process to the service provider uni-assist; in this case you must send your application there.

    Please submit applications for a study programme at a university of applied sciences to the Studienkolleg Konstanz (Center for International Students). The center verifies and confirms your eligibility for attending the university and the documentation of German language skills.

    There are restrictions to admission for those study programmes for which there are generally more applicants than there are places to study. These undergraduate programmes with restrictions to admissionhave admissions quotas for non-EU-citizen applicants whose school-leaving certificate was not issued by a German school.

    Applications are generally submitted to the higher education institution via an online form; the online application process will inform you of which documents you must submit in hard-copy form.

    Applications for a study programme are generally due by 15 July for the winter semester (courses starting in September/October) and by 15 January for a summer semester (courses starting in March/April).

    In some cases, the deadlines are earlier. Please ask in advance at the specific institution of higher education.

Enrolment: starting your university life

  • When you receive your notice of acceptance from your institution of higher education, the institution informs you of the next steps to take before your studies begin.

    In order to matriculate (enrol at the university for your desired programme of study), you will need to fulfil certain prerequisites. Among them are verification of your participation in the orientation process, payment of administrative fees as well as verification of health insurance. Please note that there are legal restrictions to employment while enrolled in a study programme; please ask your university or institution of higher education for more details about working at a part-time job.

Contact persons are there to help you.

  • University eligibility and studies
    Our state’s institutions of higher education have put together information for refugees interested in a study programme on their websites. There you will also find the contact information for those staff members who are available to answer your questions on studying as a first point of contact. [PDF 47 KB]

    These contact persons receive support from four regional coordinators in Freiburg, Karlsruhe, Stuttgart and Ulm.

    The student unions can help you in your search for a room. They offer places for students in their student dormitories according to their capacity. You should apply for a dormitory room there as early as possible. The contact persons at the student unions can also help you find a room in non-university housing.

    The brochure “Studi-Zimmer – Tipps, Wohnheime, Privatzimmer und Internetadressen” provides information on finding a room in university or non-university housing and can be obtained from the student unions, Studierendenwerke Baden-Württemberg (Download PDF 604 KB).

    Studying at an institution of higher education in Baden-Württemberg is tuition-free. However, you will need to pay approx. 100 euros per semester in student union and administrative fees. This does not include the cost of living.

    If you have questions about financing your studies, you can learn more at the BAföG office at the student union responsible for your university. The contact persons there we will help you. You can find an adress list right here. In addition, you can apply for a scholarship. See this page for more information.

    Other counselling services
    The student unions provide a wide variety of advice and assistance services, such as general social services, psychotherapy for students with studies-related or personal problems, legal advice, as well as special assistance and counselling services for foreign students. You can find the appropriate contact persons by asking at your student union.

    In addition, the student unions provide childcare for students with children, the structure of which is specially aligned with the needs that arise out of everyday student life. For more information, ask at your student union.