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Language requirements

With the exception of a few courses which are taught in English, classes at Heidelberg University of Education are generally held in German. Students are, therefore, required to have a good knowledge of the German language. All applicants who did not obtain their school-leaving certificate from a German or a German-speaking school are therefore required to prove their German language skills. 

German language university entrance exam for foreign students (DSH)

Before being admitted to German universities, applicants must prove they have the necessary German skills in the German language university entrance exam for foreign students (DSH). In order to take this language exam, applicants must generally have been accepted on a course of study.
The DSH tests whether an applicant has the language skills necessary to study, such as listening and reading comprehension skills, the ability to comprehend and use academic language, and writing and speaking skills. The grade shown on the DSH certificate is the overall result of the oral and written exams and is divided into three levels: DSH 3, DSH 2 or DSH 1 (basic level). A minimum of DSH level 2 is required to study at Heidelberg University of Education. When notifying you of admission, the University will also inform you of the date and location of your language exam: the University itself will generally register you for the DSH exam at Ruprecht Karl University of Heidelberg's international study centre. You may also register yourself for the DSH exam at an external institute. As soon as you receive notification of the outcome of your exam, you must inform the Studies Office.

You are exempt from taking a German language exam if you:

  • have obtained the German Language Certificate, Level 2, awarded by the Standing Conference of German Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs (Deutsche Sprachdiplom der Kultusministerkonferenz – Zweite Stufe), or 
  • have passed the Goethe Institute's Advanced Level Language Examination (Zentrale Oberstufenprüfung), or its Minor or Major German Language Diplomas (Kleines/Großes Sprachdiplom), or
  • have passed the German Language Examination II from the Language and Interpreting Institute Munich (SDI München) or 
  • have sat the DSH exam under the supervision of a university preparatory programme (Studienkolleg) or as part of a German as a Foreign Language programme at a German or foreign university, or
  • have successfully completed the German as a Foreign Language Test (DAF-TEST). A minimum Grade 4 pass in all sections is required for admission to the University.

You may be exempted from taking a German language test if

  • you have a degree in German Studies from a foreign university
  • German is your native language and you clearly possess good written and spoken skills, or
  • you already have a university degree from a foreign university and wish to enrol at the University for postgraduate study or to complete a dissertation.

Where can I acquire the German skills necessary to enrol at the University?

Heidelberg University of Education does not offer German language courses for beginners. Prospective students can learn German at a number of institutions, such as the Volkshochschule (public adult education institutes), private language schools or the Goethe Institute. Some universities in your home country may also offer these types of German language courses.