Degree Seeking Students: German Language Skills

Proof of German language skills

In all Bachelor's and State Examination study programmes and in most Master's programmes the language of instruction at the University of Stuttgart is German. Thus a good knowledge of German is essential to be successful at the University. The University requires all applicants to show proof of sufficient German language skills. For this reason it is important for applicants to begin learning German in their home country before coming to Germany (at a Goethe Institute, for example).

The following examinations or qualifications are accepted as proof of sufficient German language skills: 

  • Test of German as a Foreign Language (TestDaF) for foreign applicants with a grade of 4 or higher in all four parts of the exam (see:
  • German Language Diploma of the German Conference of Ministers of Education (KMK) – Level II (DSD II),
  • The Goethe Institute’s C2 - GDS (Großes Deutsches Sprachdiplom, new) (see also  Goethe-Institut)
  • The Goethe Institute’s “Kleines or Großes Deutsches Sprachdiplom” or "Zentrale Oberstufenprüfung" (ZOP) (old until 01 January 2012)
  • The German Language Exam II of the Sprachen- und Dolmetscherinstituts München,
  • a pass in the German section of the examination of the “Special University Admissions Procedures for Foreign Students” (Feststellungsprüfung) at a “ Studienkolleg”.

The DSH-exam is no longer accepted!

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Exemption from the language examination

Students with the following qualifications are exempt from a language examination:

  • A German qualification in a French Diplôme du Baccalauréat obtained after attendance at a bilingual German-French section at a secondary school
  • US-Advanced Placement Examination in the subject German
  • A school-leaving qualification from the senior years of secondary school in the German-speaking Community of the Kingdom of Belgium
  • Secondary school-leaving qualifications from the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg 
  • School-leaving qualifications from schools with German as a language of instruction from the Autonomous Province Bolzano/Bozen South Tyrol (Italy)
  • A school-leaving qualification from the International German Language Section at the Luigi Galvani Liceo Gimnasiale in Bologna
  • A German-Irish Bilingual Leaving Certificate from St. Kilian’s German School Dublin

Students may submit other applications for exemptions to the Head of the Section for German as a Foreign Language at the Centre for Language Training at the Universität Stuttgart. In particular, exemptions may be granted to applicants who

  • have spent a considerable amount of their education at German schools either in Germany or abroad,
  • have proof of knowledge of German as a first or second native language (e.g. South Tyrol, German-speaking Switzerland, German-speaking minorities),
  • are starting a course of post-graduate study and who have been given written permission by their advising professor or the relevant Dean of Faculty, or 
  • are only temporarily enrolled at the Universität Stuttgart and do not intend to take any preliminary, intermediate or final exams (in particular exchange students and Scholarship holders of German scholarship organizations).

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German courses at the University of Stuttgart

The Universität Stuttgart can admit applicants to take a language course before being allowed to enroll in a study program.

The language course at the University of Stuttgart’s Department of Intercultural Training lasts 2 semesters for students with 500 hours’ previous knowledge of German (introductory and intermediate courses including preparation for the TestDaF exam). The German course provides approximately 460 - 480 teaching units per semester (at a cost of 3 euros per unit). A placement test is held at the beginning of the language course, the results of which determine whether a student is allocated to the introductory or intermediate level. Following the language course, students may take the TestDaF exam in the Department of Intercultural Training.
A TestDaF Training course of 3 weeks is also offered.

German courses during studies are offered by the Language Center of the University of Stuttgart.

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