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Entrance exam, higher education selection process and restricted entry study programs (NC)

A few study programs administer an entrance examination. In addition, many study programs restrict admissions through a numerus clausus (NC).

1. Entrance examination

The entrance examination (AP) helps determine the special suitability and motivation for the chosen study program. It applies regardless of whether a study program restricts admissions.  

  • Admission is tied to getting a minimum score. Anyone not meeting the minimum requirement will not be processed for admission; this also applies to subjects that do not restrict entry.
  • The entrance examination is not always a classical type of test. It is more like a selection process that may be configured differently for different subjects. These configurations range from submitting written documents (for example, dealing with special achievements, qualifications, or work experience) to administering study aptitude tests and selection interviews. You can find out from the specific selection criteria and admission statutes of your chosen studa program how its selects and which process it follows
  • As a rule, the application deadline for the entrance exam is contemporaneous with the 15 July study program application deadline, but there are exceptions. Please be sure to check the application deadlines in a timely manner.
  • All applicants regardless of nationality or the country where their grade transcript originated.
  • Individuals changing study programs
  • The entrance exam can be waived if transferring between universities or for lateral entry, after having passed preliminary or interim examinations or having them recognized. (Please observe the relevant selection criteria and admission statutes.)

2. Restricted admissions and Higher Education Admissions Process (HAV)

Many of the University of Stuttgart’s study programs are subject to restricted admissions called numerus clausus (NC). The numerus clausus does not mean, as is often supposed, that it is a requirement for a minimum final exam (Abitur) grade; rather, it means that there is only a specified number of available study places in a restricted study program. This results in rankings being compiled that conform to the Higher Education Admissions Process or waiting time rule, the rankings then determining how the available study places are to be allocated.


Study places are allocated in conformity with the Higher Education Admission Act (HVVO):

  1. Under the so-called pre-admission provision, first come applicants who completed voluntary service and already were granted admission in one of the two preceding admission periods.
  2. The remaining study places are allocated in the following manner::
  • 90% through the university’s own selection processs (higher education admissions process)
  • 10% based on waiting time.
  1. Under the university’s own selection process, in turn specific applicants are given preference, under the following quotas:
  • 5% for harship cases
  • 2% for second degree applicants
  • 1% for selections based on certain public interest categories of applicants tied to the study location
  • 8-10% for international applicants


The HAV process applies to Germans, EU citizens and (regardless of nationality) all persons with the German qualification for higher education (aka foreign nationals with German degrees). Citizens of Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway in some cases have the same standing as EU citizens. If you have questions in this regard, please contact the Admissions Office for Foreigners and EU Citizens

The university’s own selection process considers criteria such as:

  • Average grade on the final high school transcript
  • Weighted individual grades on the final high school transcript (also grades that are relevant to each study program).
  • Results of a subject-specific study aptitude test
  • Results of a selection interview
  • Prior education through vocational training, work experience, or practical activities.

For restricted-entry study programs (NC = numerus clausus), you improve your chances of being admitted by applying for a higher regular semester, provided you meet the following requirements and put in a request for hardship waiver [de]:

  • You can furnish an official determination of severely disabled status under Social Security Code (SGB) IX. Please enclose a certified copy of your severe disability ID or a relevant letter of recognition.
  • Your sole residence or primary residence with spouse and/or children is in a district assigned to the place of studies. Please enclose the confirmation by the relevant residency registration office.
  • You can show that admission to a different university would entail substantial hardships for you. In this regard, your own health, family, or econmic situation carries particular weight. Please enclose the relevant documentation and be aware that strict criteria will be applied.
  • Waiting time is accrued from the time of high school graduation (Abitur) until starting studies at a German university.
  • Study places provided under the waiting time quota of 10% are always allocated in order of waiting time, with the applicant that has waited the longest getting the first study place, and so on.
  • The waiting time of the applicant allocated the last available place constitutes the threshold. In case of tied rankings, the Abitur grade is the second decision criterion, previous voluntary service is the third, followed by a lottery.

No statements can be made about the chances for an application being successful, since the number and qualifications (see selection criteria by study programs) of individuals applying for a study program vary from year to year.

Starting with the 2015/16 winter semester application process, all single-subject bachelor’s study programs with NC (but without entrance exam) automatically participate in the Dialog Oriented Service Procedure (DOSV) [de].

For all information concerning Master’s program admissions, please see the Master's study program pages.