International prospective students (degree-seeking)

Language requirements for study programs taught in German

What you need to know if your first language is not German but you want to study at the University of Stuttgart.

Studying at our University requires proficiency in the German language. International prospective students will be asked to furnish relevant proof that they have it; however, they also may be able to take a language course at the university.

The teaching language of the Bachelor’s programs and of most Master’s programs at the University of Stuttgart is German. Therefore, a good knowledge of the German language is absolutely necessary for successful studies. The University of Stuttgart requires proof of German language proficiency from all study applicants. It is important to start learning German while you are still in your country of origin (for example at a Goethe Institute).

The following examinations and certificates are accepted as proof of German language proficiency:
  • Test German as Foreign Language (TestDaF 4x4) for foreign study applicants with a result of TestDaF level 4 or better in all four partial examinations
  • the passed partial examination in German in the assessment test of a preparatory college ("Examination of the assessment of suitability of foreign study applicants for the admission to a study program at a university in the Federal Republic of Germany")
  • German Language Diploma of the “Kultusministerkonferenz/KmK” (standing conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs) – Level II (DSD II)
  • C2 -GDS (Large German Language Diploma new) of the Goethe Institute
  • Large or Small German Language Diploma or Central Senior Class Exam (ZOP) of the Goethe Institute (old until January 1, 2012)
  • German Language Examination II of the Language and Interpreter Institute in Munich
  • German Bachelor's, Master's or Diploma Degree of a study program taught in German.

The DSH-examination and the telc-examination are not accepted!

Further information and addresses of the test centers: Test German as Foreign Language (TestDaF)

Applicants that can furnish one of the following certifications are exempt from the language test requirement:

  • German language attestation in the French Diplôme du Baccalauréat (= high school diploma) earned after attending the bilingual German-French branch of a secondary school
  • US Advanced Placement Exam (AP Exam) in the German Language
  • School leaving certificate in upper level secondary education of the German-speaking Community of the Kingdom of Belgium
  • Secondary school leaving certificates from the Grand Duchy of Luxemburg
  • Diplomas from secondary schools in the Autonomous Province Bozen-South Tyrol (Italy) where German is the language of instruction
  • School leaving certificate from the German language international section of the Liceo Gimnasiale “Luigi Galvani“ in Bologna, Italy
  • Bilingual German-Irish secondary school leaving certificate from the St. Kilian German School in Dublin, Ireland

Other potential exemptions are decided case-by-case upon application by candidate students to the head of the learning area “German as a Second Language” in the Language Center of the University of Stuttgart.

You can apply for exemption if you meet one of the following criteria:  

  • You spent a significant amount of time at German-speaking schools while obtaining your education in Germany or abroad
  • You can demonstrate that you acquired German as your first or second language (e.g., South Tyrol, German-speaking minorities)

The University of Stuttgart may allow prospective students to enroll in a language course with subsequent studies:

  • Depending on the level of existing knowledge, the University’s language courses last from between 3 weeks (TestDaf-Training [de]) to two semesters (basic and intermediate course)
  • A minimum of basic learning equivalent to 500 hours must have been taken previously!
  • The language course starts off with a placement test that determines assignment to the basic or intermediate level. On completing the language course, you can take the TestDaF exam in the Intercultural Instruction Department
  • The semester courses comprise approximately 480-500 teaching units per semester and cost 3 EUR per teaching unit

See the department of Intercultural Training for more details on language courses.


This image shows Admissions Office for Foreign Nationals and EU Citizens

Admissions Office for Foreign Nationals and EU Citizens

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