Dieses Bild zeigt Abitur in der Tasche

Studying without a high school diploma

Even if you do not have a high school diploma, you can still apply for university studies on the basis of other qualifications, such as having a master craftsman diploma or sufficient other vocational training and experience.
[Photo: Eva Kahlmann / Fotolia]

As spelled out in the Baden-Wuerttemberg State Higher Education Act (LHG), individuals lacking high school diplomas but with vocational training qualifications may obtain a general or subject-specific university entrance qualification under the following conditions:

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You can apply for a general university entrance qualification if you successfully obtained one of the following types of vocational or occupational training qualifications:

  • Master craftsman diploma
  • a vocational training qualification equivalent to master craftsman obtained in an occupation, as specified in the Vocational Training Act, the Trade and Crafts Code or other regulation subject to public law
  • another type of vocational training qualification rendered equivalent by statutory instrument (Clause 4, Vocational University Admissions Ordinance/HZVO)
  • graduated from a technical college (in the meaning of Section 14 of the Education Act)

If any of these apply to you, you are eligible to fill out the Request for Issuing the General University Entrance Qualification Form [de]. Be sure to attach evidence of your vocational training (originals or notarized copies)

In addition, you must provide written proof of having discussed content, structure, and challenges of the intended course of study at a university. You can fulfill this requirement by talking with an academic advisor in the desired course of study or with the Student Counseling Center, where you will also be given the certification.

The next step is to submit the certification of the university counseling session together with the Request for Issuing a General University Entrance Qualification, a tabular CV, and the exhibits documenting vocational education and training (officially notarized copies).

After you have been issued the general university entrance qualification, you are ready to apply for a place at the university:

  • If you wish to apply for a restricted-entry course of study, the Application for Admission to Higher Education for Master Craftsmen or graduates with equivalent vocational training qualifications must be received no later than June 1st.
  • For unrestricted courses of study, the application must have been received no later than September 1st.

You may apply for a subject-specific university entrance qualification if you can demonstrate that you completed at least two years of vocational training and have at least three years of work experience in an occupational field that is related to your intended course of study.

Acceptable alternatives include:

  • Managing a family household with responsibility for parenting or caring for at least one person may be credited as equivalent of up to two years of corresponding vocational work experience (Section 58, Para. 3 of the State Higher Education Act/LHG).
  • Even if the above-mentioned requirements (at least two years of vocational training and at least three years of work experience) are not met, in special individual cases and with proof of several years of exceptional or particularly demanding activity, it is possible to qualify for a subject-related course of study by taking an aptitude test.

If you meet one of the above criteria, you are entitled to take an Aptitude Test for Other Vocational Qualifications (per Section 58 Para. 2 Nr. 6 LHG).

In addition, you must provide written proof of having discussed content, structure, and challenges of the intended course of study at a university. You can accomplish this by talking with an academic advisor in the desired course of study or with University Student Counseling, where you will also be given the certification.

 Prerequisites for taking the Aptitude Test:

  • Documentation (originals or notarized copies) of the above-mentioned vocational qualifications
  • Submission of the counseling session certification at a university together with the Request to Register for the Aptitude Test as well as the required documents listed in the request
  • the aptitude test has three written parts and one oral part (Sect. 58 Para. 3 LHG) administered annually (provisionally in May) at the continuing education colleges of the University of Karlsruhe and University of Heidelberg

We strongly recommend discussing the content, challenges, and conduct of the aptitude test. Counseling sessions for natural sciene and engineering sciences study programs are held at the University of Karlsruhe continuing education college [de]  and in the future also at the Baden-Wuerttemberg MINT-college [de]. Counseling sessions for other courses of study are offered at the University of Heidelberg continuing education college [de].

After you pass the aptitude test, the University of Stuttgart will issue a subject-specific university entrance qualification to you.

The Baden-Wuerttemberg Ministry of Science, Research, and Art (MWK) also provides you with Fast Facts on University Admissions [de]  and detailed answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) [de]