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Foreigners wishing to apply for admission to a university in Germany need clear answers to the following questions:

  • Does the secondary school leaving certificate which they acquire in their home country entitle them to admission to a higher education institution in Germany?
  • How are foreign secondary school leaving certificates evaluated by the German authorities?
  • Will proof be required of other qualifications over and above the school leaving certificate acquired in the home country?

How to make the transition from SMA/SMK/MA to university in Germany?

There are quite a few alternatives, depending on the faculties' requirements.

tabel A-Level.jpg

The institution that decides on admittance requirements is the faculty. Therefore we strongly advise the applicants to check with the envisioned faculty! See what they want from you.

Basic structure of the German education system


Click to enlarge

In much the same way as German applicants, foreign applicants seeking admission to a university in Germany must hold a secondary school leaving certificate which entitles them to admission to higher education study. If this certificate is recognized as equivalent to a German Abitur or Hochschulreifeprüfung (the school leaving certificate which is a general higher education entrance qualification), foreign applicants can be admitted directly to a course of university study as soon as they have passed a German language proficiency test, the Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang ausländischer Studienbewerber (DSH). Applicants holding one of the following certificates will be exempted from the DSH test: 

  • a level II Language Certificate issued by the Conference of Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs (KMK)
  • an Upper Secondary Level Test Certificate issued by the Goethe-Institut; or
  • a Major or Minor Language Certificate also issued by the Goethe-Institut

Foreign applicants holding a higher education entrance qualification which is only conditionally comparable with a German qualification may also be admitted to a course of studies although they must then first pass an assessment test, the so-called Feststellungsprüfung (or in full: Prüfung zur Feststellung der Eignung ausländischer Studienbewerber für die Aufnahme eines Studiums an Hochschulen in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland). This test is essentially a higher education entrance examination. The usual way to prepare for the assessment test is by attendance of a Studienkolleg (there is a Studienkolleg in Jakarta offering these preparations, click here for the address).

The universities themselves, or the Studienkollegs which have been specially established at these for the purpose of offering preparatory courses, are responsible for providing courses which prepare students for the DSH language proficiency test and the assessment test. They are also responsible for setting and holding these tests.

Admission to the assessment test for applicants from Indonesian high schools (SMU) is only possible if they present a certificate of authenticity of their secondary school leaving certificate (ijazah SMA), NEM/UAN and report of first until third grade issued by the Indonesian Ministry of Education in Jakarta or by the competent provincial office of the Ministry of Education. Secondary school directors and university or academy deans may also issue certificates of authenticity. For details on the acknowledgement of Indonesian school leaving certificates at German HEIs see the Indonesian version of this site (click here)

Applicants holding a certificate from the German School in Jakarta proving that the applicant has passed the German Reifeprüfung, the German general higher education entrance qualification, will be exempted from the assessment test.

Study applicants can prepare for the assessment test by attending a Studienkolleg preparatory course which generally lasts two semesters. The courses focus on disciplines relevant to an applicant’s later academic study. The assessment test involves a written section and an oral section. German is a mandatory examination subject for all prospective study applicants. Holders of one of the following language qualifications will be exempted from the German language section in the assessment test:

A level II Language Certificate issued by the Conference of Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs (KMK); a Senior Secondary Test Certificate issued by the Goethe-Institut; a Major or Minor Language Certificate also issued by the Goethe-Institut; or the DSH certificate (Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang ausländischer Studienbewerber)

In addition to German, the written section will also test two further mandatory subjects relevant to an applicant’s respective academic focus. All the subjects taught within the relevant course focus may be tested in the oral section. Depending on the legislation in the relevant Bundesland (federal state), the assessment test may also be taken in stages.

Courses with the following study focuses are offered by the Studienkolleg to prepare students for study in their respective subjects.

  • T-courses: German, mathematics (including computer science), physics or chemistry for engineering, mathematics and science-based subjects (except biology degree courses).
  • M-courses: German, biology and/or chemistry, physics or mathematics for medicine and biology-based subjects
  • W-courses: German, mathematics, economics/business administration for economics and social-based subjects
  • G-courses: German, history, German literature or English, or social studies/geography for art and humanities-based subjects, social science subjects, artistic subjects, German language and literature
  • S-courses: German, history or social studies/geography or German literature for all language-based subjects (with the exception of German).

Detailed information on the Studienkolleg is available in the following website: www.studienkollegs.de 


Since there is a Studienkolleg in Jakarta, it is possible to take the preparatory courses here. For further information please contact:

Yayasan Indonesia-Jerman
Grand Wijaya Center, Blok F/9
Jalan Wijaya II, Jakarta 12160
Tel.: 021-7394788
Fax: 021-7260080
Email: indgerma@cbn.net.id
Homepage: www.studienkolleg-indonesia.de