My niece is currently studying undergraduate at a German university majoring in physics. Can she switch to medicine? Does she need to take FSP to switch to medicine? Her high school diploma is not accepted in Germany. She had to take the FSP before getting admission to that particular university.

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    The FSP ("Feststellungsprüfung") is a German qualifying exam for those without an acceptable secondary school diploma.
    – Buffy
    Feb 25 at 16:58
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    Admission criteria for studying medicine are complicated in Germany. Your niece can find relevant information here, in particular on this subpage. Feb 25 at 17:55
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    It’s a bit misleading to talk about switching majors at German universities, as the system is considerably different from those that us the term majors. You are enrolling in a physics or a medicine programme, not at the university in general. This programme dictates the degree you get and if you want a different one, you have to enrol in another programme from scratch. At best, you can have some of your accomplishments be accounted for. For example, if you have studied with some success and then manage to enrol in medicine, you can probably skip the physics courses for medicine students.
    – Wrzlprmft
    Feb 25 at 18:50
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    German universities usually have some place you can go to get advice on starting/switching/breaking off your studies (look for "Studienberatung"). Might be a good place for her to ask about this.
    – Anonyma
    Feb 26 at 14:43

1 Answer 1


First of all, the relevant difference is whether she has the "allgemeine Hochschulreife" or the "fachgebundene Hochschulreife (Physik)" as a consequence of the examination she went through. The former means that she is qualified to study any subject at University, the latter is specific to physics (and thus wouldn't allow her to study medicine). The paperwork she got when she did the FSP should say what is the case.

Second, admission to study medicine is highly restricted in Germany. To be competitive for the standard route, her highschool diploma would not need to be considered as equivalent to Abitur, but to an excellent Abitur.

Her university might have a few spots reserved for people on non-traditional education paths or even specifically for people wishing to change subject. Prior to the Bologna reforms, for example, there were a few spots to study Medicine in Freiburg for people who had completed an excellent Vordiplom in a science there. But again, this would not be a straight-forward choice.

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