I am a non-EU candidate with a Bachelor's and Master's degree in a STEM field. I'm applying to Master's programmes in STEM at German universities.

Requirement for Preparatory German course at Studienkolleg

I've received TDN 3 (B2.1-B2.2) in TestDaF and studying currently to reach TDN 4 or C1 level german. The universities require DSH 2 or TestDaF TDN 4-4-4-4 for admission.

According to Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, I must attend the preparatory German language course at Studienkolleg. This will take 1 semester (6 months).

Now, according to the website studienkollegs.de:

  • Studienkolleg takes 2 semesters (1 year)
  • In the application process page, it says "Check whether you can start studying in Germany directly, or whether you need to attend a Studienkolleg first"

My eligibility for direct access: I've received my Akademische Prüfstelle (APS) Certificate from German Embassy. It indicates that my degrees are recognized in Germany and I am eligible for direct access to German universities, i.e., "Art des Zugangs: Direkter Zugang" is stated in the certificate.

In the Types of Studienkollegs page at university, I am eligible for the T-course for mathematical, science or technical degrees. But this is only required for Bachelor's degree applications in Germany. Or is it also required for a Master's degree?

I am looking for advice regarding Preparatory German course at Studienkolleg.

  • I know that the duration of Preparatory German Course depends on the entrance exam. But, if I need only 1 semester after the entrance test, then what about the 2nd semester? I am confused about this.
  • Where and under which category should I apply?
  • Any further tips and insights are welcome.

P.S. I will also ask the university about Studienkolleg. But before I do that, I would like to have a clear idea about it.

Further questions (added on 30/04/2024):

  1. For M.Sc. courses in summer semester, the application deadline in case of non-EU applicants is usually January 15th of every year. However, the preparatory courses will have TestDaF / DSH exam conducted between February and March of next year. Does that mean I have to apply for the winter semester M.Sc. programs in the next year (after passing TestDaF / DSH)?

  2. Let's suppose that I am a student in German Preparatory Course at a public german university with student visa / student applicant visa. If I already have conditional admission in one M.Sc. program at german university, I need to re-apply for final admission with required language proficiency (C1 in this case). Will I get extension of application deadline as non-EU applicant for re-application to that M.Sc. program?

  • 2
    From the very page you linked: "Do I need to take a preparatory course (Studienkolleg - Feststellungsprüfung) before beginning my course of study? The answer to this question can be found on the following link (see ,,Schulabschlüsse mit Hochschulzugangsberechtigung” or “secondary school qualifications with university entrance qualifications”):" IF they recognize your Bachelor degree you are good to go, no Studienkolleg needed. And depending on the Master, even the German language requirement maybe it will be relaxed.
    – EarlGrey
    Commented Apr 26 at 7:23
  • @EarlGrey In KIT, I'm applying for M.Sc. Electrical Engineering. For the application process, they need B1, but for enrollment they need TestDaF 4x4 or DSH2 or Goethe Zertifikat C2. The university provides 6 months preparatory course. Commented Apr 26 at 11:18
  • Please read carefully the requirements, M.Sc in Electrical Engineering does note exist, it is M.Sc. in Electrical Engineering and Information Technology (ETIT from the German Masterstudiengang Elektrotechnik und Informationstechnik), depending on which curriculum you follow, you are required - German language skills OR English language skills of at least B2-level [with various options to certify it, see sle.kit.edu/english/vorstudium/… ]
    – EarlGrey
    Commented Apr 26 at 12:05
  • @EarlGrey Yes, I just wrote the degree name in short in the above comment. I know that it is M.Sc. in Electrical Engineering and Information Technology. According to the Module Handbook of ETIT, some of the curriculum are in English, but not all. In case of English language skills, my TOEFL certificate has expired on January 2024, but it has been verified and stated in my APS certificate by German Embassy. So, I will ask the university regarding this matter. Commented Apr 26 at 13:36

2 Answers 2


From the Webpage "Application for a Master's degree course" of the KIT.

In English they state

If you have not yet entirely fulfilled the language requirements for a Master's course taught in German, you have the possibility to apply for a preparatory course at the Studienkolleg.

and the original in German has the same meaning

Falls Sie die Sprachvoraussetzungen Deutsch für ein Masterstudium am KIT noch nicht erfüllen, können Sie sich für einen studienvorbereitenden Intensiv-Sprachkurs bewerben.

It is written nowhere you have to attend the course at the Studienkolleg. Check carefully the application requirements. Please note that if the Master is in English, you have to

To attend an English language Master's course you have to provide proof of sufficient English language proficiency. There is no general English language requirement among the English taught courses.

which means a self-declararation should suffice.

  • 1
    The german requirements are usually satisfied with a DSH-2 (or DSH-3 ) certificate. Have a look here where they state you need 1 year preparation starting from A1 dsh.de/faq-eng-2 (check question 9. Do I have to take the DSH exam at the university, where i want to study? No. Wherever you take your DSH exam, you will get a certificate, that will be accepted at every German university. and question 10 for the list of schools/institutions, also writing expected costs)
    – EarlGrey
    Commented Apr 26 at 12:10

I did my Master's studies in Germany, but in English. This means that I might not be the best person to weigh on this matter. That being said, the Studienkolleg is first and foremost intended for pre-Bachelor students. It seems to me you are overqualified. Moreover, if all you need to do is to take a German language course, there are tons of other options to do just that within Germany.

Viel Erfolg!

  • 2
    not only within Germany, but also remotely and possibly in the current country of residence of OP ...
    – EarlGrey
    Commented Apr 26 at 7:33

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