I'm thinking about studying in Germany next year at a university. I am a US citizen. I have completed a 2 year Associate's degree program at a trade school and also finished my general education requirements, at about 45 units as a combination of AP tests and classes at a community college.

When applying, they the schools ask for an official copy "school-leaving certificate" - I'm guessing this means diploma. Do I need an official copy of my high school transcript and/or diploma? Does my Associate and other college credit infer that I have already successfully completed high school? As I haven't quite mentioned any specific schools, I think this answer is probably the same regardless of the country of the institution.


Yes, German universities oftten require an official copy of your high school certification, even if you already have a university diploma which implies the completion of a high school. The same happened to me when I was starting my PhD in Germany - I also was required to present my high school certificate, although I also had two university diplomas (bachelor and master). In a similar manner, both of my university diplomas were required.

  • Thanks! Did this include high school transcript in your case, or simply the diploma? what about SAT scores? – Eichhörnchen Aug 12 '14 at 22:52
  • @Deannakov Just the diploma, no transcript nor SAT. AFAIK, SAT is just a US thing and European universities generally don't expect you to have SAT scores. – Ondřej Černotík Aug 13 '14 at 8:10

You not only need to show that you completed high school, you also need to provide something that includes your grades*.

In most (all?) study programs in Germany, applying students are ranked by high school ("Abitur") grades, and a cut-off is used to decide who gets in (numerus clausus). The cut-off differs per subject, and may differ by university.

*include a key for the grades, as they differ in every country: e.g. highest, lowest, pass limit; or even better an official translation of US-grades to German grades.

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