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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.

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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
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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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