• Mr. Jeff Neill

Germany: Country Connect

In 2014, all 16 German states removed tuition for all students, domestic and international, at all public German universities. There are some small administrative fees that students must pay, but, by and large, university is free! As a result of this amazing affordability, there has been an increased amount of interest in studying in Germany but also due to the stability of the economy, the safety of the nation, and the quality of the programs, many of which are in English. However, there are some inviolable requirements for international students applying to study in Germany that you must be aware of, particularly when choosing courses for the International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma.

First, become familiar with the DAAD website, which is the ultimate source for information about studying in Germany, including searching for programs and seeing their requirements.

Second, and perhaps more importantly, become aware of the Anabin website, which outlines the requirements for all international students wishing to study in Germany. Keep in mind that these requirements are set by the German government as are not negotiable. In our experience, there is no recourse for unusual or mitigating circumstances; although you might find good assistance and guidance from the admissions officers at various institutions, the bottom line is that students need to meet their expectations. When you go to the Anabin website, be aware that this site is only provided in German, although Google does a decent job of translating. When you arrive at the website, select the link along the left-hand menubar called “Qualifications with university entrance” and then the second tab at the top of the page called “search.” In the pull-down menu on that next page, select International Baccalaureate to see links to the various entry requirements.

The IBO has also provided a handy guide to applying to study in Germany.

To summarize, while certain programs (such as engineering may have additional requirements and levels of achievement), to be eligible to apply for entry to German public universities, students must meet all requirements of the diploma programme (DP) and the following additional requirements:

-The six examination subjects taken for the IB must conform to IB conditions:

  • one foreign language studied uninterruptedly as “Language A: Language and Literature” or “Language A: Literature” or “Language B HL”

  • another language on A or B level

  • (if the student cannot receive lessons in their native language, a “school-supported self-taught course” can be recognised as “Language A: Literature SL”)

  • (a “language ab initio” can be chosen as a sixth subject, this does NOT count as one of the two mandatory languages)

  • one natural science subject (Biology, Chemistry, Physics)

  • Mathematics (“Mathematics: Analysis and Approaches SL/HL”, “Mathematics: Applications and Interpretation SL/HL”)

  • (to study any subject at university from the fields of mathematics, natural sciences or engineering “Mathematics: … HL” is required!)

  • one social science subject (History, Geography, Economics, Psychology, Philosophy, Social Anthropology, Business and Management, Global Politics)

  • The sixth compulsory subject may be one of the above or one of the following subjects recognized by the IB: Visual Arts, Music, Theatre, Film, Literature and Performance, an additional modern foreign language; Latin, Classical Greek, General Chemistry, Applied Chemistry, Environmental Systems and Societies, Computer Science, Design Technology, World Religions, Sports exercise and health science.

-One of the three subjects to be taken at higher level for the IB, must be Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry or Physics;

-All subjects must have been taken uninterruptedly for two years of IB.

-Candidates must earn a minimum IB Grade of 4 on the six compulsory subjects. Maximum ONE grade 3 can be compensated by a grade 5 for another subject at the same level, and an aggregate of 24 points has been attained.

-German diploma holders, who have attended a school abroad not providing German courses, must supply proof of competence in German before being accepted for higher studies; such details are defined by the regulations in force in the relevant Federal State.

Be sure to review these requirements here for further reading and information!

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