Application and Admission Requirements - First Semester
First degrees – first subject-related semester
The application and admission procedure differs according to the subject you wish to study.
Before continuing, please check on the group in which your desired subject belongs.
Subjects with central allocation procedure
In the subjects with admission restrictions all over Germany - in Heidelberg these are Medicine, Pharmacy and Dentistry - 40% of places are awarded by the Stiftung für Hochschulzulassung (Foundation for university admission). For these subjects you must apply directly to hochschulstart.de. In addition you can take part in the university selection procedures (Auswahlverfahren der Hochschulen, AdH), through which the remaining 60% of places are awarded.
The closing dates for applications via hochschulstart.de are 15 July / 15 January for “new” secondary school leavers and 31 May / 30 November for “older” ones. At Heidelberg University, it is only possible to apply for places on these degree programmes starting in the winter semester.
20% of places are awarded to those with the best results in their secondary school leaving certificate (‘A’ levels, high school diploma etc). 20% are awarded after a waiting period; this selection is made by the Stiftung für Hochschulzulassung. The remaining 60% of places can be decided by the universities themselves (see AdH above). Anyone wishing to participate in the university selection procedures must apply to hochschulstart.de and also to Heidelberg University (by 15 July).
The universities can base their decision on other criteria than the average grades on the applicant’s school leaving certificate. The additional criteria considered by Heidelberg University are set out in the relevant rules for selection.
Please note: changes in the selection procedures are possible. Please check on the details at the start of your application procedure on hochschulstart.de.
You can find further information for an application for the subjects with a central award procedure on the pages describing the relevant subject: Medicine (Heidelberg campus), Medicine (Mannheim campus), Pharmacy and Dentistry.
In addition, you will find the application information on the central award procedure at hochschulstart.de. The information brochure is available at German secondary schools (Gymnasien), employment agencies and university advisory services.
Sonnenstraße 171, 44137 Dortmund
Postal address: Postfach, 44128 Dortmund
Subjects with dialogue-oriented services procedure
The study places in Psychology (Bachelor, 100%), Economics (Bachelor, 100%), Biosciences (Bachelor 100%) and Law (State Examination) are awarded through the dialogue-oriented services procedure. Applicants need to register with hochschulstart.de and apply to Heidelberg University.
The process of obtaining a study place begins with registering on www.hochschulstart.de. When you register on hochschulstart.de you will obtain an applicant ID and an applicant BAN (Bewerber-Authentifizierungs-Nummer – applicant-authentification-number). With this number you can apply through the application portal of the preferred university or via www.hochschulstart.de. The university decides which of the two paths your application should take. You can make up to 12 applications. The universities will be pleased to inform you about their courses, content and application formalities. In any case, all information from the universities will come together later in your personal account. You can check the status of your application online at any time.
The participating universities will compare your applications in a joint database. The individual universities decide themselves on whether to award you a place or not. The offers by different universities will be placed in your personal account. That way you can review the state of your applications and opt for one of the offers of a place.
The multi-level procedure ensures that, once you have accepted an offer, your applications to other universities will be cancelled – vacant places can then be quickly awarded to other applicants. That will avoid a situation where places are still free at the start of the semester although there are still applicants for these places.
You can find comprehensive information on these services online at www.hochschulstart.de. This is where you start on your course in an admission-restricted programme.
Subjects with internal university selection procedures
Applications for these subjects must be made via the online application portal for selection procedures.
A selection procedure is carried out in subjects with only a limited number of places available. First of all, quotas are considered for cases of especial hardship, for international student applicants without EU/EEA nationality and without German university entrance qualifications, for those applying for a second course of study and for groups of persons to be promoted in the public interest. The remaining places are then awarded on the following basis:
- 90% on the basis of a selection procedure
- 10% after a certain period of waiting
The basis of the selection procedure is the suitability and motivation of applicants for their desired course and career. In practical terms, that means that besides the average grades in the secondary school leaving certificate, performance in German, mathematics and a foreign language play a role along with grades in the subjects relevant to the chosen study course. In addition, internships, extracurricular activities and vocational training are considered. You may be invited to an interview or required to take a test. The individual criteria in the subjects may be combined and weighted – this is up to departments themselves. Points are given for the relevant criteria; the applicants with the highest score are admitted, as long as up to 90% of places are still available. The remaining 10% of places are allotted on the basis of the waiting period, starting with those who have waited the longest. The waiting period is the time from acquiring your secondary school certificate (university entrance qualification) until the application – minus the time in which you were enrolled at a German university. Waiting is counted in six-monthly periods (semesters).
The rules for selection for the respective subject set out the selection criteria for admission. Rules for selection, or rules for the aptitude assessment procedure, can be found at:
Procedure for subsequent admissions for subjects with internal university selection procedures
Some of those awarded places do not take them up, for different reasons. Then the places are freed up for others. They are most probably awarded in mid-September after the end of the main procedure in a subsequent admission procedure, according to the reserve list. You can only take part in the procedure for subsequent admission if you applied for the main selection procedure in time and did not receive a place. The procedure for subsequent admission first considers the applicants who applied for the respective subject in the main application (1st choice of degree programme). Supplementary applications will only be allowed when all the main applicants have received a place.
Drawing lots for subjects with central award procedures and internal university selection procedures
If study places are still vacant after the subsequent admission procedures, they will be distributed by drawing lots. Anyone may request to take part in this procedure – even without having applied before at all. The closing date for such requests for the summer semester: only 15 March - 15 April; for the winter semester: only 15 September - 15 October. Earlier requests to take part in this final procedure cannot be considered. You will receive notification shortly after 15 October or 15 April – but only if your request was successful. No notice of non-acceptance will be sent, nor will there be any certification of your request to take part. [More...]
Subjects with aptitude assessment procedures / entrance examinations
Places in subjects with an entrance examination or aptitude assessment procedure are likewise awarded directly by the university. The application goes directly to the University via the online application portal for entrance examinations.
In courses in which special requirements are made for academic qualifications, or special aptitude is called for, places are exclusively awarded on the basis of an aptitude assessment test (entrance exam) held by the university.
This aptitude assessment procedure is intended to ascertain the special suitability and motivation of the applicant for the selected course – regardless of whether the course is admission-restricted or not. Those who do not meet the minimum requirements cannot study this subject at Heidelberg University.
All applicants – regardless of their nationality or the origin of their qualifications – must take part in this assessment procedure, including those changing their degree programmes. No special requests regarding subjects with aptitude assessment procedures (entrance examinations) will be considered, so please do not make such requests
Each applicant who seems suited according to the rules for the aptitude assessment procedure will receive notice of admission. The number of places is not limited from the start.
Possible selection criteria for special aptitude are:
- Performance in the university entrance qualification (Abitur, ‘A’ levels etc) in subjects specific to the desired degree programme
- Course-specific training or practical activity
- Motivation and performance in written form on course-specific abilities and skills (tests)
- Subject-specific additional qualifications and extracurricular activities that can give information about suitability for the degree programme
- Result of an interview to ascertain motivation and suitability for the desired degree programme and career.
The criteria to be considered are laid down in the respective rules for aptitude assessment procedures. The application takes place online to the university. How to fill out the applications for admission is explained here.
Applicants may not take part in the aptitude assessment procedure more than twice.
If interviews or tests are held, please inquire in good time about the dates; the invitations are sent out shortly beforehand owing to the high number of applicants.
Subjects without obligatory application
International applicants who are nationals of a member state of the European Union (EU) or the European Economic Area (EEA) along with international applicants with a German university entrance qualification (Abitur) from Germany or from a German school abroad (called Bildungsinländer) must apply for all subjects by 15 July, or 15 January. Information on the application procedure is available here.
First degrees – higher subject-related semester
The application and admission procedure may be different for students changing universities or changing their degree programmes. The following pages contain all the information you need to apply for a higher semester.