Guide to the Online Application

We are very pleased that you are interested in studying at Heidelberg University. The guide will provide you with helpful information for completing the online application for the selection procedure or the entrance examination. It offers tips and and details on how to apply for the first semester of study.

This guide is intended for applicants who are German or EU/EEA citizens and for foreign applicants who hold German university entrance qualifications (Bildungsinländer).

Subjects with Selection Procedure

In selection procedures, the number of available places is governed by the German ordinance on admission quotas (Zulassungszahlenverordnung). Our online Course Finder provides an overview of the available selection procedures and entrance examinations.

The legal basis for the selection procedure is the Act governing the allocation of places at institutes of higher education (HVVO) and the respective selection statutes of the particular subject.

German transcripts do not require official certification. Non-German transcripts are required to be officially certified.

Some basic rules pertaining to the selection procedure:

  • Three applications may be submitted.
  • The most recent three applications submitted will be used for the selection procedure.
  • When applying for a two-subject combined Bachelor's degree with a teaching option, the teaching option does not have to be specified in the online application.

Subjects with an entrance examination

Subjects with an entrance examination

For degree programmes in which special requirements are imposed so as to ensure academic success or which require specific aptitude, places are allocated exclusively on the basis of an entrance examination administered by the university.
The criteria for these examinations are stipulated in the entrance examination regulations for the specific academic subject. Applications must be submitted online via the university’s application portal.
Applicants who are required to participate in an interview or a test, are advised to inquire promptly about the appointment date and time as due to the large volume of applications, invitations may be sent out at short notice.
Our Online Course Finder provides an overview of the selection procedures and entrance examinations offered.
German transcripts do not require official certification. Non-German transcripts are required to be officially certified.

Some basic rules pertaining to the entrance examination:

  • Applicants may not take the entrance examination more than twice.

Voluntary Services Performed

Provide a list of all voluntary services performed here. When submitting your application, please remember to submit certification of the service performed and the dates it was performed. If this is not provided, your service(s) cannot be recognised.

The following types of services will be recognised:

  • voluntary German military service
  • German federal volunteer service
  • development service, if for a period of at least two years
  • German voluntary social year
  • German voluntary ecological year
  • European voluntary service
  • care or nursing of a biological/adopted child under the age of 18 or other relatives in need of care, up to a maximum of three years

Important! Work as an au-pair/nanny or participation in a “work and travel” programme will not be recognised as services.

Printing Out the Application Form

As of the 2020/21 winter semester, the application process will take place exclusively online. Documents no longer have to be mailed to Heidelberg University.

Selection According to Location in the Public Interest

Applicants who belong to a group of persons specified by the university's statutes to be taken into consideration or sponsored for the public interest and who, for justified reasons, are geographically tied to the university's location, will receive special consideration. This applies, in particular, to applicants who belong to a federal A, B or C squad of a federal sports association affiliated with the German Olympic Sports Confederation.

Notifications

Notifications in the dialogue-oriented service procedure:

  •  Students who are accepted for admission will receive a letter of admission that will be posted to their applicant account at Heidelberg University. The letter will be sent after the offer of admission has been accepted at hochschulstart.de. Letters of admission will not be sent by post.
  • Students who are not admitted will receive a letter of rejection, which will be posted to their user account at hochschulstart.de. If you have indicated that you wish to have the letter of rejection sent by post, it will be sent to you by hochschulstart.de.
  • If you have been accepted for admission but are unable to accept due to voluntary civilian or military service and wish to defer your application, please accept the programme at hochschulstart.de and click on “Deferment”. Once you have done this, go to your user account at Heidelberg University and print out your letter of admission, which should be retained with your other important documents. After the application period has closed, you will no longer have access to any of the notifications stored in your user account. In this event, the letter of admission will also serve as the notification of deferment. Please be aware that the synchronisation of data between hochschulstart.de and Heidelberg University can take several minutes to complete.

Notices in the internal university selection procedure and for the entrance examinations:

  • Letters of admission and rejection are no longer sent by post.
  • Your letter of admission can be found in your Heidelberg University applicant account
  • The letter of rejection can also be found in your Heidelberg University applicant account
  • If you cannot accept the university place due to voluntary civilian or military service, the letter of admission also functions as notification of deferred admission. You are therefore not required to submit a separate application for deferred admission. Please print out your letter of admission and retain it with your other important documents, as once the application period has closed, you will no longer have access to any of the notifications stored in your user account.
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Preferential Admission

If you have received a letter of admission to an admission-restricted degree programme, but will be unable to enrol due to voluntary service (volunteer military, civil, federal, ecological/social service, etc.), you will be eligible during the selection procedure of the next two successive years for preferential admission.

Important! When submitting your application, please be sure to include a copy of the certification of your period of voluntary service as well as a copy of your letter of admission from Heidelberg University. If these are not included, it will not be possible for you to be considered for preferential admission.

Required Information for the Selection Procedure

Please enter the grades from your upper secondary school courses (Oberstufenkursnoten) here. If your transcript does not contain any grades from upper secondary school courses, do not enter any grades. We will then calculate your grade average based on the grade average from your university entrance qualification.

If your university entrance qualification has been issued by a non-German institution and does not contain any grades from upper secondary school courses, do not enter any grades.

Cases of Hardship

In selection procedures, 5% of the available places for the first semester of the degree programme are reserved for applicants who belong to this group. Further information may be found in the factsheet “Application for Immediate Admission Within the Quota for Cases of Exceptional Hardship”.

University Entrance Qualification

Holders of a university entrance qualification (Hochschulzugangsberechtigung - HZB) are eligible for admission to degree programmes at a university. In Germany, this qualification will normally be the Abitur. The entrance qualification for admission to a university of applied sciences/technical university is not accepted at Heidelberg University. 
An unofficial grade report (Schülerzeugnisblatt) will not be recognised.

Uploading the University Entrance Qualification

For applications being submitted for the first semester of studies, it is required that the complete university entrance qualification be uploaded as a PDF file to the university’s online application portal. For German citizens who are applying with a non-German university entrance qualification, this also includes recognition by the respective accreditation authority.

EU/EEA nationals with a non-German university entrance qualification must upload a PDF file containing officially certified copies of all academic qualifications gained outside Germany. This includes the applicant’s school leaving certificate with a list of individual grades, and where applicable, a university entrance examination, an assessment test taken as part of a preparatory course (Studienkolleg), and any credits already gained as part of a degree programme. All certificates must be accompanied by a certified translation into English or German. Recognition of the university entrance qualification of international applicants is carried out by Heidelberg University as part of the admissions procedure. 

Uploading Other Certificates

In addition, other documents for the application, e.g. certificates of volunteer service, vocational training, extracurricular activities, or other documentation may be uploaded.

Tips for Filling Out the Online Application

Obtained in
Indicate here whether your university entrance qualification was obtained in Germany or abroad.

District
For a university entrance qualification that was obtained in Germany, please select the district or city in which it was obtained.

Type of University Entrance Qualification
Please select the appropriate category for your university entrance qualification.  The entrance qualification for admission to a university of applied sciences/technical university is not accepted at Heidelberg University.

Grade Point Average
If no grade point average is provided on your transcript, please enter the number 4.1.

Date of Issuance
Enter the date the university entrance qualification was issued.

Higher Education Entrance on the Basis of Vocational Qualification

If you are applying as a vocationally qualified applicant, for the type of university entrance qualification, please select either vocational qualification (general higher education)” or  “vocational qualification (subject-restricted higher education)”.

Under "Date of Issuance" and "Grade", enter – depending on the type of professional qualification – either the dates of your Master Craftsman's examination or your advanced vocational training examination, or the information from your current aptitude test.

Online Status Enquiry/Applicant Account

You can check the following information in your applicant account:

  • Has my application been received?
  • Will my application be included in the admissions procedure or was I excluded from the admission process for procedural reasons?
  • Have I been accepted?
  • Your letter of admission or rejection is available for download in your applicant account. Notifications are no longer being sent by post.
  • Which applications for admission did I submit?

Sports Aptitude Test

If you are applying to a sports degree programme, include a copy of your sport aptitude test or recognition of this with your application materials. Further information may be found at the Institute of Sports and Sports Sciences website.
Applications that do not include a copy of the sports aptitude test or recognition of it will not be considered during the admissions process.

Pursuing a Second Degree

If, by the end of the application period, i.e. July 15 for the winter semester or January 15 for the summer semester, you are able to present documentation of completion a university degree that falls within the scope of the German Basic Law (Grundgesetz), you will be considered a “second degree applicant”.

Please submit all relevant supporting documents that substantiate your application. The following important documents are required for applications for a second degree:

  • a copy of the final transcript/certificate from your first degree
  • for medical degrees, a copy of the first,   second, and,  if applicable, third  medical examination
  • supporting documents and evidence of academic achievements and other activities that justify your second degree application.
  • on a separate page, a detailed justification for your wish to pursue a second degree, including, at a minimum, information about your previous education and professional activities and your desired career goal.

Further information may be found in the fact sheet for second degree applicants.