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 Study Programme Finder provides an overview of the available selection procedures and entrance examinations.

The legal basis for the selection procedure is the applicable allocation regulation „Hochschulzulassungsverordnung“ („HZVO“) and the respective selection statutes of the particular subject.

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 Study Programme Finder provides an overview of the selection procedures and entrance examinations offered.

Some basic rules pertaining to the entrance examination:

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

Voluntary Services Performed

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

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

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.

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.

When submitting your application, please be sure to include a copy of the certification of your period of voluntary service as well as 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.

Cases of Hardship

Heidelberg University reserves up to 5 percent of the study places for cases of exceptional hardship.
However, not every impairment, even if it is perceived as severe, justifies admission as a hardship case. Rather, there must be a special exceptional situation (serious health, social and family reasons) that, when applying particularly strict standards, it is not reasonable to wait even one semester for admission. The hardship application is therefore only considered for a few persons.

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.

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.