Preparatory Year

A certain category of international students in Germany is required to study a preparatory year before starting their university studies in Germany. In this year, the student learns the basic subjects that qualify him to study the required university major. Below we present to you in a simplified form all the information related to this topic.

What is the meaning of preparatory year? 

The preparatory year prepares applicants to study at a German university. If you have a high school diploma in your home country that qualifies you to study there, but it is not recognized as a university entry qualification in Germany, you must enter the preparatory year before starting your studies. This is necessary because the school system, the content of the curriculum being taught or the duration of the school stage in your country is so different from that in Germany that undergoing a preparatory year is absolutely necessary to study at a German university successfully.

(Two semesters) At the end of this year, the student will undergo an examination to determine the suitability of foreign applicants to study at German universities, abbreviated as “Feststellungsprüfung”. Whoever successfully passes this exam will be able to start his studies at German universities.

Conditions that must be obtained to join the preparatory year

Obtaining a high school diploma is one of the most important conditions required to be able to start the preparatory year. In some cases, the student must have completed two semesters in his country in order to meet the required conditions.

By visiting the “Anabin” the Anabin website, you can accurately check the required conditions based on the high school diploma that you obtained in your home country.

The condition for obtaining the German language level B1 is also necessary to start the preparatory year, as German is the language of instruction during the preparatory year.

Types of preparatory year 

There are two types of preparatory year

The preparatory year in universities or the preparatory year in the faculties of applied sciences:

Those who joined the preparatory year at a university to study after completing the preparatory year at a university or colleges of applied sciences. In general, those who have studied the preparatory year at a college of applied sciences cannot obtain a study seat in universities, but can only obtain a study seat at a college of applied sciences.

Preparatory year at government agencies or private schools

 If you decide to do the preparatory year at a public university, you will be subject at the end of the year to a German university entrance exam. But if you decide to do the preparatory year in a private school, it will be necessary to register at the end of the year in one of the final exams for the preparatory year that are held in public universities.

In order to make sure that you have chosen the correct type of preparatory year, please contact the relevant university in which you want to study later and inquire whether your choice of this type of preparatory year qualifies you to start the specialization you want to study later at this university.

Here you can get here a list of all the universities that teach the preparatory year in Germany

Specializations that can be studied in the preparatory year

The universities that teach the Preparatory Year offer the following specialization courses:  

  • M cycle: for medical, biological and pharmaceutical courses
  • T-cycle: for sports, science or art courses
  • Course W: for Economics and Social Sciences courses
  • Course G: for humanities courses or German studies
  • Course S: Language Studies

Faculties of applied sciences that teach the preparatory year offer the following specializations:

  • TI course: for technical and engineering courses
  • WW Course: Economics Courses
  • GD Course: Design and Technical Courses
  • SW course: for social science courses

Preparatory year cost

Its amount varies depending on the college, between 100 and 400 euros. You must also have health insurance and purchase books and other educational materials yourself.