Study in Germany: Studienkolleg

Studierende lernen gemeinsam © fotolia/Foto: Jacob Lund

How can I get the university qualifications, when my school-leaving certificate from Thailand is not recognized in Germany? Learn more about Studienkolleg (preparatory courses), the official program, which will entitle you to study at a German university.

What is the Studienkolleg?

The school-leaving certificate “Mathayom 6” and “Vocational School Certificate” (Por Wor Chor, Por Wor Sor) in Thailand are not recognized as university entrance qualifications (HZB) for studies in Germany. Therefore, you are not able to enroll in a German university directly. However, you can get your qualifications by visiting the so called Studienkolleg in Germany.

Studienkollegs are the educational institutions in which international university applicants take the preparatory courses in order to prepare for the academic study at a German university. For the admission to the Studienkolleg, you must pass the entrance exam. At the end of the Studienkolleg your knowledge in various subjects which are essential for your field of study will be tested. The exam which also consists of the language test is called Feststellungsprüfung or the university entrance assessment examination.

For more detailed information, please visit the website of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).
German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)

The Studienkolleg in four main points

(1) Preparation in Thailand
Taking German courses in Thailand in order to reach the required language level from Studienkolleg.
(2) Focus on your goal
Finishing the Studienkolleg in main subjects that are relevant to the university degree you intend to achieve.
(3) Direct admission to the universities in Germany
The only way for foreign students that do not have the school-leaving certificate and have not started their university study.
(4) For your study in Germany
If you pass the Studienkolleg, you will get the university entrance qualification to study at universities in Germany.

Which main subjects are there in the course?

Studienkollegs offer various preparatory courses which will prepare you for your particular subject area. Before applying, you should enquire about available courses offered by each Studienkolleg.
Always bear in mind that you can only apply for the field of study at the university, where you have taken the Studienkolleg. There might be some problems in the case of psychology for example. This subject might belongs to the field of medicine at one university, but belongs to the field of social science at another one. For this reason, you should always find out beforehand to which field of study your future study at the university belong, so that you can attend the right Studienkolleg and the right main subjects in preparatory course.

There are 5 types of Studienkolleg for the study at the universities:

  1. M-Kurs: for the field of study of medicine, biology or pharmaceutical.
    Main subjects: German, mathematic and sciences
  2. T-Kurs: for the technical and scientific field of study
    Main subjects: German, mathematic, physic and chemistry
  3. W-Kurs: for the field of study of economic and social sciences
    Main subjects: German, mathematic, political sciences, history or geography, English
  4. G-Kurs: for humanistic and linguistic field of study, history, German studies or philosophy
    Main subjects: German, history, German or English literature, sociology/geography
  5. S-Kurs: for the field of study of languages, foreign languages that are not German
    Main subjects: German, foreign language, history or sociology/geography or German literature (There are the combination of G-/S-Kurs at some universities)
Studienkollegs at the universities offer the courses with following main subjects:
  1. TI-Kurs: for the technical and engineering field of study
  2. WW-Kurs: for the economic field of study
  3. GD-Kurs: for the fields of study of creative arts and fine arts
  4. SW-Kurs: for the fields of study of social sciences

How can I apply?

Each preparatory course has its own requirements and documentary obligations.  The required level of German language also varies from B1 to the higher level. You can find detailed information in the FAQ below.


Courses and exams at the state Studienkolleg are usually free of charge except the ones in Dresden (6,000 euro in total) and Glauchau. As Studienkolleg is a part of university or the technical college, it is obligatory to pay the semester fee whose costs vary from 30 to 300 euros, depending on the course.

You can apply for a place directly (1) at the Studienkolleg you chose or (2) at the International Office of the university of your choice or (3) at the platform

Please take the application procedures as well as deadlines of each Studienkolleg or faculty into account. Some universities set their deadline according to university semester but some universities set their deadline according to the school semester.

For many Studienkollegs, students have to hand in the application on the platform At the platform uni-assist, documents for the study registration from international students are uploaded and examined. Students are immediately notified if they miss some documents. Once the process is completed, the documents will be passed to the university of your choice. You must find the information about the documents that your Studienkolleg of your choice might require in addition.

The translations have to be done by the sworn or certified translator in your city. Afterwards, they have to be approved and recognized by the Consulate. You can find the list of sworn translators in you federal state at the homepage of German consulates and German embassy in Thailand.

Lists of the sworn translators in Thailand

The number of study places at each Studienkolleg is limited and there are usually more applications than the available places. The applicant, therefore, must pass the entrance exam in two subjects to get the study place.
  1. M-/T-/W-Kurse: German and Mathematic
  2. G-/S-Kurse: German and social sciences

The entrance exam usually takes place at the university of your choice. It means that you have to already be in Germany and take the risks of not passing the exam.

The exam only takes place at the university in Germany, which organizes the Studienkolleg.

Each Studienkolleg has its own schedule, but in general the entrance exam takes place in October and March. Some universities also offer the entrance exams in June and January as an alternative.

The universities of music or fine arts require another university entrance qualification which is different from other fields of study.
Instead of the Studienkolleg, the study applicants have to pass the qualification test, in which they must prove their knowledge and skill in the study of your choice. 

Please find more information about the application process directly at the homepage of the education institutes.

Yes, you can only apply for the university course that exactly corresponds to the same field of study as the course (with the same main subjects) you have attended in the Studienkolleg. It means that if one has passed G/S-Kurs, he or she can study history, German Studies, Philosophy or Foreign Languages at the university. M-Kurs entitles you to study medicine, pharmaceutical and biology. T-Kurs is for the sciences as well as other technical subjects. And if you pass W-Kurs, you can study social and economic field of study.

Yes, foreign students can study medicine, if they have passed M-Kurs at the Studienkolleg.

Students, that graduated with the German leaving-school certificate (Abitur) or IB-Diploma (International Baccalaureate), can directly apply for the study at the portal Stiftung für Hochschulzulassung.

You should directly contact the university, where you want to study, because this can vary from one university to another. We provide support for the study applicants with our affiliated prep college. Please write us an email to

Most Studienkollegs require certain level of German language. Following are the language certificates that prove the competence of German language:
  • TestDaF (Test Deutsch als Fremdsprache)
  • DSD II (Deutsches Sprachdiplom der Kultusministerkonferenz)
  • Goethe-Zertifikat B1 (only at some Studienkollegs)
  • Goethe-Zertifikat B2
  • Goethe-Zertifikat C1
  • Goethe-Zertifikat C2
Most Studienkollegs also offer language exams such as TestDaF and DSH (Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang). The applicants can take the DSH exam at their faculties (in case of lack of the above mentioned certificates). (TestDaF exam, by contrast, as well as other certificates can be taken in Thailand.) All the exams are not free of charge. You can find more information about TestDaF here.

In most cases the language level of B2 is required. But in any cases, it is important to ask the Studienkolleg of your choice about it.

Do you want to test your German language competence?

Goethe-Institut provides you with an online assessment test.

The Goethe-Institut as well as the website of Deutsch-Uni-Online also offer the preparation courses for TestDaF. Some publishers and other websites offer learning materials for the exam preparation.

In general it takes two semesters to finish the course at the Studienkolleg. Each semester can be repeated only once in maximum. Most courses of Studienkolleg are full-time courses. The course consists of five to seven subjects which take from 28 to 32 class hours per week. It is obligatory for all students to attend the class and to take the oral and written exams.

At the conclusion of the Studienkolleg, the students can take the Feststellungsprüfung (university entrance assessment examination), which will entitle you to apply at the university of your choice. However if one does not pass the exam for the second attempt, he or she will not be able to study in Germany.

At some Studienkollegs one can also take the Feststellungsprüfung as the external Feststellungsprüfung. It means that one does not have to attend the Studienkolleg beforehand. Nevertheless, such an exam is very difficult. The requirement of German skill is much higher than the one for the entrance examination. This option is only recommended if you are very confident about your level of German language.
If you can pass the test, you can then attend the field of study that you intend to pursue. Please bear it in mind that you can only repeat the exam once.

Because of the regulation decided on the state level, some Studienkollegs in North Rhine-Westphalia were closed. As the result, STK Uni Köln, FH Köln, as well as STK Uni Münster will have their own university entrance examination.

Pursuant to the law from 2012, the university admission for the students, that have already attained the admission for university study abroad, will be made easier. It means that they do not have to attend the Studienkolleg anymore, but they must take the entrance examination at the university of their choice. If you passed the entrance exam and are able to prove the required language skills, you can then enroll in a university and begin with your study.

If you have decided to study at one of these universities, please directly contact the International Office of the university of your choice.

After passing the university entrance assessment examination (Feststellungsprüfung), you can apply for the bachelor study in your field of study. Some Studienkollegs are recognized for the study application in other federal states, but some are only recognized in their own state. It is important to find out the information about the Studienkolleg of your choice, especially, if you intend to later apply for the study in another federal state.

Usually the students pursue their study at the same university where they pass the Studienkolleg. But for some fields of study, you can also apply for the study at another university in the same federal state or even throughout Germany. You need to be clear in your mind beforehand, if you would like to apply for the study at more than one university.

Studienkollegs are institutions that belong to the universities or the technical colleges.

As a participant of the Studienkolleg, you are entitled to the same rights as regular students: transportation, student discount, access to the cafeteria and the university library etc.

Apart from the documents required for the study at the university, Thais will need the resident permit for the university preparation for more than two years. Regarding deadline and requirement for the visa, you should directly contact the embassy and the consulate. Please have a look at the following website.


Do you still have questions? Write us!

Haran Thankham
Tel.: +66 2 108 8221
Fax: +66 2108 8299