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    Degree-seeking students

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Language requirements for admission to a degree program

What language skills are required for studying at Bielefeld University?

Good German language skills are required for successful studies at Bielefeld University. With a few exceptions, courses are held in German. Therefore, all applicants with foreign academic qualifications who wish to pursue a German taught degree program at Bielefeld University must provide proof of sufficient language skills.

For the International Master programs and "International Tracks", no knowledge of German is required. However, there are different language requirements for the "international tracks". A list of these requirements can be found further down on this page.

If you cannot provide proof of sufficient German language skills, you have the possibility to be enrolled as a language course student at Bielefeld University.

Frequently asked Questions about knowledge of German language


Proof of German language skills

The following certificates in particular are accepted for admission to a German taught degree program:

  • TestDaF (at least level TDN 4 in all four exam parts or a total of 16 with at least TDN 4 in the exam part “Writing”).
  • DSH-Prüfung (German language exam for university entrance) with a result of DSH-2 or DSH-3
  • telc Deutsch C1 Hochschule
  • Goethe-Zertifikat C2: „Großes Deutsches Sprachdiplom Goethe-Institut“
  • Deutsches Sprachdiplom (DSD) der Kultusministerkonferenz (KMK) Stufe II (with level C1 in the  „Writing“ part and one additional part)
  • Österreichisches Sprachdiplom C2 (ÖSD C2)
  • Feststellungsprüfung Studienkolleg (exam part German)
  • School-leaving qualification from a German-speaking school abroad that is equivalent to a German university entrance qualification
  • Proof of at least ten years of school attendance in Germany or completion of the 10th grade of a German-speaking school.

English taught Master programs & International Tracks

You do not need any German language proficiency if you intend to study an English taught Master program or a so-called "International track" at Bielefeld University.

For the following programs German language proficiency is not required:

English: Qualifying degree from an English-speaking institution/ Language certificate B2 (TOEFL, telc, IELTS, UNIcert, Cambridge Certificate)

English: Qualifying degree from an English-speaking institution/ Language certificate (TOEFL (iBT) minimumof 87 points/telc English minimum Level B2/equivalent qualification)

English: Qualifying degree from an English-speaking institution/ Language certificate (TOEFL (iBT) minimum of 87 points/telc English minimum Level B2/equivalent qualification)

English: Qualifying degree from an English-speaking institution/ Language certificate (TOEFL (iBT) minimum of 87 points/telc English minimum Level B2/equivalent qualification)

English: Qualifying degree from an English-speaking institution/ Language certificate (TOEFL (iBT) minimum of 87 points/telc English minimum Level B2/equivalent qualification)

English: Qualifying degree from an English-speaking institution/ Language certificate (TOEFL (iBT) minimum of 87 points/telc English minimum Level B2/equivalent qualification)

English:Qualifying degree from an English-speaking institution/ Language certificate (TOEFL (iBT) minimum of 87 points/telc English minimum Level B2/equivalent qualification)

English: Qualifying degree from an English-speaking institution/ Language certificate B2 (TOEFL, telc, IELTS, UNIcert, Cambridge Certificate)

English: English-speaking degree/ TOEFL-Test (iBT) minimum of 93 points; (pBT) minimum of 580 points)/UNIcert: level III and IV/IELTS Academic Module, Band 7.0 or higher/CPE Examination (A, B or C)/CAE Examination (A or B)

English: Qualifying degree from an English-​speaking institution/Language certificate (TOEFL (iBT) minimum of 87 points/telc English minimum Level B2/or an equivalent language certificate)

English: Qualifying degree from an English-speaking institution/ Language certificate B2 (TOEFL, telc, IELTS, UNIcert, Cambridge Certificate)


Master programs with different language requirements

Other programs with different language requirements

English/Spanish: Certificate English and Spanish with a minimum degree of B2, qualifying degree from an anglophone or hispanic country/aptitude test/Certificate “Sprache und Kultur der Iberoromania [Iberian Romance language and culture]” of Bielefeld University’s Faculty of Linguistics and Literary Studies

Proficient knowledge of two foreign languages, one being English, through classes or participation in language practice courses within or out of university. For applicants with entrance qualifications from a non-German-speaking institution, German is considered one of the two foreign languages

German/English: Qualifying degree from a German-speaking institution and English skills level B2 or qualifying degree from an English-speaking institution/certificate level C1 and German skills level B1 (Knowledge of the German language may be acquired over the course of study)

German/ English: German: TestDaF level 4, DSH 2, telc Deutsch C1 Hochschule, Goethe- Zertifikat C2 English: Study qualification/graduation at English-speaking institution/language certificate B2 (TOEFL, telc, IELTS, UNIcert, Cambridge Certificate)

German: TestDaF 4x3/ DSH 1/ equivalent certificate of level B2


Frequently asked questions

As a rule, the German language certificate required for your desired degree program has to be submitted as part of your application. If you take one of the recognized exams after the application deadline, we can consider your application if you submit a binding registration for the exam (TestDaF, DSH, etc.) and it takes place in time for you to be able to present the exam certificate by the time you enroll for your studies.

If you have a basic knowledge of German (minimum level B1 CEFR), but your language skills are not sufficient for a degree program, you can be enrolled as a language course student. The study-preparatory language courses are conducted by the Bielefeld language institute bibis in cooperation with the university. At the end of this language course you can register for the TestDaF and thus, acquire the necessary language certificate for studying at Bielefeld University.

The prerequisite for enrollment as a language course participant is admission by the Student Office. You will be admitted if you apply for a Bachelor or Master program at Bielefeld University and have the academic qualification as well as the German language level B1, proven by the Goethe-Zertifikat B1 or proof of 800 hours of German lessons.

After registering for the language course, language course participants are enrolled at Bielefeld University for a maximum of two semesters; in justified exceptional cases, an extension to a maximum of four semesters is possible.

If you have any questions about the language courses or the language exams, please contact the language institute bibis.

Once you are already enrolled as an international student at Bielefeld University, you have the opportunity to further improve your German language skills. The German Learning Center PunktUm offers various courses level A1 to C1 CEFR.


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