International applicants  



The new application deadline for the German language course is: July 15, 2018.

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Refugees and asylum seekers

Can refugees apply to study at Leipzig University?

People who come to Germany to escape war and violence may study at Leipzig University.

In order to successfully study at Leipzig University, all applicants – including refugees – must meet the necessary requirements.

Conditions for studying:

1. Proof of language proficiency:

All applicants of a study programme conducted in German are required to prove that their proficiency in German is at the level C1 (of the Common European Framework of Reference–CEFR) by providing a recognised language certificate.

2. Academic prerequisites:

For an undergraduate study programme leading to a bachelor, Diplom or Staatsexamen (State Examination), applicants must provide evidence that they hold a university entrance qualification for German universities. Known in German as a Hochschulzugangsberechtigung (HZB), such a qualification means a school leaving certificate, or in some cases an initial university degree, which entitles the holder to start studying.

You can check the Anabin database to see whether your foreign qualification is recognised in Germany.

If you do not hold such a Hochschulzugangsberechtigung, so if your qualification does not already entitle you to study in Germany, then you must complete a preparatory programme at the Studienkolleg before you can commence your full studies. This one-year professional and linguistic preparatory course ends with an entrance examination known in German as the Feststellungsprüfung, or FSP. Passing this FSP is then a prerequisite for the applicant to be admitted to study at the University.

If you have already completed an initial university degree in your home country, then it is possible to apply to study for a master degree. In addition, admission to a master degree depends on the applicant passing an aptitude test and meeting the subject-specific admission requirements.

3. Study programmes with restricted admission (NCZ and NCU)

In many study programmes the number of applicants is higher than the number of available places. Since there are not enough places for all applicants, there is a special selection system involving certain criteria (e.g. final grade, evaluation of subject-specific suitability) that determines who will be admitted. These study programmes are described as “programmes with restricted admission”. This admission restriction is called Numerus Clausus (NC, lat. ‘closed number’).

There are two different types of restricted admission: nationwide restricted admission (NCZ) for the study programmes Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy and Veterinary Medicine, and Leipzig University’s own internal restricted admission system (NCU).

Applicants for undergraduate study programmes can get information concerning the application procedure on the regular application websites. Applicants for master programmes can find further information on admission restrictions and the application procedure on the websites of the institutes which conduct the degree programme in question.

What kind of residence permit status is necessary?

Basically there are no specific requirements concerning residence permit status that prevent persons who have escaped war or persecution from commencing their studies. Therefore persons entitled to asylum or refugees, persons granted subsidiary protection or persons granted a Duldung, as well as asylum seekers whose asylum procedure has not yet ended, may be admitted to a study programme if they fulfil the formal admission requirements.

Are there any German language courses prepare for academic studies?

For applicants who are refugees and whose proficiency in German is not yet at C1 level (CEFR), Leipzig University offers a free language course to prepare applicants for academic studies. The course is sponsored by the DAAD programme INTEGRA and funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. The course lasts six months. At the end of the course participants take the DSH 2 exam (which corresponds to language level C1). Candidates must successfully pass the exam before they can be admitted to academic studies.

Prerequisites for attending:

  • proven proficiency in German at B1 level (CEFR) or at least 500 hours of German lessons, e.g. through an integration course
  • a direct university entrance qualification (a secondary school certificate or first university degree approved in Germany)
  • application for the German course (DSH course) in combination with specification of chosen study programme at Leipzig University via the applications portal uni-assist e.V.

Before the beginning of the German course, applicants take a test to assess their language level.

Application process:

Applications for the preparatory German language course can only be submitted via uni-assist e.V. and only if you also specify your chosen study programme at Leipzig University. When specifying your subject with uni-assist e.V. you will need to look for ‘Deutschkurs für Geflüchtete’ (‘German language course for refugees’). You can find specific instructions for applying in the section “How can I apply for a study programme?”. Language course participants will be selected by Leipzig University’s International Centre.

Leipzig University is especially keen to encourage women refugees to apply for the preparatory German language course and a subsequent course of studies at Leipzig University.


Application for the summer semester: 15 November - 15 January

Application for the winter semester: 02 May - 15 July (new application deadline)

(All documents must be handed in to uni-assist e.V. by then.)

Do I have to apply for the Studienkolleg (preparatory courses)?

Before you can start your studies, you have to attend the Studienkolleg if you are applying for a study programme that leads to the degrees bachelor, Diplom or State Examination and have no direct university entrance qualification. Having no direct university entrance qualification means that your school certificate is not sufficient to qualify you to start academic studies immediately at Leipzig University. The Studienkolleg is a one-year professional and linguistic study preparation course and ends with an entrance examination (FSP), which is then the prerequisite for you to be able to study at Leipzig University.

In Leipzig it is possible to attend the Studienkolleg Sachsen. At the moment there are additional places at the Studienkolleg for people with a refugee background. These places are sponsored by the DAAD programme INTEGRA and funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

Prerequisites for application:

  • proven proficiency in German at B1 level (CEFR) or at least 500 hours of German lessons, e.g. through an integration course
  • an indirect university entrance qualification (your school certificate from your home country entitles you to attend a Studienkolleg)
  • application for the Studienkolleg in combination with application for studies at Leipzig University via the applications portal uni-assist e.V.

Application process:

Studienkolleg applications can only be submitted via uni-assist e.V. and only together with an application for a study place at Leipzig University. You must first apply for your desired study programme (e.g. “Biology”) via uni-assist e.V. Then uni-assist e.V. will ask you if you also want to enrol at a Studienkolleg. This question must be answered with “yes”. It is not possible to apply for a Studienkolleg only. You can find more information in the section “How can I apply for a study programme?”.


Application for the summer semester: 15 December

Application for the winter semester: 15 June

(All documents must be handed in to uni-assist e.V. by then.)

How can I apply for a study programme?

To study at Leipzig University, you have to apply via the portal uni-assist e.V. Refugees are not required to pay the fees if they apply for exemption from costs and enclose a TestAS certificate or Beratungsschein as well as evidence of their residence status. Detailed instructions on applying via uni-assist e.V. can be found here:

Step-by-step instructions for uni-assist e.V.

After creating an online application for the preparatory German language course, the Studienkolleg or an actual study programme, print out the application for admission, sign it and send it along with the rest of your application documents by post to uni-assist e.V.:

Universität Leipzig
c/o uni-assist e.V.
D-11507 Berlin


Application for the German language course:

15 November - 15 January (summer semester)

15 July (winter semester) - new application deadline

Applications for the Studienkolleg:

15 December (summer semester)

15 June (winter semester)

Direct applications to study:

The same deadlines are valid for all international applicants. These can be found via the following links:

Study programmes leading to a bachelor/Diplom/Staatsexamen (State Examination)

Study programmes leading to a master degree

What is TestAS?

Application is free for refugees if they present either a TestAS certificate or a Beratungsschein. TestAS is a central, standardised test of the ability of foreign applicants to study. With the aid of TestAS, it is possible for you to increase your chances of being selected for some study programmes with restricted admission.

There are different TestAS centres in Germany. In Leipzig you can take the TestAS at Language Coach Institute. The test is offered in German, English or Arabic. Registration to take the test for free must be done via the TestAS portal for refugees.

What is the Beratungsschein?

In exceptional cases, if a refugee is unable to participate in a TestAS then the International Centre may issue a document called Beratungsschein. This is possible during the regular office hours. Please bring the required application documents, such as secondary school certificate, university degree (if you have one) and proof of proficiency in German to this advisory meeting. If these documents are not in German or English, you will have to bring a German or English translation.

What can I do if my documents are incomplete?

If some or all of the applicant’s documents are missing due to the circumstances of when they fled their home country, then Leipzig University bases its decisions on the Resolution of the Kultusministerkonferenz (Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Länder in the Federal Republic of Germany) from 03.12.2015. This allows for the burden of proof to be relaxed by potentially waiving the applicant’s requirement to provide official documents, as long as there is indirect evidence that the applicant has acquired the necessary university entrance qualification.

In such cases, Leipzig University decides on a case-by-case basis taking into account the formal and academic  aptitude of the applicant. We therefore recommend that before applying you consult with the staff at the International Centre during their regular office hours.

How can I get access to financial support?

Persons entitled to asylum or persons granted subsidiary protection can, at the beginning of their studies, make a request for a student loan (called BAföG) irrespective of how long they have been in Germany (this does not apply to the preparatory German language course!). As of 1 January 2016, the same is valid for persons granted a Duldung or persons in possession of certain humanitarian residence titles if they have already been living in Germany for 15 months. Asylum seekers whose asylum procedure has not yet ended cannot apply for BAföG. They receive financial support under the German social welfare law for asylum seekers (the Asylbewerberleistungsgesetz, or AsylbLG).

Information on your entitlement to BAföG during your studies or to financial support during a preparatory German language course will be provided from the local department for grants or from the responsible consultants at the Jobcenter.

Note: Please make sure you take care of your basic financial security early on. It can take up to three months to process BAföG applications.

More information

  • If you are not currently able to study on a full-time basis, you can register as a so-called Gasthörer, or auditor. Information on applying for auditor status can be found in the lifelong learning section of the University’s website.
  • With the help of Kiron Open Higher Education, you can take online courses on four different subjects; you do not need to fulfil any requirements to take part.
  • Graduates who acquired their degree abroad and wish to enter a profession must have their degree checked and approved by the relevant authorities. Leipzig University does not offer this service.

last update: 11.06.2018