3.3.2 Language requirements

Generally, the language of instruction at Humboldt is German. All undergraduate study programmes (Bachelor's and Staatsexamen) are taught in German. Some internationally oriented Master's courses as well as individual lectures and seminars are taught in English. Please note that there might be different language requirements for the various Master's Degrees. International exchange students have the opportunity to take part in the Berlin Perspectives programme which offers further courses in English ( 7.1).

For a pre-university course (Studienkolleg), a certificate verifying at least level B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (Gemeinsamer Europäischer Referenzrahmen) is required. Documentation merely certifying attendance of German courses or lessons is not sufficient.

Applicants for a Bachelor's course or German-language Master's course need to have German language skills at level C1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, or a Test Deutsch als Fremdsprache für Studienbewerber (TestDaF) certificate with a TDN 3 score in all four parts of the test.

Before embarking on a course at Humboldt, the German language skills of the admitted students will have to be checked again in a language proficiency test known as the Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang (DSH). The invitation to the test will be sent to applicants along with the confirmation of admission (Zulassung). The test normally takes place shortly before the semester starts (early in March for the summer semester and early in September for the winter semester). Candidates whose score is under DSH 2 or DSH 3 may repeat the test. However, a new application will have to be submitted in this case.

Exemption from the DSH test will be granted to:

  • applicants holding a German university entrance certificate (Abitur, Fachhochschulreife or similar qualification, obtained in Germany or at a German School abroad)
  • applicants holding the Deutsches Sprachdiplom (level II) of the Conference of German Education Ministers (KMK) in all parts at C1 level
  • applicants holding the Goethe-Zertifikat C2 (Großes Deutsches Sprachdiplom) from the Goethe-Institute
  • applicants who passed the Deutsche Sprachprüfung at a foreign higher education institution, if the test was taken under the auspices of the Studienkolleg or the German as a Foreign Language department of a German university
  • applicants who passed the telc Deutsch C1 Hochschule test with "very good" or "good" ("sehr gut" or "gut")
  • applicants who passed the Deutsch als Fremdsprache für Studienbewerber (TestDaF) test and achieved a score of at least TDN 4 in all four sections of the test.

Students whose certificates are older than three years are not exempt from the DSH. More information can be found at TestDaF.