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German language skills

Applicants with a Non-German higher education entrance qualification or with a Non-German first academic degree have to prove sufficient German language skills in the course of the application process.

If you apply for the English Master REAP or for the Master Geodesy and Geoinformatics with the specialisation Hydrography, than the proof of sufficient German language skills is not necessary.

Please submit the proof of German language skills with your application within the application deadline. If you are able to prove that you are currently attending an appropriate language course or that the exam has already been taken and the results are still pending within the application period then the proof of German language skills can be subsequently submitted to the enrolment (in the first half of August). If you don't meet the deadline we can't enrol you and we will revoke its offer of admission.




Please note that your language certificate must not be older than 3 years, unless you have started to study at a German University after you have completed your language certificate.



Accepted German language certificates

Below you will find all accepted German language certificates at the HafenCity University Hamburg.


These examinations are taken at schools abroad, particulary at German schools abraod, which lead to a secondary school leaving certificate of the respective country. The examinations are oriented at the requirements which fulfill the first foreign language in German secondary schools for the German secondary school leaving certificate (Abitur). You will find more information on the website of the Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs (KMK).


The "German language proficiency test for the university entry for foreign applicants" is aimed to applicants who fulfil in principle the requirements for studies but have to provide sufficient German language skills. You need at least DSH 2 for an admission at the HafenCity University. Please not that the DSH-examination is not offered at the HafenCity University.

The Test of German as a foreign language for foreign applicants – TestDaF – is an international language examination for all who have already good language skills and want to test them.

It consists of four partial exams: reading comprehension, listening comprehension, writing skills, and oral expression. All partial exams you have passed will be evaluated according to the levels 3, 4, and 5. You need an overall score of 15 points earned with three partial exams on at least level 4 and one partial exams on at least level 3 to prove sufficient German proficiency for studying at HafenCity University.

430 Test centers all over the globe offer the TestDaF examination. In Hamburg you can choose from six accredited test centers.

There are six dates on the yearly TestDaF schedule. If you want to start studying  in the winter semester, we recommend that you prepare for the June TestDaF date (test registration period starts in April). Summer semester applicants ought to focus on the November test date prior to the Uni application (test registration period starts in September).

Make sure to have one further test date option for retaking the TestDaF. Only by sticking to the above test dates can you have an additional go before classes start.

You can take the exam in Germany and worldwide at a Goethe-Institut or Goethe Center as well as at the partner examination institutes.

Note: Beginning 01.01.2012 the Goethe-certificate C2: advanced German language certificate (Großes Deutsches Sprachdiplom) will replace three exams currently in use: the Goethe-certificate: central advanced language examination (Zentrale Oberstufenprüfung (ZOP)), the adavanced and the basic German language certificates (Kleines Deutsches Sprachdiplom (KDS) und Großes Deutsches Sprachdiplom (GDS)).


The Goethe certificate C1 conform to the six levels of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

the following telc language certificates are accepted at the HCU: „telc Deutsch C1 Hochschule“, „telc  Deutsch C1“ or „telc Deutsch C2“

The DSP II - examination is accepted from the Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs as a proof of German language skills for the admission at Universities. You can take the examination only at the Munich Institute of Language and Interpreting.


Applicants who don't have a direct access to a course of studies in Germany have to pass the assessment test at a Studienkolleg in Germany. The certificate of the assessment test of the Studienkolleg is accepted as a proof of German language skills.


German language proficiency recognized by bilateral agreements, according to Common European Framework of Reference for Languages or other agreements made by the Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs (KMK) and German Rectors' Conference (HRK) is also accepted as adequate proof for university studies.