German language proficiency

Applicants who acquired their higher education entrance qualification or their first academic degree abroad, have to prove their German language proficiency for a study programme taught in German. Please make sure that you prepare in time for a German language test.

If the language certificate cannot provided, a registration for the respective language test needs to be submitted before the end of the application deadline. In case of admission you have to provide the German language certificate when submitting the application for enrolment to the Student Service Center (in the first half of August). If this evidence is not provided, your admission to study at the HafenCity Universität (HCU) will lose its validity.



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 HCU.

450 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).

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“

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.