Language requirements are common in study destinations abroad. The medium of instruction is usually the host country’s official language.

In Germany, most programs are taught in German, some in English. Most bachelor’s level programs use German as a medium. Meanwhile, English-taught programs are more common at the master’s level.

With that in mind, it’s necessary that you prove your German proficiency. Most German universities have language requirements during their admission process.

If the whole ordeal is confusing for you, here’s a short guide to German language requirements for international students:

Accepted German Language Certificates

The Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs recognizes five certificates. These are the following:

These five German language certificates have equal validity. This means you can apply to German universities if you have any one of them.

However, there are specific requirements you have to consider. For example, your chosen university may ask for a TestDaF certificate. If you hold a DSD II certificate, then you cannot satisfy their language requirements.

Note that language requirements not only vary per university but also per program. A program may ask for a DSH II certificate, while another might need a TestDaF.

There are also instances where you can submit a language certificate in place of another. Some universities accept more than one or any of the five accepted certificates. It’s best to identify the specific requirements in your university and program.

Level of German Language Proficiency You Need

Similar to accepted language certificates, language proficiency also varies per university and program. 

It’s vital to check these specific requirements first before taking a language test. Through that, you’ll get an idea of the level you need to achieve.

German Language Tests can be costly too. So you must really check to avoid taking two different tests or re-taking one. 

Most German universities follow the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. There are six levels of proficiency on the CERF scale. These are:

A1 is the lowest and C2 is the most advanced. In general, you need to be at least on B2 (upper-intermediate).

However, if you must take the Goethe-Zertifikat, you need to score the highest level or C2. The other tests are specific to students, while this one is a more general one. 

Details About Each German Language Test

Here are some information about each German language test:


Goethe-Zertifikat C2

telc Deutsch C1 Hochschule


International students must submit German language requirements to study in Germany. Learn more about the requirements to study in Germany with MSM Unify.

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