Studying together in Thuringia.

Grafik Hochschulen
Universities in Thuringia

Discover your opportunities to study in Thuringia!

All in all, Thuringia boasts 10 state universities and 1 private university featuring 190 undergraduate study programs (leading up to the Bachelor degree, the State Examination or the Magister degree) and 180 graduate study programs (such as Master programs). Moreover, 4 universities also offer students the opportunity to obtain a doctorate.

It is already possible to take up studies before having obtained a residence permit! The minimum requirements for studies in Thuringia are:

  • a university entrance qualification and
  • the proof of the command of language required for the study program.


University courses:

The universities offer refugees a diversified selection of multiple courses:

  • Attendance of lectures as a guest student,
  • preparatory courses,
  • preparatory linguistic courses.


Answers to frequently asked questions:

Where can I study?

There different types of universities in Thuringia (Universities, Technical Universities, Universities of Applied Sciences and Vocational Academies) at some of which the same subject can be studied. State universities are financed by the Free State of Thuringia and their students do not pay any tuition fees, only semester contributions. Private universities obtain their funding by raising tuition fees.


State universities


Universities are scientifically focused and therefore offer optimal preconditions for students who like working in a research-oriented context. Some study programs, like Medicine or Law, are only offered at universities. Moreover, in Thuringia, universities are the only institutions entitled to award academic doctorates. Apart from university graduates also graduates of universities of applied sciences are entitled to apply for a doctorate program at the universities.

Some universities specialize in certain subjects. This, technical universities often offer a broad spectrum of scientific, engineering or technical study programs while art and music colleges specifically focus on visual, performing or musical subjects.

Universities in Thuringia:


Universities of Applied Sciences

Universities of Applied Sciences mainly target prospective students looking for a rather practice and application-oriented study program based on scientifc knowledge. Usually, the study programs include one or two internship semesters working in a company.

Universities of Applied Sciences in Thuringia:


Cooperative Universities

Students who want to gather professional experience during their studies can start a cooperative study program at a state or state-approved university. Cooperative universities combine the theoretical tuition at the Cooperative University with the practical training in a company. To do this, students sign a training contract with a company where they will accomplish half of the training.

Cooperative University in Thuringia:


Private Universities

In Thuringia there is one private university that is state-approved:


What can I study?

All in all, Thuringia boasts 10 state universities and 1 private university offering 190 undergraduate study programs (leading up to the Bachelor degree, the State Examination or the Magister degree) and 180 graduate study programs (such as Master programs).

Campus Thüringen provides a survey of which university offers which study programs.

Those who are unsure which study program to choose can look up on, for example, which study programs are on offer in the desired subject.


Degrees awarded in Thuringia


The Bachelor study programs consist of six to eight semesters and lead up to a first career-qualifying degree - the Bachelor. Depending on the university, students can choose between a single-subject Bachelor degree or combination Bachelor study programs. After the successful completion, graduates may either continue with a Master study program or start working.


Dual Bachelor

Dual Bachelor study programs are based on the cooperation between universities and companies. They link academic studies with on-the-job activity in a company. In Thuringia some of the universities or universities of applied sciences and the Duale Hochschule Gera-Eisnach offer dual Bachelor study programs.



The Master study program builds on a previously completed Bachelor-study program and broadens the knowledge gained or completes the study program by other subjects' accents in a standard period of study of two to four semesters. A successful master degree qualifies for different professions or a scientifc career (doctorate).


Diploma and Magister

Some universities offer study programs leading up to a Diploma or Magister. They are subdivided into a basic and a main study or several study phases and takes all in all eight to ten semesters. A Diploma or Magister degree entitles to apply for a doctorate in the same way as a Master degree.


State examination

The State Examination gives access to certain professions (ex: physician, teacher, jurist). The study is followed by a practical training or a preparation stage which is concluded by the Second State Examination. A successfully completed First State Examination entitles to apply for a doctorate.


Whom can I contact if I have further questions?

The Zentrale Studienberatung bzw. Allgemeine Studienberatung at the universities offer information and counseling during which questions like the following can be asked:

  • What possibilities of study exist in my field of interest?
  • What abilities should I have in order to take up a certain study?
  • Which formal preconditions must I fulfil to enrol for a study?
  • What is the application process?
  • What are my chances to obtain the desired study place?
  • Which subjects combine well?
  • Who are the competent contact persons to answer further questions?


The Studienfachberatung (Student Counseling) of the respective university provides information on all questions concerning a certain study program. Here, questions like the following area answered:

  • Does my idea about the study content conform with what is taught in my desired study program?
  • Which are the focal areas in the study?
  • How is the study program structured?
  • What are the examination requirements?
  • Which achievements are recognized?


The „International Office“ at each university assists all international students and informs about organizational questions in respect of their stay in Germany. Here, the following sort of questions can be answered:

  • What are my first steps in the city where I study after I have been admitted?
  • Which documents do I require for my residence permit?
  • How do I find an accomodation?
  • How do I take out which health insurance?
  • What possibilities do I have to finance my studies?
  • Who are the competent contact persons to answer further questions


Many student initiatives at the different universities also offer to help if you have questions about your studies. Students in higher semesters pass on their own experiences. They answer questions as to the studies, the city, every day life and give helpful advice:

  • What is student life at the university like?
  • What is special about the university and the city?
  • What sort of accomodations are there and how do I find them?
  • What is the difference between school and study?
  • What personal advice can you give as to the choice of study?


The Studierendenwerk Thüringen provides information and advice in respect of all social and economic matters, such as accomodation in the city of study, financing and other support. The Studentenwerk Thüringen answers questions like the following:

  • What sort of accomodations are there in the city of the university?
  • What possibilites of financing the study are there?
  • What support is offered to students with children?
  • What advice and points of contact are there for students with a handicap?


Are there specific offers for refugees?

Many universities have special offers for refugees to prepare for a study within the framework of their preconditions and aims.


Offers for refugees

Some universities offer refugees special courses in preparation for a study program. Please contact the respective university and ask for further information and the conditions for attendance:


University guest student programs

All universitites in Thuringia offer the opportunity to attend selected lectures and seminars as a guest student without necessarily being enroled in a study program. However, guest students are not allowed to take examinations or obtain credit points for their attendance of lectures and seminars. Admittance is restricted to available capacities.

The guest student status is basically open to everyone and not confined to age limitations, special preconditions (such as a university entrance qualification or language proficiency), place of residence or other characteristics. Refugees also may apply for a guest student status.

Principally, the guest student status is subject to a fee which may however be waived - like in case of refugees.


How do I find an accomodation in the city where I want to study?

Studierendenwerk Thüringen

One inexpensive type of accomodation are rooms in the student hostels run by the Studierendenwerk Thüringen. The rent of furnished rooms (including all operating costs for water, electricity and heating) usually amounts to EUR 104 and EUR 313. You can find more detailed information about application modalities, situation and the specific rents of individual housing estates on the website of the Studierendenwerk Thüringen. The DAAD also offers a way of searching.


Private rooms

Accomodation is also available on the free market (room and appartment sharing listings on the internet, newspapers, Black Boards in universities etc.). A list of private landlords and landladys is available at Campus Thüringen.


How can I finance my studies?


International students also have the possibility to obtain state funding (so-called BAföG) for their studies provided they have a residence permit entitling them to receive BAföG.

(Prospect) students with the following types of residence permits are entitled to get BAföG as from the start of their studies:

  • Residence permit for reasons of international law, for humanitarian or political reasons (§§ 22, 23 paragraph 1, 2 or 4 of the AufenthaltsG),
  • Residence permit owing to extreme hardship in accordance with § 23a of the AufenthaltsG,
  • Residence permit as a recognized asylum applicant or a refugee in accordance with the Geneva Convention on Refugees (§ 25 Abs. 1 or 2 of the AufenthaltsG).

In some cases, it is only possible to apply for financial support after 15 months for which evidence of uninterrupted, regular, permitted or tolerated residence in Germany has to be submitted. This applies to the following types of residence permits:

  • a residence permit has been granted due to a prohibition of deportation according to § 60 paragraph 2, 3, 5 or paragraph 7 of the AufenthaltsG (§ 25 paragraph 3 of the AufenthaltsG),
  • due to the specific circumstances in this individual case, leaving Germany would constitute an extraordinary hardship (§ 25 paragraph 4 sentence 2 of the AufenthaltsG) or
  • the departure is impossible due to factual or legal reasons (§ 25 paragraph 5 AufenthaltsG).

Even if refugees who are only tolerated (§ 60a of the AufenthG) can obtain state tuition funding under the proviso that they submit evidence of their uninterrupted, regular, permitted or tolerated residence in Germany.



Refugees like all other international students can apply at numerous institutions for a scholarship. These include for instance the DAAD, trusts, denominational institutions or many other organizations. Often, the study is not funded as a whole but only part of it. Usually it is necessary to submit first enducational qualifications.

The DAAD data base contains scholarships granted by the DAAD and other organizations.


Waiver of fees

In some cases it is possible to be exempted of tuition fees. At some universities guest student programs or language courses are offered refugees without charge. Please contact the International Office of the respective universities for further information.


I would like to study in Thuringia, what do I have to do?

Admission requirements

Principally, anyone with a foreign school or university degree may study at a German university. In respect of the admission to a study program, refugees are treated in the same way as any other international applicants. The admission to or continuation of a study program does not require a certain residence permit. The minimum requirements to take up a study program are:

  1. a recognized university entrance qualification as well as
  2. sufficent command of the language in order to be able to follow the tuition.


University entrance qualification

Recognition of university/school graduation certificates

Students who acquired their university entrance qualification abroad (non-EU citizens) can only be admitted to study programs if the graduation degree

  • enables them to take up a study in the home country and
  • is equivalent to the German Abitur.

The online data base provides information about whether a foreign degree can be recognized in Germany.

The decision about the recognition is taken by the university at which the student would like to study, in the framework of the application procedure. For this, please include the university entrance qualification certificate of your home country in your application (the original or a certified copy) as well as a translation into the German language carried out by a certified translator.

In the case of applicants whose university entrance qualification got lost when fleeing the war or disaster area it is still possible to have the lost certificate recognized. Please ask at the university at which the study program is to be started or continued for further information about the required recognition procedure.

Even if the graduation degree does not correspond to the German Abitur a study can be taken up in Germany if

  • the assessment test at the Staatliche Studienkolleg in Nordhausen has been successfully passed or
  • a one or two-year study program has already been accomplished at a recognized university in the home country that corresponds to the chosen study program in Thuringia.

Since the first of March uni-assist e.V. offers a procedure for refugees to have their university entrance qualification assessed free of charge. Further information about the preconditions of the free assessment is available under


Assessment test at the Staatliche Studienkolleg Nordhausen

Applicants whose graduation degrees does not immediately entitle them to study in Germany can take an assessment test at the Staatliche Studienkolleg Nordhausen. The assessment test is meant to find out whether applicants are suited for the intended study program.

The Studienkolleg offers one-year courses to prepare for the assessment test and to acquire the linguistic and subject-related basic knowledge required for the desired study program. There are preparatory courses in different fields.

In individual cases, applicants can take the assessment test without previously attending the Staatliche Studienkolleg, i.e. after independent preparation. For further information please contact the Staatliche Studienkolleg Nordhausen.

In order to be admitted to the Staatliche Studienkolleg Nordhausen applicants have to pass an acceptance test - their admission depends on the achieved performance and the available places.

Applications for the attendance of the Studienkolleg have to be submitted to the university at which applicants wish to study. The university grants a conditional admission which is the precondition for an admission to the Staatliche Studienkolleg. Is not possible to submit a application directly to the Staatliche Studienkolleg!

In order to attend the Staatliche Studienkolleg principally a German proficiency of at least level B1 is required. Applicants with poor knowledge of the German language can attend a pre-course at the Staatliche Studienkolleg in order to improve their language knowledge. Please contact the Staatliche Studienkolleg Nordhausen for further information and contact partners.


Preconditions for an admission

If all the general preconditions for a study have been fulfilled the first step has been taken.

Some study programs are open for everyone to enrol who has fulfilled these conditions (study programs without admission restrictions).

In the case of study programs where it can be expected that there will be more applicants than places the admission is restricted. These restrictions may apply nationally (study programs with national admission restrictions) or to only one study program at a certain university (study programs with local admission restrictions).

When choosing the applicants different criteria are taken into consideration:

  • Often, the average grade of the university entrance qualification is viewed which is called Numerus clausus (NC). The NC values have not been fixed beforehand. Whether an applicant is granted a place or not depends on the number of competing applicants and their grades.
  • In some cases, further criteria are considered beside the average grade, such as motivational letters, professional experience or weighed invididual grades.

Some universities have admission procedures which do not consider the average grade at all. In some study programs (such as Art, Music, Design oder Sports), applicants are required to prove their suitability and talent for the chosen study in the framework of specific procedures (ability test).

The International Office of the university where the applicant wants to study helps to determine whether a study program has restricted admission or requires an ability test.


How can I continue the study program I started in my home country?

Recognition of previous academic achievements

If it is possible to have achievements previously attained within the framework of a study program started in the home country credited in respect of a study program followed in Thuringia will decided at the university where the study program is to be continued. All information required for a recognition of previous academic achievement can be obtained at the „International Offices“.


See also "I would like to study in Thuringia, what do I have to do?"


Can I learn German at the universities?

Apart from the respective university entrance qualification the language proficiency required for the study program has to be proven. The language requirements may vary between study programs. The tuition language of the chosen study program must be mastered sufficiently to follow the tuition and to participate actively.

Usually very good German knowledge is required. But there is an increasing number of study programs held in English language. Therefore, before submitting an application it is important to check which language knowledge is required for the desired study program and which proofs of language proficiency are recognized.

German language study programs usually require high German language proficiency which can be proven by the following certificates:

  • German language test for the admission to universities level 2 (Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang, DSH II)
  • Test „Deutsch als Fremdsprache“ (German as a foreign language) (TestDaF) TDN4 in all four partial examinations
  • Goethe-Zertifikat C2 (GDS)
  • Deutsches Sprachdiplom Stufe II (German Language Diploma level II) issued by KMK (DSD II)
  • Zertifikat telc Deutsch C1 Hochschule
  • German language test within the assessment test carried out at a Studienkolleg.

As a preparation for the DSH-II test the university language centers offer fee-based languages courses of one or two semesters. In order to be admitted to such courses students need to have obtained a conditional admission to study at the respective university and to dispose of solid basic knowledge of the German language (corresponding to level B1). Having obtained the general admission to a DSH-language course students are required to take an entrance test. The result of this test is the basis for the final decision about the admission and the allocation to a certain DSH-language course level.

The attendance of DSH language courses is fee-based. A one-semester language course costs approx. EUR 750, a two-semester language course approx. EUR 1,500. The DSH language course ends with an examination consisting of a written and an oral part.

Special preparatory DSH-language courses are offered at the following universities:

Moreover, refugees can test their German and English language knowlege free of charge on onSET in a quick and uncomplicated manner. Please contact the DAAD for further information and the preconditions for the attendance.


How do I apply for a study place?


Applications for study programs that are not subject to an admission restriction have to be submitted directly to the university (mostly online), and some via Please note! There is also a time limit for applications for study programs without admisison restrictions. The deadlines for study programs starting at the beginning of the winter semester or the sommer semester can be found at the respective university. For many study programs it is necessary to apply at least four months before they start. To do this, all required proofs and documents have to be submitted on time. It is therefore imperative to inform yourself in a timely manner!

In the case of study programs that are subject to a national admission restriction (such as Medicine, Pharmacy or Vetenary Medecine) applicants from EU-countries are required to apply online for a study place via Applicants from non-EU-countries are required to inform themselves about the application modalities directly at the university.

The application for study programs that are subject to a local admission restriction is submitted directly to the university and/or via, and some via

More information on Campus Thüringen.


Semester contribution

In Thuringia, state universities do not charge any tuition fees, however, a semester contribution and a contribution to the student body has to be paid.

The semester contribution consists of

  • a basic contribution,
  • a contribution to the semester ticket to use the regional rail offer Regionalverkehr der Deutschen Bahn, (DB-Regio)
  • a contribution to the semester ticket to use the public transport (ÖPNV) and
  • a contribution to the semester ticket to use the Verkehrsverbund Mittelthüringen (VMT)

The amount of the semester contribution to be paid at the different universities in Thuringia varies - the semester contribution in the framework of a study at the Friedrich-Schiller-Universität amounts to EUR 183.80 and that for a study at the Hochschule Schmalkalden EUR 88.90.

The semester contribution pays for the following services:

  • For the basic contribution, the (psycho-) social and legal consulting services of the Studentenwerk can be used free of charge, in the canteens food and drinks are sold at reduced prices and in the student hostels run by the Studentenwerk students find unexpensive accomodation - as far as places are available.
  • the semester ticket DB-Regio enables students to use all regional trains free of charge within Thuringia,
  • the semester ticket ÖPNV allows students to use all busses and trains within the university city free of charge, and
  • with the semester ticket VMT also all busses and trains in the cities that are part of the Verkehrsverbund Mittelthüringen can be used free of charge.


Health insurance

In order to be able to study in Germany it is necessary to take out a health insurance. The proof of insurance has to be submitted for the enrollment as well as at the Aliens Office.

The student tarif of approx. EUR 75.00 per month is the same for all legal health insurances. Private health insurances may have other modalities.


When can I begin with my studies?


After the successful admission the university sends an admission notice containing information about the next steps to be accomplished until the beginning of the study program. In particular, the study place has to be accepted. It is necessary to enrol at the university (Immatrikulation). Therefore it is important to pay particular attention to the information contained in the admission notice!


Where do I find further information?


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