Becoming a Medical student in Germany

Education in medicine in Germany includes: innovative teaching concepts (training with simulators), new types of medicine courses (combination of practice and theory) and well-networked medical community.

In Germany, due to the large demand of individuals for pursuing medical studies there are more applicants that open seats for them to study in a university or equivalent institution- the competition is very tough. Therefore, the country has set particular limitations as regards of the criteria and procedures of application in medical universities, known as “Numerus Clausus” – NC or “Closed Number” – where the number of students admitted into medical universities in Germany is somewhat 10,000/annually.

There are two dissimilar restrictions: Central NC or “Zentraler NC” – as for this group, restriction applies nationally, all over the Germany, and Local NC – restriction for this group applies just for specific universities.

What makes one a successful candidate for doctoral studies

Despite the fact that medical professionals are in a high demand in Germany, yet, universities apply specific admission criteria towards local and foreign medical students. The following will be offering information regarding the issues needed to consider when applying for a medical study programme in Germany.

School-leaving Certificate and Studienkollegs

There are several factors defining one’s chance to become a medical student in Germany – both local or international candidates, but the Abitur grade – the final secondary school exams that qualify high school graduates to enter university is one of the key criteria to meet. So, a high Abitur Grade might definitely define your application in a German higher education institution, and especially speaking about medicine field.

On the other hand, if you are a foreigner – the Recognized Higher Education Entrance Qualification is also an important element that might define your application status for medical studies in Germany. This means that the earlier education earned abroad must be equivalent to the Abitur – the High School Leaving Certificate.

To know if your earlier diploma is recognized you must check within the online database called Anabin – a database offering country specified information regarding the recognition of foreign educational qualification by the German state. However, the university themselves are the main authority to confirm – regarding the recognition of the international applicant’s high school leaving diploma.

If your High School Leaving Diploma is not recognized, then you are required to enroll in the Foundation Course “Studienkollegs” and pass the University Qualification Assessment examination “Feststellungsprüfung” following the end of the foundation course. Foundation courses typically are offered by universities (where the candidate applied for admission at) and typically they last up to two semesters or a calendar year. Following the end of the course, the University Qualification Assessment Examination takes place. To get enrolled in a foundation course at least a B1 level of German Language proficiency is a must. Once you have successfully finished the examination, you can apply in the following year for the same medical study programme you were not eligible before passing the Feststellungsprüfung.


On the other hand, some medical study programmes require “Medizinertest” or a Test für Medizinische Studiengänge (TMS) – where the University of Heidelberg serves as a national coordinating organization of this test.

Basic university admission requirements

However, there is a list of other common requirements needed to be fulfilled by the candidate, in order for its application at any German higher education to be considered successful and completed (including application in a medical field)– where a list of such requirements is to be found below:

Preparatory courses

Moreover, some of German universities offer preparatory courses before the studies begin – and these are called Propaedeutic Courses (preparatory courses). They are intended to prepare students with specific knowledge about the specific study field they are applying for.

Applying through the proper application channel

Depending on the country of origin of the applicant and its earlier education recognition status, universities use different channels for receiving university applications: the Trust for Admission to Higher Education or the Application Services for International University Applications called the Uni-Assist. The easiest way to find out which is your eligible channel of application is by contacting the International Office of the university where you want to apply.

However, the general rule is that applicants that come from EU member states, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway and students who gained German education that entitles them to enter university called “Bildungsinländer” or the German University Entrance Qualification, they must apply at the Trust for Admission to Higher Education –  and there application fee is not applicable.

While, others – the other international applicants must typically apply through the Uni-Assist. To be more specific, there is a list of universities that are members of Uni-Assist available online, where anyone can check if the chosen university uses Uni-Assist in receiving candidates’ applications. In addition, generally speaking, if your chosen university is a member Uni-Assist university you are about to submit your application through the Uni-Assist portal – and the application fee is 75 EUR.

German Higher Education institutions of Medicine field

There are several options for you to discover available medical study programmes in Germany. There is a comprehensive online database of available study programmes in Germany, while there is an opportunity to search only for International Study programmes available – where you can find about 1,801 ones.

On the other hand, according to the Center for Higher Education (CHE) Ranking 2015/16 there are 35 medical universities in Germany with about 80,000 medical students. These universities offer different medical programmes whose programmes comply with the latest developments in the medical field and in teaching methodology. These universities are the following:

  1. Uni Heidelberg- Medizinische Fakultät Heidelberg
  2. Uni Tübingen
  3. RWTH Aachen
  4. TU München
  5. Uni Münster
  6. Uni Witten/Herdecke (priv.)
  7. Uni Lübeck
  8. Uni Ulm
  9. Uni Heidelberg- Medizinische Fakultät Mannheim der Universität Heidelberg
  10. Uni Würzburg
  11. Uni Duisburg-Essen/Essen
  12. MH Hannover
  13. Uni Jena
  14. Uni Leipzig
  15. TU Dresden
  16. Uni Göttingen
  17. LMU München
  18. Uni Bochum
  19. Uni Halle-Wittenberg
  20. Uni Kiel
  21. Uni Bonn
  22. Uni Greifswald
  23. Uni Regensburg
  24. Uni Rostock
  25. FU Berlin
  26. HU Berlin
  27. Uni Düsseldorf
  28. Uni Erl.-Nürnb./Erlangen
  29. Uni Frankfurt a.M.
  30. Uni Freiburg
  31. Uni Hamburg
  32. Uni Köln
  33. Uni Mainz
  34. Uni Gießen
  35. Uni Marburg

Enrollment in a university of Medicine in Germany

As you are lucky enough to get a confirmation from the university, a “letter of admission” – informing you of being admitted as a student in a German university you applied at, the next step before jumping into your dreamed medical studies is to go through the enrollment process – which means getting registered at the specific university department you gained an admittance at.

The detailed information regarding general requirements for enrollment in any German university can be found here.

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