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Language requirements for admission to a degree program

What language skills are required for studying at Bielefeld University?

Good German language skills are required for successful studies at Bielefeld University. With a few exceptions, courses are held in German. Therefore, all applicants with foreign academic qualifications who wish to pursue a German taught degree program at Bielefeld University must provide proof of sufficient language skills.

For the International Master programs and "International Tracks", no knowledge of German is required. However, there are different language requirements for the "international tracks". A list of these requirements can be found further down on this page.

If you cannot provide proof of sufficient German language skills, you have the possibility to be enrolled as a language course student at Bielefeld University.

Frequently asked Questions about knowledge of German language


Proof of German language skills

The following certificates in particular are accepted for admission to a German taught degree program:

  • TestDaF (at least level TDN 4 in all four exam parts or a total of 16 with at least TDN 4 in the exam part “Writing”).
  • DSH-Prüfung (German language exam for university entrance) with a result of DSH-2 or DSH-3
  • telc Deutsch C1 Hochschule
  • Goethe-Zertifikat C2: „Großes Deutsches Sprachdiplom Goethe-Institut“
  • Deutsches Sprachdiplom (DSD) der Kultusministerkonferenz (KMK) Stufe II (with level C1 in the  „Writing“ part and one additional part)
  • Österreichisches Sprachdiplom C2 (ÖSD C2)
  • Feststellungsprüfung Studienkolleg (exam part German)
  • School-leaving qualification from a German-speaking school abroad that is equivalent to a German university entrance qualification
  • Proof of at least ten years of school attendance in Germany or completion of the 10th grade of a German-speaking school.

English taught Master programs & International Tracks

You do not need any German language proficiency if you intend to study an English taught Master program or a so-called "International track" at Bielefeld University.

For the following programs German language proficiency is not required:

English: Qualifying degree from an English-speaking institution/ Language certificate B2 (TOEFL, telc, IELTS, UNIcert, Cambridge Certificate)

English: Qualifying degree from an English-speaking institution/ Language certificate (TOEFL (iBT) minimum of 87 points/telc English minimum Level B2/equivalent qualification)

English: Qualifying degree from an English-speaking institution/ Language certificate (TOEFL (iBT) minimum of 87 points/telc English minimum Level B2/equivalent qualification)

English: Qualifying degree from an English-speaking institution/ Language certificate (TOEFL (iBT) minimum of 87 points/telc English minimum Level B2/equivalent qualification)

English: Language level B2 of the European Framework of Reference for Languages according to the guidelines of Bielefeld University

English: Language level B2 of the European Framework of Reference for Languages according to the guidelines of Bielefeld University

English: Language level B2 of the European Framework of Reference for Languages according to the guidelines of Bielefeld University

English: Qualifying degree from an English-speaking institution/ Language certificate B2 (TOEFL, telc, IELTS, UNIcert, Cambridge Certificate)

English: Proof of a previous qualified degree in English obtained in the area of application of the Basic Law; TOEFL (ibt min. 90, computer-based min 230) or IELTS (min. 7.0). 
German: German language skills are useful for the study program; however, proof of these skills is not required for enrollment. 

English: Qualifying degree from an English-speaking institution/ Language certificate B2 (TOEFL, telc, IELTS, UNIcert, Cambridge Certificate)

English: Qualifying degree from an English-speaking institution/ Language certificate B2 (TOEFL, telc, IELTS, UNIcert, Cambridge Certificate)


Master programs with different language requirements

Other programs with different language requirements

English: Certificate English with a minimum degree of B2 of the European Framework of Reference for Languages
Spanish: Certificate Spanish with a minimum degree of B2 of the European Framework of Reference for Languages
German: German language skills are useful for the study program; however, proof of these skills is not required for enrollment. 

English: Language level B2 of the European Framework of Reference for Languages according to the guidelines of Bielefeld University and
proof of another European foreign language (French, Spanish, Russian or Italian) at the language level B2 of the European Framework of Reference for Languages or proof of intermediate Latin certificate. (Note: depending on the elective module, knowledge of Latin to the extent of intermediate Latin certificate is required for successful completion of the module).
German: German language skills must be proven in accordance with the "Regulations on the Access of International Applicants to Studies at Bielefeld University" in the currently valid version.

English: Certificate English with a minimum degree of C1 of the European Framework of Reference for Languages.
German:
German language skills are recommended for the general success of the study program, but are not a requirement.

German: German language skills must be proven in accordance with the "Regulations on the Access of International Applicants to Studies at Bielefeld University" in the currently valid version.
Proof of two additional European foreign languages at the language level B1 of the European Framework of Reference

German: German language skills must be proven in accordance with the "Regulations on the Access of International Applicants to Studies at Bielefeld University" in the currently valid version.
English: Language level B2 of the European Framework of Reference for Languages according to the guidelines of Bielefeld University

German: German language skills must be proven in accordance with the "Regulations on the Access of International Applicants to Studies at Bielefeld University" in the currently valid version.
English: Study qualification/graduation at English-speaking institution/language certificate B2 (TOEFL, telc, IELTS, UNIcert, Cambridge Certificate)

German: TestDaF 4x3/ DSH 1/ equivalent certificate of level B2 in accordance with the regulations on the admission of international applicants to study at Bielefeld University in the currently valid version

German: TestDaF 4x3/ DSH 1/ equivalent certificate of level B2 in accordance with the regulations on the admission of international applicants to study at Bielefeld University in the currently valid version


Frequently asked questions

As a rule, the German language certificate required for your desired degree program has to be submitted as part of your application. If you take one of the recognized exams after the application deadline, we can consider your application if you submit a binding registration for the exam (TestDaF, DSH, etc.) and it takes place in time for you to be able to present the exam certificate by the time you enroll for your studies.

If you have a basic knowledge of German (minimum level B1 CEFR), but your language skills are not sufficient for a degree program, you can be enrolled as a language course student. The study-preparatory language courses are conducted by the Bielefeld language institute bibis in cooperation with the university. At the end of this language course you can register for the TestDaF and thus, acquire the necessary language certificate for studying at Bielefeld University.

The prerequisite for enrollment as a language course participant is admission by the Student Office. You will be admitted if you apply for a Bachelor or Master program at Bielefeld University and have the academic qualification as well as the German language level B1, proven by the Goethe-Zertifikat B1 or proof of 800 hours of German lessons.

After registering for the language course, language course participants are enrolled at Bielefeld University for a maximum of two semesters; in justified exceptional cases, an extension to a maximum of four semesters is possible.

If you have any questions about the language courses or the language exams, please contact the language institute bibis.

Once you are already enrolled as an international student at Bielefeld University, you have the opportunity to further improve your German language skills. The German Learning Center PunktUm offers various courses level A1 to C1 CEFR.


Guidelines of Bielefeld University on English language Proficiency at level B2 CEFR

The subject-specific regulations of Bielefeld University may stipulate knowledge of English as an access requirement for the degree programme on the basis of the respective framework regulations and the "Hochschulgesetz NRW". Insofar as these regulations demand language skills in English at level B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) in accordance with the guidelines of Bielefeld University, the following requirements apply if the study qualification was not obtained in Australia, Ireland, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom or the United States of America:

 

The following certificates are recognised (minimum level):

  1. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) „Internet-based” Test (IBT) with a minimum score 87
  2. IELTS-Test with a minimum score 5.5,
  3. Cambridge Test – Certificate in Advanced English (CAE),
  4. First Certificate in English (FCE) with a minimum score B,
  5. UNIcert Stufe II,
  6. Completion of a relevant module "Language Acquisition Level B2" of the “Fachsprachenzentrum” [Language Centre] of Bielefeld University, 
  7. a certificate from a state or state-recognised school or university that explicitly confirms English language skills at level B2 CEFR. The "Merkblatt zum Zeugnis der allgemeinen Hochschulreife für Schüler der gymnasialen Oberstufe an Gymnasien und Gesamtschulen" of the Ministry for School and Education of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, as of August 2018 (see attachment) is used to evaluate school certificates obtained in Germany.

 

Richtlinien der Universität Bielefeld zum Sprachniveau in Englisch auf der Stufe B2 des Europäischen Referenzrahmens für Sprachen vom 1. November 2022


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