Recognition of foreign educational qualifications
Generally, you need have foreign education certificates recognized in order to apply to Universität Hamburg. You can apply to have your certificates recognized for free in the Universität Hamburg application portal.
If you are applying for a master degree program, your foreign degree will be recognized as part of the application process at the relevant faculty. You do not have to apply for recognition of your foreign degree. However, please note the information for applicants for a master degree program.
Be aware, this recognition is only valid for applying to Universität Hamburg and cannot be used to apply to the Studienkolleg Hamburg or other universities.
Submit your documents ahead of time.
Application for a winter semester:
- 1 October – 14 February Recognition of bachelor degree for an application for the master program “International Business and Sustainability”
- 16 December – 31 May Recognition of higher education entrance eligibility for applications for the winter semester for all other degree programs (Exception: Applicants who acquired their higher education entrance eligibility after the beginning of the current year may submit the application until 15 July)
Application for a summer semester:
- 1 October – 15 December Recognition of higher education entrance eligibility for the application for all degree programs for the summer semester
It is technically possible to submit an application outside of the deadlines. Please note, however, that applications submitted outside of the deadlines will not be processed in time for an application for the corresponding semester. Example: If an application is submitted on 17 December 2021 the recognition will not be processed in time for an application for the summer semester 2022.
Who does not have to apply for recognition?
The following groups of people may apply directly to Universität Hamburg without applying for recognition of their foreign education certificates:
- graduates from a Studienkolleg in Germany with a certificate documenting their assessment examination
- high school graduates with an Abitur certificate from an international German school (higher education entrance examination, school leaving examination, or a Deutsche Internationale Abiturprüfung)
- people who already have an endorsement of recognition from German authorities, including information about the type of higher education entrance eligibility and, if applicable, the particular subject—Universität Hamburg accepts the following types of endorsement of recognition:
- those from grade recognition offices of federal German states*
- those from other German higher education insitutions (this also applies to preliminary review documentation [VPD] and evaluation results from uni-assist e.V.)
- APS certificates* from the academic review offices in China and Vietnam
- identity certificates for Chinese DSD students (211 certificates)
Important: Endorsements of recognition marked with an asterisk (*) usually do not provide a converted grade and/or date of graduation. In selection procedures, these endorsements will be assigned a grade of 9,9 (i.e., consideration without a waiting period). That means that applications without a grade or date of graduation will rank behind the last applicant who provided a grade or date. If you do not wish to be considered without a grade, you may apply for recognition in order to have your grades transferred to the German system.
How do I apply?
The country-specific information, our FAQs and a step-by-step guide for using the Universität Hamburg recognition portal are available here.
The recognition process at Universität Hamburg is completely digital. Make sure that you have properly scanned all your supporting documents (high school diploma, university acceptance examination, academic assessment, academic achievements, completed degrees, etc.). If you do not have a German or English version of any of your documents, we require a certified translation in addition to the original document. You can find a list of certified translators in the database maintained by state justice administrators at www.justiz-dolmetscher.de. You can often also find translators via the consular services web pages of German diplomatic missions.
Important note for applicants for a master degree program
If you are applying for a master degree program, your foreign degree will be recognized as part of the application process at the relevant faculty. You do not have to apply for recognition of your foreign degree. An exception holds for the master degree program "International Business and Sustainability".
If you are applying for a master degree program, it may also be necessary to have your higher education entrance eligibility recognized, for example to receive a converted grade if this grade is taken into account in the selection process. In this case, please submit an application for recognition of your higher education entrance eligibility.
You can find out whether you need recognition of your higher education entrance eligibility to apply for a specific master degree program from the application information for that program. To find out, please click on the application information for the degree program for which you would like to apply on the page linked to and read the section "Documents to submit" in the document .
What costs can I expect?
The result of your evaluation will be made available to you via the Universität Hamburg application portal. There is a difference between direct admission to university for all subjects, direct admission to university for specific subjects, and indirect admission to university from a Studienkolleg.
- Direct admission to university for all subjects means you can apply for any undergraduate degree program (bachelor’s / Staatsexamen [state examination]).
- Direct admission to university for specific subjects means you can only apply for certain degree programs. The evaluation results list the potential degree programs at Universität Hamburg classified by subject. See the list of our degree programs for their M, S/G, T, and W subject classifications.
- Indirect admission to university means you cannot apply directly for a degree program at Universität Hamburg. Instead you must first attend a Studienkolleg in Germany to prepare for your studies. You will complete the Studienkolleg with an assessment that constitutes a direct admission to university for specific subjects.
If you already have a recognized bachelor’s degree, as a rule, you have acquired—in addition to direct higher education entrance eligibility—a qualification to apply to a subject-related master’s degree program. View a list of admission requirements for the individual master degree programs at Universität Hamburg.
Results are valid for 2 years, i.e. a result can be used in up to four admission procedures following the recognition. After 2 years, a new application for recognition must be submitted.
Basis of recognition/calculation of grades
Recognition occurs on the basis of recommendations proposed by the Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs, as published in the Central Office for Foreign Education. The recommended requirements are also available on a page operated jointly by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the Central Office for Foreign Education at www.daad.de/zulassungsdatenbank. Make sure to also consider the country specific information in our FAQs.
Grades are calculated on the basis of the Bavarian Formula. If you want to calculate your grade in advance, you may use our online calculator. The result is not binding.