Recognition of foreign educational qualifications
Please note: As of October 1, 2021, Universität Hamburg will no longer make use of the services offered by uni-assist. From that date onwards, Universität Hamburg itself will be in charge of the process of recognition of the foreign educational qualifications of its international applicants. However, it will be possible to apply for a preliminary documentation with uni-assist until September 30, 2021. In the future, Universität Hamburg will still accept preliminary review documentations issued by uni-assist even though it will no longer be affiliated with uni-assist. Detailed information on how to apply for the recognition of your foreign educational qualifications with Universität Hamburg will soon be available here. Applications for recognition may be submitted as of October 1, 2021 at the earliest.
To apply to Universität Hamburg, you need to have your documents checked in a "preliminary documentation" procedure (VPD) by uni-assist (University Application Service for International Students). uni-assist reviews your international certificates and notifies you when it sends your VPD whether your previous educational qualifications permit you to start studying in Germany or are recognized for your program of choice.
If you belong to one of the following groups, you do not need to submit documents for VPD procedures:
- graduates of a Studienkolleg in Germany with certification that you have completed an assessment test indicating the grade received on the assessment text and the converted grade of your foreign higher education entry qualification
- graduates with an Abitur certificate from a German school located abroad (university entrance exam, entrance exam, or German international Abitur exam)
- persons who already have an endorsement of recognition from German authorities, including information about the type of higher education entrance eligibility and, if applicable, for a particular subject. Among other things, Universität Hamburg accepts the following types of endorsement of recognition:
- endorsements of recognition from German state transcript recognition offices
- endorsements of recognition from other German higher education institutions
- APS certificates from the academic review offices of Beijing, Ulaanbaatar, and Hanoi
identity certificates for Chinese DSD students (or “211” certificates)
Please note: Endorsements of recognition that do not bear a converted grade or a date on which higher education entrance eligibility was obtained will be assigned a grade of 9.9 or “without a waiting period” in selection procedures. This means that applications without a grade or date for higher education entrance eligibility will rank behind the last applicant who had provided a grade or date.
Recommended deadlines when applying for preliminary documentation
Universität Hamburg strongly recommends that you submit your documents to uni-assist at the latest:
- by 1 June of the year in which you apply to begin in a winter semester
- by 1 December of the year in which you apply to begin in a summer semester
- by 15 February of the year in which you apply for an international master´s program
It takes at least four weeks to process your documents. Please plan accordingly to have your transcripts reviewed by uni-assist so that you can apply for the program of your choice at Universität Hamburg by the application deadline.
How do I apply for the preliminary documentation procedure at uni-assist?
You apply for preliminary documentations via uni-assist's online portal. Please use our instructions (PDF) to complete the online application form. Please note that the application via uni-assist's online portal is for the purpose of applying for preliminary documentation only. It does not replace the application for a degree program at Universität Hamburg, i.e. after applying for preliminary documentation, you have to apply via Universität Hamburg's online application portal.
You have to upload your documents within the uni-assist online application form. Please submit the following documents to uni-assist with your application:
- your secondary school certificate
- if available, your higher education admissions exam
- if available, your university transcript
- certified translations of all of your documents, in case they were not issued in German or English language
Translations will only be accepted if they have been made by sworn translators or certified by the proper authorities.
For information about translations that have been certified and executed by sworn translators, please see https://www.uni-assist.de/en/how-to-apply/assemble-your-documents/certified-copies-and-translations/.
What costs can I expect?
In order to complte the application for preliminary review documentation through the uni-assist online portal, you need to transfer a processing fee to uni-assist's bank account.
The processing fee is €75. For further details, please see the information under "Regulation of fees".
Please note that uni-assist will only review your documents once you have transferred the processing fee!
Potential results of the preliminary review documentation
The verification results through uni-assist can vary. There is a difference between direct admission to university for all subjects, direct admission to university for specific subjects, and indirect admission to university by passing the assessment at a Studienkolleg.
- A direct admission to university for all subjects means you can apply for any undergraduate degree program (bachelor’s/ Staatsexamen [state examination]).
- If you have direct admission to university for specific subjects, you can only apply for certain degree programs. You will receive a notification from uni-assist that looks as follows: “Higher education entrance eligibility for all types of higher education institute for the degree program in XY and related subjects / the subjects listed here . . .” This assessment allows you to apply to a specific degree program (bachelor’s / Staatsexamen) at Universität Hamburg or another degree program assigned to the same subject area or subjects named by uni-assist. View the list of subjects for each degree program. If you are unsure whether the desired degree program is considered a related subject or belongs to the listed subjects, contact us via the contact form.
- In the case of indirect admission to university, uni-assist will inform you that you are unable to apply directly to a degree program but can acquire higher education entrance eligibility if you first take part in a Studienkolleg in Germany to prepare for the degree program and receive the required assessment.
If you already have a bachelor’s degree that was recognized by uni-assist, you have acquired the qualification—alongside direct higher education entrance eligibility—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.
I will not get the VPD in time for the application
Applicants for bachelor and state exam programs do not need to submit a preliminary review documentation with their application. The online application is sufficient for this group - the preliminary review documentation needs to be submitted within the enrollment process. However, we strongly recommend that you apply for a preliminary documentation in good time before applying, so you have the result and your final grade converted into the German grading system ready for your application.
If it is not possible for you to receive the preliminary documentation before the application deadline, you may convert your grade yourself. For this you can use the modified Bavarian formula or our grade converter. The use of the converter is without guarantee - only the grade conversion by uni-assist is binding. Should the grade converted by uni-assist be lower than the grade you indicate in the online application, this may result in a withdrawal of admission.
This hint is not meant for master's applications!
I already have a preliminary documentation from uni-assist - what's next?
My preliminary review documentation is more than one year old. Can I use it to apply to Universität Hamburg?
Yes. Universität Hamburg accepts preliminary review documentations which are older than one year.
I don't have a preliminary review documentation for Universität Hamburg, but a preliminary documentation or "Prüfbericht" for another German university. Can I use it to apply to Universität Hamburg?
Yes - if the document certifies (possibly subject-specific) access to all types of higher education institutions in Germany. If you are not sure whether the document is sufficient for applying to Universität Hamburg, you can have it checked. Please send us your Preliminary review documentation or review report ("Prüfbericht") via the following form: www.uni-hamburg.de/int_e
Please include information about the degree program you want to apply for. We will inform you in an e-mail whether your preliminary documentation or "Prüfbericht" will be accepted for an application for your chosen program at Universität Hamburg.
Uni-assist could not issue a preliminary review documentation and refers to Universität Hamburg to decide about my eligibility. What should I do now?
On the basis of the documents you submitted, uni-assist was not able to decide about your eligibility and recommends that you contact the university. Therefore, the decision whether you are eligible has to be made by Universität Hamburg itself. Please send the result of the review by uni-assist to the Campus-Center via our contact form.