Pre-semester preparatory course for international students
The pre-semester preparatory course is a five-month, subject-specific preparatory course targeting international students.
The goal of the course is to prepare students for their program in Hamburg, helping to ensure that they can complete their studies successfully and without delay.
The pre-semester course is offered jointly every summer semester by the three large state universities Universität Hamburg (UHH), Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (HAW), the Technical University of Hamburg (TUHH) and the Studienkolleg Hamburg.
For more detailed information about applying please see the following pages of the participating universities:
- Universität Hamburg: Pre-semester preparatory course (subject-specific academic preparation)
- HAW Hamburg: Pre-semester preparatory course - study preparation (German)
- TU Hamburg: The international study preparation program
Who can attend a pre-semester preparatory course?
The pre-semester preparatory course targets all international applicants who want to begin studying in the first semester. Applicants must meet the formal requirements for academic study in Germany and apply in good time for a program with a pre-semester preparatory course.
In order to be admitted to the pre-semester preparatory course you must provide proof of sufficient German skills. You may submit a language assessment from an accredited institution as proof of German proficiency with your application. Alternatively, you can sign up and take the entrance test organized by Studienkolleg Hamburg prior to the pre-semester preparatory course. These language assessments are accepted for the pre-semester preparatory course. If you are unable to provide any of the above language assessments you must pass the entrance test offered by Studienkolleg Hamburg.
Methods and courses
Which academic practices are used in the pre-semester preparatory course?
- text interpretation and research
- discussion practice, evaluation practice and developing a position
- oral reports (structuring and speaking)
- using and evaluating graphs and tables
- presentations using modern media
There are preparatory courses for the following subject groups:
Economics and social sciences (UHH and HAW)
- School of Business, Economics and Social Sciences at UHH
- All economics programs at the HAW
- School of Law at UHH
- School of Humanities and Cultural Studies at UHH
- School of Education, Psychology and Human Movement at UHH
Natural sciences and medicine (UHH and HAW)
- School of Medicine at UHH
- School of Mathematics, Informatics and Natural Sciences at UHH
- Department of Informatics at the HAW
Engineering (HAW and TUHH)
- All engineering programs at the HAW
- All bachelor's programs at the TUHH
For applications to teaching programs focussing on Gymnasia or vocational schools, the preparatory course is based on the intended subject of instruction / area of speciality.
How much does a preparatory semester cost?
Students enrolled in a pre-semester preparatory course are regarded as enrolled students and pay the respective university's currently-valid semester fee. Participants also receive a student ID and a semester public transportation ticket for Hamburg's public transport system.
There are no tuition fees for a pre-semester preparatory course and the course is not counted towards the standard period of study. There is a small fee for materials required for the course.
Can you take a German language exam as part of the pre-semester preparatory course?
Successful participation in the pre-semester preparatory course at Studienkolleg Hamburg with a grade “gut” (“good”) or better in the subject German is recognized as proof of sufficient German language proficiency when applying for a degree program at Universität Hamburg. There is no separate German language exam.
Classes start in March
Please note that classes at the Studienkolleg commence in March (that is, shortly before the start of the summer semester).