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Updated: 2020-10-12 | Duration: 5:00 min.

Medicine Admission Process in Germany for EU/EEA Applicants

A practical guide for international students from the European Union (EU) or other countries of the European Economic Area (EEA) who want to apply for Medicine in Germany via Hochschulstart

Students who obtained their A-Levels (or any other secondary school degree) in the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, or from official German Schools Abroad cannot apply to German universities directly to study medicine. Their application is managed by hochschulstart, a platform managed by the Trust for admission to higher education (Stiftung fĂĽr Hochschulzulassung - SfH).

 

This institution, among other things, regulates admissions to certain centrally restricted courses of studies (medicine, veterinary medicine, dentistry, and pharmacy). If you are in this group of students, it is absolutely necessary that you familiarize yourself in detail with the information (only in German) on the selection procedures, so that you can maximize the likelihood of scoring one of the spots offered by the universities.

Weighing your Chance of Acceptance

To apply to study medicine in Germany, you must create an application in the hochschulstart portal. This is possible in the application period only. To give you an example: For the winter semester 2020, applications were accepted from 01.07.2020 - 25.07.2020 (respectively 20.08.2020 for students who got their A-Levels in 2020). The application includes filling out the online application and sending in your documents per physical mail.

 

Hochschulstart is tasked with allocating around 87% of all available spots for medical students. Applicants from the EU, Liechtenstein, Iceland, and Norway and from German schools abroad compete for these spots. The spots are allocated according to set admission quotas, which may influence your application strategy and give you an idea of which requirements you need to fulfill to score a spot to study medicine in Germany.

 

Throughout the application process, you will be asked to list the priorities of your universities. After a recent reform of the application process, you can set your priorities simply based on which universities you prefer. Strategically, it makes sense to include universities where you have a higher likelihood to fulfill the criteria in the quotas other than the GPA quota.

The Three Quotas

Hochschulstart Admission Quotas to Study Medicine

60% University criteria
30% GPA quota
10% Additional qualifications

A

The GPA Quota

Only applicants with the highest GPA will get admitted. Often, students who get admitted under this quota typically have GPAs of 1.0 to 1.3 in the German grading system.

B

University Qualifications Quota

The majority of students, i.e. 60%, are admitted according to qualification criteria that are set by the universities (German: Auswahlverfahren der Hochschulen, AdH). Other than students’ GPA, typical criteria include the medical aptitude test, application interviews, professional training or practical experience, prizes, or voluntary positions.

C

Additional Qualifications Quota

The remaining 10% of spots are allocated to applicants who fulfill additional qualifications, such as excellent scores in the assessment test or working as a health professional, such as a nurse (German: zusätzliche Eignungs Quote). This last quota is the only one that is completely independent of your GPA. Each university can define a mix of criteria by which applicants are admitted.

1. The GPA Quota

a girl studying

Each state in Germany has its own GPA quota ranking with its own required minimum grades. Usually, students partake in the ranking of the German state in which they obtained their A-Levels. All applications from students who have to apply via hochschulstart but completed their A-Levels outside Germany are randomly distributed amongst the rankings 16 states of Germany: Which states get how many international applicants depends on the population size of that state. Therefore, there is a slightly higher likelihood that you will compete with applicants from the states that have higher population numbers. However, this is impossible to foretell.

 

The rankings of each state are finally merged into one list according to set rules. In this process, differences in the conditions under which students obtain their A-Levels in each German state are considered, as well as the population size of each state is considered. For a more detailed description, click here (page 6; only in German). In this final list, all applicants are ranked according to their GPAs.

2. The University Qualifications Quota

The majority of study spots are assigned through the AdH. In addition to students’ GPAs, universities have to admit students based on at least 2 of these criteria:

 

  • Study aptitude tests (TMS, Ham-Nat),
  • Interviews or other oral examinations,
  • Completed professional training or work experience (of at least 12 months),
  • Previous qualifications, practical jobs, volunteer positions, extracurricular activities, prizes.

 

In this quota, the TMS aptitude test is always included in the selection and rewarded with positive points. In total and like in the additional quota, students can score up to 100 points. It is up to each university which criteria they choose and how to weigh them. You can find the exact information on this and what minimum score was needed for admission in previous years in the download area of hochschulstart. If you weren’t assigned a spot in the previous quotas you automatically compete for admission under this quota for all schools that you applied for.

 

If there are study spots that remain open after this process, there is a coordinated allocation of the study spots to the remaining highest ranked applicants or via additional qualifications which are elaborated in the following section.

3. The Additional Qualifications Quota

The additional qualifications quota is the only quota in which the GPA is not considered at all. Instead, each university can decide on either one or a mix of the following criteria, by which they admit applicants under:

 

  • Study aptitude tests (TMS, Ham-Nat),
  • Interviews or other oral examinations,
  • Completed professional training or work experience (of at least 12 months),
  • Previous qualifications, practical jobs, volunteer positions, extracurricular activities, prizes.

 

Universities can select one or more criteria for this quota and assign a total of 100 points. Each applicant who did not already get a study spot in the GPA quota is considered under this third quota. According to the criteria set by each university you apply for, you are assigned up to 100 points, depending on your qualifications. Based on your score, you are ranked for each of your selected programs and can then compete for a spot.

What GPA Do I Need to Study Medicine in Germany?

an african woman thinking about something

Which grade you need in order to be admitted into a medical study program depends on the quota you are hoping to be admitted under.

 

You only have a realistic shot in the GPA quota if you have excellent grades in your secondary school certificate of completion, meaning if you are a straight-A student or near one. That means your final grade should be within the range between 1.0 - 1.3 on the German GPA scale. If so, you have a shot to be rewarded with a spot to study under this GPA quota.

 

If your GPA is lower, depending on your other qualifications, you can increase your ranking position based on other experiences you have in the quota defined by the university (German: Auswahlverfahren der Hochschule, AdH). To increase your chances in this quota and depending on what the universities of your choice indicate, you can do relevant internships before starting your studies or engage in a voluntary service. Most students score a place to study in this quota. To give you some examples of admission under this quota, here are the criteria and necessary points for admission in the summer semester 2020:

University

Minimum points for admission (out of 100)

Max. points for GPA Max. points for study aptitude test (TMS) Points for service Points for professional training Points for professional experience Prizes
CharitĂ© 61.4 20 60 20      
FAU 59.8 60 35   5    
FAU (Bayreuth) 59.7 60 35   5    
GieĂźen 61.5 49 31   10 10  
Göttingen - quota 1 (80%) 61.9 60 30 10      
Göttingen - quota 2 (20%) 74.8 60 10   30    
Cologne 60.8 45 45   10    
Mainz 56.5 45 45   5 3 2
MĂĽnster 60.9 60 34 5     1
TĂĽbingen 56.9 46 44 2 6   2
WĂĽrzburg 57.1 60 30 5     5

 

Here, one can see that the GPA still plays an important role in most of the universities’ selection processes, and scoring very poorly in this criteria will make it difficult for you to score well in those quotas.

 

Another 10% of study spots are distributed through a quota honoring additional qualifications that are completely independent of the GPA. Similar to the AdH quota mentioned above, universities decide themselves on a combination of criteria. To provide you some examples of admission under this quota, here are the criteria and necessary points for admission in the summer semester 2020:

University

Minimum points for admission (out of 100)

Max. points waiting period

Max. points for study aptitude test (TMS) Points for service Points for professional training Points for professional experience Prizes
CharitĂ© 85 45 30   20 5  
FAU 87.5 45 25   30    
FAU (Bayreuth) 87.5 45 25  

30

   
GieĂźen 77.5 45 45   10    
Göttingen 87.9 45 25   30    
Cologne 75 45 55        
Mainz 75.5 45 45   5 3 2
MĂĽnster 79 45 45   10    
TĂĽbingen 74.8 45 50 1 2 1 1
WĂĽrzburg 87,9 45 25   30    

 

Under this quota, your GPA does not matter as much as the demands towards other aspects, such as scoring well in the TMS or having allocated some semesters of waiting time. If you can anticipate scoring well in these other categories, you may score a position at a public university to study medicine without having an outstanding GPA.

 

One alternative is to consider private universities in Germany. In their admissions processes, private universities in Germany often pay attention to other criteria rather than just GPA. Check out our article on universities to study medicine in Germany to get an overview of private universities in Germany.

Are there Entrance Tests or Exams for Foreign Students?

a woman taking a test

There are no nation-wide admissions exams to get access to a medical study program in Germany. Instead, it is up to each university individually whether they require you to hand in one of the relevant aptitude tests. For students who received their secondary school certificate of completion in the EU, Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland or Switzerland or one of the official German schools abroad, a test that is often required from students who are looking to apply via the university quota or the additional qualifications quota is the Test for Medical Studies (Test fĂĽr Medizinische Studien/TMS). Every public program that accepted applications for the summer semester 2020, for example, requested students to hand in a TMS result (see the two tables above). For other international students from outside the EU, the TestAS is required by some universities.

What is the Medical Studies Aptitude Test (German: Studierfähigkeitstest)?

There are some aptitude tests for medical studies in Germany that can support your application and help you prove to your future university that you have what it takes to study medicine.

 

The TMS, Ham-NAT, and HAM-SJT, which we will present here, should be taken by applicants who got their A-Levels in Germany or the EU. Applicants from outside the EU take part in a different selection procedure, in which they do not profit from taking these tests.

 

In German, these tests are called Studierfähigkeitstests. Not all universities explicitly require the tests, but as a rule, including one of these tests in your application can only have positive effects on your application. So if your test results are not so great, you cannot be excluded from the process. For the AdH admission quota, each university positively considers the TMS.

 

If your results are excellent or good, you can advance some ranks on the list of applicants. If you score lowly on the test scheme or do not hand in the test results in the first place, you score 0 points under this criterion. When you consider the tables of admission criteria above, you can get an idea of how helpful the test is to get admission in any of the non-GPA quotas. Because universities are obliged to consider other criteria in addition to the high school GPA, they often resort to medical studies aptitude tests. Therefore, you likely have to inform yourself about them. Keep in mind: only if you got your A-Levels within the EU since non-EU applicants take part in a different application procedure.

The Test for Medical Studies

Test name Explanation When and where Cost
Test for Medical Studies (Test fĂĽr Medizinische Studien/TMS)
  • The most common and most popular test in Germany, colloquially called Medizinertest.
  • Tests the applicants’ understanding of medical problems and natural sciences.
  • Tests applicants’ memory, logic, ability to process complex information, visual thinking, attention to detail et al.
83 â‚¬.

 

For studies in medicine in Hamburg or Marburg, there are additional test formats, the HAM-Nat and HAM-SJT, testing the applicants’ knowledge in natural sciences and situational judgment respectively.

 

We recommend that you take part in this test, even if it means traveling to Germany and investing time and money to study for it. It is almost essential to have a good TMS score to gain admission if you are not a straight-A student and therefore will likely not get admitted under the GPA quota. On the bright side, taking the test one allows you to have the results considered for each of the universities that you select to apply to.

Start your Application in Hochschulstart

a guy with his right thumb up

Before you start doing more research and create an account on the hochschulstart platform to start your application, there are some basic points about the application process that we would like to draw your attention to:

  • You start your application to the hochschulstart platform online, but you must also send in some papers to complete your application. To register and get your application process started, click here.
  • Standard documents to your application include a certified copy of your school certificate of completion and certificates of your previous engagements. All certificates have to be handed in as notarized translations into German. You only have to prove your language level to the university after you got admitted. Applying to hochschulstart is for free.
  • Throughout your application, you may indicate up to 6 universities that you would like to study medicine at. Selecting less popular universities will increase your likelihood to get an admit since you only compete for the universities that you indicated throughout the application process. You will have to prioritize the universities and if you would be admitted to various universities, you will only receive actual admission to the university that you prioritized the highest. Universities will not be informed on which priority you gave their application, so this will not influence your chances. Watch the hochschulstart video with more information on how to prioritize.