Updated: 2020-10-12 | Duration: 2:00 min.

Study medicine in Germany: Application requirements and admission

A practical guide for international students

Studying medicine in Germany means taking part in a rigorous and demanding training after being chosen from a pool of outstanding applicants. The strict selection procedures are in place because studying medicine is very popular in Germany and therefore, the available positions at universities are highly competitive. The medical studies programs are designed to begin after students graduate from high school.

According to Hochschulstart, there were more than 40,000 applicants for the 9,500 study spots in Medicine (Winter semester 2019/20).

What are the requirements to study medicine in Germany?

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To study in Germany, students require a secondary school certificate that grants them access to the German higher education system. This is similar to the German version called Abitur, or any equivalent certificate from abroad. While other countries do nation-wide entry exams to select students to study medicine (such as the Concours test) there is no such thing in Germany. This is why a secondary school certificate of completion is enough to qualify one for a medical study program in Germany.

Basic Requirements

  Applications from Germany or German schools abroad Applications from outside Germany
Excellent Secondary school degree Abiturzeugnis with an excellent GPA (cf. GPA) Secondary school certificate that is considered equivalent to the German Abitur wide above the average (cf. GPA)
Excellent command of the German language   TestDaF, DSH, etc.


Nationwide admission restriction (Centrally coordinated Numerus Clausus)

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Due to its high popularity, medicine is one of four subjects (alongside veterinary medicine, dentistry, and pharmacy) that is regulated by nationwide admission-restrictions. In the German higher education system, this admission restriction is referred to as NC, or Numerus Clausus (“Closed Number”). This means that for these specific programs, there are more qualified applicants than spots of study. Because of this high demand, a system was put in place to ensure that as many students as possible can start their studies in medicine and that all spots are distributed amongst applicants, rather than giving the front runners who may apply to various universities three offers and instead, distributing them amongst three applicants.


To enable communication amongst universities, application procedures for people who want to begin their medical studies in Germany and are from the EU are administered by hochschulstart, the national Trust for admission to higher education in Germany. As an effect of this central administration of application procedures, there are some admission and eligibility requirements you can expect to have to fulfill no matter which university you want to apply for. Other international students from outside the EU apply directly to the universities, sometimes via uni-assist. Everyone who has to apply via hochschulstart to study medicine is faced with a unique application and admissions process that can influence the application strategy and admission requirements.