Language Requirements for a Master's
The language of instruction in Master's courses of study at RWTH is German with only a few exceptions. In some Master's courses of study, evidence of foreign language skills must be presented.
Applicants who did not acquire the secondary school certificate at a German-speaking institution must possess the necessary German skills for their course of study in accordance with the current edition of Section 49 XII Page 1 and Page 2 of the Higher Education Act of North Rhine-Westphalia.
Some exam regulations for Master courses of study require proof of the corresponding foreign language skills. The legal basis of this is the current edition Section 48 IX of the North Rhine-Westphalia Higher Education Act.
You can find more information in the Ordinance for the German Language Exam for University Admission of International Applicants , DSH, and in the Comprehensive Examination Regulations for Bachelor's and Master's Courses of Study (de) , which are complemented by the examination regulations for each course of study.
When is evidence of German language skills required?
All applicants who are not native German speakers and who do not possess a German diploma, must provide proof of German language skills through of the following language certificates:
- the Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang, specifically DSH levels 2 or 3
- the Test Deutsch als Fremdsprache, TestDaF for short, at least Level 4 in all examination areas
- the Deutsche Sprachdiplom der Kultusministerkonferenz - Second Level, that is KMK II
- Kleines Deutsches Sprachdiplom, KDS for short, Großes Deutsches Sprachdiplom, GDS for short, or Zentrale Oberstufenprüfung, also called the Goethe Institute ZOP
- Deutsche Sprachprüfung II des Sprachen- und Dolmetscher Instituts München
- Telc Deutsch C1 Hochschule
Acquiring German Skills
In Your Home Country
Good language skills are a prerequisite for successful studies in Germany. Applicants from non-EU countries can only get a residency permit for the purpose of learning German for limited time in only, typically twelve months. Therefore, we highly recommend acquiring basic German skills in your home country if the opportunity to do so is available. This is often a safer and cheaper option. Learning German at home helps you to avoid long stays for learning German in Germany, without being certain that you will pass the language exam at the end.
Please look into the language learning opportunities in Germany and your home country and consider the time and expenses involved in such preparatory courses. The different Goethe-Institutes worldwide offer German courses at every level. Deutsch-Uni-Online or DUO offers supported Online Language Courses.
At RWTH Aachen
RWTH Aachen offers a German language course for prospective students that prepares them for university study. This German course prepares students for the DSH exam and the TestDaF. Eligible to participate are students who have completed level A2 in accordance with the Common European Framework of Reference. During the course, participants can decide whether they wish to take the DSH exam or the TestDaF at RWTH Aachen.
All information on prerequisites, application and costs can be found on the Language Center's website.
Some exam regulations for Master courses of study require proof of the corresponding foreign language skills. The legal basis of this is the current edition Section 48 IX of the North Rhine-Westphalia Higher Education Act. Please refer to the current exam regulation of the course of study you are interested in to determine whether you need to submit proof of foreign language skills.
When is evidence of English language skills required?
You must submit proof of English language skills with your application if you want to enrol in an English language Master's program at RWTH Aachen. You can find more information in the Comprehensive Examination Regulations for Bachelor's and Master's Courses of Study (de) in combination with the examination regulations for each course of study.
The following language tests are accepted as proof of English language skills:
- Test of English as Foreign Language/TOEFL , internet-based test IBT, with at least 90 points
- International English Language Testing System, IELTS, with a grade of at least 5.5
- Certificate of Advanced English, CAE for short
- First Certificate in English, FCE for short, with a grade of at least B
- Any official certificate that certifies English language skills at level B2 of the Common European Frame of Reference for Languages, CEFR.
- Placement test of the RWTH Aachen Language Center at the B2 level
Important Information: This language certificate can only be obtained by individuals, who are already enrolled as students at RWTH Aachen.
It is possible that for some courses of study, it is sufficient to submit an English-language Bachelor's thesis to the Board of Examiners or provide evidence of sufficient language skills by other means. If in doubt, please consult the examination regulations for your prospective course of study. For the exam regulations, please see the Official Announcements. Further information may also be found on the course of study page.
If you have acquired a degree in one of the following countries, you are exempt from the language tests:
- Great Britain
- New Zealand
Proof that you have studied in an English-language course of study in a country other than one of the countries above is not sufficient! Language tests from other universities will not be accepted either.