Proof of German knowledge


Knowledge of German is required to be admitted to a degree programme with German as the language of instruction at the University of Vienna as a degree student.


Due to amendments to the Universities Act, applicants have to include a proof of German knowledge at level A2 in their applications for degree programmes held in German from summer semester 2019 onwards, even if they would like to participate in the University Preparation Programme afterwards. For the admission to degree programmes a proof of German knowledge at level C1 is required. 

Accepted proofs of German knowledge A2

Application and admission periods


  • All bachelor degree programmes and most master/doctorate/PhD programmes require German knowledge of at least level C1. You have the possibility to participate in a preparation course before the admission to a degree programme.
  • The following master degree programmes need level C1 or C2 at the moment of application:It is not possible to attend the German Preparation Programme for the admission to these master programmes to reach this level.
  • For doctorate/PhD degree programmes it is decided individually, if knowledge of German is required or if the degree programme can be completed in English.


Accepted proofs

Proofs C1

  • School-leaving certificate from a school where the language of instruction is German and all exams are carried out in German (This applies also for Austrian or German schools abroad.)
  • Graduation from a study programme of at least 3 years duration at a university or school where the teaching language is German
  • Passing of the supplementary exam German (Ergänzungsprüfung Deutsch) at a University Preparation Programme from an Austrian university

These types of proof are valid for an unlimited time.

Certificates C1

  • Österreichisches Sprachdiplom – ÖSD Zertifikat C1, bisher: C1 Oberstufe Deutsch
  • Goethe Institut – Goethe Zertifikat C1
  • telc Deutsch „C1 Hochschule“
  • Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang ausländischer StudienwerberInnen DSH2
  • Deutsches Sprachdiplom der Kultusministerkonferenz DSD II
  • Test Deutsch als Fremdsprache (Test DaF), minimum TDN 4 in all parts
  • Language Center of the University of Vienna – Course and successfully passed exam on the level C1/2

The certificate must not be older than three years, otherwise a new examination has to be taken.

If you already possess knowledge of German but have no proof or certificate, you can take an exam at a recognised language institute. The University of Vienna does not offer such examinations.

What happens, if you do not have sufficient knowledge of German yet?

While applying in u:space: if you upload a proof of proficiency in German of a level lower than C1 (the certificate has to be at least level A2), you can participate in a German course in the University Preparation Programme of the Vienna Universities (VWU) respectively its co-operation partners (registration, fees, etc.).

  • As a citizen of a non-EU/EEA country, your admission letter for bachelor/diploma programmes will state that you have to complete the supplementary examination in German.
  • As a citizen of an EU/EEA country, you have to go to the Admission Office (opening hours) after your application for bachelor/diploma programmes. There you will receive a certificate with which you can register at the VWU.
  • As a citizen of an EU/EEA country or a non-EU/EEA country, your admission letter for master programmes with German as language of instruction will state that you have to complete the supplementary examination in German.

Attention participants of the VWU!

Once you have been admitted to the University Preparation Programme of the Vienna Universities (VWU) as a non-degree students, only the supplementary examination in German (Ergänzungsprüfung Deutsch, EPD) of the preparation programme is accepted as proof of proficiency in German. It is not possible to quit the Preparation Programme and pass the German exam elsewhere (e.g. ÖSD certificate). In this case, the certificate will not be accepted by the University of Vienna, which can lead to the loss of your student visa.

Persons who did not finish the German course in the VWU and do have another proof of German knowledge (e.g. ÖSD certificate) are strongly advised to pass the Ergänzungsprüfung Deutsch.

Detailed information about the new regulations
Information about the registration deadlines, exam dates etc. in the VWU



I do not have C1 in all sections of the DSD II exam, can the certificate still be accepted?
Can I present another German certificate, altough I participate in the preparation programme?
Do I have to participate in the German course of the VWU?
My certificate/proof of knowledge of German is not on the list. Will it be accepted?