Enrolling at university

Hüttermann / DAAD

Every student must enrol before starting their course and re-register before the start of every single semester. Otherwise you won't be able to attend the course.

Once you have received confirmation of a university place, or if you have decided on a course with no admission restrictions, you will need to enrol in the university, i.e. register. Enrolment, or registration, turns applicants into students. Only those who have enrolled can use the library, attend classes and sit exams.

How to enrol?

Every university does this slightly differently. At some universities you need to be present on a certain day, while, for others, simply emailing or posting the necessary documents before a certain deadline is enough. So it is important to familiarise yourself with the process at the university of your choice: What enrolment deadlines do I need to comply with – and what documents do I need to submit? The deadlines for enrolment are often quite tight. Anyone who misses these deadlines or submits incorrect documents can no longer enrol.

Enrolment: What documents do I need to submit?

The universities may request slightly different documents and evidence to be submitted during enrolment. But, generally, the following are required:

  • your passport with visa or residence permit
  • a passport photo
  • the completed registration form
  • proof of higher education entrance qualification, in other words all certificates, either original documents or officially certified copies and translations
  • the notice of admission
  • evidence of adequate knowledge of German
  • evidence of statutory health insurance in Germany
  • payment receipt for the semester fee

Immediately after enrolment you will receive a registration certificate. This lets you complete a range of other activities, such as applying for a residence permit with the foreigners' authority or registering for classes. The registration certificate can be used as a substitute for the regular student ID, which you receive at a later date. The student ID lets you use all the facilities and offers at the university, as well as receive discounts for many public institutions, newspaper subscriptions and cinema tickets.