Second Courses of Study

Definition of second course of study

When we speak of a second course of study or second academic program (Zweitstudium), we mean a second undergraduate program undertaken after a student has already earned one degree (Bachelor or Master) at a higher education institution inside the EU incl. Iceland, Liechtenstein, or Norway. A second course of study in Pharmacy or Veterinary Medicine requires a graduate degree earnt at a higher education institution in Germany. Programs designed specifically as postgraduate advanced courses, supplementary programs, or continuing education courses of study do not fall under the category of “second course of study.” This means that students who already have a bachelor’s degree and apply for a master’s degree program are not considered to be starting a Zweitstudium in this sense.

There are generally no scholarship or student aid options available for those wishing to start a second program. Thus far, the university does not charge any specific fees for students applying in this category.


Admission to a second course of study in subjects with limited admissions (NC subjects)

At Freie Universität, applicants wishing to start a second academic program do not compete with recent Abitur graduates in the admissions process for first-semester placements in subjects with limited admissions (NC subjects), but instead compete only with other applicants who are also applying to start a second program; a special quota, currently 3% of the available study placements, is set aside for these candidates. They key factors in the process are neither the applicants’ Abitur grade records nor their wait times, but rather only the results of the examination in the first academic program and the reasons for the second one. Points are awarded for both criteria and added together to yield an index. If there are scientific or academic reasons for the second program (Group 2), Freie Universität Berlin may invite the applicant to an assessment meeting with professors of the subject. Within your application for an undergraduate program with limited admissions the request for an opinion is made automatically. For Pharmacy and Veterinary Medicine a request for an opinion has to be send to the university besides the application via Hochschulstart.

1. Results of examination in first academic program (1–4 points)

Grades of ausgezeichnet (Excellent) and sehr gut (Very Good) = 4 points
Grades of gut (Good) and voll befriedigend (Completely Satisfactory) = 3 points
Grade of befriedigend (Satisfactory) = 2 points
Grade of ausreichend (Sufficient) or not shown = 1 point

2. Reasons for the second academic program

  • Group 1: Urgent professional reasons
    - The applicant is trying to enter a profession that necessarily requires two completed academic programs: 9 points
  • Group 2: Academic or scientific reasons
    - There are weighty academic or scientific reasons proven by the candidate’s academic career: 7 points
    - There are especially weighty academic or scientific reasons proven by achievements: 9 points
    - There are extremely important academic or scientific reasons, proven by outstanding achievements and of particular general interest: 11 points
  • Group 3: Specific professional reasons
    - The applicant’s professional situation will be significantly improved and completing the second academic program is a sensible supplement to the first program: 7 points
  • Group 4: Other professional reasons
    - Although the further course of study does not represent a sensible supplement, the applicant’s professional situation will be significantly improved by the second academic program for other reasons: 4 points
  • Group 5: Other reasons: 1 point

The final grade of the first degree does not matter for admission to higher semestrs in programs with limited admissions.


Applying

It depends on your citizenship, the country of your first graduate degree, and the country of your higher education entrance qualification where you have to apply whether for a second course of study or not:

Citizenship of EU member state, incl. Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway

  • Graduate degree earnt in Germany:
    Application for a second course of study directly at Freie Universität Berlin, for Pharmacy or Veterinary Medicine at hochschulstart.de
  • Graduate degree earnt in an EU member state, incl. Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway:
    Application for a second course of study at uni-assist, no second course of study in Pharmacy or Veterinary Medicine, application at hochschulstart.de
  • Graduate degree earnt beyond EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway:
    No second course of study, application depends on country of higher education entrance qualification

Non-EU citizens and stateless persons

  • Higher education entrance qualification and graduate degree earnt in Germany:
    Application for a second course of study directly at Freie Universität Berlin, for Pharmacy or Veterinary Medicine at hochschulstart.de
  • Graduate degree earnt in Germany or in an EU-member state (incl. Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) and higher education entrance qualification earnt in another foreign country:
    Application for a second course of study at uni-assist
  • Graduate degree earnt in a foreign country and beyond Germany and EU (incl. Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway):
    No second course of study, application at uni-assist

If you are unsure of where to submit your application, please contact the Admissions Office. Information on application procedure can be found on the Admissions Office's website.

Application deadlines for Freie Universität Berlin and uni-assist:
For the winter semester: July 15, 11:59 p.m.
For the summer semester: January 15, 11:59 p.m.