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Language Requirements

Some undergraduate study programs require certain language skills, which have to be proven either within the application procedure or within the enrollment at Freie Universität Berlin.

Our website "undergraduate degree programs" includes information on whether specific language skills are required for admission, and if so, what the requirements are and if language tests are involved. This information is also available from the brochure entitled "Von der Schule an die Freie Universität Berlin" (only in German).

1. Language proof for application procedure 

Application for the first subject-specific semester

  • For the bachelor’s programs English Philology / North American Studies / Applied North American Studies, French Philology / German and French Literature and Cultural Studies / French Studies applicants have to pass mandatory language tests shortly after the application deadline. It is not necessary to attend the test, if there are reasons for exemption.
    Please note that under certain circumstances you have to pass several language tests (depending on the chosen program) and the test registration or the exemption from tests has to be done for each subject.

    Applicants for the first subject-specific semester inform themselves (before application deadline) on the websites of the Language Center of Freie Universität Berlin about:
    - test dates (winter semester: mid till end of July)
    - test registration
    - deadlines for the exemption from tests
  • For the bachelor’s programs Italian Philology / Italian Studies and Spanish Philology language skills at level B1 CER are required. However, you also can take up studies without language skills. In that case, your language proficiency can be evaluated in a classification test. The classification test will determine whether you can start your studies directly or have to complete a preliminary language course first.

Application for higher subject-specific semesters

Applicants for higher subject-specific semesters of all the above-mentioned study programs have to pass the language test also, or to present an exemption from the test. In case the admission requirements are not met, the admission notice becomes void. Enrollment for the chosen study program is not possible then.

2. Language proof for enrollment

Some study programs do not require a language test, however certain language skills have to be proven for enrollment on the basis of school records or language certificates. Detailed information can be found in the brochure "Von der Schule an die Freie Universität Berlin" (pdf-file, only in German) or in the descriptions of study programs.

Some study programs require a certain level of English skills. The language level shown on the (school) certificate is generally binding. The Department of Application and Admission will accept the following proofs as equivalents:

The level B1 CEFR
  • five years of English instruction at school (if the language level is not shown on the (school) certificate)
  • IELTSIELTS Indicator scores 4.5
  • Cambridge Examinations:
    Preliminary English Test (PET)
    First Certificate (FCE)
    Advanced (CAE)

    Proficiency (CPE)

  • TOEFL: Paper 450 or Computer 130 or Internet (or TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition) 60

  • UNIcert® I
The level B2 CEFR
  • six years of English lessons at school (at secondary level 1 AND secondary level 2, if language level is not shown on the certificate, see decision KMK 08.12.2011: foreign language competence)
  • IELTS / IELTS Indicator scores 5.0
  • Cambridge Examinations:
    First Certificate (FCE)
    Advanced (CAE)

    Proficiency (CPE)

  • TOEFL: Paper 500 or Computer 170 or Internet (or TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition) 80

  • UNIcert® II

If you have earned your university entrance qualification abroad, the transcripts and documents you submit with your application do not typically show how many years of language instruction you have completed. In that case, applicants must submit either a certificate from their school regarding the duration of their instruction, or a language certificate. For graduates of the preparatory course (Studienkolleg) at Freie Universität Berlin, the certificate shows the level at which the language instruction was given.

In case of university entrance qualifications issued in Australia, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, New Zealand, or the United States of America, or if you have a degree from any of those countries, you are not required to provide any further proof regarding your English skills on the levels B1 CEFR or B2 CEFR.

3. Proof of German language skills for application and for enrollment, holding a university entrance qualification from abroad

Applicants with non-German university entrance qualification, are required to prove German language skills in accordance with the German higher education entrance examination (Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang ausländischer Studienbewerberinnen und -bewerber, DSH ) at Freie Universität Berlin. You can also provide proof of these language skills by means of equivalents to the DSH.

» continue with "Which Application Procedure for which Course of Study?"

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