Ap­plic­a­tion DSH-Course

Application for the preparatory German language course (DSH course)

The DSH course is aimed at applicants who would like to take up a German study program - not at students of English master programs!


After the application deadline for the course start in October 2022, we have new application deadlines. You can then only apply for the courses in April and October. If you wish to apply for the DSH course, generally, the following application deadlines apply:

Application Deadline DSH-Course Course Start
01. September - 30. November 2023 April 2024
01. March - 31. May 2024 October 2024

Please note: Once you have been admitted to the preparatory German course, we recommend that you apply for a place in a hall of residence immediately, as waiting times can be up to 6 months. You can find information on the halls of residence below on this website under "Living in Paderborn and Childcare services".

How to ap­ply:

Higher education entrance qualification (HZB)-Check: Before applying, you can use the DAAD admissions database to check whether the minimum requirements for direct subject-restricted or general admission are met. In order to be admitted to the preparatory German course, you need one of the types of the higher education entrance qualification listed there.

With the help of the DAAD database on admission and our checklist, you can get an overview of how to apply successfully.

1. Download application form, fill it out and sign it. For help take a look at the Info Sheet

For question 1 "Desired degree programme" please select only study programs from the study programs offered by the University Paderborn. If you wish to study for a Master's degree, please note that the desired Master's degree program must be consecutive to your Bachelor's degree. If you wish to study on a non-consecutive or unrelated Master's degree program in relation to your Bachelor's degree, this will reduce your chances of admission.
Important: Your adress needs to be current. Please answer question 11 in the application form with “Yes”.

2. Add your following educational documents (original language):
- secondary school leaving certificate
- university entrance examination - if taken
- transcript of records of all academic years
- university diploma in case you already graduated in your home country
- APS certificate (China, Vietnam and India) needs to be original

3. Add official translations of your documents - if issued in a language other than English, French or German.

4. Power of attorney* (completed and signed in the original) as well as copies of the identity documents of the person granting the power of attorney and the person receiving the power of attorney.

*If you are unable to apply or enrol yourself, you have the option of issuing a power of attorney to a person you trust.

Please use the form at go.upb.de/Vollmacht_DSH

5. If you are refugee and/or live in Germany already, please submit also a (clearly legible) copy of your current residence document. If you are asylum seeker, your residence document should prove that you are entitled to live in or close to Paderborn, so that you may attend the course at a daily basis.

6. Send your application (= completed application form and educational documents) by post to the International Office within the above mentioned application periods.

***Please note: If you send your application documents from abroad by post, you or the sender must pay the shipping and customs fees. If the recipient respectively the International Office is charged with shipping and/or customs fees, the application documents will not be accepted.***

7. What happens after the application? For more information click here

Application documents will generally not be returned. For this reason do not send us original documents.

Private Health Insurance

It is not possible for DSH course participants to be covered by statutory student health insurance. As a language student, you can take out private health insurance. Please make sure that you have health insurance that is valid in Germany - even between entering Germany and applying for your residence permit. Otherwise, in the event of illness, you may be faced with unpredictable costs.

If you come from an EU country, your health insurance will probably cover many of the costs of medical treatment in Germany. Please check with your insurance company.

If you are not from an EU country, you will need private health insurance.

Private health insurance during pregnancy and birth

It should be noted that many private insurances do not cover or only partially cover services around birth and pregnancy. The costs may have to be covered by oneself (approx. 4,000 euros). Preventive check-ups and vaccinations for newborns/children are also usually not covered by private insurance.

Casualty Insurance

We also recommend signing up for insurance against damage to third parties and accidents.

Student Dormitory

The Studierendenwerk Paderborn offers a variety of different housing options. In order to apply for a room at the student residence, you must first fill out the online form. Since the waiting time could be even more than nine months, you should apply as soon as possible. This is also possible if you have not yet received confirmation of your place in the language course or your letter of admission.

    Online application form
    Accommodation options

Private Accommodation

The best time to find an apartment is in March and September. At this time most rooms and apartments become available because many students finish their studies and move out. You can find private providers both online and "offline".


You can also find the most important portals of housing exchanges on the site of immobilienportale.de. The site wg-gesucht.de is also popular.

"Offline": On Wednesdays and Saturdays the local newspaper Westfalen-Blatt publishes many real estate ads for Paderborn.

Cost of Living and quality of life in Paderborn according to Numbeo

Childcare options

Please note that the application deadlines for daycare places end in October each year for places starting in August the following year. This means that you need to apply about a year in advance. Childminders in Paderborn are also currently fully booked and have waiting lists of up to one year. If you are admitted and are travelling with child(ren), we recommend that you inform yourself in good time at the Family Service Office of the University of Paderborn.

Please be aware that obtaining a visa for entering Germany may take several weeks or even months. Therefore it is neccesary that you submit your application within the above deadlines. We will inform you of the result of the admission process around 8 weeks after the applicable deadline. Due to the equal treatment of all applicants and for organisational reasons, we cannot make any exceptions. This rule must be taken into account when making an appointment at the embassy. We ask you to refrain from inquiring about the application status within this time.


IMPORTANT: When applying, please provide an address that is still valid!

Our DSH courses are designed to make you meet the language requirements for German taught degree courses. For this reason, applicants are asked to state the degree course they wish to start after having gained the DSH. Admission to the DSH course requires higher education entrance qualification for the chosen degree. In addition, the degree course needs to be offered at the University of Paderborn. Furthermore, admission is subject to available places.

New students are accepted for the DSH courses in April and October. A placement test at the beginning determines at which stage you can enter the course.

Paderborn University offers courses starting at level A2. This level must be reached by the time of the placement test at the latest. Depending on your previously acquired language skills, the duration of the preparatory German course ranges betweem three months (applicants with level C1 CEFR) and 12 months (applicants with level A1 CEFR).


Refugees with missing or incomplete educational certificates

The Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB) participates in the EQPR project "European Qualification Passport for Refugees" of the Council of Europe, the aim of which is the qualified assessment of the educational certificates of refugees who cannot provide any or incomplete certificates. This assessment can be done through interviews of the persons concerned by employees of the national equivalence centres (ENIC-NARICs), of which ZAB is one. Afterwards, a certificate (EQPR) is issued, which can support the refugee in their application to universities or the labour market.

This year, an interview session will take place for one week in Germany at the ZAB (Graurheindorfer Straße 157, 53117 Bonn) from 18.09.2023 to 22.09.2023. The Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB) is still looking for candidates for this.

Here you will find the invitation letter (enclosure 2) together with the list of German residence titles (enclosure 1).

If you have been accepted for the preparatory German language course (DSH course) you will receive an acceptance letter for the DSH course - not yet for the degree course of your choice. Whether you are eligible for the degree course can be assessed only at the end of the DSH course due to administrative reasons.

You do not have to apply again. The International Office will take into account the desire to study, which you must confirm in due time (15.06. / 15.01.) with the form "Admission to Subject Studies" if you are in the intermediate or advanced level of the DSH course. You will then receive the application form by e-mail from Ms. Rudolph Brandão. The admission criteria (e.g. entrance tests, language skills, required minimum grades, accrediations of previous study achievements) to degree courses might change. You are asked to inform yourself about admission requirements of the degree course you wish to attend. You can find more information in this regard at Transition to Bachelor and Master Programmes.

Please note:

Application and admission to the DSH course are free of charge!


Helen Hölting

Denis Kalushi

Whom to contact for personal advice

Universität Paderborn
International Office
Warburger Straße 100
33098 Paderborn