Language Issues

Teaching Language

In general, the language of instruction is German. Most study programs offered at Ulm University are German-taught programs. However, there may be select courses taught in English even in German study programs. In addition, there is a growing number of Master programs taught in English.

Medicine & Dentistry are strictly taught in German. Even Students wishing to do practical work in a hospital (elective/clerkship/rotation) must have sufficient command of German.

Students wishing to do a project or thesis in any of the other subject areas do not need to prove proficiency in German, as long as they have sufficient command of English.

Courses from Master Programs

Please note: students who wish to take classes from a Master program should be Master level students by the time they start their studies at Ulm University , i.e.  they should have

  • formally completed a Bachelor degree or 
  • completet at least three years of undergraduate study or 
  • completed an equivalent of 180 ECTS

Language Requirements (at the Time of Application)

Erasmus+ and SEMP Students

  • We expect students to have at least level B1 in the language of instruction.
  • Students wishing to do a project or thesis must have at least level B1 in English.
  • Students wishing to do practical work in a hospital (elective/clerkship/rotation) must have at least level B1 in German. Students proving level B2 or higher may have better chances of getting accepted.
  • To prove that they have sufficient command in the respective language(s), students must submit a Certificate of Language Proficiency with their application. If students wish to take classes in both, English and German, both languages must be certified.
  • Students who have only level A2 in German at the time of application maybe accepted under the condition that they participate in the Intensive German Language Course prior to the beginning of their studies (September / March).

Exchange Students

  • We expect students to have at least level B1 for German taught programs.
    Students wishing to do lab courses (e.g. Chemistry) may have to attend a safety briefing prior to the start of the lab. Approval may be denied or withdrawn if the performance of the student raises serious doubts that s/he will be able to follow or react to instructions due to poor linguistic competence and/or academic preparation in order to avoid hazards.
  • Students wishing to do a project or thesis must have at least level B1 in English.
  • Students wishing to do practical work in a hospital (elective/clerkship/rotation) must have at least level B1 in German. Students proving level B2 or higher may have better chances of getting accepted.
  • To prove that they have sufficient command in the respective language(s), students must submit a Certificate of Language Proficiency with their application. If students wish to take classes in both, English and German, both languages must be certified.
  • Students whose native language is not English and who wish to take courses from English taught Master programs or do project work also need to submit TOEFL or IELTS results (TOEFL ibt - 88 minimum or IELTS - 6.5 minimum).
  • Students who have only level A2 in German at the time of application maybe accepted under the condition that they participate in the Intensive German Language Course prior to the beginning of their studies (September / March).

Free Movers

English taught courses: TOEFL iBT score of 88 or IELTS 6.5 minimum

German taught courses: Proof of DSH-2-exam or an equivalent.
The following test results are recognized as equivalent of a passed DSH-2:

  • Deutsches Sprachdiplom [Stufe II]
  • Zentrale Oberstufenprüfung [ZOP] of the Goethe-Institut
  • Kleines deutsches Sprachdiplom of the "Goethe-Institut im Auftrag der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München"
  • Großes deutsches Sprachdiplom of the "Goethe-Institut im Auftrag der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München"
  • TestDaF with the result 4 x 4 (enrollment under certain conditions) or better (2 x 5 and 2 x 4 or better results in an unconditional enrollment)
  • the exam from the preparatory course (Feststellungsprüfung) of a German preparatory college (Studienkolleg)

Language Courses @ Ulm University

Intensive German Language Courses

Prior to the beginning of each semester in March/September, the International Office organizes a month-long orientation course Intensive German Language & Culture (3 ECTS).

Students can take this course only once, preferably before the start of their studies. Students who are staying for the full academic year may take the course between their first and second semester. It is not possible to take this course at the end of the study abroad period.

The International Office offers this intensive German language course free of charge to Erasmus+, SEMP and Exchange Students from our partner universities

We regret that Free Movers and Erasmus+ Trainees cannot participate, not even on a fee-paying basis.

Semester Courses

The Language Center at Ulm University is called Zentrum für Sprachen und Philologie (ZSP). They offer courses in many languages every semester, including a significant number of German courses. Courses meet 2 hours/week and they are worth 3 ECTS credits. 

Erasmus+ trainees may participate in courses offered by the language center only as "external guests" and will be charged course fees.

Online Language Courses

Erasmus+ Online Linguistic Support (OLS)

The Online Linguistic Support (OLS) offers students in Erasmus+ the opportunity to assess their skills in the foreign language(s) they will use to study, work or volunteer abroad. In addition, selected participants may follow an online language course to improve their competence. OLS tests and courses are available in 12 European languages, including German and English.

All Erasmus+ participants should have received information about these opportunities from their home universities after having been selected for the programme. Ask your International Office or Erasmus+ coordinator about it.

Deutsch-Uni Online (DUO)

Exchange students and free movers have the opportunity to learn German on the internet with Deutsch-Uni Online (DUO) . By taking online courses with DUO you can practice and improve your German, learn a lot about Germany and even get subject-specific language training. This is an ideal way to prepare for your study abroad period in Germany.