What is a Foundation Course?

Our Foundation Courses prepare you for the external university qualification assessment test (the “Feststellungsprüfung” or FSP for short, formally known as the “Examination to Assess the Qualification of Foreign Applicants for Admission to Universities in the Federal Republic of Germany”) of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. The test is administered twice a year by the district government of Cologne, in May and in November. The FSP certificate is recognized by all public German universities and entitles you to apply for a university place in the entire country. The grades obtained in the FSP are an admission criterion for university applications, together with the grades of your school-leaving qualification.


Is the Feststellungsprüfung the same for all degree programmes?

No, the external FSP involves written examinations in three subjects as well as an oral examination in one subject. Which subjects are tested depends upon the degree programme that you intend to enrol in. Hence, there are different FSPs, for each of which our foundation courses prepare you with pinpoint precision:

  • Foundation Course T
    for technical, mathematical, science or engineering degree programmes such as mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, computer science or physics.
  • Foundation Course M
    for a degree programme in the fields of medicine, biology and pharmaceutics.
  • The combined Foundation Course M+T
    is intended for university applicants who are not yet sure whether they would prefer to study medicine, biology and pharmaceutics or rather technology, mathematics, natural sciences and engineering. They can take their time to make up their minds which specialization corresponds more closely to their personal interests and which Feststellungsprüfung they wish to take, M or T.
  • Foundation Course W  
    for degree programmes in economics and social sciences, e. g., business studies, macroeconomics, sociology, politics or law.
  • Foundation Course G
    for degree programmes in the humanities and social studies, e. g., German studies, education, philosophy as well as law.

What admissions criteria are there?

The requirements for participation in the FSP are:

  • A school-leaving qualification which, according to the stipulations of the German Ministry of Education and the Arts (KMK), entitles you to attend a preparatory college (Studienkolleg) like ours. You can check whether or not your school-leaving qualification fulfils that criterion on the website Anabin– or simply ask us.
  • German-language proficiency at B2 level, proven for example by means of a relevant telc- or Goethe-certificate.

If you should not have attained German-language proficiency at B2 level yet, you can rectify that omission by taking our Preparatory Course that prepares you for the examination for the telc language certificate B2. We are an authorized telc examination centre, the examination takes place on our college.


What are the differences between FSP and DSH?

Unlike the FSP, the “German Language Test for the Admission of Foreign Study Applicants” (DSH) is purely a language test. It is intended for overseas study applicants who already possess a university entrance qualification recognized by the German authorities and who have already been offered a place in their desired degree programme for the semester after the date of the DSH examination. The examination takes place at the university that offered the study place. Of course we also offer dedicated DSH Preparation Courses.


How do I apply for a Foundation Course at Studienkolleg Düsseldorf?

Let us begin with two important pieces of advice. First, early on, you should let us counsel you free of charge and without committing yourself to anything, because each individual case is different. Thanks to our comprehensive experience, we are able to offer you specific advice tailored to your personal circumstances. Secondly, you ought to apply at least 3 months before the start of your course, because sometimes granting a visa can take a very long time.

Now to the application process: 1. First of all, you gather all required documents and submit them to us:

  • Filled-in and signed registration form,
  • Proof of German-language proficiency at B2 level
  • A photocopy of your passport
  • A photocopy of your secondary education diploma together with a notarized translation
  • Curriculum vitae

Once you have successfully registered, we will e-mail you an invoice with payment instructions.

As soon as we have received your payment, we will e-mail you a registration certificate. You can then use that registration certificate to apply for a visa at the responsible German embassy or consulate-general in your home country.

Before your visa expires (in most cases 3 months after arrival in Germany), you need to apply for a residence permit at the local Aliens’ Registration Office . We would be delighted to advise you on this process.


What do the tuition fees include?

The tuition fees include the lessons as well as participation in the accompanying cultural programme.


What does the registration fee include?

The registration fee, which is mandatory for students from non-EU countries, includes registration as a student of our college, the entry of all your personal data into our system as well as the issuance of an official registration certificate.


Do I have to pay the entire fee immediately after registration?

Yes, you must pay the all fees in full within 2 weeks after receiving our offer.

Applicants suffering from financial hardship may pay in two instalments: 50% of the fees must be paid within 2 weeks after receiving our offer, the remaining 50% by the end of the first semester. We only offer this mode of payment in exceptional cases and at our discretion; moreover, we charge a 5% instalment surcharge on the entire tuition fees. No other modes of payment will be considered.


Can I cancel my registration if I cannot get a visa?

In case applicants have trouble obtaining a visa, we usually offer them the opportunity to postpone the starting date of their respective courses until the next semester. The same applies to all other difficulties for which the applicants themselves are not responsible. In situations like these, we may ask for proof, such as a rejection letter from the German embassy.

In case applicants cancel their registrations due to reasons for which they themselves are responsible, we charge a cancellation fee of 578 €, provided that we are notified of the cancellation four weeks before the starting date of the course at the latest.

Unfortunately, no refund is possible for cancellations submitted later than four weeks before the respective course’s starting date.

The General Terms and Conditions of Studienkolleg Düsseldorf apply.


Still got questions?

In the Info Section you will find further information on living and studying in Germany as well as on our Services.