DSH (German language proficiency test for international students)


If German is not your native language and you are applying for a place at a university in Germany, you must have an excellent command of the German language. Your level of proficiency is expected to be equivalent to C1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. This means:

  • You understand everything you read and hear with ease, including demanding texts and difficult specialised literature.
  • You can summarise and recount facts from different sources and in doing so differentiate finer shades of meaning.
  • You are able to give clear, fluent, and structured presentations. Moreover, you can also compose complicated written texts articulately and with a logical structure.
  • You are familiar with academic language structures and can both understand and use them.

The DSH proves that you have successfully fulfilled the high language proficiency requirements. The letters DSH stand for “Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang ausländischer Studienbewerber” (German Language Proficiency Test for Admission to Higher Education for international students). The DSH is a prerequisite for regular, non-exchange admission of international students to universities in Germany. Applications for admission to the examination must be submitted to the university’s International Office. In order to be admitted to the examination, you must have an appropriate educational certificate and have applied for a place at the university. You can find more information on the admissions procedure here.