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DSH preparation course

Language course to prepare for the German Language Test for Admission to Higher Education
Books are important for studying
Image: Jan-Peter Kasper (University of Jena)

Information on the DSH preparation course at the University

Why is it worth attending the DSH course at the University of Jena?

The DSH preparation course offers the best and most intensive preparation for the German Language Test for Admission to Higher Education (DSH). You will learn in international groups and practise all the language skills you will need for your studies. You will focus on the development of your writing and oral reasoning skills. Excellent language preparation will form the basis of your academic success! If you attend a DSH preparation course at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena, you can discover the location of your future studies at the same time.

Course provider, course fees

The DSH course is run by the International Office at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena in cooperation with JenDaF e.V.External link The number of places available in the course is limited. 

The course fee amounts to €1,050.00 per semester (subject to change). Having been admitted to the course, you will receive further information, including the deadline for payment of the course fee by two instalments. If you withdraw from the course before the deadline for the second instalment, the course fee will be returned to your bank account (excluding an administration fee of €50.00). You will pay the course fees directly to JenDaF e.V., not the University.

Entrance test, course duration and compulsory attendance

When admitted to the course, participants are invited to an entrance test in which their language skills are being tested. The results of this test will be decisive for admission to the course. Apart from that, the results of this test determine whether an applicant will participate in a one-semester or in a two-semester course. 

For participants who were admitted to the 2-semester course after the first entrance test, the sample test at the end of the 1st course semester and the result of the entrance test at the beginning of the 2nd course semester decide on admission to the higher, 1-semester course. It is not possible to repeat the 2-semester course, as the maximum course duration is 2 semesters.

If you do not manage to pass the respective entry level in the entrance test, you will not be admitted to the course.

The course runs for 300 hours per semester (20 teaching units on four days a week; one day is kept free for self-study). Lessons are held from mid-October to mid-February and from early April to mid-July. The participants must attend the course regularly, i.e. every lesson.

Temporary and permanent absences

You may be absent from the course in exceptional cases only, e.g. illness; if so, you must provide a medical certificate (‘Krankenschein’ or ‘ärztliches Attest’) or a certificate of military service. If you drop out of the course or will be absent for a longer period, e.g. because of an attested serious illness or military service, you must inform the International Office and the person responsible for the course immediately.

It is not possible to apply for a leave of absence, because DSH course participants do not count as students but as preparatory course participants. 

In case of giving up the course for grave reasons, please submit an informal request for refund of the course fee to JenDaF e.V., which decides on such requests on a case-by-case basis.

Registering for the DSH exam at the end of the course

A DSH mock exam is held under exam conditions at the end of the semester. You may only take the actual DSH exam if your mock exam results show sufficient learning progress and if you attend the course regularly. The exam is held in February and July, and costs €95.

Upon successful completion of the DSH preparation course, students must re-apply for a place on a degree programme. Any decisions on admission to your chosen degree programme can only be made in the admission/selection process following your application or by the Selection Committee for master’s programmes.  Learn more about the range of degree programmes available at our University.

Your advantage: Student status and support 

Student status

If you attend a DSH course, you will be a student at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena for an entire semester (1 October to 31 March; 1 April to 30 September). You will receive a student card (food and events for reasonable price) and semester ticket (free travel on local public transport), and may apply for a room in a hall of residence.External link Participants from non-EU countries can apply for a residence permit for the preparation of studies.

Support programme

The courses are organized by the JenDaF Association, which also works alongside the International Office, to offer a support programme for the language course groups. This is a unique additional service offered free of charge to everyone who attends a course. Tutors help you settling into student life and organize workshops and excursions to Jena, Weimar, and Erfurt, allowing you to discover the region and learn more about Germany.

Admission and language requirements

Admission requirements

Please check whether you already hold the university entrance qualification to study in Germany. You can use the DAADExternal link or anabinExternal link databases to check whether your foreign educational qualifications are recognized in Germany.

If you do not hold an equivalent university entrance qualification yet, you will have to take the assessment test (“FSP”) before starting your degree programme. Please apply for a one-year preparation course at our Thuringian Studienkolleg Nordhausen.

Language requirements

The DSH preparation course is not meant for beginners. We expect you to have a sound knowledge of the German language that is at least equivalent to level B1External linkof the CEFR , e.g.

  • Certificate B1 (Goethe Institute, telc, ÖSD, certificates from recognized language institutes) or
  • TestDaF with at least 4 x 3.

If you are yet to achieve level B1 in German, you can attend classes at language schools in Germany or your home country, for example:

Institut für Interkulturelle Kommunikation
Grietgasse 11
07743 Jena
www.iik.deExternal link

Institut für Bildung und Integration
Hermann-Pistor-Str. 33a
07745 Jena
www.ibi-jena.deExternal link

Required documents

  1. Scan all documents mentioned below and save them as PDFs under specific file names.
  2. Have all documents at hand because you will need to enter data from them during the online application.
  • University entrance qualification:
    • a certified copy of your original school leaving certificate and university entrance examination (if taken) with a sworn translation (into German or English)
  • Prior degree programme:
    • a certified copy of your original degree certificate or times of study with a sworn translation (into German or English)
    • a certified copy of the original transcript of records for your degree with a sworn translation (into German or English)
  • Knowledge of the German language:
    • a certified copy of evidence of your German language proficiency (see our information on language requirements)
  • a CV (in tabular format)
  • Chinese, Indian and Vietnamese applicants: the original APS certificate issued by the Akademische Prüfstelle as proof of your academic achievements

Please note
If you are under the age of 18 years, you are required to submit a parental consent form.pdf, 727 kb · de

Definition: official certification

In Germany, all public bodies bearing an official seal can officially certify documents. This includes municipal administrations, district offices, and minor administrative authorities (e.g. local mayors, town administration, local registration offices, etc.); it also includes courts and notaries. The culture department of the embassy of the country that issues a certificate can also provide official certifications.

Outside Germany, the following authorities are authorized to issue official certifications: the Diplomatic Missions of the Federal Republic of Germany and the authorities and notaries authorized to issue official certifications in their respective countries. The original stamp and signature of the certifying person must be provided.

Definition: sworn translation

Certificates must always be translated by an official body, e.g. the issuing institution or a sworn translator. Attestations made by non-certified translators will not be accepted.

Application process, portal, and period

The online portal will guide you through the application process step-by-step.

When applying for the DSH preparation course, you should indicate what you would like to study at the University of Jena following your German course. Please select your future degree programme from our databasepdf, 271 kb · de before starting your application.

  • Application period for the summer semester: 15 October to 15 January
  • Application period for the winter semester: 1 May to 15 July
  1. Register at the online application portalExternal link. Save your login and password. This enables you to use the online platform later without having to re-register. 
  2. Complete the online application and upload all required documents.Our online application is paperless. Please do not send us any applications and/or documents in paper form. More information are available in our manual for applicantspdf, 1 mb · de.
  3. You will be able to check the status of your application in the portal by entering your username and password. Please regularly check your emails for new messages regarding your application.
  4. If you receive an admission letter, it will include further instructions.
  5. Apply for enrolment online, print the application, sign it and send it with your documents (see the checklist on the first page) by post to the International Office. Attach your signed Declarationdocx, 73 kb · de.

Here you can find the application portal for the DSH preparation course.External link

Further important steps

Please see the information about the following topics

  • what to do after receiving an admission letter
  • housing / room search (apply by 15.1./15.7.)
  • visa application
  • enrolment

 Please find all details at start studying.

Have you got any more questions?

You can find more information on visa, health insurance, costs, services, and many other details in our FAQ.


Do you still have questions? Please get in touch with Ms Cornelia Dwars, Team international Students at the International Office.