am 2. December 2018
ungefähr 6 Minuten
Themen: admission , Teaching Affairs and Student Services , VWU

FAQs: German language skills, VWU prep & supplementary exams for admission to the University of Vienna

Recent changes in the admission requirements of the University of Vienna have raised questions among students. Here are the most important FAQs to answer your questions:


Do I need to know German to be admitted to a degree programme at the University of Vienna?

Yes. It is essential that you know German to be admitted to a degree programme at the University of Vienna. Some master’s and PhD programmes require no additional certificate of proficiency in German but they do for English.

  • You can find further information about our degree programmes and the required German language skills here: Proof of German knowledge.
  • For further information about our degree programmes in foreign languages, please go to: Foreign language skills 

Find more general information about the admission procedure at: Admission procedure

Do I have to upload a German language certificate when I apply for admission in u:space?

Yes, you have to upload a recognised language certificate (at least level A2) when you apply for admission to any degree programme held in German. Even if you want to improve your German language skills in the University Preparation Programme (VWU)  afterwards (for admission to degree programmes a proof of German language knowledge corresponding to level C1 or  C2 is required). Make sure that your language certificate is not older than two (!) years.

The following gives you an overview of the accepted certificates: Accepted proof of German knowledge A2 

What if I can’t acquire the required German language skills by the time I am admitted to a degree programme?

In your official notice of admission, we recommend to attend the VWU (Vorstudienlehrgang – University Preparation Programme) to acquire the necessary German language skills. Reasons for this recommendation are listed below.


What should I consider when I enrol on the VWU (University Preparation Programme)?

The VWU (Vorstudienlehrgang – University Preparation Programme) respectively its co-operation partners you can acquire German skills. This is only an option and the University of Vienna recommends attending the VWU, BUT once you have decided to attend and enrol on the VWU, you must also pass ALL required VWU exams.

Why does the University of Vienna recommend to enrol on the VWU preparation programme?

As soon as you are enrolled on the VWU, you are a non-degree programme student. Being a university student and having a student ID card from the University of Vienna means that you can already enjoy considerable benefits such as the student health insurance from the WGKK (Viennese Regional Health Insurance Fund), purchase the student semester ticket from the Wiener Linien (Vienna’s public transport provider) and, last but not least, clarify your visa matters with the relevant Foreign Office (MA 35).

The VWU (Vorstudienlehrgang – University Preparation Programme) is an institution providing university preparation courses for international students. It offers intense courses to prepare students for supplementary examinations in German as a foreign language, but also in other subjects like English, Mathematics, History and Geography. The VWU is an entity for international students prescribed by the six universities of Vienna (Universität Wien, Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien, Technische Universität Wien, Medizinische Universität Wien, Universität für Bodenkultur Wien, Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien).

You can find all the information about VWU course deadlines here.

What if I am enrolled on the VWU, but acquire another certificate in the meantime?

As soon as you are admitted to the VWU (University Preparation Programme) as a non-degree programme student only the supplementary examination German (EDP) will be recognised as proof of German language proficiency. If you are or were enrolled on the VWU, other certificates are no longer recognised, you must pass all required VWU exams, otherwise you can expect problems with your VISA. There already have been incidences where residence permits were revoked.

If you have any questions, please contact the MA 35 (Municipal Department 35 – Immigration and Citizenship).

When is the next supplementary exam (EDP) in German?

There are three supplementary examinations dates per semester – please mind the application deadline!
Further information can be found here.


What if I can prove that I have German language skills but need to gain other supplementary skills?

Apart from the language skills requirements,  you may have to prove other supplementary qualifications. Your offical notice of admission will inform you about the requiered supplementary skills (English, Mathematics, History or Geography), then you can enroll for the VWU and pass the required examination.

What is the current change? I did not understand that…

  1. From summer semester 2019 onwards, a proof of German knowledge at least at level A2 is required when applying for degree programmes held in German. Only if you already have a proof of German knowledge at level A2, you will be able to participate in a German course of the University Preparation Programme (VWU) to improve your German language skills. For the admission to degree programmes held in German a proof of German knowledge at level C1 or C2 is required.
  2. Just like any other university in Austria the University of Vienna no longer accepts German language certificates from other institutions if students once are or were enrolled on the VWU. This should protect VWU students, because ÖSD certificates are not accepted by MA 35. In individual cases, this has already led to the revocation of the residence permit. Whoever decides to enroll on the VWU and needs a residence permit renewal, must take the supplementary examination German .


What if, while I am enrolled on the VWU, I obtained a ÖSD (or another) certificate and was admitted to a degree programme before 21 July 2017?

In this case, we recommend that you contact the MA 35 and ask for further information.


Student Point (© Universität Wien)
Teaching Affairs and Student Services (© Universität Wien)

Take your time and read this page about the Knowledge of German carefully. Furthermore, you can find more information about the VWU in our blogpost „Learning German in a University Preparation Programme“.
If you have additional questions, please contact Teaching Affairs and Student Services via this contact form.

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