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am 2. January 2020
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Themen: admission , Teaching Affairs and Student Services , VWU

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

Here are the most important FAQs to answer your questions:

Update: January 2020

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 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 of the Vienna Universities)?

The VWU (Vorstudienlehrgang – University Preparation Programme) as well as the preparation programmes offered by its co-operation partners are an option for you to acquiere German language skills. The University of Vienna recommends attending the VWU. However, PLEASE NOTE that once you have enrolled on the VWU, you also have to complete ALL required VWU exams.

What ist the VWU?

The VWU (Vorstudienlehrgang – University Preparation Programme) is an institution providing university preparation courses for international students. It offers intensive courses to prepare students for supplementary examinations in German as a foreign language, but also in other subjects such as English, mathematics, history and geography. The VWU is an entity for international students prescribed by the six universities of Vienna (University of Vienna, Vienna University of Economics and Business, Vienna University of Technology, Medical University of Vienna, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, and the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna).

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 and get a student ID card of the University of Vienna. This means that you already enjoy a range of benefits, such as the student health insurance of the WGKK (Vienna Regional Health Insurance Fund). Moreover, you can purchase the student semester ticket of the Wiener Linien (Vienna’s public transport operator) and clarify your visa matters with the relevant Foreign Office (MA 35).

For further information about VWU course informations and deadlines, please click 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 in German (Ergänzungsprüfung Deutsch) issued by the VWU will be recognised as a proof of German language proficiency. If you are or were enrolled on the VWU, the University no longer accepts other certificates. You have to complete all required VWU exams, otherwise you might face problems with your visa. There have been cases where residence permits have been revoked.

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

When is the next supplementary exam in German?

There are three supplementary examinations dates per semester – please note the application deadlines!
For further information please click here.


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

Apart from the language skills requirements,  you may have to provide evidence of other supplementary qualifications. Your official notice of admission will inform you about the required supplementary skills (English, mathematics, history or geography). You can then enrol on the VWU and complete the required examination.


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

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


Where to find further information?

Take your time and read the page about the Knowledge of German language 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.

🚨 More blogposts 🚨

Have a look at the blogposts about the application & admission process at the University of Vienna:

Any questions about starting your studies?

💡Follow this link for general information about studying at the University of Vienna


The new registration system

As of now, there are changes in the registration system for examinations and courses. Marlene Brugger from Teaching Affairs and Student Services explains everything you need to know in a blog post. The old registration system for courses and examinations clears its way for a new system… The registration system for courses and examinations on … Continued

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    Your comment is awaiting moderation. This is a preview, your comment will be visible after it has been approved.

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