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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 and supplementary exams for admission to the University of Vienna

Here are the answers to your frequently asked questions:

Update: March 2021

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 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 (of at least level A2) when you apply for admission to any degree programme held in German. This is also a requirement if you are planning to improve your German language skills in the University Preparation Programme (VWU). 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.

This website gives you an overview of the accepted certificates: Accepted proof of German knowledge A2 


What should I consider when I enrol at 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 acquire the German language skills you need for admission to a degree programme. The University of Vienna recommends attending the VWU. PLEASE NOTE: once you have enrolled at the VWU, you have to complete ALL required VWU exams.

What is 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, and also in other subjects such as English, Mathematics, History and Geography. The VWU is an entity offering courses for international students who are interested in studying at one of the 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, and the University of Veterinary Medicine).

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

As soon as you are enrolled at the VWU, you are a non-degree student and receive a student ID card of the University of Vienna. This means that you can already enjoy a range of benefits, such as the student health insurance of the WGKK (Vienna Regional Health Insurance Fund). Moreover, you can clarify your visa matters with the relevant Foreign Office (MA 35).

Here you can find further information about the VWU, course registration and deadlines: Vorstudienlehrgang der Wiener Universitäten

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

As soon as you are admitted to the VWU as a non-degree 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 at the VWU, the University no longer accepts other certificates. Please remember: you have to complete all required VWU exams, otherwise you might face problems with your visa. There were cases where residence permits have been revoked because the students did not complete all exams at the VWU.

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 dates for supplementary examinations per semester – please note the application deadlines!
You can find all deadlines here: Supplementary examinations at the VWU


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

You may have to provide evidence of other supplementary qualifications, apart from the required language skills, if your secondary-school leaving certificate is from a Non-EU country. Your admission letter (Zulassungsbescheid) will inform you which supplementary examinations (English, Mathematics, History or Geography) are required for admission to the degree programme of your choice. After you’ve received your admission letter, you can enrol at the VWU to complete the required examinations.


Where can I find further information?

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

🚨 More blogposts 🚨

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

Any questions about starting your studies?

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


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