General information about Universities of Applied Sciences (Fachhochschulen)

Courses at specialist vocational training colleges are designed as stand-alone alternatives to courses on offer at universities. Courses at these colleges are characterised by the following key features:

  • They are vocationally focused, practical courses at a level equivalent to a university degree.
  • Course lengths are fixed. Bachelor's courses generally take six semesters, and Master's courses four semesters, to complete. Attendance requirements apply to both types of courses.
  • A limited number of students are admitted in each academic year. There are also limits on the numbers of students admitted to individual courses.
  • Graduates are awarded an academic title.

Students at vocational training colleges have the same status as university students.
Students at vocational training colleges can make use of student support, scholarships, grants and other sources of funding to study abroad, in the same way as university students.

About 50 per cent of courses can also be studied part-time alongside paid work (as opposed to studying full-time).

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Last update: 31 August 2023

Responsible for the content: Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research