Foundation Semester CourseGeistWiss-Kolleg

What does the course offer?

This course was developed by the International Study Centre in cooperation with the Institute for German as a Foreign Language Philology (IDF) as a targeted preparation for “Germanistik” studies at the IDF.

Who can participate?

You can apply for the GeistWiss-Kolleg if you meet the respective requirements:


  1. You are in possession of a direct university entrance qualification ("direkte Hochschulzugangsberechtigung/HZB") for the intended degree programme at Heidelberg University.
    On the Internet pages of the Zentralstelle für ausländisches Bildungswesen (German language only) you can check if you meet the formal requirements („Suchen“ → select the country of your diploma/certificate → select your diploma/certificate).
  2. You are in possession of either a DSH certificate scoring at least level DSH-2 or an equivalent German language certificate or a proof of German language proficiency at GER level B2.

If you are planning to study “Germanistik” or “Germanistik im Kulturvergleich” at Heidelberg University, please note:

For these and other degree programmes at Heidelberg University elevated language requirements (advanced DSH-2 level, DSH-3, advanced DSH-3 level) are in place.
These requirements only concern applications for the degree programmes, not the Foundation Semester Course.

What will I learn?

On this course,

  • you will be introduced to working with academic texts from the fields of linguistics and literary studies
  • you can expand your subject-specific competences
  • you will be taught general key competences, such as doing literature research, using the library, presenting a project, and time management
  • you will receive an introduction to academic techniques

If you are in possession of a DSH certificate scoring at least level DSH-2 or an equivalent certificate, you will have 28 45-minute classes per week:

  • 12 literature classes
  • 10 history classes
  • 6 classes of social studies and geography (combined)

If your German language proficiency is at GER level B2, you will have 32 45-minute classes per week:

  • 20 German classes
  • 4 literature classes
  • 4 history classes
  • 4 classes of social studies and geography (combined)
  • At the end of the course, you can take the DSH exam.

Where and when does the course take place?

Course duration for SOmmer Semester 2024

  • Students with DSH or an equivalent certificate: Mon, 15 Apr 2024 till Fri, 28 Jun 2024.
  • Students with GER proficiency level B2: Tue, 16 Apr 2024 till Fri., 26 Jul 2024.

Course duration for winter semester 2024-25

  • Students with DSH or an equivalent certificate: Mon, 14 Oct 2024 till Fri, 24 Jan 2025.
  • Students with GER proficiency level B2: Tue, 15 Oct 2024 till Fri, 07 Feb 2025.

No lessons: 23 Dec 2024 till 06 Jan2025.

Class times

Monday to Friday, between 08:00 am and 03:15 pm

Class location

Studienkolleg, Im Neuenheimer Feld 684, 69120 Heidelberg

How much does the participation cost?

  • Course fee: 505 €
  • University fees

Successful applicants will receive detailed information about the payment terms with our letter of acceptance.

How to apply?

You can apply during these times:

  • For the summer semester: 15 November till 15 January (mail receipt deadline)
  • For the winter semester: 15 May till 15 July (mail receipt deadline)

Application form

Please note on the last page of the application form the list of required documents and the submission deadlines.

Please send your complete application materials in due time to:

Internationales Studienzentrum
– PVS – 
Im Neuenheimer Feld 684
69120 Heidelberg