Studying Without a High School Diploma

The Abitur is not the only ticket to access the University of Bremen. Under certain conditions, experienced professionals who do not hold a university entrance qualification can also be admitted to studies. Studying without a high school diploma is possible, therefore, but several conditions must be met. That is why it is especially important to get comprehensive information.

First of all: In order for persons without a high school diploma to be allocated a university place in the state of Bremen, they must have completed a period of vocational training. Please take note that the access to higher education is regulated differently in each of the federal states. It therefore helps to obtain information directly from universities and colleges.



Central Student Advisory Service

Consultation Hours:
Mon 10-13: Face-to-face without appointment
Tue 14-16: Zoom or face-to-face with appointment
Thu 10-13: Face-to-face without appointment

Brief information by phone:
Wed 10-12 & Fri 12-14

+49 (0) 421 218-61160
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University Entrance Qualifications

Types of University Entrance Qualification

In order to be enrolled as a student in university studies, you need a so-called university entrance qualification. The type of university entrance qualification determines which subject you can study and where.

  • General university entrance qualification
    You are allowed to study any subject at any university at all in Germany. With a high school diploma you have a general university entrance qualification, with which you may apply to study anything and anywhere.
  • Field-specific university entrance qualification
    You may only study the subject for which you have obtained your higher education entrance qualification. You may study this subject at any university or university of applied sciences.
  • Location-bound university entrance qualification
    You are allowed to study any subject: However, only at the universities or technical colleges (usually local ones) that recognize your entrance qualification.
  • Field-specific and location-bound university entrance qualification:
    You may only study the subject for which you acquired your entrance qualification and only at certain universities or technical colleges.
  • University of applied sciences entrance qualification:
    The Fachhochschulreife may sometimes be acquired at vocational schools. Colloquially, it is often called a “Fachabitur”. With the Fachhochschulreife you are only allowed to study at a university of applied sciences in the state of Bremen and not at the University of Bremen.


University Entrance Qualification for the University of Bremen

Here is a list of ways to be accepted as a student at the University of Bremen.

General university entrance qualification

Field-specific university entrance qualification via vocational qualification

University entrance qualification via a course of study at university of applied sciences or a university

  • Studies at a university of applied sciences
  • Studies completed at another university
    Completed studies at a university lead to a general entrance qualification for all German universities.
  • Studies not completed at another university
    Students from other universities may transfer to the University of Bremen after two semesters - this applies only for same subject(s) and the identical degree. The study program of at least two semesters must be successfully completed and this must be proven by the transcript of records.


Important Notes

Education is Governed by the Federal States

Educational issues are regulated solely by the individual federal states. The regulations on access to higher education without high school are different DEPENDING on the federal state. Here you will find a nationwide overview.


If you would like to know whether the university entrance qualification you acquired in Bremen will allow access to studies at other universities in other federal states, you must inquire at the respective universities or federal states.


Restricted Admission

Many courses of study at the University of Bremen are subject to restricted admission. There is restricted admission in those subjects in which there are always more applicants than study places available. This means that even if you have obtained a university entrance qualification, you will not know if you really will receive a study place in a restricted-admission degree program. The brochure “Studieren ohne Abitur” explains the various access paths and how, in the case of restricted admission, the places on degree programs are awarded.


Program-Specific Requirements

Many programs have additional program-specific requirements which you must fulfill in order to be granted admission. As a rule, these requirements must be met when applying, regardless of which university entrance qualification you have (exception: trial studies/Probestudium). They are determined by the individual universities and therefore vary from institution to institution. It is therefore important to be well-informed about the admission requirements.