In this section international applicants will find general information on studying at HfG Karlsruhe as a regular student. Other guidelines apply for exchange students, which you will find at Erasmus+.

Welcome to HfG

HfG Karlsruhe offers a wide spectrum of practice and theory-based courses. The courses on offer in various departments is substantial; the students have plenty of freedom in combining their curriculum and a lively exchange between individual departments emerges.

Studying in Karlsruhe

Detailed practical information on studying and living in Karlsruhe can be found under Practical Information for International Students.

General information on studying at a German university can be found on the website of Deutsches Studierendenwerk.


Degree: Diplom and Magister

HfG Karlsruhe is one of the few universities in Germany, whose graduates receive the Diplom degree, long established in Germany. The period of study amounts to nine semesters (four-and-a-half years) and therefore lies somewhere between a Bachelors (six to eight semesters) and a Masters (ten to twelve semesters). The Diplom degree is comparable to a Masters, as it can be concluded with a doctorate depending on the course of study. The theoretical courses are concluded with a Magister.

During their studies, students are given instead of ECTS points, and must pass a Vordiplom or a intermediate examination in the sixth semester at the latest. The study regulations allow a one-time flexibility in building and combining their own individual curriculum. In this way, they are able to extensively decide the combination of subjects on offer at the university for themselves. Students are given the opportunity to engage in a wide artistic/design and theoretical spectrum with which they can best pursue individual interests.

Course Program and Studying Conditions

The course program is diverse and inter-disciplinary. Most of the courses are attended by students of different departments. The current course catalogue is generally published online a month before the courses begin.

There are altogether around 400 current students at HfG Karlsruhe. The small class sizes with around 20 students per professor ensure an intensive learning experience.

That all seminars are open any time to students from all departments is part of the philosophy of the university.

The regular teaching language is German. International professors often teach in English.


Admission into the University of Arts and Media Karlsruhe is based on the application portfolio. In the praxis-based subjects, the artistic portfolio is of most importance, and in the theory-based subjects, a written analysis of a given theme within the chosen subject area. Concrete requirements may vary from year to year and can be found under Application.

Questions regarding application for regular study places (not exchange), please contact from the student office.

Accreditation of Higher Education Qualification

Conditions for application at HfG Karlsruhe, as with all other universities in Baden-Württemberg, is the accreditation of foreign higher education qualifications, that must be comparable to the general Abitur qualification usual to the German school system. HfG Karlsruhe cannot disclose the accreditation value of your higher education qualification. The state website for the accreditation body at Stuttgart State Academy of Art and Design deals with this, where you can ask for further information.

Please send a certified copy of your leaving certificate to:
State Academy of Art and Design
Am Weißenhof 1
D-70191 Stuttgart

It is not recommended to start the application process before a successful accreditation has taken place. Please do not contact the International Office or the Student Office in matters regarding accreditation.

Proof of German Knowledge

In order to be able to take up studies at HfG, you must demonstrate sufficient German knowledge. The following certificates are accepted:

  • DSH (Deutschen Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang), Level 1
  • TestDaF (Test Deutsch als Fremdsprache), Level 3
  • the successful completion of a qualification test “Deutsch als Fremdsprache” at a Studienkolleg (German preparatory college)

Note: International applicants and students should usually submit proof of having passed a language exam (DSH-1 or TestDaF/TDN 3) for enrollment.

Exchange Students

Other guidelines apply for exchange students, which you will find at Erasmus+.

For exchange students from non-Erasmus partner universities and free movers the same regulations generally apply.

Tuition fees

As of the winter semester 2017/18, international students who are not citizens of an EU/EEA country have to pay tuition fees of EUR 1,500.00 per semester. Additionally the regular semester fee of currently EUR 185,70 has to be payed.


The abolition of tuition fees for international students is under discussion. The Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts of Baden-Württemberg is currently investigating whether tuition fees for international students can be abolished.

The HfG Karlsruhe supports this debate on the abolition of tuition fees for international students. However, abolition is not yet in the cards for the academic year 2023/24.

All information on the status of the debate can be found on the page of the Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts Baden-Württemberg.

Unfortunately, we are not able to answer any questions on this subject.