Application for medical studies - the German selection procedure

Application for medical studies - the German selection procedure

The study of medicine is known as one of the most popular and at the same time most difficult to achieve degree courses in Germany. The structure of the selection process and the system behind the allocation of study places takes a lot of different criteria into account. What these are, what quotas there are and how the application process works, we have summarised briefly and concisely here:

What are the quotas?

Study places for human medicine and dentistry are allocated in Germany via a preliminary quota and three main quotas. The main quotas include the Abitur best quota, the university selection procedure and the additional aptitude quota.

Advance quota

In the preliminary quota, 20% of the available places are allocated at the beginning of the selection procedure to applicants who have applied via the quota for foreigners, second degree applicants, hardship cases or rural doctors. The remaining places are then distributed in the three main quotas.

The three main quotas:

Baccalaureate quota

The selection procedure for medical studies is known above all for its best Abitur quota, in which only applicants with Abitur grades around 1.0 have a chance of a place. In fact, however, "only" 30% of the study places from the three main quotas are awarded in this quota. The Abitur is rated differently depending on the federal state in which the school-leaving certificate was obtained and, as a lower-ranking criterion, services performed are also taken into account.

University selection procedure (AdH)

In the AdH, 60% of the main quota places are distributed. Here, the universities recognise a wide variety of criteria with individual weighting. In addition to the Abitur grade, these include aptitude tests (e.g. TMS, HamNat), completed vocational training and completed service.

Additional Suitability Quota (ZEQ)

The remaining 10% study places from the main quotas are awarded via the ZEQ. Here - also depending on the university - only criteria independent of the Abitur grades count, such as aptitude tests, selection interviews or special qualifications and extracurricular involvement.

How does the application process for medical studies work?

The application process takes place centrally via the application portal You first register on the website and fill out an application online. In the following weeks, all required documents must be sent in. After the application deadline, applicants are given rankings at the desired universities depending on their performance and the criteria they have fulfilled, and are gradually offered admission to the individual quotas. In order to secure a place, you must bindingly accept an offer of admission within a specified period of time before the portal locks. As soon as an offer has been accepted, the remaining offers expire and are made available to the applicants with the lowest ranking.

After the portal lock, the move-up phase begins, in which places that have not been claimed are distributed to applicants who have not yet received an offer. In order to enrol at the chosen university, enrolment must also take place after an offer of a place has been accepted. This differs from university to university, but you will be informed of the exact procedure directly with your acceptance.
The deadlines for the application differ in part for old and new school leavers and are roughly as follows:

Winter semester:

End of April: Start of the application phase
End of May: Online application deadline
Mid-June: Deadline for submitted documents for old school leavers
Mid-July: Deadline for submitted documents for new baccalaureate students
End of July: Admission offers for applicants of the preliminary and best Abitur quota
Beginning of August: Admission offers for AdH and ZEQ applicants
Mid/end of August: Portal lock and start of the move-up phase
End of September: End of the follow-up phase
Mid-October: Start of the winter semester

Summer semester:

Mid-November: Start of the application phase
Mid-January: Online application deadline
Mid/Late January: Deadline for late submissions for all applicants
End of January: Admission offers for applicants of the preliminary and best Abitur quota
Beginning of February: Admission offers for AdH and ZEQ applicants
Mid/end of February: Portal lock and start of the move-up phase
End of March: End of the follow-up phase
Beginning of April: Start of the summer semester

You can find more detailed information on the procedure and the current deadlines and dates at To find out what your chances of getting a place to study medicine are and which quotas are the best, you can use the smartphone app "ncrechner" use.
Finally, we at Futuredoctor wish you good luck with your application! If you have any further questions or are looking for alternatives, we are always at your disposal. Click through our blog and website or contact us via email or Instagram!