Medical study place: How to transfer from abroad to Germany

MUDr. Andreas Zehetner

MUDr. Andreas Zehetner

CO-Founder of futuredoctor

Reading time: 5 Minuten
Last updated: 12 April 2024

☝️ The most important facts in brief

  • Places to study medicine in Germany are in high demand, many applicants do not get a place.
  • Transfer from abroad to Germany possible after the first year of study, often to a lower semester.
  • Recognition of the Physikum made easier, students often complete the pre-clinical phase abroad.
  • Prerequisites for transfer: Self-application, proof of performance, credit transfer certificates.
  • Application process: online application, waiting time for acceptance, assessment varies, success means enrolment.

📖 Table of contents

Places to study medicine in Germany are in high demand. There are significantly more applications than places available, meaning that many applicants do not receive a place to study medicine in Germany. Many future doctors therefore start their medical studies in Germany. Medical studies abroad. But the lower Costs of studying abroadThe fact that you can study in German or the proximity to friends and relatives from your home country makes many Germans studying abroad think about transferring from abroad to Germany to study medicine. In this article, you will find out what requirements you need to fulfil to transfer to Germany to study medicine and how the transfer works.

When is it possible to transfer from abroad to Germany to study medicine?

Normally, a change of study place is possible after the first year of study at the earliest. In most cases, the transfer takes place one semester later, as not all courses can always be recognised. After one year (or two semesters) you usually have enough courses together to be able to have one semester credited in Germany. This allows you to continue your studies in the second German semester.

It is much easier to have the Physikum recognised by the state examination office than to have individual courses recognised. For this reason, students usually decide to complete the entire pre-clinical phase (the first four semesters and the nursing internship) abroad and complete the Physikum there.

Requirements and application for a medical student transfer from abroad to Germany

If you are planning to return to Germany to study medicine, you should start making preparations at least two months in advance.

The application is made as a self-application for the respective semester via the online portal of your chosen university in Germany. You will also find the relevant application deadlines there. In addition to your application, you must submit proof of your previous medical studies. You will receive these in the form of credit transfer notifications from the relevant state examination office. You can also apply even if you have not yet received credit transfer notifications. You can then submit these as soon as possible.

You can find out which examination office is responsible for you on the website of the state examination office. You can submit your documents there at any time, preferably as early as possible. An administrative fee of 40.00 euros to 70.00 euros will be charged for processing. You will need the following for the application:

  • Application form
  • Single copy of identity card/ passport/ birth certificate
  • Simple copy of the certificate of enrolment from the home university
  • Notarised copy of the overview of subjects and grades/ Transcript of Records

Procedure for transferring to Germany to study medicine

After you have applied online to the university of your choice in Germany, you wait for an acceptance or rejection letter for a place to study medicine.

The allocation of medical study places for a transfer from abroad differs between the individual medical universities in Germany. In some cases, A-level grades or academic achievements are assessed, but some places are allocated by lottery. You can find more detailed information on the website of your chosen university.

If your application is successful, you will either be placed in the semester of your choice or in a lower semester and will be enrolled at the university of your choice.

If your application is not successful, it is worth reapplying in the next semester.

Transferring from abroad to Germany - credit transfer notices

The relevant state examination office will issue you with credit transfer certificates for your achievements. You should allow enough time for this. The process can take some time, depending on the size of your examination office's area of responsibility.

To receive credit for one semester of medicine, you need either two "major" and two "minor" certificates or three "major" certificates.

Large notes:

  • Practical course in physics for physicians
  • Practical course in chemistry for physicians
  • Practical course in biology for medical students
  • Practical course in physiology
  • Practical course in biochemistry/molecular biology
  • Course in macroscopic anatomy
  • Microscopic anatomy course
  • Course in medical psychology and medical sociology

Small notes:

  • Seminar Physiology
  • Seminar Biochemistry/ Molecular Biology
  • Anatomy seminar
  • Seminar in Medical Psychology and Medical Sociology
  • Practical course for the introduction to clinical medicine
  • Work placement for career exploration
  • Practical course in medical terminology
  • Seminars as integrated courses involving suitable clinical subjects totalling 98 hours
  • Seminars with clinical relevance totalling at least 56 hours

Claiming a study place?

You may have already heard that you can try to sue for a place to study medicine. Your chances of a successful claim are greatly increased if you already have a Medical studies abroad you have already started. Under certain conditions, you can also have your previous achievements recognised. You should seek professional support for this process. There are numerous law firms that specialise in medical student placement lawsuits. They can advise you on your individual case.