Bundeswehr medical degree programme: Alternative career path for medical students

MUDr. Andreas Zehetner

MUDr. Andreas Zehetner

CO-Founder of futuredoctor

Reading time: 11 Minuten
Last updated: 12 April 2024

📖 Table of contents

An NC-free medical degree programme at a public university in Germany for which you will also be paid? Studying medicine with the Bundeswehr offers you the alternative option of bypassing the difficult application process for regular medical studies and combining medical training with a military career.

Are you interested in studying with the Bundeswehr?

We will be happy to advise you free of charge about your options for starting university via the Bundeswehr. We will also advise you on the opportunities and possible disadvantages of studying with the military.

Allocation of study places

Of the approximately 10,000 medical study places in Germany, the Bundeswehr receives a quota of around 250 places twice a year. Around 1,500 applications are received from prospective students for these places. Although no numerus clausus is officially required for the degree programme, a pre-selection (selection of the best) is made for the allocation of study places based on A-level grades.

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Requirements for applicants

To take part in the application process for medical studies (human medicine) with the Bundeswehr as an applicant (m w d), you must be at least 17 years old and between 155 cm and 210 cm tall. You must be a German citizen as defined in Article 116 of the German Basic Law and have a general higher education entrance qualification or a comparable qualification.

When you apply, you must also be prepared to commit to 17 years of service in the Bundeswehr following your medical studies and to be deployed at home and abroad (foreign deployment).

In addition to these formal requirements, applicants should also have some special character traits that qualify you for your time as a medical officer in the Bundeswehr. These include, for example, a high sense of responsibility, ambition and willingness to perform, flexibility and commitment as well as assertiveness and the ability to work in a team. You should also have a good physical constitution and be mentally resilient. 

Application procedure

If you are interested in studying medicine with the German Armed Forces, you should first seek a counselling interview with the Bundeswehr. You can then submit your application documents at a second appointment. These include your CV, a birth certificate, a passport photo, your degree certificate and a completed application form. If you fulfil the application requirements and have pre-qualified based on your A-level grades, you will receive an invitation to the selection process for the officer career path. This selection process takes place over three days at the Gereon barracks in Cologne. It serves to check your above-mentioned character traits and your mental and physical aptitude.

The selection process

To prepare yourself for the Bundeswehr selection process, you should familiarise yourself in detail with the Bundeswehr's medical career goals. It is important that you know your own weaknesses and strengths and that you practise good physical fitness. Speech and concentration exercises can also be useful. There is also an online test trainer who will prepare you in writing and psychologically to successfully pass the recruitment test. (You may also find this interesting: Information on general Aptitude tests for medical studies )

The selection process is organised in stages. For example, you must successfully complete the personal interview on the second test day in order to be allowed to take part in the sports test on the third test day.


The stages of the selection process (procedure)

  • CAT testThis is a test procedure that checks your suitability to study through the Bundeswehr. It consists of 25 questions from a wide range of test categories, which you have a total of 12 minutes to complete. The questions focus on language comprehension, maths knowledge and technical understanding, logical thinking and your ability to concentrate. On the Bundeswehr website you can download a free trial test online carry out.

  • Personality test on the computer (PMO): Following the CAT test, you will take part in an online personality test. You will be asked a total of 116 questions about yourself. The focus is on the topics of stress and problem management, alcohol and drugs as well as strengths and weaknesses.

  • Medical aptitude test (San-Test): The San-Test consists of two sections with 20 questions each. The first section deals with "Quantitative and formal problems", the second section with "Basic medical and scientific understanding". They are very similar to the corresponding sections of the TMS.

  • Basic Fitness Test (BFT): This sports test consists of three test stations: a sprint test, the pull-up slope and the cycle ergometer. Depending on your gender and age, you will receive performance points.

  • Medical examination: During the medical examination, your health suitability is determined. Your hearing and eyesight will be tested, your blood pressure measured and your urine analysed.

  • Group situation procedure (GSV): The GSV is all about teamwork, taking responsibility and communication. Under the supervision of the examiners, you and a maximum of five other applicants are confronted with various situations. These include crisis management, scarcity of resources and a short presentation.

  • Interview: The interview is similar to a traditional job interview and is designed to find out more about you and your personality. You will be asked various questions about politics, history and current affairs.

  • Study aptitude test interview (San interview): In this interview, you will be asked questions about your career motivation and the medical profession itself. Biological and chemical questions are asked to determine how good your basic understanding of medicine is.

  • Scheduling: The selection process ends with a study counselling session. Your performance and results will now be compared by a student advisor to see whether you are suitable for your desired degree programme. If this is not the case, Bundeswahr will offer you numerous alternatives.


The Bundeswehr degree programme is slightly different to the regular medical degree programme. Firstly, you begin a three-month basic training programme. During this, you will be familiarised with everyday military life and learn about your rights and duties. At the end of the three months, you will obtain a "general military basic qualification".

Studying at public universities: After completing their basic training, students begin their medical studies at a public university. The place of study is variable, as the Bundeswehr can generally award medical study places at all state universities with a medical degree programme. If you are enrolled at the university, you will attend lectures every semester along with all other civilian students. In the six years of standard study time, you will learn about the structure and function of the human body, how to recognise and treat diseases and important aspects of ethics and communication in everyday medical practice. While the first five years are primarily intended for theoretical training and you will only do clinical placements and internships during the semester breaks, the focus in the final year of the degree programme is primarily on acquiring practical skills.

To prepare you for your period of service after graduation, you will take part in an officer training course and military internship during the pre-clinical and clinical study phases in your semester break, in addition to the clinical traineeships. These courses each last one month.

After successfully completing your medical degree, you will complete a post-university modular training programme (PumA). This lasts six months and aims to reintegrate you into military service after the long period of study and prepare you for your clinical activities in the Bundeswehr. You will then be assigned to one of the five Bundeswehr hospitals and start your specialist training.

Advantages and special features of medical study places with the Bundeswehr

Studying medicine with the Bundeswehr differs from regular medical studies in many respects. Before you apply to study medicine with the Bundeswehr, you should inform yourself in detail about the special features of this programme. These include

Paid study programme

Studying medicine with the Bundeswehr has one major advantage. While other universities charge tuition fees or semester fees, you will be paid from the first day of basic training when you study medicine with the Bundeswehr. You will earn between 2,045 euros and 3,385 euros net.  Student financing is no longer a problem for students.


By studying medicine with the Bundeswehr, you commit yourself to working for the Bundeswehr for 17 years afterwards.

The Bundeswehr requires its students to complete their medical studies within the standard period of study of six years. If this is not achieved and the period of study is extended by more than seven months, the period of commitment is also extended by one year.

The Bundeswehr offers graduates many career opportunities, e.g. to work as a military doctor in the officer's career to treat soldiers individually.

Buy free

If you decide to end your 17-year enlistment prematurely, the only option is to buy your way out. The Bundeswehr will then demand that you pay back the training costs of around 200,000 euros. The amount of these costs depends on how much service you have already completed.

Specialist training

Specialist training in the Bundeswehr starts after your medical studies and the six-month post-university modular training programme in one of the Bundeswehr hospitals in Germany. The locations are Berlin, Hamburg, Koblenz, Ulm and Westerstede. The Bundeswehr offers a large number of different specialist training programmes. However, this does not mean that you will receive your preferred specialisation. The availability of training places depends on the needs of the Bundeswehr.

Frequently asked questions

FAQs on studying medicine with the Bundeswehr

A place to study medicine with the Bundeswehr offers medical students numerous advantages, including paid training, secure student financing without tuition fees or semester contributions and subsequent specialist training in one of the Bundeswehr hospitals.

Officially, no numerus clausus (NC) is required for applicants, but there is a pre-selection based on the Abitur grades (Abitur average).

You must be at least 17 years old, have German citizenship, be between 155 cm and 210 cm tall, have a general higher education entrance qualification or a comparable qualification and be willing to commit to 17 years of service in the Bundeswehr.

The required character traits include a high sense of responsibility, ambition and willingness to perform, flexibility and commitment, assertiveness and the ability to work in a team as well as a good physical constitution and mental resilience.

The selection process comprises various stages, including an aptitude test, a personality test, a medical aptitude test, a basic fitness test, a medical examination, a group situation procedure, an interview and an aptitude test interview.

Yes, you will be paid between €2,045 and €3,385 net from the first day of basic training.

You undertake to work for the Bundeswehr as an officer for 17 years, whereby the standard period of study of six years must be adhered to. If the period of study is extended, the period of commitment is also extended.

a, you can buy your way out by paying back the training costs of around 200,000 euros to the Bundeswehr.

The Bundeswehr offers a large number of different specialist training programmes, depending on the needs of the Bundeswehr and the availability of training places in the Bundeswehr hospitals.

No, after your medical studies you first complete a six-month post-university modular training programme (PumA) and are then assigned to one of the Bundeswehr hospitals to begin your specialist training.

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