Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät

Requirements for Bachelor Students

Dear prospective exchange students,

We are glad that you are considering our school for spending your academic exchange period. The academic year at Humboldt is divided in two semesters so you could spend one or two semesters at our school. The decision lies, however, with your home institution.

You can only spend an exchange semester in our school if there is a standing exchange agreement between our school and your home institution, we do not accept free-movers for an exchange semester.

First of all, you need to dwell on the fact that our teaching has a strong emphasis on quantitative methods; therefore, you need to present sound knowledge of Mathematics. We recommend you to take courses in statistics, calculus, algebra, economics, or any other advanced math courses before you start your exchange semester.

We can only accept exchange students with a (solid) background in Economic Sciences or Business-related disciplines. You should already study either subject as a major or as a minor. Bachelor students must have already completed one full academic year before they start their exchange semester.

We also wish to draw your attention to the fact that teaching in our school is very much research-oriented and students receive a traditional academic training with a focus on empirical methods. With this in mind, our school greatly promotes research activities.

Finally, you should observe our language requirements as we cannot accept your application if you do not meet our language requirements. The teaching language at the under-graduate level (Bachelor programs) is MOSTLY German and courses at the graduate-level (Master programs) are taught in English.

In your own interest you should not apply for courses, which language you do not understand.

Language requirements for Bachelor students
Bachelor students are required to demonstrate proficiency in German at the B2 level according the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) or English at the C1 level. The teaching language of both our Bachelor programs in Business and Economics is mainly German but an increasing number of courses are offered in English as well. You need to produce of proof of language proficiency by the time of your application.
  • May for students spending the Fall Semester at Humboldt.
  • November for students spending the Spring Semester at Humboldt.
We accept the following certificates for German as a foreign language:
  • Zentrale Oberstufenprüfung (ZOB)
  • kleines deutsches Sprachdiplom (KDS)
  • Großes deutsches Sprachdiplom (GDS)
  • Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang - DSH
  • Deutsch als Fremdsprache - TestDaF


you can also take the online test for German as a foreign language on the website of the language center at Humboldt. The test is called “C-Test” and it is free of charge. However, you are allowed to take it once only. You should score at least 61 points out of 100. Make sure that you download your score results as a proof of proficiency. Take the German test for free!

You have scored between 50-60 points? We will then accept your application conditionally if you enroll for a 4-weeks intensive German class prior to the start of the lecture period before your exchange semester. German Intensive Courses (DaF) – HU German Language Academy.


We accept the following certificates for English as a foreign language:

Proofs of English proficiency


Do we allow exceptions?
A small number of courses is opened both to Bachelor and Master students. You need to browse our course catalogue and narrow down your search criteria in order to find out suitable courses (embedded link). Please contact our incoming team, we will help you with it.
Can I take master courses?
In principle, Bachelor students are not allowed to take courses from graduate programs. However, professors in our school may let you in their class if both the departmental and exchange coordinators from your home institution support your claim; that is if there are enough spots available. We wouldn´t want to keep your hopes high as it is a tedious procedure and it could lead to a rejection. In any case, you will have to demonstrate C1 proficiency in English (see language requirements for master students).
Can I take courses in other faculties and institutes at Humboldt?
Yes, you are allowed to take 1 or 2 courses in other faculties or institutes at Humboldt on the condition that you are doing at least 50% of your course load in our school. However, you cannot take it for granted because four parties need to approve your selection of courses outside our school: the teaching professor or departmental coordinator, the exchange coordinator in the other faculty, the departmental or exchange coordinator from your home institution (maybe both) and the exchange coordinator in the school of Business and Economics. For each course you should observe the linguistic and academic requirements. Since the outcome is uncertain, we recommend you to come up with alternative courses either way. Please note that those restrictions do not apply to the following entities:  The Welcome center, the Bologna lab, the language center and the career center-
I am following a degree in German or English philology/studies
This is a sufficient proof of proficiency as long as you have completed 1 academic year already.
I have completed a High School or a University degree in German or English?
We accept it as a proof of language proficiency.

Any questions?

Mickaël Maillé

Head of International Office

School of Business and Economics