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Transfer to Medicine (hochschulstart)

University places for first semester of medical studies in Germany are currently assigned by Tip: If you look at the results of the selection process of previous semesters on, you can, to some degree, estimate whether your application seems more or less promising (taking into account all of the uncertainty that accompanies such considerations). The more unlikely it now seems that your application will lead to a university place, the more you should think about alternatives. These include - with all due care - the so-called transfer.

A transfer consists of two steps:

(1) Acceptance of academically equivalent achievements.
For a transfer, it is necessary that your achievements are accepted and certified at a level of at least one semester. Thus, you have the possibility to apply nationwide for a second semester studying Medicine at a university.

To do this, you study another subject / another course of studies whose foundations in the natural sciences approach those of a medical degree as closely as possible.

You have to have the university at which you studied certify the equivalence of your course-related achievements and examination results from the previous course of studies that you wish the State Examination Office to credit towards your medical or dental degree programme.

As soon as the equivalence of the content has been determined, application for assessment in a later semester of medical study can be made to the State Examination Office for Medical Professions.

For Lower Saxony:

Niedersächsisches Landesamt für Soziales, Jugend und Familie
Landesprüfungsamt für Heilberufe
Berliner Allee 20
30175 Hannover
Phone: +49 511 3802590 (Mr.Geuke, further telephone numbers on the homepage)
LPA Niedersachsen, Hannover

Office hours:
Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 12 noon, Wednesday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

(2) Application for a second semester of medical study.
As admissions to later semesters of medical study are also limited, you must apply on time (15th January or 15th July) directly to the universities. If more applications are received than there are places free, a selection procedure will be used. However, in this procedure, transfer students (who come from other degree programmes) will be considered of lower priority regarding the allocation of university places than those who already hold partial university places and students switching locations (who already hold a university place to study Medicine and want to switch universities). If there are still free places after these students have been accommodated, only then will these places be allocated to the remaining applicants according to social criteria and the results of a lottery.

The following problems exist during this procedure:

Depending upon the university, in later semesters too, there are most markedly more applicants than free places. This means that the likelihood of admission is generally low, but in any case incalculable. You should therefore be ready to deal with rejection, but you can apply once again for the following semester. Theoretically, the first attempt could be successful.

Time requirements
The procedure will lead to a not inconsiderable demand upon your time. This will consist of the time required for your "provisional studies" and the time for your (possibly repeated) applications.

Waiting time
Time spent studying as part of another degree programme at a German university will not be considered as waiting time. Therefore, your chances of admission for the first semester via hochschulstart will not get any better over the course of time using the waiting time quota to be admitted (the limit on admission was 13 to 14 semesters waiting time in summer semester 2012).

What consequences can this have?
As this concept is afflicted by a rather high risk of not receiving a university place to study Medicine, you should consider whether you would continue with your "provisional studies" (if necessary seeing them to their conclusion) and what that would mean for your motivation to study (regarding your aptitude and disposition) and for your career outlook. Naturally, these considerations also depend upon how "urgently" you want to study Medicine and how you deal with risk in your life.

Possible alternatives to the transfer procedure given here are only suggestions, as they depend upon your own personal circumstances:

  • You can go with the waiting time criterion, i.e. judging by information available from the past you would have to fill 6-7 years with other activities e.g. training or an occupation;
  • You can consider studying Medicine abroad. In this way, waiting semesters are not wasted. Depending upon each country, tuition fees must be paid for such degree programmes. In addition, corresponding language skills must be proven.
  • Sometimes it may be a good idea to rethink your choice of degree...

Advisory service
Answers cannot be put in any more specific terms here. If students wish to discuss their options, they can do so with a study advisor from the Central Student Advisory Service at the University of Göttingen.