EDUCATION SYSTEM IN GERMANY

EDUCATION SYSTEM IN GERMANY

We present you with an overview of the German education system. For better understanding, an exact graphic representation of the system is added below.

Preschool education

There are various forms of childcare in Germany:

  • Nurseries (Kinderkrippe) – suitable for children aged under 3.
  • Preschools (Kindergärten) – intended for children aged 3 – 6 / 7 – Kindergarten is not compulsory and can be partly or whole founded.
  • Childminders / Nannies (Tagespflege) – the caregivers take care of children at their home.

Primary education

Elementary school (Grundschule):

The German education system is different in each federal state (Bundesländer); however, there is some common ground between the states.
Primary school is intended for children from the age of 6 to 10 or 12, depending on the federal state (Berlin and Brandenburg). That means from the 1st to 4th or 6th grade. The school is compulsory. At the end of elementary school, the teachers and parents decide, depending on the child’s performance, which secondary school they will attend.

Grading

The pupils are graded according a 6 point grading system fwith one as the best and six as the worst grade.

Secondary education

Secondary school
The secondary school system is intended for pupils from the 5th to the 13th grade.

Upon finishing elementary school, (age 10 in most states, 12 in Berlin and Brandenburg), pupils have four options for secondary school, which can be either academic or vocational:

Hauptschule
The Hauptschule (grades 5-9) has subjects as the Realschule and Gymnasium, with vocational courses. The pupils can enroll in a vocational school combined with on-the-job training.

Realschule
The Realschule (grades 5-10) enables pupils to continue their education to part-time vocational schools and higher vocational schools.

Gymnasium
The Gymnasium is concluded with the Abitur certificate. With the Abitur, pupils can continue their studies at Universities or gain a dual academic and vocational credential. Dual System combines traditional classroom teaching and on-the-job training. The programs are different in each school; however they usually include German language, math, computer science, physics, chemistry, biology, geography, art music, history, philosophy, civics, social studies, and several foreign languages.

Gesamtschule
The Gesamtschule, enrolls students of all ability levels in the 5th through the 10th grades. Pupils that complete the Gesamtschule up to the 9th grade gain a Hauptschule certificate; those who finish up to the 10th grade receive the Realschule certificate.

Berufsschule
Berufsschule combines part-time academic study and internship that leads to a certificate in a particular trade of work. It is lead by the federal government, industry, and trade unions.

Tertiary education

Tertiary education in Germany is carried out according to the European Bologna system. It is under the ECTS – European Credit Transfer System and helps students to move between countries and have their academic qualifications recognized. The standard study period is usually three years (six semesters, with 180 ECTS points) for bachelor’s degrees and two years (four semesters, 120 ECTS) for master’s degrees.

The academmic year

The academic year is divided into two semesters – winter and summer. The winter semester starts on October and ends in March. The summer semester starts in April and ends in September.

Admission deadlines

The deadline for submitting applications depends on the University. In general, the application deadline is from May to mid July if the studies start during the winter semester and December to mid January, if the studies start during the summer semester.

There are over 390 officially recognized universities throughout Germany that offer over 17.730 study programs.

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