I love it when I learn something new about universities in Europe from a member! I was on our live member Q&A call on Sunday when a member asked about something she saw on the German college site (daad.de/en) about APs. When we last wrote about this country, Germany did not consider APs as recently as just a few months ago, so I told her that I would look into it and get back to her.
I have very exciting news to report about this! First, though, let me give you a little bit of backstory. Students often come to me asking about German college. Some students are interested in the culture, after taking some German in school. Others are excited by the tuition (which is free to international students at most public universities). German colleges used to require that American students submit SAT scores to apply but, a couple of years ago they stopped accepting these scores. That meant that American applicants needed either an IB diploma, 2 years of college credits (with a number of course requirements), or a full Associate’s degree. For many students, German college was off the table.
It’s now a feasible option again, though still quite difficult. The first requirement pertains to the courses the student takes in high school. Most of these are pretty much aligned with the college track graduation requirements in the US. These requirements include 4 years of English (honors for one), 2 years of a foreign language, 3 years of social studies, 2-3 years of math (Algebra II or Trig and Precalc), and 2-3 in Science (2 courses in either math or science, 3 in the other). This is all doable.
In addition, students need to have 4 AP scores of 3+. These scores make students eligible to apply only for specific subjects. There are two different combinations of specific scores needed. Students who want to apply to programs related to Humanities, Social Sciences, Law, and Economics need scores of 3+ in:
Students who want to apply for programs around Math, Science, and Technology need scores of 3+ in:
In order to keep all the options open, a student could take five APs that include Calc, Bio or Chem, English, Foreign Language, and one of the additional tests noted.
To explore the list of the best universities in Germany, see the guide: Study in Germany: A Guide for International Students.
I don’t often recommend German universities. In addition to the fact that they were impossible for most American students to apply to for the last few years, I also found that many of them had a rigid and old school approach to education. It’s often (not always) very lecture oriented and not as interactive as many of the students I work with are looking for. There are some indications that this might be changing, or at least that are some new options with a different approach. The Global Environmental and Sustainability Studies program at Leuphana University, for instance, certainly points in that direction. I recently wrote chose this to profile in a Beyond the States Program of the Month. These are generally accessible only to members, but in celebration of the good news around German admissions, I’m sharing it here as well!
There are affordable and high quality options in other countries as well! In fact, of the 1900+ programs in continental Europe, only about 350 have the AP requirements.