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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Application and Admission

The German version of the text shall always prevail. June 2017

General information

A hardship application may only be made by applicants from Germany, the EU, and the EEA countries of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, and by foreign applicants having a German higher education entrance qualification (Abitur). You may also submit a hardship application when applying for a master's program in the first semester.

Hardship applications

A hardship application (pdf with detailed information) may be submitted if particular issues, above all relating to health, social circumstances, disability or family issues make the applicant's immediate admission onto the course of study urgently necessary. The degree of disability certified in the pass for a severely disabled person is in itself insufficient for relying on hardship. Those health issues which call for immediate admission include progressive illnesses or disabilities which make a longer waiting period unreasonable and/or the fact that the chosen study program is likely to bring about successful professional (re-)integration. Suitable supporting documents e.g. a German-language medical report must be included in the application. The medical report must deliver an adequately elaborated opinion on the application. A hardship application is not a guarantee of a place on the course.

Claiming disadvantage compensation in an application

If during your school education chronic illness or disability necessitated e.g. periods of time off school, then you may submit a claim for disadvantage compensation and in so doing obtain a revision of your grade average or a shortening of the waiting period. If you can prove with an attestation from your school that e.g. due to chronic illness you were obliged to take time off school which in turn led to a deterioration in your school grades, then a revision of your grade average may be considered. If your higher education entrance qualification could only be awarded later because of periods of absence due to illness or disability, then this may offset the waiting period. An attestation from your school would also be required.


You can apply for disadvantage compensation (school attestation) as well as claiming hardship (medical report). Both the application for disadvantage compensation (grade average/waiting period) and/or the hardship application are to be submitted as part of the online application for restricted-access study programs and must be handed in together with the other required application documents within the deadline. There is no particular form requirement.

Applicants, who want to study for a second undergraduate degree or who do not have the German university admission qualification (Abitur), can't submit a hardship application.

Admission for hardship cases in the first semester is currently set at a preliminary quota of 5% of university places per study program. If more applications with claims for hardship are received than there are available places within that quota, then a ranking according to degree of hardship will be introduced. A claim for hardship is therefore no guarantee of a place on the course.

If you are not admitted to the course as part of the preliminary quota then your application will automatically advance to the general admission procedure, as well as any other particular procedure, in which you compete with all other applicants. The information you gave with regard to your case for hardship has no bearing on these procedures.

There is no preliminary quota involved in the admission procedure for later semesters; at this stage all applicants compete on merit, provided that places are available. If you are otherwise on equal ranking with another applicant, you may be given preference on account of a hardship submitted for this purpose according to § 9 Abs. 2 BerlHZG.

Contact information

Commissioner for the disabled students and Disability Advisory Service

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Counselling Center
Unter den Linden 6
10099 Berlin


contact details