Language requirements

Trier University offers doctoral students the possibility to write their doctoral thesis either in German, English or French. Depending on the language in which you intend to write your thesis, different regulations on proof of language proficiency apply.


German language dissertation

Proof of language efficiency

Doctoral candidates who write their thesis in German are required to proof sufficient language skills in form of one of the following official certificates:

  • DSH 2 (level C1/C2)
  • „Test Deutsch als Fremdsprache“ (TestDaF) with a minimum of TDN4 in all four parts of the exam
  • „Zentrale Oberstufenprüfung“ (ZOP) by the Goethe Institute
  • „Kleines deutsches Sprachdiplom“ or „Großes deutsches Sprachdiplom“ by the  Goethe Institute under the authority of Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
  • „Deutsches Sprachdiplom (Stufe II) der Kultusministerkonferenz“ (DSD II)


DSH exam

If you do not hold any of the certificates listed above, you will have to pass the "Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang (DSH2)" exam at Trier University before registering as PhD student. The exam can be taken at the beginning of either the summer term or the winter term. Further information concerning dates and registration for the exam can be found on the homepages of the language center.


German language courses and DSH preparation

Language Center

The Language Center of Trier University offers German language courses at different levels (A1 to C1) and special courses on academic writing, holding presentations and intercultural communication. Further information can be found on the homepages of the language center. Please note that the language center does not offer specific DSH preparation courses.


The TASI (Trier Academy for Language Learning) offers specialized DSH preparation courses at different levels several times a year. The courses are subject to a fee. Please find more information on the TASI website.


English or French language dissertation

It is possible to write doctoral dissertations in English or French at Trier University. However, prerequisite for writing your thesis in a language other than German is the consent of your supervisor and the Dean in form of an acceptance letter. The acceptance letters must be submitted to the student registration office and will enable you to register as a PhD student even with low German language proficiency.

Please ask your supervisor and the Dean to use the following form when writing an acceptance letter.