–– Please note that the following description is an abbreviated version, and valid only for the Bachelor of Arts. If you are interested in other programs please go to our program overview page. ––
STEP 1: Collect information about your desired program of study
Visit us at the School of Design in Pforzheim on open house days (the ‚Werkschau‘, for example), scheduled informative meetings, portfolio consultations, and talk to our professors and students. For individual advisory meetings with our faculty staff please contact the respective Research Assistants (you can find their contact data on the program pages). Please be aware that, since all Bachelor degrees are being taught in German, you will find lots of additional information in the german version of this website – read of it as much as you can!
STEP 2: Prepare your application documents. You need:
Application form: Please use this link to our online application system to fill out your application form and upload your documents. The application system works best on a desktop computer, we recommend not using mobile devices for the application process.
Please be aware that the online application system is open only from October 15th - 30th.
When you have supplied all data you 1.) submit everything via our online system AND 2.) print out the application form and hand it in via regular mail along with all other application documents (except for the portfolio).
- A copy of your qualification for university entrance (General or subject-specific higher education entrance qualification / General or subject-specific polytechnical entrance qualification) along with the verification of equivalent qualification for university entrance:
If you are citizen of an EU country, send your translated and legally attested certificate, along with all your other application documents directly to 'Akademisches Auslandsamt der Hochschule Pforzheim', Tiefenbronner Straße 65, 75175 Pforzheim, Germany. After they have checked everything they will forward it to our Student Office.
If you are from a country outside of the EU, you have to send your school certificate to the 'Studienkolleg Konstanz' to have them certify it is sufficient for german university entry standards (Abitur, Fachhochschulreife, Fachgebundene Hochschulreife). Only after you have received the approval from them you pass this approval sheet on to our Student Office (address: Studierendensekretariat, Fakultät für Gestaltung, Holzgartenstr. 36, 75175 Pforzheim, Germany), along with a copy of the school certificate (translated and legally approved) and all your other application documents.
- Letter of motivation (maximum 1 page)
- Portfolio of Artwork: For detailed information please see below.
- Proof of Language Proficiency
To get admission to study programs in Germany all international students will have to prove adequate language skills in German. For all german degree programs (all of our Design BAs are taught in German) Pforzheim University requires either 'Deutsches Sprachdiplom' (Stufe II) der Kultusministerkonferenz, DSH Prüfung (DSH 2), TestDaF (> 16), telc Deutsch C1 Hochschule or Goethe Zertifikat C2 of the Goethe Institut. Submit one of the mentioned tests.
Please always use translated and legally attested copies of your qualifications, never hand in original certificates!
We accept all portfolios in ONLY in digital format. Please upload your works via the link in our online application system.
Specifications for the digital portfolio:
- 10 - 15 general works (hand-drawn originals); and additionally, 5 - 7 works referring to the chosen field of study. You can take pictures of your original works and submit them as .jpg-files.
- the files names must provide the following information: family name, first name, number, title. For example: LastnameFirstname_01_Portrait.jpg
- all works must be uploaded in the correct orientation (not turned or upside-down)
- the pictures of the works should show the paper margins, and an object for size reference (e.g. pen or pencil sharpener)
- for every work, the field ‚Description‘ must be filled with information about
1.) original size in cm,
2.) used material (e.g. pencil, charcoal, acrylic..),
3.) drawing base (e.g. paper, cardboard, canvas…)
- file format for all artistic works: .jpg, maximum file size: 3MB
- upload of single works (no multi-page pdfs)
Additionally we ask you to upload the following as digital files:
- CV (.pdf)
- Letter of Motivation (1 page, .pdf)
Your submitted artistic works will be deleted after the application period has ended.
Once your application is ready, please print out all the documents from the application system (except for the portfolio!) and send them via regular mail to our student administration office:
Fakultät für Gestaltung
Please note that incomplete applications (applications missing an approved test of language proficiency / approved school certificate / portfolio) WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED, and you will NOT be notified that something is missing. Applications sent via Email also will not be considered.
Application Deadlines: Regular Deadlines are April 30th (for enrollment as student in following October) and October 30th (for enrollment as student in following March). From April 15th / October 15th until the respective application deadline you can apply online via this link.
Please note that the BA in Jewellery Design begins only once a year in October, the BA in Accessoire Design only once a year in March. All other fields start twice a year.
Applications which arrive late won’t be considered.
STEP 3: Test of Artistic Aptitude (pre-selection, admission exam and interview)
During the Covid-19 pandemic, some or all of the mentioned parts of Step 3 can be held online, if required. If so, you will be notified by us as soon as possible.
Based on the submitted applications, the admission committee will make a pre-selection and decide who will be invited to the admission exam and the personal interview (usually applicants are notified about the date within 2-3 weeks after the application deadline).
The admission exam (taking place 5-6 weeks after application deadline at Pforzheim University) will show us if you are able to solve a typical design task on the fly. Usually, in the mornings you have to solve general artistic tasks, and in the afternoon you work on program specific topics. Furthermore, the candidates have to prove their qualifications in an interview – we'd like to get to know you! Interview topics can include (but are not limited to) your portfolio, your area of interest in design, or your CV. The interview can take place either on the day of the admission exam or on the day after. Please plan to be in Pforzheim for the entire time.
2-3 weeks after the test of artistic aptitude candidates are notified (via regular mail) whether they are being accepted as students at Pforzheim University School of Design.
Further Information: Internship, Enrollment, Fees & Insurance
Please be aware that you have to do a 3-month internship for all BA programs except Visual Communication (no internship) and Jewellery (12 month internship) before you start your first semester here. The programs BA in Fashion and BA in Accessory Design are offering a fee-based 3-week internship at our university (instead of the 3 months). Requirements for the internships also depend on the field of study. In any case, you should thoroughly read the FAQ section and check back with our Student Services Office (Tel. +49 (0) 7231-28 6719) whether your internship will be accepted, before you start it.
You can choose whether you do your internship before your application and the test of artistic aptitude, or after – it just has to be done before you enroll as a student here, and you will need to present proof from your employer that you did it and that you acquired the necessary knowledge (we have forms for that purpose). You can do your internship at whichever company you like.
If you got accepted as a student, have already completed your internship (or will have by the time you enroll) and have all the necessary documents ready you can submit a request for enrollment as a student ( 'Antrag auf Zulassung zum Studium') via this link.
There are some administration fees for enrolled students of the Hochschule every semester. Apart from these fees there is contribution for the 'Studentenwerk', and for the 'Verfasste Studierendenschaft', all in all around 160€ for EU citizens (more information on fees at Pforzheim University). You will be notified when to pay and to which bank account, if you are accepted as a student. Please also be aware that upon enrollment as a student you will have to present proof you have health insurance.
For downloads please refer to the german version of this page. You can switch languages by using the button on the top right of this site.