German courses for the University Preparation Programme (VWU)

The Language Center is one of the cooperating partners of the University Preparation Programme of the Vienna Universities (VWU) and offers German Courses within the Preparation Programme preparing students for their supplementary examination in German (EPD).

If you wish to study at one of the Vienna universities listed below, you can attend VWU German courses before starting your degree programme at university.

Prerequisites for participants in the VWU German courses

VWU German courses are only open to prospective students who have already been granted admission to one of the Vienna universities listed below and who yet have to prove proficiency in German to start their degree programme. We accept admission letter from the following universities:

Registering for a VWU German course is a prerequisite for your personal admission to the university. The steps are as follows:

    1. application for admission to one of the Vienna universities with your German A2 certificate
    2. registration for a VWU German course by producing your valid admission letter within the registration deadline
    3. completion of admission to studies at your university and payment of ÖH fee (Austrian Students' Union fee)

After successfully registering for the preparation programme at your university in person, you will be considered as a non-degree programme student.

Depending on your knowledge of German, you will take one or more VWU German classes. Your level of German will be determined by a compulsory VWU placement test.

Your university will allow you four semesters at most to take the VWU courses and pass the supplementary examination in German (“Ergänzungsprüfung Deutsch – EPD”). You successfully complete the VWU German courses and the Preparation Programme of your university by passing the EPD. Then you may start your degree programme.

General information on course registration

The Sprachenzentrum prepares students for the supplementary examination in German (Ergänzungsprüfung Deutsch – EPD).

Preparing your stay

Please clarify questions on entry to and residence in Austria in due time (i.e. application, registration process, entry to Austria). Final responsibilities rest with the Austrian Authorities. The OeAD website (see Entry and Residence) provides helpful information.

Registration periods

Summer semester 2024

   1. Online pre-registration (submission of documents):

open from 11.01.2024

   2. Registration period:

18.01.2024 – 02.02.2024

   3. Personal admission at the university:

until 05.02.2024

Registration for new students

New students: Students attending a VWU course for the first time

The registration for the winter semester 2023 is closed.


Registration for continuing students

Continuing students: Students who have already attended VWU German course(s) and are already enrolled in the Preparation programme in Vienna (VWU)

Registration for the winter semester takes place online.

Registration for the winter semester 2023 is closed.


Winter semester 2023-2024

Course fee: EUR 1,390*

*To mitigate the financial impact of inflation, the course fee in the winter semester 2023 will be supported by the VWU in the amount of EUR 20,- per student.


Summer semester 2024

Course fee: to be announced


Additional costs will apply for:

Text books: approx. EUR 100 each semester

Class reading material: approx. EUR 20 each semester

The purchase of an additional dictionary (book) is recommended.


If you are eligible for the reduced course fee (depending on nationality or asylum status) you need to register directly at VWU, Sechshauser Straße.

VWU placement

New students (admission to the university for the first time):

  • If you have prior knowledge of German, you must take the VWU placement test. The result defines the VWU course level you will attend during the semester.
  • The placement test includes writing (60 minutes) and speaking (max. 10 minutes). Grammar, Reading Comprehension, Writing and Speaking will be tested.
  • Your placement result and class assignment will be sent by e-mail shortly before the course starts.

Schedule + dates in the winter semester 2023:

NEW: Registration and placement test take place on the same day in person at our office. Take your time throughout the whole day. Travel to Vienna the day before at the latest. You already select the registration and placement day for your online pre-registration (upload of documents).

  1. Arrival in Vienna: one day before your registration and placement day
  2. Personal registration: 10:00 hrs - 12:30 hrs
    You will receive the location and time of the placement test after registration/payment.
  3. Break
  4. Placement test (written and oral): approx. 13:00 hrs - 18:30 hrs


Continuing students (students who have already taken VWU German classes):

  • Your course result is the placement for the next semester. It is the result of your performance in the exams you take during the semester. Your teacher will tell you your placement result on the last course day of the semester.
  • There will be no placement test for continuing students after the February break; the course result (placement) of the previous course is valid.
  • Your placement result and class assignment will be sent by email shortly before the course starts.

Schedule + dates in the winter semester 2023:

Placements at the Language Center will take place in person from 18.08.2023 to 14.09.2023.

  • Registration and payment for the course in the winter semester
  • Send an email with your certificate of a summer course (July or August). We will register you for the next available placement test, the appointment is binding!
  • The result of the placement test is binding. Please note: your grade could change to the worse.
  • Students with additional subjects who wish to register at VWU in Sechshauser Straße must take the test by 05.09.2023 at the latest

Course details

Course dates & holidays

Winter semester 2023-2024

Course starts: 02.10.2023
Course ends: 31.01.2024


23.12. 2023 – 07.01.2024 (Christmas break)
17.01.2024 (day of written EPD)


Summer semester 2024

Course starts: 27.02.2024
Course ends: 21.06.2024


23.03.2024 – 01.04.2024 (Easter break)
xx (day of written EPD)

Class time

Daily lessons (Monday – Friday) for 3 hours and 40 minutes (20 minutes break incl.)

You will receive an e-mail regarding your course schedule shortly before the course starts. Let us know your preferred class time when you register for a course. The class allocation is organized centrally and unfortunately not all preferences can be met. Changing the allocated class is not possible.

Morning (V):

class time between 8:00 and 13:00

Noon (M):

class time between 11:00 and 17:00

Afternoon (N):

class time between 14:00 and 20:00

VWU course levels

Basic levels
AN – Beginners with no prior knowledge of German
AV – Beginners with little knowledge of German
EV – Students with extended knowledge of German

Courses preparing for the EPD-exam
FG – Students with advanced knowledge of German
WF – Students with further advanced knowledge of German

The five VWU course levels are overlapping – in almost every course level you will repeat and enhance some parts of the preceding level. You do not need to attend each level. Most students need three semesters to successfully passing the EPD. Your university will allow you four semesters at most to complete the VWU German courses. The EPD exam, taken at VWU, Sechshauser Straße, must be passed to become a degree programme student. Correct and complex language proficiency is needed to pass this exam. The course levels FG or WF focus on these aspects.

VWU course levels do not refer to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). The result of the VWU-placement test determines your course level.

Figure: Overlapping course levels
Figure: Course system and the path to EPD


We work with authentic materials as well as coursebooks. Different books are used in the winter and the summer semester. Additional learning materials and exercises will be supplied as handouts or accessible via the Moodle platform of the Language Center of the University of Vienna.

The purchase of a dictionary (book) is recommended. For further details, please ask your teacher.

VWU course levels do not refer to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), even if the books used show these CEFR-levels.

Books in winter semester 2023-24:

  • AN: Schritte Plus Neu Österreich Teile 1 + 2 + 3 + 4
  • AV: Schritte Plus Neu Österreich Teile 3 + 4 + 5
  • EV: Schritte Plus Neu Österreich Teile 4 + 5 + 6
  • FG: Sicher! B1+, Sicher! Aktuell B2 Teil 1 & Sicher! Aktuell B2 Teil 2
  • WF: Sicher! Aktuell B2, Sicher! C1 (jeweils Teil 1 und 2)

Shortly before your course starts, you will receive further information regarding your course book by e-mail. The textbook costs are not included in the course price. The textbooks are available at bookstores such as our cooperation partner Facultas am Campus.

Class rules at the Language Center

Students of the VWU German courses must accept the class rules (English Version on Page 2) at the Sprachenzentrum.

Attendance, exams, course results

  • Attendance:

Regular course attendance (active participation and dedication) is important and can be relevant for your course confirmation (MA 35). Attendance will be recorded by lesson (UE). Arriving late or leaving the classroom count as missed class. Independently keep track of your absences from the course!

  • Exams:

All exam dates will be provided on the first day of your course. Your class time may vary on exam days.

There are three exams (mid-term tests) each semester. The third mid-term exam is subject to a minimum attendance requirement. You will receive all relevant dates at the beginning of your course. If you pass the mid-term exams, you do not need to take the written placement exam at the end of the course. So even if you fail the mid-term exams, the result of the written placement exam will allow you to obtain a written result.

There will be a compulsory oral exam at the end of the semester in order to advance to a higher course level. Students in the levels FG and WF do not have to take the written or oral placement exam.

  • Disability-friendly exams

People with attested disabilities have the right to an accessible examination mode.

We ask for your understanding that later announcements cannot be taken into account for organizational reasons. You can find support and more information HERE.

  • Absence at the exam

If you do not take the exams as explained above, you will have to repeat the same course level in the following semester.

If you are absent on the day of a mid-term exam, your test will be marked as failed (5). It is not possible to repeat an exam nor will there be an alternative date set.

  • Course result (placement for the next semester)

Your course result is the placement for the next semester. It is the result of your performance in the exams you take during the semester. Your teacher will tell you your placement result on the last course day of the semester.


A confirmation of attendance (needed for MA 35) will be sent by e-mail five days after your course ends. It certifies either a successful completion, an unsuccessful completion despite regular participation or an unsuccessful completion.

A certificate (with grades) for an attended VWU German course is not available. Upon passing the EPD you will receive your EPD-certificate at VWU, Sechshauser Straße. After having passed the EPD-exam, the Preparation Programme will be completed and you may start your degree programme.

Entry into your degree programme

Details on the EPD (supplementary examination in German)

Continuing students (Students who have already taken VWU-German classes)

After passing the EPD, you must register as a degree programme student at the university. Attending another VWU German course will not be possible anymore.

The EPD is held at VWU, Sechshauser Straße, where you will receive further details about registration, fees and certificates. If you attend the courses FG or WF, you will receive details about the exam date at the end of your course from the Language Center. Please note that it is your own responsibility to register for the EPD.

If you do not register for the EPD or do not pass the EPD, you will have to register for another VWU German course in order to keep your status as a student of the university. Please register immediately after you have received your negative EPD results. The cancellation terms keep valid (see 4.e), however, an extended registration period applies.

There are additional exam dates for the EPD. These, however, do not correlate with the course dates at the Language Center.

You have not registered for the Preparation Programme at your university yet?

You can take regular German courses at the Language Center. Some of the Vienna universities accept the Language Center’s course certificates when registering at the university for the first time. For other German courses please click here: German courses