What is meant by NC

Free University of Berlin


How was the NC in my subject at Freie Universität Berlin?

Status: April 8, 2020

Hier you will find a video that explains the NC tables in more detail.


Numerus clausus and admission procedure

In order to be able to train students effectively, universities must have sufficient capacities (staff, rooms, funds). Like other universities in the region, which regularly receive a large number of applications, Freie Universität Berlin has introduced a Numerus Clausus (NC) for many undergraduate courses (e.g. Bachelor).

This Latin term stands for "limited number" and means that not (much) more applicants may be admitted than - according to the university's calculations - there are places available. Courses with a limited number of places are indicated in the course descriptions with the term "Local admission restriction"marked.

The number of study places in the first semester of the undergraduate courses at Freie Universität is listed under course offerings in the respective course description under the key data. See also: Admission Regulations of the Free University of Berlin (corresponding issue of the official gazette)


Where do you apply?

Applicants with a German Abitur certificate, also from recognized German schools abroad, apply for the 1st semester of almost all FU courses directly to the application and admission department at Freie Universität. Exception: Pharmacy and veterinary medicine are the only FU degree programs whose freshman places are currently being allocated by Hochschulstart.de (formerly ZVS) in Dortmund. In addition, applications for some courses are made via the dialogue-oriented service procedure (DOSV).

Here you will find another video explaining the various application paths for the 1st semester.

The courses in medicine and dentistry are no longer assigned to the Free University, but to the Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin.

Applicants with a foreign university entrance qualification (regardless of your citizenship) apply for courses at Freie Universität via the work and service center for international student applications, called "uni-assist", in Berlin. Here, too, the exception applies: EU nationals and applicants from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway apply for pharmacy and veterinary medicine at Hochschulstart.de in Dortmund.


Quotas not just based on grades

"NC" is usually understood to mean the average grade on the school-leaving certificate with which you could just get a place at the last application. Allocation of study places is not that easy.
The total number of study places that are allocated directly by the universities in the state of Berlin in the first semester of a course must be divided into three Main odds and several Upfront quotas be divided. The legal basis for this is §6 of the University Admissions Ordinance. This applies to all courses at Freie Universität with the exception of pharmacy and veterinary medicine, as these courses are awarded via the central allocation process Hochschulstart.de. There are also different admission rules for module offers, which are explained in the NC tables for module offers.


Upfront quotas are available for the following groups of applicants:

  • Eight percent of the seats are under Non-EU citizens and stateless applicants distributed: You will only be admitted according to the quality of your university entrance qualification.
  • Another eight percent of the seats are on professionally qualified awarded without a high school diploma. Within this study place quota, the selection takes place according to the average grade of the higher education entrance qualification (grade of the advancement training / technical college or vocational training).
  • The grade for applicants who are admitted to the hardship quota (pdf file) (three percent of the places) does not play a role. An exceptional case of hardship exists, for example, if a rejection of the application for a study place would mean extraordinary hardship.
  • Other regulations apply to the quota of second degree applicants (three percent) who have already completed a university degree.
  • At least five percent of the study places in Berlin are for underage applicants assigned in advance. The condition is that you are not yet 18 years old at the application deadline and that you have your place of residence with a person with custody in Berlin or Brandenburg (Section 6 of the University Admissions Ordinance). Those who meet these requirements will be taken into account in this quota. If there are more applications than places within this quota, the selection will be based on the Abitur grade.
  • One percent of the study places are awarded to applicants who belong to a group of people who are worthy of funding in the public interest and who are tied to the place of study due to special circumstances, in particular applicants who have an A, B, C or D / Belong to a C-team of a federal professional association of the German Olympic Sports Confederation for one of the sports supported by the Olympic bases in the states of Berlin or Brandenburg.


No disadvantage: service and child-rearing

Applicants who had already received a study place in an earlier semester but were unable to accept it due to a service are also admitted in advance. They should therefore not have any disadvantage and may be taken into account in advance within the framework of the quota in which they were previously admitted. The following are considered services:

  • Care or care of a biological / adopted child under the age of 18 or another relative in need of care,
  • Military service or service with the Federal Border Police,
  • Civilian service and other services abroad in accordance with Section 14b of the Civilian Service Act,
  • voluntary social or ecological year or European voluntary service,
  • two-year service as a development worker.


The three main quotas

For high school graduates with German and other EU citizenship and "Bildungsinlaender" regardless of their nationality - three main ratios are important both in the Hochschulstart.de procedure and in the university-internal admission procedure.

After deducting the advance quotas from the total number of places in a course, the remaining places in a Best graduation rate to the applicants with the best high school graduation average in the Waiting time quota awarded to applicants with the most waiting semesters. In the quota University selection process (AdH) On the other hand, the places are allocated according to criteria that the universities decide on according to state law and their own requirements. This designation does not mean an additional procedure in addition to the usual application, but the AdH is only one of several quotas within the Hochschulstart.de procedure as well as within the university-internal admission procedure.


Highest school leaving certificate & waiting time

For the High school graduationselected according to their average grade (qualification), 20% of the study places are available (after deduction of the advance quotas). If the grade is the same, please proceed according to Section 16 of the Berlin University Admissions Ordinance.

So that everyone gets their dream place, all applicants should have the chance to get it after waiting. That is why there is also a quota of around 20% applicants with the most Waiting semesters Reserved. If the waiting time is the same, please proceed according to Section 16 of the Berlin University Admissions Ordinance.

Waiting time counts automatically from the day on which the high school diploma was issued. Thereafter, every full calendar semester (summer semester: April 1 - September 30; winter semester: October 1 - March 31) is a half-year waiting period minus the semesters in which you are at a university in the EU (or Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway) was enrolled.
(Exception for medical courses in medicine, pharmacy, veterinary medicine, dentistry: you get a waiting time if you don't attend one German University is enrolled).
It is almost irrelevant what you did between high school and applying for a degree; the frequency of applications has no influence on the crediting of waiting semesters.

There is no special proof of waiting times: You just have to truthfully state in every application for admission whether and when you were enrolled. Enrollment periods count as "park studies" and are not only deducted from the waiting time, but also from the maximum BAföG funding period - regardless of whether you have been actively studying during this period or have used your student status for other purposes.


Quota "University selection process"

The remaining 60%, i.e. the largest part of the available study places, are allocated according to the university's own "university selection process" (AdH quota).

In this partial quota, three selection criteria are taken into account, from which a number of points is calculated with the help of a mathematical formula:

  • the average grade for the Abitur
  • Advanced courses or certain subjects completed in the upper level (in most cases minimum points must be achieved or the subjects must have been taken continuously during the last four school semesters)
  • Vocational training or occupation relevant to the degree program or an internship (the duration of the activity is specified in the respective allocation statutes).
  • Previous education based on attending a special preparatory course

Admission is based on a point value calculated from the existing selection criteria. The lower the point value, the better the place in the ranking list. Fulfilling these criteria can improve your chances of admission, but is not an application requirement.

There are also admission criteria in the AdH quota in individual subjects in addition to the average Abitur grade and study aptitude tests (pharmacy, veterinary medicine, medicine).


NC errors and chances of admission

There are some particularly persistent rumors surrounding the Numerus Clausus. The most common NC misconception is that grades for NC subjects are predetermined. However, only the number of study places is specified. Who gets a place at university depends primarily on the quantity and quality of the competing applications. The published grade limit values ​​in the NC table always relate to past and never to future procedures. They therefore only have a certain orientation value - future selection limits can look completely different.

The Free University has currently only set minimum grades for pharmacy and veterinary medicine and only in the "University selection procedure" quota; they are a prerequisite for participating in this procedure.

Another big NC mistake is that applications or waiting times improve the grade. The average Abitur grade cannot be influenced by applications or waiting times. An improvement is only possible in exceptional cases through a justified "Application for disadvantage compensation - improvement of the average grade". To do this, you have to prove that the average grade in school was much better for a long time before it deteriorated significantly, e.g. due to illness before graduation.

Such an application can also be made to improve the waiting time. There are no waiting lists beyond the respective procedure. The waiting time is also never set in advance; it always results from the current approval process.


Special admission rules for combination bachelors

You will only be enrolled for a combined bachelor's degree when the combination of core subject and module offer (s) is complete, i.e. a confirmation has been given for both the core subject and the module (s).


Replacement and lottery procedures

Applicants who were not initially admitted to the desired course of study may still be successful via the replacement procedure. Replacement procedures always take place automatically when admitted applicants do not accept their study places and they become available again. If successors do not accept their admission and there are still places available, they will finally be awarded by lot to applicants who have submitted a lottery application in good time before the start of the semester.

You can also submit lottery applications for such new or still available places if you are already enrolled, if you have been rejected or if you have never applied before. The number of lottery applications is one. However, as mentioned, only those who have been admitted to a complete combination (possibly by lot) are enrolled for combination Bachelor’s courses.


Languages ​​as a hurdle to matriculate

Before applying to Freie Universität Berlin, you should study the language skills that may be required in detail.