Information for Prospective Students
The Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design offers a full spectrum of undergraduate courses up to Master’s level (Diplom) in fine arts, design, art history, and philosophy.
The study program at the Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design is designed to be as flexible as possible. Students have the possibility to specialize in one of communication or product design, set design for stage or screen, exhibition and spatial design, art history, media theory, philosophy, and media art, which includes photography, sound, film, video, new media, and 3D-animation. Theory students may also continue on to doctoral and post-doctoral study in philosophy, art history or media theory.
Classes are small, to provide an intensive learning situation, with around 20 students per professor. Around 400 students make up the student body. Over 20% of students are foreign in origin. A network of international exchanges is possible with academies in the USA, Japan, Europe, and Australia.
The Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design enjoys a strong international reputation for the quality of its staff and facilities, and promotes extensive international relations with other avant-garde cultural institutions, beginning with sister institute ZKM | Center for Art and Media, and extending to European design firms, galleries, museums and theaters which work closely with the students in developing long-term projects.
Students are required to major and apply in one of the broader subject areas of media art, art history and media theory, communication design, product design, or exhibition and set design. Once accepted for study, students may specialize further within their given area, or work in an interdisciplinary way across subject boundaries. For example, a student may major in media theory with a minor in communication design, or attend classes in set design for screen and film as part of a media art program. All classes at the University of Arts and Design are open to students from each faculty. The default language of tuition is German. International and guest professors whose first language is not German hold classes in English.
The Diplom qualification is by default 9 semesters, or 4.5 years, and is comparable to completing a masters degree. The program is punctuated by two major exams, the Vordiplom and the final Diplom exams. The content of these varies according to faculty. Art history and media theory must pass a written exam followed by an interview with unprepared questions from different areas of theory. For art and design students, it is common to prepare an exhibition or submit a work that has been prepared over the course of one or two semesters.
Once a student at the Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design, it is also possible to complement your studies with courses from the University Karlsruhe / Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) in areas such as sociology, architecture, and political science.
How To Apply
Application Deadline: May 31st
Applicants from outside Germany are required to present adequate knowledge of the German language, and must possess a high school leaving certificate to be accepted to the entrance exam. (The DAAD has information on which countries' high school qualifications are accepted in Germany: http://www.daad.de/deutschland/wege-durchs-studium/zulassung/06550.en.html)
You must send your high school leaving certificate to be accredited by the
Staatliche Akademie der bildenden Künste
1 70191 Stuttgart
in order to be admitted to our entrance exam. Make sure to get this certificate recognized by the Stuttgart authority ahead of the application deadline.
The following certificates are accepted as proof of sufficient German language knowledge:
- DSH (Deutschen Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang) Level 2
- TestDaF (Test Deutsch als Fremdsprache) Level 4
- passing the final assessment test in German as a foreign language at a preparatory college in Germany
International degree applicants must complete the same application process as German students.
Applicants for artistic majors are required to hand in a portfolio of 10-20 works. If preferred, applicants for media art may instead hand in one or more video tapes or digital works.
Applicants for art history and media theory must not hand in a portfolio, but submit a 10 page essay, preferably discussing an artistic or art historical topic.
All applicants must additionally hand in a 2 page essay explaining their motivation and intentions to study.
If accepted to the entrance exam, you will be required to appear for a spoken interview in German, and in the case of product design, an artistic exam. Notice of acceptance or refusal to study is usually given within 2 weeks of the exam.
Application Deadline: May 31st
Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design
Once you receive an invitation to attend the entrance exam, a temporary visa can then be issued for travel to Germany if necessary. Short-term visas are issued
- by embassies and consulates outside Germany
- if applicable, at foreign registration offices inside Germany
A residence permit will be issued once you have successfully been admitted to your studies in Germany, and renewed on a one or two yearly basis for the duration of your degree. Special regulations apply to students and applicants from member states of the European Union / European Economic Area.
For further information please contact
- the German embassy or consulate in your home country or
- the responsible foreign office in your city or administrative district in Germany
For further questions, please contact our Student Services Office:
Mrs. Kerstin Eisenmenger
For specific subject related questions the main departmental contacts are:
Media Art and Scenography: Mrs. Elvira Heise
Art History / Media Theory: Mrs. Ellen Mai
Communication Design and Product Design: Mrs. Susanne Sokoll
Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design
A wide range of activities and helpful institutions are available to students studying in Karlsruhe.
Students at the University of Arts and Design may chose from the traditional "Mensa" cafeteria on the university campus, or from various local restaurants which acceptance student-union subsidized coupons for just a few euros.
Sport, dance and language courses are available at minimal prices (from ranging from 0 to 20 Euros for one semester for students) from the University Karlsruhe / Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT).
Students and foreign students in their first three years of study may apply for study scholarships based on talent and achievement, to lighten the financial load. The International Office at the Akademisches Auslandsamt der University Karlsruhe / Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) may advice on this and other matters such as student accommodation in Studentenwohnheimen.
Further information about the Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design and courses in the different departments can also be found here: