If you switch, either to a different degree programme or university, you should always check whether academic achievements that you already have under your belt can be credited in the new subject or at the new university.

For more information regarding the recognition of academic credits in Germany, please refer to the relevant Higher Education Act. For North Rhine-Westphalia, this is the Higher Education Act NRW (only in German available) and the relevant information can be found in § 63a (“Anerkennung von Prüfungsleistungen und Studienabschlüssen”). If you have been expelled from your degree programme at a German university, you may not be eligible to resume your studies in a similar programme at a different German university (see § 50, “Einschreibungshindernisse” of the Higher Education Act NRW (only in German available).

The relevant department of the university you are applying / have applied to has the final say regarding credit recognition decisions, in accordance with applicable academic regulations.

These regulations (Anerkennungsordnung) govern the recognition process and may contain provisions that are unique to the university in question. For example, in some cases you must file a credit recognition request BEFORE you sign up for a module at your new university. In other words, you cannot receive credit for an module that you completed at your previous university if you have already attempted an exam in that same module at the new university. (This is valid for Hochschule Niederrhein, University of Applied Sciences; refer to § 3 (3) Sent. 2 of its Anerkennungsordnung).

The examination for recognition of previous academic achievements may take some time.