We are pleased that you are interested in studying at the Academy of Fine Arts Leipzig (HGB). On this page you will find all important information about the application process at the HGB.
Prerequisite for embarking on a degree programme at the HGB is both your artistic talent and a university entrance qualification / subject-specific university entrance qualification. In some cases, applicants who prove to be exceptionally talented in the entrance exam are admitted without the need for a university entrance qualification.
To apply, you will need to register via an online platform and submit a portfolio. The portfolio should consist of a free selection of roughly 20 to 30 original, own, programme-related art and design samples of your work. We do not give any thematic guidelines. Instead, we would like you to show us your special interests and abilities through the choice of works you submit. The application deadline for the following winter semester is always 1 February.
We will assess your portfolio until the end of February, giving us enough time to carefully select the applicants we would like to invite to sit our entrance exam. The entrance exams take place throughout March. Once a prospective student has passed the entrance exam, they will need to submit a transcript of their university entrance qualification.
Application for Diploma degreesThe HGB offers four Diploma degree programmes:
How to apply for a place on a Diploma degree programme (first semester)
- Proof of artistic aptitude and
- Proof of a general or subject-linked higher education entrance qualification. However, applicants may also be admitted to a degree programme if they display a special artistic talent in the entrance exam.
- Proof of German language skills for foreign applicants if their mother tongue is not German or if they have not obtained their higher education entrance qualification at a German educational institution.
A pre-degree course placement is recommended but is not an admission requirement.
Matriculation will be denied if the applicant has already spent four semesters studying the chosen subject / a closely related subject at a German university and has not completed any of the course assessments required by the examination regulations.
Application process for admission to the degree programme
The matriculation guidelines (only available in german) regulate the admission and matriculation process at the Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst / Academy of Fine Arts Leipzig (HGB).
The first step of the application process for the first semester of a diploma program is your registration via an online portal. This will be released in the period from 15.12.2018 to 01.02.2019. Register here and upload your CV with photo. In the second step, the labels with barcode for the submission of your portfolio with course-related artistic / creative work will be generated. Please print out the label (if necessary several times) and stick it on your folder (if necessary also on the envelope or the packing of your folder).
Please submit your documents exclusively between 15 December and 1 February to:
Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst
Academy of Fine Arts Leipzig
Applications received after 1 February cannot be taken into consideration.
Should applicants wish to hand in their documents in person, please do so at the university’s mail room, which is located on the right-hand side of the main entrance, ground floor. The mail room / central office is open Monday to Friday from 8.00 am to midnight and Saturdays from 10.00 am to 5.00 pm. Please observe the opening hours at the turn of the year.
The end of the application period marks the deadline for all applications. You do not need to submit transcripts or other application documents yet. Merely your artistic aptitude is of importance at this stage. Your portfolio enables us to see whether you would be suited to start a degree course at the HGB.
The respective admissions committee decides whether or not you are invited to sit the entrance exam. There are four different degree-specific entrance exams. It is possible to apply to be admitted to sit several entrance exams – e.g. for Photography and Book Art / Graphic Design. Should you decide to submit multiple applications, you will also need to submit multiple portfolios (e.g. one portfolio of photographs for the degree course in Photography and a portfolio of sketches and other samples of your work for the degree course in Book Art / Graphic Design).
Admission to sit the entrance exam
Throughout February, the admissions committees do a portfolio pre-selection and decide who will be admitted / not admitted to sit the entrance exam. All applicants are notified in writing about the results of the portfolio pre-selection. Unsuccessful applicants receive a letter of rejection and information on how to get their portfolios back – portfolios can be collected in person or sent back in return for the postage. Successful applicants are invited to sit the entrance exam. The exams usually take place throughout March and consist of a creative practical part with subject-related tasks as well as an interview. We generally return the portfolios of applicants who sit the entrance exam by the beginning of April.
Admission to the degree programme
Prospective students who pass the entrance exam receive all the relevant forms and information relating to the admission process together with a letter of acceptance. Certified copies of school certificates need to be submitted along with the completed forms. Applicants with a letter of acceptance are only admitted to their chosen degree course starting in the winter semester of the same year they sat their entrance exam. They can only embark on one of the four Diplom courses available, even if they applied for several. The following deadlines for submitting all the relevant documents apply (only if the applicant has passed the entrance exam):
- 31 May: for applicants who already have a university entrance qualification
- 15 July: for applicants who get their university entrance qualification after 15 January of the current year.
All available places are allocated by the university. Applicants are only admitted if they submit their application for admission together with all the relevant documents on time. If the applicant already has credits from an art degree course at another university (transfer from a different university), he or she may also be admitted to start in the summer semester. More information and the application form are available here. With the letter of acceptance, the prospective students also receive information on how to matriculate. Matriculation itself takes place in September.
How to apply for admission into an advanced semester (transfer from another university)
Admission into an advanced semester is possible – if the necessary credits from another art degree course at another university are sufficient and if the prospective student passes the entrance exam.
In addition, applicants with a university entrance qualification (Abitur, subject-specific university entrance qualification, a completed degree) and with the skills and knowledge that roughly correspond to parts of a Diploma degree course at the Academy of Fine Arts Leipzig may also be admitted to a more advanced semester, provided they do correspondingly well in the entrance exam.
The admissions commission decides on the artistic suitability of the applicant based on the samples received in the portfolio. The admission decision and assessment as to which semester the prospective student may start at is down to the examination board and is based on the application documents (application for admission to an advanced semester, proof of credits).
The admission and matriculation guidelines are determined by the examination regulations of the Academy of Fine Arts Leipzig.
Students starting at a more advanced level can start in the winter or summer semester.
The application form for admission to a more advanced semester (no online application procedure) can be downloaded as a PDF document and needs to be submitted by
- 31 May for admission to the following winter semester
- 30 November for admission to the following summer semester.
The application needs to include the following documents – without these, the application will fail:
- A selection of degree course-related / subject-related art and design samples,
- A personal statement with preferred semester and self-assessment,
- CV with essential information about education to date and artistic activities,
- Complete and authorised transcript of your university entrance qualification / graduation certificate / final school report,
- Complete proof of the credits you have already obtained and certificates of the exams you have already sat,
- A photograph of yourself (attach to application)
The letter with the application for admission, the portfolio and the packaging all need to be clearly marked “Hochschulwechsel” (university transfer). Also state the degree programme you wish to embark on and send everything to:
Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst
Should applicants wish to hand in their documents in person, please do so at the university’s mail room, which is located on the right-hand side of the main entrance, ground floor. The mail room / central office is open Monday to Friday from 8.00 am to midnight and Saturdays from 10.00 am to 5.00 pm. Please observe the opening hours at the turn of the year and during the semester break.
- Maximum portfolio dimensions: 75 x 105 cm
- Minimum portfolio dimensions: no prerequisites
- Maximum weight: 10 kg
- If the maximum dimensions / weight is exceeded or if the packaging is inadequate, the university reserves the right to refuse the delivery or to return the portfolio to the sender postage unpaid.
- The university also reserves the right not to accept deliveries that have not been paid for.
- Rolled-up or framed works are not accepted.
- Both the portfolio and the packaging need to be marked with the prospective student’s surname, first name and the degree programme they are applying for.
- Even if you do not apply online, the application form and the portfolio still need to be submitted separately.
- A handwritten CV with a photograph of yourself should be included in the portfolio.
- There is no need to supply return postage for the portfolio.
- The university will not assume liability should the portfolio or its contents get damaged or lost.
The portfolio should consist of a free selection of roughly 20 to 30 original, own, programme-related art and design samples of your work. There are no thematic guidelines. Special interests and abilities should become apparent through your individual choice of works.
For the degree programme Painting/Printmaking
drawings, graphic works, coloured designs, illustrations etc.
For the degree programme Book Design/Graphic Design
drawings, graphic works, coloured designs, posters, typo-graphic designs, illustrations etc.
For the degree programme Photography
you are free to choose the photographs you want to submit in your portfolio. The portfolio should be no larger than A2. In addition to 15 to 25 original photographs, you can also submit outlines and sketches. Applicants should try to give their works a definite structure, e.g. two to four different series or groups. These can each have their own format or specific presentation form. Even art books, fanfolds and films on DVD are admissible.
For the degree programme Media Art
the portfolio should contain a sufficient number of works showcasing the prospective student’s artistic development, personal interests, focus of work and artistic tendencies. In a brief personal statement – to be enclosed in the application documents – the prospective student should state why they are interested in embarking on a Media Art degree course.
The submitted works can be traditional and / or use new media of any kind, e.g. drawings, photography, collages, videos, digital art, internet projects, audio works, texts, concepts, drafts or a documentation of realised installations, sculptures, happenings and performances as well as other works that cannot be submitted in your portfolio.
CDs, DVDs and / or USB sticks are the only types of data storage device that may be submitted. The works need to be provided in standard formats or as stand-alone applications of standard players and run on current operating systems (Mac and PC). Virtual portfolios in the shape of links on websites are inadmissible. In the case of internet projects, the web address (URL) and a short explanation / documentation of the data structure need to be provided. In the case of participatory internet projects, an explanatory description suffices. All data storage devices are to be tested for readability before submitting them. Please note: do not use adhesive labels on your CDs or DVDs! Adhesive labels frequently cause disks to be unplayable. Please make a special note of the formats used on the data storage devices and detail the contents and other technical specifications. Samples of your work that do not comply with these prerequisites will not be assessed.
Admission and matriculation process for international and stateless applicantsIn the entrance exam, international and stateless applicants are treated equally to applicants from Germany / EU member states. Certificate transcripts and the necessary proof of language competence only need to be supplied after the prospective students have passed the entrance exam.
Once they have passed the entrance exam, international or stateless applicants need to submit the following documents together with their application for admission:
1. A higher education entrance qualification (unless the entrance exam results proved “exceptional artistic talent”)
2. Proof of sufficient German language skills by passing one of the following exams and obtaining the respective certificate:
- “Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang” (DSH) or
- “Test Deutsch als Fremdsprache” (TestDaF) achieving at least level 3 in all parts of the test or
- “telc Deutsch C1 Hochschule” or
- “Prüfungsteil Deutsch” as part of a prep course
- International applicants whose mother tongue is Ger-man
- Applicants who completed their university entrance qualification (Abitur, completed professional educa-tion, completed degree course) at a German-language institution
- Applicants with the diploma “Deutsches Sprachdiplom der Kultusministerkonferenz – Stufe II” (DSD II)
- Applicants with the certificate “Zentrale Ober-stufenprüfung” (ZOP) issued by the Goethe Institute or a Goethe Institute-accredited institution
- Applicants with a “Großes Deutsches Sprachdiplom” or “Kleines Deutsches Sprachdiplom” language certificate from the Goethe Institute
All certificates need to be submitted as certified transcripts, either in German or in English. If the certificate was issued in another language, please also submit a certified translation. Providing a university entrance qualification is not strictly necessary if the prospective student has passed the entrance exam unusually well and displayed “exceptional artistic talent”.
Refugee applicants who acquired their university entrance qualification in their home country and struggle to provide the necessary certificates may under certain circumstances be given special consideration. The university assesses all certificates based on the resolution issued by the conference of the German Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs on 03 December 2015.
Refugees and Higher Education (German, English, Arabic, Persian)
The application process for the first semester of a diploma degree program takes place via an online portal. The portal for your online registration will be activated in the period from 15.12.2018 to 01.02.2019.