Studying art and design
Just about anybody can apply to HfG. All applicants must submit a portfolio. If you have German Abitur (a higher education entrance qualification) your portfolio is an indication of your artistic talent; but if you do not have a higher education entrance qualification your portfolio can still convince us of your outstanding artistic talent. Please note that special rules apply to the School of Design.
More information here.
If you are interested in studying Art/Design, either in the School of Art or in the School of Design, you should definitely visit our Student and Portfolio Advisory Service, offered regularly by both departments. Feel free to just come by – you do not need to register in advance. And preferably bring some of your art/design work with you. But this is not a must! Our professors and senior students will look at your work and the work of other potential students with you, evaluate it for you and give you important tips and suggestions for your portfolio
Where can I study what?
At the School of Art you can study:
- Stage and Costume Design
- Communication Design (Conceptual Design, Graphic Design and Illustration, Typography)
- Art (Experimental Spatial Concepts, Sculpture, Painting, Conceptual Drawing and Figure Drawing)
- Media (Photography, Electronic Media, Film/Video)
At the School of Design you can study :
So you are ready to apply to HfG? For the admission procedure you will need the usual documents (application form, a copy of your last report) plus your portfolio with around 30 examples of your own art/design work.
Special rules for the Department of Design
With the Department of Design there are two ways that you can qualify for the entrance exam:
WHAT happens now?
Once you have submitted your portfolio, if you receive an invitation to the entrance exam this means that you need to present yourself at HfG for an exam with two to three tasks to be completed within a set timeframe. This is normally followed by a personal interview by the admission committee.
- The Student and Portfolio Advisory Service is available for the Department of Art on Wednesdays at 12 noon (room 101) and for the Department of Design on Wednesdays at 1 p.m. (room)
- As a rule, your application (both departments) must reach HfG by June 3, 2019.
- You can either submit your portfolio in person or you can send it by post between May 15 and June 3, 2019.
- As a rule, the admission exams take place at the end of June (Department of Design) and in mid-July (Department of Art).
- Courses begin at the start of the relevant winter semester.
Any more questions?
Why? HfG students tell ...
Take a look at the short filmic portraits and you will get this information first hand. HfG students tell how they came to the HfG, what motivations they had for applying, what drives them; they tell about university life and their plans for the future. To this end, they open their studios and workshops, reflect on their working methods, talk about their ways of finding ideas and present their previous and current works. Each of these films works out individual focal points and depicts different facets of study at the HfG. All episodes together form a mosaic-like overview of the diversity of a course of study at the HfG Offenbach.
Applying to HfG
Who can apply?
Admission takes place once a year for the winter semester (Deadline: 3 June 2019). Admission criteria are: An Abitur (general or subject-specific high-school leaver’s certificate) and artistic talent. Artistic talent is assessed by a portfolio of works produced by the applicant and an entrance examination. Prospective students are advised to consult a departmental advisor to determine whether they fit in with the creative concepts and objectives of HfG.
Those students with exceptional artistic talent may also be admitted without a high-school leaver’s certificate. Someone who has successfully completed higher education studies is deemed to have qualifications equal to an Abitur even if they do not possess such a certificate. Similarly, someone who has completed a basic course within technical college studies, a graded course of studies at a university or a comparable part of studies is also deemed to have a subject-specific certificate of aptitude for higher education.
You can find further information on university admission criteria under: wissenschaft.hessen.de/studium/zugangsvoraussetzungen/hochschulreife
Applicants who attended school outside Germany or have other qualifications should inform themselves thoroughly at the Admission and Registrar’s Office.
What has to be submitted for the application (3 June, 2019)?
The normal documents are required (copies of certificates, application form) and a portfolio with at least 30 examples of the applicant’s creative-artistic work. The portfolios remain at the university until the entrance examination and are returned after the exam.
What is the procedure for the entrance examination?
Generally, the entrance examinations take place at the end of June (Design) and mid-July (Art). Selected applicants are invited to sit the exams on the merit of portfolios submitted. The entrance exam consists of two or three creative tasks each of which is to be realized in one to two hours on site. Afterwards, applicants present their works to an admissions committee.
School of Art
Drawings, sketchbooks, pencil drawings and coloured works on paper, collages, graphics, prints, photos, videos, films and analogue and digital animations on DVDs. Please submit sculptural works and paintings on canvas only as photographic images.
School of Design
Sketchbooks, drawings and photos. Please submit computer graphics and other digital visualizations only as a print-out, and three-dimensional works and models only as colour photos.
Notes on applying to study at the School of Design
At the School of Design there are two ways of qualifying for the aptitude test:
1. With a folder of your work
2. By independently completing a piece of homework within a set time (four weeks maximum); this needs to be requested from HfG at AufnahmeDesign@hfg-offenbach.de.
Only available to applicants with a higher education entrance qualification. Details can be found on the application form.
Schlossgrabengasse 1, gound floor
T 069.800 59-201
Monday to Thursday 9:30 to 12 am
Wednesday (only while the university is in session)
1:30 to 3 pm
School of Art
- Conceptual Design
- Graphic Design and Illustration
- DTP Design
- Prepress and Industrial Printing
- Digital Publishing
- Experimental Spatial Concepts
- Conceptual Drawing and Life Drawing
- Screen Printing
- Plaster and Clay
- Fine Art Printing
- Art Laboratory
- Electronic Media
- Visual Informatics
- Audio Engineering
- Photo techniques
School of Design
- Integrative Design
- Visualisation and Materialisation
- Intercultural Design
- Furniture Design and Products in Public Space
- Technical Products and Product Systems
- Color Design
- Model Design and Making
- Media in design 2D / 3D
- Object Photography, 2D Visualizations, Documentation
- Applied Drawing
Foreign prospective students
Prior to enrolling, foreigners and stateless persons in possession of a foreign university entrance qualification or an equivalent foreign educational certificate must have these credentials examined with a view to establishing whether the documents concur with the German standards. By decree the Minister of Science and Art regulates jurisdiction, the principles for concurrence, and procedures for evaluating foreign university entrance qualifications and equivalent foreign educational certificates. In particular the decree can also entail applicants having to attend a preparatory course and undergo an assessment test. As part of the admission procedure, this test can be conducted by the Hochschule für Gestaltung (HfG) Offenbach, but only in relation to a course of study there.
In order to be admitted, foreign applicants must prove that they have a sufficient knowledge of German.
Country-specific information about the certificates of education that need to be submitted as well as information about proof of a sufficient knowledge of German can be requested from the Registrar’s office.
Entrance examination 2019
School of Design
School of Art
Application deadline (for both faculties)
3 June, 2019, midday (School of Design) or 1 p.m. (School of Art)
All application documentation must have been received by the university by the application deadline (time limit).
School of Art
Portfolio submission: 15 May to 3 June, 2019, from 10 a.m. to 12:30 a.m., but not on Saturday or Sunday.
Room 115 a, Eva Novak, firstname.lastname@example.org
School of Design
Portfolio submission: 15 May to 3 June, 2019, 9.30 a.m. to midday, but not on Saturday or Sunday.
Room 213 b, Elvira Werner, email@example.com
Student advisory and portfolio counselling service
In the two faculty student advisory and portfolio counselling services (academic counselling services) both teaching staff and students inform and advise potential students. The service is available on a continuous basis from mid-October to the beginning of July. Prior appointments are not necessary. It is recommended that candidates bring art/design work along to the meetings.
School of Design
Wednesdays 1 p.m. in Room 312
24.10.2018, Prof. Dr. Martin Gessmann, Kultur- und Techniktheorien und Ästhetik
31.10.2018, Prof. Dr. Markus Holzbach, Visualisierung und Materialisierung
07.11.2018, Prof. Petra Kellner, Produktdesign, Interkulturelles Design
14.11.2018, Prof. Klaus Klemp, Designschichte und Designtheorie
21.11.2018, Dipl.-Des. Andreas Klober, LfbA Designmodellbau
28.11.2018, Prof. Frank Zebner, Technische Produkte und Produktsysteme
05.12.2018, Prof. Peter Eckart, Integrierendes Design
12.12.2018, Prof. Dr. Martin Gessmann, Kultur- und Techniktheorien und Ästhetik
19.12.2018, Prof. Dr. Markus Holzbach, Visualisierung und Materialisierung
16.01.2019, Prof. Petra Kellner, Produktdesign, Interkulturelles Design
23.01.2019, Prof. Klaus Klemp, Designschichte und Designtheorie
30.01.2019, Prof. Werner Lorke, Technologie im Design, Ökologie
06.02.2019, Prof. Frank Zebner, Technische Produkte und Produktsysteme
13.02.2019, Prof. Dr. Martin Gessmann, Kultur- und Techniktheorien und Ästhetik
20.02.2019, Prof. Dr. Markus Holzbach, Visualisierung und Materialisierung*
27.02.2019, Prof. Petra Kellner, Produktdesign, Interkulturelles Design*
06.03.2019, Prof. Klaus Klemp, Designschichte und Designtheorie*
13.03.2019, Dipl. Des. Andeas Klober, LfbA Designmodellbau
20.03.2019, Prof. Frank Zebner, Technische Produkte und Produktsysteme*
27.03.2019, Prof. Peter Eckart, Integrierendes Design*
03.04.2019, Prof. Dr. Martin Gessmann, Kultur- und Techniktheorien und Ästhetik*
10.04.2019, Prof. Dr. Markus Holzbach, Visualisierung und Materialisierung*
17.04.2019, Prof. Klaus Klemp, Designschichte und Designtheorie
24.04.2019, Prof. Werner Lorke, Technologie im Design, Ökologie
08.05.2019, Prof. Frank Zebner, Technische Produkte und Produktsysteme
15.05.2019, Prof. Dr. Martin Gessmann, Kultur- und Techniktheorien und Ästhetik
22.05.2019, Prof. Dr. Markus Holzbach, Visualisierung und Materialisierung
29.05.2019, Prof. Klaus Klemp, Designschichte und Designtheorie
We kindly ask you to arrive on time.
*Study counselling from 20 February to 10 April 2019 only by appointment at
firstname.lastname@example.org until the Friday before.
School of art
Wednesdays, 12 noon in Room 101 or the auditorium
16.01.2019, Prof. Martin Liebscher, Fotografie
23.01.2019, Prof. Manfred Stumpf, Konzeptionelles Zeichnen
30.01.2019, Prof. Klaus Hesse, Konzeptionelle Gestaltung
06.02.2019, Prof. Alex Oppermann, Elektronische Medien
13.02.2019, Prof. Heike Schuppelius, Bühnenbild/Szenischer Raum
Do I need to register for the portfolio/academic consultation?
Portfolio and academic consultations are open to everyone free of charge. Prior registration is not necessary. Dates and further information are listed here.
Should I submit my portfolio online or by post?
Portfolios can either be submitted in person, or by post. Unfortunately, online submission is not possible. Please remember that the deadline for receipt of the portfolio is 1 June at the latest. Further information here.
What should be included in the application dossier?
The normal documents are required (copies of certificates, application form) and a portfolio with at least 30 examples of your own art/design work. More information here.
Must I submit originals, or can I send photos of my works?
Normally, originals of your works must be submitted. Should you have any questions about the form the portfolio must take, please attend an academic consultation.
- Submission regulations for the School of Art: Drawings, sketchbooks, pencil drawings, and coloured works on paper, collages, prints, graphic prints, photos, videos, films, but also digital and analogue animations on DVDs. Please only submit sculptural works and pictures on canvas as photos.
- Submission regulations for the School of Design: Sketchbooks, drawings and photos. Please submit computer graphics and other digital visualisations as printouts only, and three-dimensional works or models only as photos.
Do I submit my documents using Uni Assist?
No. Please put your documents in the dossier. The documents will be examined at HfG in the course of the admissions procedure.
Must I attend a preparatory program?
Should the review of the documents you submitted and the result of the entrance examination require you to first attend a preparatory program, HfG will register you for the preparatory program in Frankfurt.
Which course on the preparatory program must I attend?
As a rule, you must attend the G-course.
In what form should I send my certificates?
Certificates must be submitted as certified, translated copies. More information here.
What questions should I answer on my application form?
The application form must be answered in detail, in particular the second page. The answer to the question about your motives depends largely on you as an individual, and your chosen subject, and should provide a general picture of yourself, your experiences to date, and your motives for wishing to study at HfG Offenbach. Should there be insufficient space, please use an additional piece of paper.
In what language are the courses given?
Generally speaking, courses are taught in German. By arrangement, professors can also give practical courses in English. However, all theoretical courses are in German.
What level of German is necessary?
Applicants must supply evidence of DSH-2 or Test DAF-4 by mid-September at the latest. Should you be unable to prove you have sufficient knowledge of German by mid-September, you can begin your studies one year later.
Is it necessary to submit the APS certificate?
Yes, Chinese applicants must submit the APS certificate.
Must the application letter be in German?
No, it is not absolutely necessary to write the application in German. You can find the application forms here.
What do I do once I have submitted my portfolio?
Once you have submitted your application, we will view your portfolio and decide whether to invite you to take the entrance exam. We will contact you by post around 4 to 6 weeks after the deadline for submission.
When is the application deadline?
Applications must have been received by 1 June.
When do entrance exams begin?
As a rule, entrance exams take place at the end of June (School of Design) and mid-July (School of Art). Exact dates and more detailed information is given here.
When will I receive confirmation to register for a visa?
Around 4 to 6 weeks after the deadline for submitting portfolios you will receive written confirmation on whether you have been invited to take the entrance exam. Should you live outside Europe, you will also be informed by email. Please note that you should make your visa application before you apply, so that the user is granted in time for the entrance exam.
What costs are involved?
As currently there are no tuition fees in Hessen, you will only pay a semester fee. In summer semester 2017 this will be EUR 262.69 (and EUR 212.69 for Erasmus students). This includes a public transport ticket – allowing you to use buses and local trains free of charge. More detailed information here.
How high are tuition fees?
There are currently no tuition fees charged in Hessen. See above.
What are halls of residence like, and can I apply for a place in one as an incoming student?
The halls of residence are managed by the student administration (Studentenwerk) Frankfurt. As only a limited number of places are available it is advisable to apply early. More information is available here.
Is there a Masters course?
No, Offenbach University of Art and Design only offers the equivalent of a BA (Diplom).
Will my Bachelor’s degree be credited?
The Admissions Board, in conjunction with the Review Board, decides whether your Bachelor’s degree will be credited during the admission procedure, or in October after the beginning of lectures.
What faculties are there?
There are currently two, the School of Art and the School of Design. Both offer various subject areas.
- The School of Art offers the following: Stage Design, Communications Design, Art, and Media.
More information on the School of Art is available here.
- The School of Design offers the following subject areas: Integral Design, Visualisation and Materialisation, Intercultural Design, Furniture Design and Products in Public Space, Technical Products and Product Systems.
More information on the Design School is available here.
How can I specialise?
As soon as you have enrolled in one of the two faculties you can choose your theoretical and practical courses at the beginning of the semester. Naturally, in choosing your courses you influence the focus of your studies. The entire system is kept open so that you can change your specialisation at a later date, but it is advisable to settle on a special area as soon as possible.