Study Design

Application for the winter semester 2021/22

  • Application period: 15.05. to 01.06.2021
  • Every Wednesday: study and portfolio counseling
  • Details on the type of application procedure will be announced later
02 feed
Typebanner yelblue

At a glance

Is the HfG right for me?

If you are looking for an open, interdisciplinary course of study, you have come to the right place. You are not applying for a specific field, but for a design degree with all the contents, in the course of which you can specialize in

Who can apply?

  • Anyone, really, the important thing is the portfolio or homework that you submit.
  • If you have a general qualification for university entrance (Abitur), you can prove your creative talent with your portfolio.
  • If you do not have the general university entrance qualification, you can convince us of your outstanding creative talent with your portfolio.

What can I study in the design department?



How do I apply?

  • with the usual documents: application form, copy of report card and a portfolio with self-made artistic-creative works (15-30 works)
  • As an alternative to the work portfolio, you can apply with an independently worked homework assignment, which must be requested at, within a specified period of time. (only possible for applicants with a general university entrance qualification)

Where can I find advice?

Detailed information about the application process here



Study and portfolio consultation

Wednesdays (more)

Application deadline 

Applications must be submitted in 2021 by June 1.

Entrance examination 2021


Start of studies 

Winter semester of each year

Student and Portfolio Advisory Service

In the departmental study and portfolio advisory service, prospective students are informed and advised jointly by teachers and students. It takes place continuously from mid-October to the beginning of July. Due to the current situation, we offer online study and portfolio advising only.


Wednesday, 1 p.m. (additional appointments can also be made)

Due to the current situation, various instructors, together with a student team, are offering study and portfolio advising via video conference on Wednesdays at 1pm at this link. (Please read the information about the counseling in the download before participating!)

  • In the videoconference there is the possibility to show the portfolio or individual works in a PDF file, or to share the screen content.
  • Another option is to film the contents of the portfolio with your smartphone, or webcam. (Please pay attention to the quality of the camera, otherwise it is better to take photos beforehand!)

Questions about the consultation are welcome:


Acr761892803852224 451847


Content of your portfolios

  • Sketchbooks, drawings, three-dimensional works, etc. should be photographed, or scanned
  • Please submit photos, computer graphics and other digital visualizations 
  • Structure material and summarize it in one PDF file if possible
  • Videos, animations, etc. can be uploaded as mp4. Video data must be playable with a VLC player in any case. Also possible are Youtube or Vimeo links. 
  • Videos can be supplemented by explanatory and illustrative PDFs.
  • An analogue folder can be filmed and submitted as a video. 

Important: There are no "sample portfolios" and no theme!

Alternative to portfolio: homework

  • As an alternative to the workbook, you can apply with an independently completed homework assignment, which must be requested at, within a specified period of time (only possible for applicants with a general university entrance qualification). The homework assignment can be requested now and will be sent out on 04/28/2021. 

This is what is needed in addition to your portfolios/homework

  • Officially certified photocopy of the certificate of general qualification for university entrance or technical college entrance qualification or other school and/or vocational school leaving certificate.
  • Declaration that you have produced the submitted work by your own hand.
  • preferably a photo

Additionally: Letter of motivation (max. 1 DIN-A4 page)

  • What are your reasons for wanting to study design? 

Who can apply?

  • Admission: once a year for the winter semester (Deadline 2021: June 1).
  • Admission requirements are: Abitur (general or subject-specific higher education entrance qualification) and creative talent.
  • The creative talent is assessed by means of a portfolio of self-made works and an entrance examination (alternatively to the portfolio: homework).
  • In the case of outstanding talent, admission is also possible without a high school diploma.
  • A qualification corresponding to the general university entrance qualification is also possessed by those who have successfully completed a university course of study without possessing the general university entrance qualification.
  • A qualification corresponding to the subject-related higher education entrance qualification is also held by those who have completed the basic studies in a course of studies at a university of applied sciences, a staged course of studies at a university or a comparable course of studies.
  • A foreign school education will be checked for equivalence to the German Abitur as part of the admission procedure.
  • Whether your creative ideas and goals fit to the HfG, you can check in the study and portfolio consultations.

Further information on university entrance qualifications can be found at:

What must be submitted for the application (deadline 2021: June 1)?

  • The usual documents: copies of certificates, application form
  • In addition: a portfolio with examples of your own creative work (15-30 pieces of work).
  • As an alternative to the portfolio, you can apply with an independently completed homework assignment, which must be requested at, within a specified period of time (only possible for applicants with a general university entrance qualification).

How does the entrance examination work?

  • The entrance exams will take place on July 1 and 2, 2021
  • Applicants are selected and invited on the basis of the portfolio/homework they have submitted. 
  • In the entrance examination, you can expect two or three design tasks, each of which must be completed in one to two hours on site. In a subsequent personal interview with the admissions committee, you will present your results.

Questions to the admissions committee?

Questions for the Registrar's Office?

Carolin Alban
​Ute Schulz

Schlossgrabengasse 1, ground floor

T 069.800 59-201

Opening hours

are currently cancelled due to corona. Please contact us by phone or by mail.

Change of university

Applicants who already have a degree (Bachelor, etc.) have the opportunity to be placed in a higher semester. This varies from case to case and depends on passing the entrance examination and on whether the university from which they come is equivalent.

Under certain circumstances, the practical part of the entrance examination may be waived after the portfolio review. Please submit your portfolio during the application deadline and enclose the completed application form. Please note on the application form that you are a »Überwechsler_in«.

The placement in a higher semester will be decided after the successful completion of the entrance examination or in October after the start of lectures. We strongly recommend you to visit our study and portfolio advisory service.

Foreign prospective students

Prospective foreign students for a diploma study programme

In the case of foreigners and stateless persons, the foreign university entrance qualification or equivalent foreign educational certificates will be checked by the university during the application process for equivalence with the German university entrance qualification. Please submit your certificates together with the other required documents and your portfolio. 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. There are the following possibilities: DSH-2, TestDAF-4, Certificate »telc Deutsch C1 Hochschule«, Goethe Certifikate C1​.

Prospective international students as exchange students

If you are studying at a university abroad and would like to spend one or two semesters at the HfG, please contact the International Office,

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.

David maurer 4

David Maurer

7th semester Design

Film & Music: Daniel Herzog


Yulia Stern

10th semester Design

Film & Music: Daniel Herzog

Bildschirmfoto 2018 05 14 um 09 23 02

Felix Pape

12th semester Design

Film & Music: Daniel Herzog

Bildschirmfoto 2019 03 19 um 14 55 05

Pia Scharf


Film & Music: Daniel Herzog



Can I go to the portfolio consultation/specialized study consultation without an appointment?

The portfolio consultation or subject study consultation is freely accessible to everyone and free of charge. Due to the current situation, the department only offers online study advising.
More information here.

Should I submit my portfolio online or by mail?

Details on this will be forthcoming. The undergraduate application was submitted online for the first time in 2020.
More information here.

What all belongs in the application portfolio?

The usual documents (copies of certificates, application form) are required for the admission procedure. In addition: a portfolio with self-made creative work examples (15-30 works) or, as an alternative to the work portfolio, an independently processed homework assignment, which must be requested at and submitted within a specified period of time (only possible for applicants with a general university entrance qualification).
Further information here.

Do I have to submit originals or will photos of my work suffice?

The next application opportunity is for the winter semester 2021/22. If you have any questions about portfolio design, please visit the Student Advisory Service.

The exact submission requirements for the School of Design are: Sketchbooks, drawings, three-dimensional work, etc. should be photographed, or scanned and summarized in a structured manner in the form of a PDF. Please submit photos, computer graphics, and other digital visualizations summarized as a PDF. Videos, animations, etc. can be uploaded as mp4. Video files must be playable with a VLC player. Youtube or Vimeo links are also possible. Videos can be supplemented with explanatory and illustrative PDFs. An analog portfolio can be filmed and submitted as a video.

Do I submit my documents via Uni Assist?

No. Please include your documents in the portfolio. The documents will be checked at the HfG during the admission procedure.

Do I have to attend a preparatory course?

If the review of your submitted documents and the result of the entrance exam shows that you first have to attend a Studienkolleg, the HfG will enroll you at the Studienkolleg in Frankfurt.

Which course do I have to attend at the Studienkolleg?

As a rule, you must attend the G-course.

In which form do I submit my certificates?

Certificates must be submitted as certified copies and officially translated into German or English. More information here.

What questions should I answer in the application form?

The application form must be answered in detail, especially the second page. The answer to the question about your motives depends strongly on your person and your choice of department and should include an overview of yourself, your previous experiences and the motives for your decision to study at the HfG Offenbach. 


In which language are the courses held?

As a rule, the language of instruction is German. By arrangement, the professors also hold the practical courses in English. The theory courses, however, are held in German without exception.

What German language skills are required?

DSH-2, TestDAF-4, the certificate "telc Deutsch C1 Hochschule" or the Goethe-Zertifikat C1 must be submitted by September 1 at the latest. There will be no enrollment in October 2021 without proof of sufficient language skills. Please take care of the appropriate language courses and exams in time! If you cannot prove sufficient German language skills by September 1, 2021, you can start your studies up to three years later.

Is it necessary to present the APS certificate?

Yes, Chinese applicants must submit the APS certificate!

Does the application letter have to be in German?

It is not mandatory that your application is written in German. 


What do I do after I have uploaded my portfolio?

As soon as you have submitted your application, we will review your portfolio and, if necessary, invite you to the entrance examination. We will contact you by mail approximately four to six weeks after the deadline.

When is the application deadline?

You can apply again for the winter semester 2021/22. To do so, you must submit a creative portfolio (alternatively a homework assignment) between 15.05. and 01.06.2021.

When do the entrance exams start?

As a rule, the entrance examinations take place at the end of June. Exact dates and more information can be found here.

When will I receive confirmation to apply for a visa?

Approximately four to six weeks after the submission deadline of the portfolio you will receive a confirmation by mail whether you will be invited to the entrance examination. If you live outside Europe, you will also be informed by e-mail. 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 will I have to pay?

Since there are currently no tuition fees in Hesse, you will only have to pay the semester fee. More information here

How much are the tuition fees?

There are no tuition fees in Hesse. See above.


What are the student dormitories like and can I apply for them as an incoming student?

The dormitories are managed by the Studentenwerk Frankfurt. Since there are only limited places available, it is advisable to apply for a room early. You can find more information here.

Is there a master's program?

No, at the moment the HfG Offenbach still offers a diploma program. A changeover to BA/MA is planned for the winter semester 2022/2023.

Will my Bachelor's degree be credited?

The admission committee, in cooperation with the examination board, decides whether your Bachelor's degree will be credited, either during the admission procedure or in October after the start of lectures. See also here.

What specializations are there in the Design faculty?

The school of design consists of the following specializations: Integrative Design, Material Design, Industrial Design, Interaction Design, Information Design, Intercultural Design. You can find more information about the school here.

How can I specialize?

Once you have enrolled, you can choose your theory and practice courses at the beginning of the semester. Your choice of courses will of course influence the focus of your studies. The whole system is kept open, so you can still choose your specialization at a later stage. However, it is advisable to decide on an area as early as possible.


Admission procedure

Elvira Werner

T +49 (0)69.800 59-277

Hauptgebäude, Raum 213b

Registrar's Office

For all other questions, such as application requirements for German and foreign/stateless students and admission, please contact the Registrar's Office.

Schlossgrabengasse 1, ground floor

T 069.800 59-201

Opening hours

are currently cancelled due to corona. Please contact us by phone or by mail.

International Office

If you are studying at a foreign university and are interested in applying for one or two semesters at the HfG, please contact the International Office.

Until further notice, there will be no personal consultation for stays abroad. Please contact the contacts listed below or use these e-mail addresses to make an appointment for a telephone consultation or via Skype.

Dipl.-Geogr. Olivia Klimm 
T +49 (0)69.800 59-149

Opening hours

​Dates by arrangement only