Rheinland Pfalz education system

Last Updated on September 24, 2023

Rheinland Pfalz education system are well represented on the local educational website, which can be said not for all federal states. The types of schools are very structured, and it is clear who goes where with what certificate.

Secondary schools in other federal states:
Secondary schools in Schleswig Holstein
Education system in Baden-Württemberg
Secondary school in Berlin – Brandenburg
Secondary schools in Bavaria
4th grade. Gymnasium or Realschule?
German Gymnasium. Grade 7
German Gymnasium school. Profile choice, marks and inclusion
Gymnasium. First year

Rheinland Pfalz education system – schema

Rheinland Pfalz education system

School obligation in Rhineland-Palatinate

School obligation begins for all children who have reached the age of 6 by August 31st. Unlike many other lands where registration takes place in the spring before school starts, here registration takes place the year before, in August or September.

School obligation lasts 12 years. It may terminate after a successfully completed 10th grade, two-year vocational education, unless a new vocational education has been started.



Berufsreife (similar to a certificate Hauptschule in other states) after grade 9 or Berufsvorbereitungsjahr if the school was completed without a certificate. With this certificate, after grade 9, they go to Berufsschule or Berufsfachschule I

qualifizierter Sekundarabschluss I (QSek I) after grade 10 (similar to a real school certificate) or after graduating from a vocational school

Fachhochschulreife – can be obtained along with the end of vocational schools, as an additional (subject to attendance of additional lessons) or main certificate, as well as with an incomplete gymnasial Oberstufe (then additional practice is required)

fachgebundene Hochschulreife – can be obtained after Berufsoberschule II

allgemeine Hochschulreife – after gymnasial Oberstufe in different types of schools, as well as after Berufsoberschule II in the presence of a second foreign language

Secondary schools in Rhineland-Palatinate – first step (Sekundarstufe I)

Realschule plus

Realschule plus is a combination of a real school and a Hauptschule. There are two types: cooperative and integrated. In a cooperative real school, after two “indicative” years, schoolchildren continue to study separately in accordance with the planned certificate: Berufsreife (similar to the Hauptschule) or qualifizierter Sekundarabschluss I (real school). In an integrated school, everyone learns together.

From the 6th grade, students are required to choose additional courses from the areas of household and society, technology and the natural science block, economics and management, a second foreign language (usually French).

After the 6th grade, if an appropriate recommendation is received, the student can go to the gymnasium.

After grade 9 they can go to Berufsschule or Berufsfachschule I

After grade 10 they can go to the Höhere Berufsfachschule

With good grades, they can go to the Fachoberschule or gymnasial Oberstufe to Gymnasium, Berufliches Gymnasium or Gesamtschule

Berufsreife after 9. grade

qualifizierter Sekundarabschluss I (QSek I) after 10. grade

Integrierte Gesamtschule

In a Gesamtschule, students study at all three levels: Hauptschule, real school, Gymnasium. Integration lies in the fact that even after the division of subjects into levels after the 7th grade, some of the lessons still take place in the general class.

Compulsory subjects: Religion/Ethics, German, English, Mathematics, Social studies, Natural sciences, music, fine arts, sports.

Required electives: Second foreign language (French or Latin), Work and economics, Natural sciences and technology, Crafts and arts, Health and sports

Electives: third language, choir/orchestra, Sports, AG

From Grade 7 Mathematics and English and later German and Science are taught at different levels.

Berufsreife after 9. grade

qualifizierter Sekundarabschluss I (QSek I) after 10. grade

allgemeine Hochschulreife after 13. grade


In Rhineland-Palatinate there are 9-year Gymnasiums and 8-year Gymnasiums with compulsory full-time (G8GTS-Gymnasien)

You can get into the gymnasium not only after elementary school, but also after the 6th grade on the basis of a recommendation or on the basis of passed tests. And also after grade 10 with good exam grades.

There are bilingual gymnasiums in Rhineland-Palatinate, which simultaneously give a French certificate along with the German one. There are also project classes and schools for gifted children.

allgemeine Hochschulreife – after grade 12 or 13 depending on the type of school

Fachhochschulreife can be obtained one year before the end of the Fachhochschulreife (school part, after which another year of practice is needed)

Rheinland Pfalz education system – vocational schools


Dual schools requiring a contract with production.

Training lasts 2-3.5 years depending on the specialty.

Mandatory subjects:
-professional lesson
– Deutsch
– Religion/Ethics
– Social sciences, Economics
– sports

Required electives:
-professional lesson
– biology, chemistry, physics
– additional lessons for lagging behind
– foreign language
– Informatics
– communications / presentations
– Internet communications
– Maths
– Politics
– Sports
– additional qualification

qualifizierter Sekundarabschluss I (QSek I)

Fachhochschulreife subject to attendance of additional lessons

Berufsfachschule I

This school takes with from the Berufsreife, but without a contract with the production.

The duration of training is 1 year.

Suggested options:

  • food and household
  • social health and care
  • enterprise and technology
  • economics and Management

After this school, you can go to Berufsschule or Berufsfachschule II.

Berufsfachschule II

Education in this school lasts one year. Options are the same as Berufsfachschule I.

At the end you can get

qualifizierter Sekundarabschluss I (QSek I)

As well as after the 10th grade with this certificate, you can enter the höhere Berufsfachschule or berufliche Gymnasium.

dreijährige Berufsfachschule, Berufsfachschule Pflege

This training, as the name implies, lasts three years and gives a full-fledged specialty. You can do it with Berufsreife. There are additional conditions for the Berufsfachschule Pflege.


  • precision mechanic – Feinwerkmechaniker/in (Kaiserslautern and Kusel)
  • goldsmith – Goldschmied/in (Kaiserslautern)
  • information electronics engineer – Informationselektroniker/in (Kaiserslautern)
  • automotive mechatronics technician – Kraftfahrzeugmechatroniker/in (Kaiserslautern)
  • painter and varnisher – Maler/in und Lackierer/in (Kaiserslautern)
  • tailor – Maßschneider/-in (Speyer and Betzdorf-Kirchen)
  • metal worker – Metallbauer/in (Kaiserslautern)
  • stonemason, stone sculptor – Steinmetz/in und Steinbildhauer/in (Kaiserslautern)
  • system electronics engineer – Systemelektroniker/in (Kaiserslautern and Kusel)
  • carpenter – Tischler/in (Kaiserslautern)
  • nurse

In addition to obtaining a profession, they give certificates:

qualifizierter Sekundarabschluss I (QSek I)

Fachhochschulreife subject to attendance of additional lessons

If you are interested in further education, then after successful graduation and obtaining a profession, you can go to:
– with one year of work experience – to Fachschule
– wtih Sekundarabschluss I – to Berufsoberschule I or Duale Berufsoberschule
– with Fachhochschulreife – to Fachhochschule or Berufsoberschule II


Fachoberschule – this is the original option of Rhineland-Palatinate. This school is connected with real school and offers to get Fachhochschulreife in 2 years.

In the 11th grade, schoolchildren have 3 days a week of practice at the chosen enterprise.


  • economics and management
  • health and society
  • technology (metal or technical informatics)
  • design
  • agriculture, biotechnology and environmental technology


Höhere Berufsfachschule

This school takes with qualifizierter Sekundarabschluss I for all specialties, except for hotel management.

For the management of the hotel you need the Fachhochschulreife.


  • gastronomy
  • information technology
  • laboratory technology (biology, or chemistry, or ecology)
  • mechatronics
  • media design
  • clothing design
  • social assistant
  • economy
  • police and government
  • hotel management

After a two-year training, they receive the status of qualified assistants, as well as the Fachhochschulreife (another six-month practice is needed).

Fachhochschulreife six-month practice is needed

Berufsoberschule I

This school accepts with a real school certificate plus a minimum of two years of vocational education (completed for professions in the field of “health” or Beamte), or 5 years of work experience. There is an additional exam for design.


  • design
  • health and society
  • economics and management
  • technology (in agriculture, engineering, natural science)

The training lasts 1 year.

You can go to the Berufsoberschule II or to the institute. In addition, a second language is offered so that you can get the allgemeine Hochschulreife at the Berufsoberschule II.


Duale Berufsoberschule

In the dual Berufsoberschule (DBOS) they take with:
– Qualifizierte Sekundarabschluss I plus a minimum of two years of completed vocational education
or education for Beamtenverhältnis des Mittleren Dienstes
or completed Höhere Berufsfachschule
or with at least two years of Fachschule

Already learned blocks are taken into account. Training takes place in parallel with work in production and lasts two years.

You can get Fachhochschulreife


Biology or Chemistry or Physics
first foreign language
Social sciencies

Additionally, a second foreign language is offered.


Berufsoberschule II

This school is accepted with:
a Fachhochschulreife plus a minimum of 2 years of vocational education,
or a completed höheren Berufsfachschule,
or a completed health education,
or a completed Beamte education.

Previous training should have been carried out in the chosen direction.

Training lasts 1 year


  • health and society
  • economics and management
  • technique

fachgebundene / allgemeine Hochschulreife

Berufliches Gymnasium

In the berufliches Gymnasium, they take real school students with good grades with a certificate or as a transfer from a gymnasium or a Gesamtschule.


  • health and society
  • economics
  • technique (construction machinery, electrical engineering, metal, design and media technology, environmental technology)

allgemeine Hochschulreife

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