Secondary schools in Bavaria

Last Updated on September 24, 2023

We continue to consider where to go after elementary school in Germany. Next is education system in Bavaria. Secondary schools in Bavaria have retained the stricter education system as in other German lands.

Rheinland Pfalz education system
Education system in Baden-Württemberg
Secondary school in Berlin – Brandenburg
Secondary schools in Schleswig Holstein
4th grade. Gymnasium or Realschule?
Gymnasium. First year
School supplies in Germany. Notebooks, folders, art lessons

Education system in Bavaria

Schools in Bavaria

Types of certificates

Erfolgreicher Abschluss der Mittelschule
– a certificate after 9 years of school, which is obtained with positive grades for the 9th grade in Zeugnis. With it you can go to Berufsschule and Berufsfachschule

Qualifizierender Abschluss der Mittelschule
– a certificate after 9 years of school, which is obtained by passing exams with a grade of at least 3. With it you can go to the Berufsschule, Berufsfachschule, 10th grade or a special Vorbereitungsklasse to prepare for the real school level exams, to the two-level Wirtschaftsschule

mittlerer Bildungsabschluss (MSA) = Realschulabschluss
– certificate, which is obtained after 10 years in schools of various types. With it you can go to Berufliche Oberschule (Fachoberschule or Berufsoberschule), Fachakademie, Gymnasium (depend on certain conditions)

Fachhochschulreife – certificate for admission to institutes (higher education, but not universities or institutes equivalent to universities). Available at
Berufsfachschulen für Assistenten für Hotel- und Tourismusmanagement,
Berufsfachschulen für Pflegeberufe zur Doppelqualifizierung Berufsausbildung und Fachhochschulreife,
Berufsschulen with “Berufsschule Plus – BS+” offer

Fachgebundene Hochschulreife – certificate for admission to any university, but for certain subjects. Obtained after Fachoberschulen and Berufsoberschulen.

allgemeine Hochschulreife – certificate for admission to any university. Received upon successful Abitur at the gymnasium, evening gymnasium, and also after Kolleg. After Fachoberschulen and Berufsoberschulen with a second language.

Compulsory school attendance in Bavaria

The duration of compulsory education in Bavaria is 9 years + 3 years Berufsschulpflicht, or one Berufsvorbereitungsjahr, or up to 21 years.

Secondary schools in Bavaria – first level


Mittelschule – new full-time Hauptschule in Bavaria, which is similar to the Werkrealschule in Baden-Würrtemberg: education up to grade 9 or 10, professional orientation.

The main emphasis is placed on practic-oriented subjects Technique, Economics, Society.

Schools cooperate with vocational schools and employment agencies. Good students from grade 7 study at a level that will give them the opportunity to receive a mittlere Schulabschluss (equivalent to a real school certificate).

Possible certificates:

erfolgreicher Abschluss der Mittelschule, qualifizierender Abschluss der Mittelschule (after grade 9), —>

mittlerer Schulabschluss an der Mittelschule (grade 10). —>


After real school you can go to:

  • Berufsfachschule,
  • Fachschule (through vocational school),
  • Fachakademie (through vocational school),
  • Fachoberschule,
  • Berufsoberschule (through vocational school),
  • Kolleg,
  • Gymnasium

After grade 7, you need to choose additionally one of three groups of subjects:
– mathematics, natural sciences, engineering, information technology
– economy
– French or music, art, society

The real school lasts up to grade 10 and ends with Realschulabschluss (MSA). —>



Wirtschaftsschule is an original Bavarian version of basic education with a professional orientation (economic and technical specialties).

There are three types of Wirtschaftsschule: from 7th to 10th grade, from 8th to 10th grade and 10-11th grade. The first option is going to be expanded with the 6th (preparatory) class.

Schools accept students with a avarage grade of 2.6 (mathematics, German, English) or on the basis of an exam / trial lessons.
In the two-grades version (grades 10-11) they accept qualifizierende Abschluss der Mittelschule, erfolgreiche Abschluss der Mittelschule (trial lessons), a good certificate of the 9th grade of a real school or a gymnasium.

Wirtschaftsschulabschluss allows you to reduce learning in some specialties.

After school you can go to:

  • Berufsfachschule,
  • Fachschule (through Berufsausbildung),
  • Fachakademie (through Berufsausbildung),
  • Fachoberschule,
  • Berufsoberschule (through Berufsausbildung),
  • Kolleg (through Berufsausbildung),
  • Gymnasium

Mittleren Schulabschluss —>


From 2018/2019, grades 5-6 are moving to a 9-year gymnasium (grades 5-13), senior grades remain on an 8-year curriculum (grades 5-12).

Gymnasium profiles

– linguistic or humanistic: the former learn 3 or more languages (at least 2 of them are modern), the latter study at least three languages (English, Latin, Ancient Greek). In language gymnasiums, grades 5 and 6 study English and Latin (or French), from grade 8 they add French, Italian, Russian, Spanish or Chinese. Humanistic from the 8th grade study ancient Greek.

– natural science and technical gymnasiums: focus on physics, chemistry and computer science. Languages: English (compulsory first or second), Latin (first or second optional) or French (second) from 6th grade. That is, it can be options: English + Latin, Latin + English, English + French.

– musical gymnasiums: music and art. Languages: English and Latin

– economic and social gymnasiums: some are focused on economics, law and business Informatics, some are focused on social science and politics. Languages: English (compulsory first or second), Latin (first or second optional) or French (second) from 6th grade.

Allgemeine Hochschulreife —>


There are five Gesamtschule (comprehensive school) in Bavaria, in which subjects are taught at different levels and children are determined with the type of certificate they will receive in the upper grades.

Secondary schools – second level and vocational education


Vocational schools offer dual training (work + school) and cover grades 10-12/13. Vocational schools are compulsory for those who do not attend other schools after grade 9.
Vocational schools give the Berufsabschluss after successfully passing the exam.

Under certain conditions, you can also get mittlerer Schulabschluss. —>


Berufsfachschulen focus on technical, industrial, creative specialties, computer science, trade, food industry, hospitality and tourism, social specialties, some medical specialties (for example, nursing, ergotherapist).

Each school determines the conditions for admission independently.

The length of study and graduation certificate also vary from school to school. There are two main options:
2-3 year training with completed vocational education
or 1 year training preparing for further vocational training.


Vorbereitung auf eine Berufstätigkeit.

Berufsabschluss, мittlerer Schulabschluss, —>

Fachhochschulreife, —>

Fachoberschule (FOS) and Berufsoberschule (BOS) = Beruflichen Oberschule Bayern (BOB)

The Fachoberschule is based on the mittleren Schulabschluss and covers grades 11 and 12. In addition to theory, there are also practic in the 11th grade. Preparatory courses are offered for pupils of the Mittelschule and Wirtschaftsschule.

– Technic
– Economics and Management
– Social
– agriculture, biotechnology and ecology
– design
– health
– international economics

After successfully passing the exams, you can get Fachhochschulreife. —>

For especially successful students, 13th grade is offered and the opportunity to receive fachgebundene Hochschulreife
or (with a second foreign language) allgemeine Hochschulreife. —>

Berufsoberschule (BOS)

Based on mittleren Schulabschluss + completed vocational education or several years of work experience.

Covers 12th and 13th grades. BOS training is available also online.
Preparatory courses or classes are offered.

Profiles are the same as in FOS.

fachgebundene Hochschulreife
or allgemeine Hochschulreife (with a second foreign language). —>


Take with mittlerer Schulabschluss. Additional conditions are established by the academy, usually it includes some kind of preliminary professional training.

Studying at Fachakademie lasts 2-3 years.


  • eye optics,
  • brewing,
  • beverage production,
  • arts,
  • foreign languages
  • food production,
  • social pedagogy,
  • design,
  • agriculture,
  • medical equipment,
  • music,
  • restoration,
  • economics.


with very good marks fachgebundene Hochschulreife. —>


In-depth professional development. Bavaria has Technikerfachschulen, Meisterschulen, kaufmannische Fachschulen, hauswirtschaftliche and sozialpflegerische Fachschulen. A complete list of specialties is available on the ministry’s website.

The training lasts 1-4 years. They accept those who have a completed professional education and work experience.

“Second way”


Accepts students over 17 years of age with a completed vocational education or at least two years of work experience. You should have a work.



They accept people over 18 years of age with a completed vocational education or at least two years of work experience, Mittlerer Schulabschluss or successful completion of preparatory courses. You should work.

– languages
– natural science-technological
– economics

аllgemeine Hochschulreife —>


They accept people over 18 years of age with a completed vocational education or at least two years of work experience, Mittlerer Schulabschluss or successful completion of preparatory courses. Full time training for 3 years.

– new languages
– old languages

аllgemeine Hochschulreife —>


Accepted with Mittlerer Schulabschluss or after preparatory courses. Plus completed vocational education or 4 years work experience.

Distance education.

Profiles: technology, economics, social

Fachhochschulreife. —>


Working people who did not have the opportunity to study at the gymnasium, but who have the necessary knowledge, can try to pass these exams to receive the Allgemeine Hochschulreife. Preparation is carried out independently. Those who have already tried to pass the exams, and those who can get a certificate after additional exams in their professional school (FOS, BOS) cannot take this exam.

Other school topics – #school in Germany

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