Secondary schools in Schleswig Holstein

Last Updated on September 24, 2023

Schleswig-Holstein has a simple educational structure. The land is a pioneer in the development of the concept of inclusion and “common schools for all” in Germany. There are either such schools or gymnasiums, and most of the schools are full-time schools.

Secondary schools in Bavaria
Rheinland Pfalz education system
Education system in Baden-Württemberg
Secondary school in Berlin – Brandenburg
4th grade. Gymnasium or Realschule?
German Gymnasium. Grade 7
German Gymnasium school. Profile choice, marks and inclusion
School supplies in Germany. Notebooks, folders, art lessons

Scheme of education in Schleswig-Holstein

Compulsory education

9 years of general education and 1 year of professional education. For persons not in vocational training – up to 18 years.


Ersten allgemeinbildenden Schulabschluss (ESA) – passed by those who are studying for this exam, voluntarily – students of grade 9 of common schools, mandatory – poorly studying students of common schools by decision of the school conference

Mittleren Schulabschluss (MSA) – passed by students of the 10th grade of common schools. Those who are estimated to be transferred to Oberstufe can be released

Fachhochschulreife(in part of the school education) – you can get it without completing your studies for a year before passing the Abitur exams (for a full-fledged certificate, you still need to work in production). The certificate gives the opportunity to study at institutes (but not universities)

Allgemeine Hochschulreife – Abitur exams are taken after 9 years of study in common schools (if they have Oberstufe) or most gymnasiums. One gymnasium has 8 years of education, and 3 gymnasiums have both 9-year and 8-year classes and pass the entrance examination, respectively, also after 8 years.

Secondary schools in Schleswig Holstein – first stage


Training takes place in common groups and groups according to interests and abilities. No marks are given until grade 8.

Instead of profiles, each common school has so-called WPUs – compulsory electives, 4 hours a week. The choice is quite varied: theater, computer science, health, French, dancing, etc.

Some common schools have Oberstufe. Those that do not have (there are not enough students) cooperate with gymnasiums.

For those who would like to start professional activities early, they offer a two-year program for grades 8 and 9 – Produktives Lernen, in which three days of training in production and two days at school, all ending with the ESA. Apparently, this is for those who do not have very many chances to get to the MSA.

Ersten allgemeinbildenden Schulabschluss (ESA) after grade 9

Mittleren Schulabschluss (MSA) after grade 10


Allgemeine Hochschulreife


Schleswig-Holstein returned to the nine-year gymnasium. There is one eight-year gymnasium left and three that offer both 9-year and 8-year classes. Thus the Oberstufe lasts three years.

Some gymnasiums have a special focus (Schwerpunkte):

  • old languages (three languages: Latin and English plus French or Greek) – 5 gymnasiums
  • French as a first language (English second, Latin or Spanish third) – 4 gymnasiums
  • music – 13 gymnasiums
  • art – 1 gymnasium
  • more then 20 gymnasiums offer bilingual lessons
  • 1 gymnasium has a natural-science focus

Other gymnasiums do not have a special focus. But you need to look carefully at WPU – compulsory electives from grade 9. As a rule, this is a third language (Latin, French and sometimes Spanish) and something technical in a variety of ways (modern natural sciences, natural sciences and technology, robots and astronomy, etc.). But there can also be theater and art, dance, the history of the region, and so on.

Finding what high schools offer can be difficult. We are looking for on the website of each gymnasium in the Mittelstufe section.

In addition to the WPU, the Oberstufe profile is also important. Previously, the profile meant a bunch of required subjects. Now the choice of subjects has become more free. But it may be that the gymnasium does not offer subject you want.


Allgemeine Hochschulreife

Vocational schools in Schleswig-Holstein


Dual training. For professions with a small number of students, classes can be organized at the level of districts or the federal land (with a boarding school). Some professions can be learned in neighboring federal lands.

In addition, there are short programs for those who have to study due to school duty, those who have not chosen a specialty, or for foreign teenagers.

The list of specialties and subjects studied can be found here
List of Berufsschule
Specific specialties and terms should be viewed on the websites of schools.

Depending on the time of study and the courses taken, you can get:

Ersten allgemeinbildenden Schulabschluss (ESA)

Mittleren Schulabschluss (MSA)



Berufsfachschule type 1 – transitional school with basic vocational education. Accepted with ESA, at the end of the second year you can pass the MSA.

Berufsfachschule type 2 – a special type for wood carvers. Training lasts 3 years

Berufsfachschule type 3 – two- or three-year vocational training in the school.


  • construction technology
  • chemistry
  • Electrical engineering
  • power engineering
  • design
  • information technology
  • pharmaceuticals
  • physics
  • ship operation technology
  • social pedagogy
  • social
  • sport
  • economics

In addition to the social professions, where they accept with ESA and where they study for three years, they take for all specialties with MSA and train for 2 years.

You can get a Fachhochschulreife.

Mittleren Schulabschluss (MSA)


Read about different #insurance in Germany and what does public health insurance cover in Germany


They accept with an MSA and two years of professional training / or five years of experience.

Training lasts 1 year (full day) or 2 years (half day).


  • economics and management
  • food and housekeeping
  • design
  • health and social
  • technik
  • agriculture, bio- and ecotechnologies

You can get a Fachhochschulreife. A successful visit to the Fachoberschule could be the first year of study at the Berufsoberschule



The school is accepted with Fachhochschulreife and two years of training in the profession / or five years of experience. At the end, you can acquire a fachgebundene Hochschulreife, and if you can present a second language, then an allgemeine Hochschulreife.


  • economics and management
  • food and housekeeping
  • design
  • health and social
  • technik
  • agriculture, bio- and ecotechnologies

fachgebundene or allgemeine Hochschulreife


Professional development. The general requirement is a completed training in a specialty, a minimum of 1 year of work and, as a rule, an MSA. Some specialties have additional special requirements.

Berufliches Gymnasium

The three-year Vocational Gymnasium accepts students with an MSA after grade 10.


  • agriculture
  • food
  • technik
  • economics
  • health and social

Allgemeine Hochschulreife

Triales Modell

Several vocational education centers and two institutes offer a “triple model” on the west coast and in Kiel. In this model, students first study as Azubi (dual education), and after receiving a profession, they move to the third semester of the institute. Within four years, students receive both a specialty and a bachelor’s degree. At the moment, this model is being trained for bank employees.

More topics about
#secondary school in Germany
#education in Germany

Do you enjoy the site without cookies and maybe without ads? This means that I work for you at my own expense.
Perhaps you would like to support my work here.
Cookie settings change: round sign bottom left

Leave a comment

Email is not compulsory