About the Higher Education System in Germany

German universities are witnessing extensive growth in the number of international students wishing to pursue a Masters degree.

If you want to study in Germany you can either chose between ‘Universities’ or ‘Fachhochschulen’ (often called Universities of Applied Sciences in English). The qualifications offered at both types of institution are regarded as being equal in value but they tend to offer very different types of education. ‘Fachhochschulen’ in Germany are more practically orientated than universities. Technical or artistic subjects are more likely to be taught at ‘Fachhochschulen’ than at universities.

‘Fachhochschulen’ are more likely to offer teaching in smaller groups whereas universities tend to follow the traditional lecture and tutorial approach to learning. Professors at Fachhochschulen have to have a minimum of 5 years working experience to be able to demonstrate knowledge of real case studies.

As in the UK most universities offer a more theory-based approach to learning without internship possibilities. However this also depends on each university. There are public and private examples of both universities and ‘Fachhochschulen’.

There are currently 848 Masters degrees taught in English at German universities.


Entry requirements for German Universities

Entry requirements depend on the University but will usually require a Bachelors degree with at least 2.1 in a relevant subject.

Applying to German Universities

If you want to register for a programme at a German University/Fachhochschule, you have to organise this individually for each institution of your choice. This can be done online via the university’s website. You can either start in summer or winter. Please see below the time period, in which you can apply. Please ensure to check, when the application deadline is for your university of choice as this also fluctuates by Bundesland (federal region) and University/Fachhochschule.

For Fachhochschulen

  • Summer Semester: generally March to August (courses begin: 15 March) 
  • Winter Semester: generally September to February (courses begin: 15 September)

For Universities 

  • Summer Semester: generally April to September (courses begin: 15 April)
  • Winter Semester: enerally October to March (courses begin: 15 October)

There are some changes to the application process to courses subject to Numerus Clausus and courses in medicine, veterinary medicine etc. For details on how to apply to these courses please see the Hochschulstart website (only in German at the moment).


How much does it cost to study in Germany? 

In Germany, higher education is currently organised at the regional rather than national level although this will change in 2015. The main result of this change is that tuition fees will be abolished in all regions of the country; you only have to pay a small contribution of up to €150 per semester depending on the University/Fachhochschule. If you decide to go to a Private University prices vary between €10.000 - €20.000. Private Fachhochschulen are less expensive, however still charge between €3.000 - €10.000.


How do I get a visa to study in Germany? 

No visa is required for EU citizens.


Can I work there as a student?

If you are an EU citizen, you can work without a visa in Germany and can earn as much money as you want. The only thing you have to take care of is to register with your local ‘Einwohnermeldeamt’ (inhabitant registration office)


Which are the best universities in Germany?

1.    Ludwig-Maximilians University, Munich

2.    Georg-August University, Gottingen

3.    Heidelberg University

4.    Technical University, Munich

5.    Humboldt University, Berlin

The only bachelors degrees taught in English at any of these universities is one specialist programme at Georg-August University in forestry.

For further information