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Interested in studying in Germany? A good choice – congratulations! Find some vital initial information here.

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Where should you study?Marker Icon

Many different options are available, depending on what and how you want to study: first there are the conventional universities with their wide selection of subjects, and then there are the universities of applied sciences, known in German as either Hochschulen für Angewandte Wissenschaften (HAWs) or Fachhochschulen (FHs), which offer programmes that are geared more to practical applications.

In addition, there are various art and music colleges, plus special institutions that are not freely accessible to all, such as police training academies and colleges of public administration.

Our map of Germany shows how many universities of each type there are and where they are located.

University types


German universities do not regard themselves as “schools” for students but as places that combine research and teaching. The 120 universities are research-oriented for the most part and offer a wide range of subjects, including everything from Academic Speech Therapy to Yiddish Culture, Language and Literature. They also include Germany’s 14 technical universities which focus on engineering and science subjects. Universities are generally entitled to confer doctorates.

HAWs combine practical science and application-based teaching. More than a million students, including over 96,000 international students, opt to study at one of these universities of applied sciences. As a rule, the spectrum of subjects on offer is more focused, with most HAWs specialising in technical, engineering, scientific, economic or social scientific fields. They are the ideal choice for you if you are seeking a specifically practice-oriented qualification.

Another key difference between higher education institutions in Germany concerns their funding source: two thirds of the country’s more than 400 higher education institutions are state-funded, over 110 are private, and nearly another 40 are run by one of the churches.


The European network Eurydice explains how higher education is organised in Germany.

Interesting facts

  • More than 400
    higher education

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    Around 1,800
    degree programmes taught
    in English

  • Roughly 5,400
    DAAD-funded international students

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    More than

2020/21; sources: HRK; Destatis, DAAD

Bachelor’s degreesCollege Hat Icon

Germany is one of the signatories to the Bologna Declaration and therefore part of the European Higher Education Area, which now encompasses 49 countries. Among other things, this means that all countries have comparable higher education structures and a tiered system of degree qualifications.

Currently, higher education institutions in Germany offer around 9,500 undergraduate courses that lead to a bachelor’s degree.


bachelor’s degree courses
in Germany

The bachelor’s degree is the first degree that qualifies a person for a profession and corresponds to level 6 of the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED).

There are various types of bachelor’s degree:

  • Icon Bachelor of Arts - Art folder with colors

    Bachelor of Arts (B. A.)

  • Icon Bachelor of Science - Atom

    Bachelor of Science (B. Sc.)

  • Icon Bachelor of Engineering - Crossed Tools

    Bachelor of Engineering (B. Eng.)

  • Icon Bachelor of Laws - Scale on book

    Bachelor of Laws (LL. B.)

  • Icon Bachelor of Fine Arts -  College hat infront of paint wood

    Bachelor of Fine Arts (B. F. A.)

  • Icon Bachelor of Music - Note

    Bachelor of Music (B. Mus.)

  • Icon Bachelor of Education - Open Book

    Bachelor of Education (B. Ed.)

Normally a bachelor’s degree course takes six to eight semesters to complete. In Germany, nearly 300 bachelor’s programmes are taught in English. You can find out from the Higher Education Compass which degree courses are on offer in which language.

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You can find out about the structure and content of the degree programme in the module handbooks and examination and study regulations, most of which are available online.

Master’s degrees

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You can follow your bachelor’s degree up with a course of secondary studies. To obtain a master’s, you will generally have to study for an additional four semesters – at universities of applied sciences it could be either three or four. Master’s programmes take the form of either research- or application-oriented courses, and are either consecutive (to follow on from a specific bachelor’s degree) or continuing education courses.

A master’s degree corresponds to level 7 of the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED).

The following degree types are awarded:

  • Icon Bachelor of Arts - Art folder with colors

    Master of Arts (M. A.)

  • Icon Master of Science - Atom

    Master of Science (M. Sc.)

  • Icon Bachelor of Engineering - Crossed Tools

    Master of Engineering (M. Eng.)

  • Icon Bachelor of Laws - Scale on book

    Master of Laws (LL. M.)

  • Icon Bachelor of Fine Arts -  College hat infront of paint wood

    Master of Fine Arts (M. F. A.)

  • Icon Master of Music - Note

    Master of Music (M. Mus.)

  • Icon Bachelor of Education - Open Book

    Master of Education (M. Ed.)

Continuing education master’s courses may lead to different degree designations, such as Master of Business Administration (MBA).


Around 2,100 international programmes, including roughly 1,400 master’s courses (as per August 2022), can be found on the DAAD website.

Good reasons to choose Germany

Germany is a good place to study: the country’s higher education institutions enjoy an excellent international reputation. They also offer a broad spectrum of interesting degree courses. Here are some good reasons to choose Germany for your university studies:

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    Excellent reputation of higher education institutions

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    High quality of degree programmes

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    Internationally recognised degree qualifications

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    No tuition fees at many universities

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    Many courses taught in English

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“For me, it is very important to get an internationally recognised degree. A German degree is a sign of a high quality education.”

Jonas Sidabras, 23, from Lithuania has been in Germany since 2017 and is studying medicine at Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf.

Jonas is planning to spend a semester studying in Prague with Erasmus+. As he explains: “First and foremost, you have to know why you want a particular scholarship.”