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Engineering Universities in Germany: A Guide for International Students (2020/21)

Your personal overview of the top universities in Germany to study engineering for international students

Germany is a haven for engineering students. With some of the best engineering universities in Europe, it is one of the most sought after countries to study engineering in Europe. In fact, Germany is home to internationally top-ranked universities, ranked 3rd in the world (behind the US and the UK) in top universities. Moreover, there is a great variety of engineering degrees to choose from.

 

This article will provide you an overview of some of the best engineering universities in Germany, tell you what you need to apply, and illustrate the step by step process. Also included will be links to additional resources to assist you in preparing required documents.

 

Our goal is to help you choose the best engineering study program for you. First, you will need a general introduction to the German higher education system:

german higher education system

List of Engineering Universities in Germany

guy making a list on a notebook

More than one million students in Germany are enrolled in STEM subjects. Most of them (over 750,000) study engineering sciences. A special feature compared to other countries is that students in Germany can choose from various types of higher education institutions that offer engineering sciences. As illustrated in the previous section, these various institutions have different education styles. This provides students with the freedom to learn and study how they choose to, finding the perfect study program for their interests. Take a look at the many institutions below which offer engineering degree programs:

Technical Universities (Technische Universitäten)

Main Building of the RWTH Aachen. It was built in 1870

© א (Aleph). Type of license: CC BY-SA 2.5.

Other Universities (non TUs)

HafenCity University Hamburg - main building

© Robert Gommlich. Type of license: CC BY-SA 4.0.

University of Applied Sciences (incl. the THs)

Building of the FH Aachen in the Eupener Strasse

© Thilo Vogel. Type of license: CC BY-SA 3.0.

Over 100 Universities of Applied Sciences (UAS) in Germany offer engineering courses. At almost all major universities of applied sciences in Germany you will find faculties for engineering. We have listed a handful of them below:

 

  1. FH Aachen University of Applied Sciences.
  2. Hamburg University of Applied Sciences.
  3. Berlin International University of Applied Sciences.
  4. Beuth University of Applied Sciences Berlin.
  5. Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and Arts.
  6. Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences.
  7. Munich University of Applied Sciences.
  8. RheinMain University of Applied Sciences.
  9. Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences.

 

Additionally, there are a number of UAS that already have the technical focus in their name and call themselves “Technische Hochschule” (TH) which is Technical University of Applied Sciences in German:

  1. Bingen University of Applied Sciences (TH Bingen).
  2. Deggendorf Institute of Technology (TH Deggendorf).
  3. Cologne University of Applied Sciences (TH Köln).
  4. Ingolstadt Technical Academy (TH Ingolstadt).
  5. Lübeck Technical Academy (TH Lübeck).
  6. Mittelhessen University of Applied Sciences (TH Mittelhessen).
  7. Nürnberg Georg Simon Ohm Technical Academy (TH Nuremberg).
  8. Eastern Bavaria Regensburg Technical Academy (OTH Regensburg).
  9. Rosenheim Technical University of Applied Sciences (TH Rosenheim).

Dual Universities (work-study)

Another special feature are the so-called dual universities (Duale Hochschulen). Students who study here are employed by a company (usually as an apprentice or trainee) and are enrolled at the university at the same time. That’s why they are called “dual” - because they combine study and work. Some dual universities that offer engineering sciences (so far, exclusively in German) are:

  1. Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University.
  2. Duale Hochschule Gera-Eisenach.
  3. Sachsen University of Cooperative Education.

 

In addition to these universities, dual studies are also possible at many universities of applied sciences which cooperate with industry partners.

Further Reading

Colleges in Germany: A guide for US and other international students

Top-ranked Universities for Engineering

Just because international students can study at a public university for free doesn’t mean that they will sacrifice quality in their education. Public universities in Germany offer world-class programs that are internationally top-ranked. The distinguishing factor which pushes Germany to the forefront is that students don’t have to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars to receive that education. Take a look at some of the top-ranked universities in Germany for engineering below:

Further Reading

Germany in University Rankings

Requirements for an Engineering Degree

person making a checklist

Generally, there are three main requirements international students need to meet to be eligible for a degree program in Germany. We have taken the guesswork out of such research for you and outline application requirements in all of the engineering study programs on our StudyFinder. To see if you meet the most basic requirements to apply to an engineering university, check the requirements below:

1

A First Academic Degree in a relevant subject

Depending on the study program you are applying to, you will have different requirements for your previous education. For engineering, it is important that applicants have a relevant degree or relevant courses in respect to their preferred study program. For example, if you are applying for a biochemical engineer master’s program, a previous degree in biochemistry or another relevant top would be required.

 

  • Bachelor’s Education Requirement: an entrance qualification certificate.
  • Masters Degree Requirement: a bachelor’s degree or equivalent.
  • Ph.D.: a master’s degree or equivalent.

2

A Language Certificate

Students have the option to study in English or in German. A language certificate must be demonstrated as proof of language proficiency to partake in the study program.

3

A Visa or Residence Permit

About ⅔ of international students who come to study in German need a visa. Each country has its own visa requirements for a student visa.

The above requirements illustrate the bare minimum needed to be eligible to apply to an engineering degree program. However, each study program sets its own individual application requirements which can demand more than the absolute minimum requirements outlined in this section. Additional requirements can include but are not limited to:

  • Extra-curricular activities.
  • Internships/Traineeships/Apprenticeships.
  • Volunteer work.
  • Academic achievement.
  • Motivation letter.

Further Reading

Requirements for a Master’s Degree in Germany (as an international student)

Cost of Attendance

photo of a group of different coins

Public universities in Germany generally do not charge tuition. This also applies to non-EU students. Because public universities dominate the higher education landscape, all top-ranked universities are public. In fact, the top-ranked universities for engineering listed in this article, are all public. Though, note that the University of Stuttgart and Karlsruhe Institute of Technology fall under a special exception as they reside in the German state of Baden-Württemberg.

 

The state of Baden-Württemberg in the south of Germany charges a marginal tuition fee to all non-EU students. However, over 60% of the engineering programs on our StudyFinder are without tuition fees. Private universities in Germany, like anywhere else, do charge tuition. In addition to private universities and Baden-Württemberg, there are a couple of other exceptions when it comes to free tuition to note. All of these costs are illustrated below:

German Higher Education Costs

Tuition Fee vs. Semester Contribution
pays for study program   pays for administrative costs, social services provided by university, local public transportation ticket for unlimited use throughout semester
averages 5,000 - 7,000 €  per semester averages 200 - 300 € per semester
charged by private universities and specialized professional degrees (e.g. L.LM, MBA, etc.)* Charged by all universities

*In the southwest of Germany lies the state of Baden-Württemberg. Baden-Württemberg has a mandatory tuition fee of 1,500 € per semester  to all non-EU students.

Keep in mind that while some programs are not tuition-free, you shouldn’t overlook them on your program search. Should you be interested in a program that charges tuition, keep your many funding options in mind. There are many scholarships available for international students. Also, be sure to refer to DAAD Scholarships for international students in Germany.

Application Process

letters forming the words "to do" and a post it below them

Applying to any study program can be time consuming. The collection of official documents that need to be submitted is the culprit of this long process. Therefore, we advise that you develop a timeline for your application with personal deadlines dated weeks before the actual deadlines from universities and admissions offices. We have simplified the steps as much as we can to provide you with a general overview of what the application process looks like for someone who may not know where to start:

1

Search for your study program

This process requires a significant amount of research as well as knowledge to know how to find a great comparison of different engineering programs. We have taken the liberty to do this entire step for you and collected all of this data (language requirements, admissions requirements, deadlines, program info, etc). Our StudyFinder is the largest database of English-language study programs, so make sure to use it to your disposal.

2

Collect required documents

Once you have narrowed down the selection to your top programs, you should observe all of the requirements to apply and submit all documents by the submission deadlines. Be sure to begin this process early as some documents, such as official notarized documents and certified translations, may take longer to acquire. If you are applying via uni-assist, be sure to use their online platform to guide you through the process.

3

Submit application

The final step is to submit all official documents to your desired universities. If you are applying via uni-assist, then you only need to submit such required documents once. If you are applying directly to universities as well as other programs which use uni-assist, be sure to submit requested data to all parties. This may include the submission of hard copies via mail as well as digital copies. Consult the admissions office at your preferred programs for further process inquiries.

Summary Box

Searching for the perfect engineering program can be stressful but we have taken the research and guesswork out of the process for you. With our StudyFinder, informational articles, and university rankings, you are sure to find your dream engineering program. Here are a few important things to remember:

 

  • Engineering programs are offered by universities, universities of applied science, and technical universities. Make sure to look at all program offerings so you aren’t missing what could be your dream engineering degree.
  • Students should meet three requirements to be eligible to apply to engineering programs: a previous degree or education qualification, a language certificate, and a visa. These three things are the bare minimum to be considered. Candidates should be prepared to have additional qualifications such as academic achievement, internships, and volunteer work, among other things.
  • The top-ranked engineering universities in Germany are public. This means that they also follow the rule of public institutions in Germany in that they do not charge tuition fees. Keep in mind that there are exceptions for specialized as well as for the universities in Baden-Württemberg.

See all English programs in our StudyFinder

More than 500 programs in Engineering

German Engineering Universities in our StudyFinder

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Aalen University

public University of applied sciences · No. of Students: 5,900

Program Fees: 0,- € - 4,467 €

M.Sc. (Master of Science)

B.A. (Bachelor of Arts)

accadis Hochschule Bad Homburg

private (state-approved) University of applied sciences · No. of Students: 550

Program Fees: 5,400 € - 5,600 €

M.A. (Master of Arts)

MBA (Master of Business Administration)

Anhalt University of Applied Sciences

public University of applied sciences · No. of Students: 6,900

Program Fees: 0,- € - 3,000 €

M.A. (Master of Arts)

MBA (Master of Business Administration)

M.Eng. (Master of Engineering)

M.Sc. (Master of Science)

Augsburg University of Applied Sciences

public University of applied sciences · No. of Students: 6,600

Program Fees: 0,- €

M.A. (Master of Arts)

M.Sc. (Master of Science)

B.Sc. (Bachelor of Science)

Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

public University · No. of Students: 3,700

Program Fees: 0,- €

M.F.A. (Master of Fine Arts)

M.Sc. (Master of Science)

bbw University of Applied Sciences

private (state-approved) University of applied sciences · No. of Students: 1,100

Program Fees: 3,150 € - 3,475 €

M.A. (Master of Arts)

M.Sc. (Master of Science)

B.Eng. (Bachelor of Engineering)

B.Sc. (Bachelor of Science)

Berlin International University of Applied Sciences

private (state-approved) University of applied sciences · No. of Students: 750

Program Fees: 3,960 € - 6,000 €

M.A. (Master of Arts)

MBA (Master of Business Administration)

B.A. (Bachelor of Arts)

Beuth University of Applied Sciences Berlin

public University of applied sciences · No. of Students: 13,000

Program Fees: 0,- € - 2,800 €

MBA (Master of Business Administration)

M.Eng. (Master of Engineering)

M.Sc. (Master of Science)

Bielefeld University

public University · No. of Students: 25,000

Program Fees: 0,- €

M.A. (Master of Arts)

M.Sc. (Master of Science)

B.A. (Bachelor of Arts)

Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg

public Technical University · No. of Students: 7,300

Program Fees: 0,- € - 4,500 €

M.A. (Master of Arts)

M.Sc. (Master of Science)

B.Sc. (Bachelor of Science)

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