A factor which keeps many international students from applying to study programs in Germany, is that they believe they won’t be accepted because they are from abroad, don’t speak German, and maybe have never even been to Germany before. This article is here to break down that assumption and to make clear all of the options which international students have to come to Germany and pursue the study program of their dreams.
Woah, wait a second though. You don’t speak German? Well, it’s a good thing that there are more than 1,700 master’s study programs from 220 different universities which are taught in English! In reality, every university in German admits international students, meaning you have about 400 universities to your disposal. However, only about 220 universities have programs in English, meaning that if you speak German you will have more options available to you.
We have taken the liberty and collected data on study programs, admissions deadlines, university information, and more and have built our StudyFinder around these findings. International students now have the power in their own hands to find reliable information on studying in Germany, all in one place! If you still have questions, we have also provided links directly to the university pages so that you can contact programs directly. First, let us break down your study options below.
Do universities in Germany teach in English?
Yes, yes, yes, and YES! Studying at a German university doesn’t mean that you are studying in German. Universities are well aware that the German language is a complex beast that may deter students coming from abroad to study in Germany. Therefore, there are more than 240 universities in Germany that offer study programs taught in English.
Whether you are interested in social theory, international business, engineering, or film, there are programs in English available to you. Our site has organized study programs by subject so that you can search in the field you are most interested in. The advanced filter options allow you to narrow down your search options so that you are only shown programs relevant to you. Whether you are interested in no tuition fees, programs in English, or programs at public universities, there is a filter for it!
Not only are there courses offered in English, but the application process and university staff which you are in contact with should also correspond with you in English. There are many international students in Germany and so there is no shame not speaking German when coming to Germany. Additionally, many universities offer German courses so that you can learn the basics once you arrive in Germany.
How much does it cost to study in Germany for international students?
In Germany, public universities do not charge tuition to students. This rule applies to all students, including non-EU students coming from abroad. This is why Germany has attracted many international students to its universities, in addition to a quality education! The universities do not charge tuition, but all students (including EU, German, and non-EU students) are required to pay a semester contribution.
This is a very low contribution (approx. 200-400€) which students pay for a semester to cover costs such as processing fees, campus facilities, and a transport ticket which provides students with unlimited use of the public transportation system. We have illustrated this all in an easy-to-read table below:
|What’s my money actually paying for?||Degree program||Free use of local public transport (“Semesterticket”) and social services offered by the University|
|Who charges them?||All private universities,
plus the special case of Baden-Württemberg (for Non-EU-students only)
|Can I avoid them?||Yes! (by choosing a public university)||No, they are mandatory|
|How much on average?||
Public universities: 0 €
Private universities: 5,000 - 7.000 € per semester
|200 - 400 €|
- Baden-Württemberg: Home to some of Germany’s most prestigious universities, students should note that the state of Baden-Württemberg has a mandatory tuition fee of 1,500 € per semester to all non-EU students. This means that some of the state’s more well known cities such as Heidelberg, Freiburg, Stuttgart, and Constance, will all charge this non-EU tuition fee at their universities.
- Professional Master’s Programs: In Germany, there are some professional or executive master’s programs which can charge a marginal tuition fee for attendance, even though they are offered by public universities e.g. L.LM (Master of Law), MBA (Master of Business Administration) or MPA (Master of Public Administration).
- Specialized Programs: Specialized master’s programs are those that have very special components, partnerships, or joint programs (e.g. Erasmus Mundus) which can sometimes charge a tuition fee. For example, many German universities partner with universities abroad, offering students the chance to study elsewhere for a semester or year during their degree programs.
How can international students study in Germany?
Making the choice to go abroad to study can be overwhelming but our study counselors have a great deal of experience and some were international students in Germany themselves! Below is a quick guide for international students on how to study in Germany in 5 easy steps.
Choose your dream study program
The first step is to pick a few programs you’d like to apply to. We have taken the stress out of this step and collected all of the details on English-taught master’s programs in Germany. Simply use our StudyFinder to browse through degree programs fit exactly to your specifications.
Inform yourself about application requirements
Each study program on our site is complete with the requirements to apply for that degree program including required grades, certificates, documents, and even admissions deadlines. Mark your calendar for these deadlines!
Gather all required documents
Now that you know what you need to apply, it’s time to get it all together into an application package. Request official transcripts from your university, take language exams to receive required language certificates, have necessary documents officially translated, and get additional documents notarized. This step takes the longest, so make sure you begin as early as possible!
Now that you have everything gathered, be sure that you abide by the submission process of the degree program you are applying to. If you are applying via Uni-Assist, then be sure to submit the required documents online as well as a hard copy. If submitted hard copies of documents, be sure to submit documents with tracking if possible, and with plenty of time to arrive as some universities will only accept the date the hard copies arrive as the submission date.
Wait for results
You may think that applying, writing motivation letters, and gathering documents is difficult, but this last step is the hardest part: waiting. Make sure to mark your calendar on the date that your program says you should have results by and try not to contact them for an update before that date (universities don’t like this so much). You may be eager to know but they will be in contact with you as soon as they have a result. To keep yourself busy, you can also apply for funding and scholarships while you wait for your result!
Most popular universities in Germany for international students
Many international students tend to flock to larger, more well-known cities around Germany to pursue their degrees. Therefore some of the cities may sound familiar to you. This is of course not an extensive list of universities popular among international students. Use our universities guide to see all universities with English-taught master’s or check out some of the most popular universities in Germany below.
Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU)
The Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) is located in the heart of Munich and in Germany’s second largest university (in terms of student population) dating back to 1472. It is one of the leading research universities in Europe and is associated with 42 Nobel laureates, including Wilhelm Röntgen, Max Planck, Otto Hahn, and Thomas Mann, among many others.
Technical University of Munich (TUM)
The Technical University of Munich (TUM) is a research university that has campuses in Munich, Garchin, Freising-Weihenstephan, Heilbronn, and Singapore. It is a member of the TU9, a society of the largest and most notable German institutes of Technology, and has been a “University of Excellence” since 2006. TUM is among the leading universities in Germany in Europe whose alumni includes 17 Nobel laureates and 18 Leibniz Prize winners.
Humboldt University Berlin (HU)
Founded in 1806, Humboldt-Universität (HU) is Berlin’s oldest university, previously called Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität until 1949. One great attraction of HU is the beautiful and timeless architecture of its old campus buildings which are located in a historic area of Berlin on Unter den Linden boulevard in the city center. Humboldt Universität has many notable alumni including Max Weber, Friedrich Engels, Max Planck, Albert Einstein, and 55 Nobel laureates.
Free University of Berlin (FU)
Founded at the beginning of the Cold War in 1948, the Freie Universität Berlin (FU) was supported by the Americans which is why the main campus is not in central Berlin but rather in the outskirts in Dahlem which was part of the American sector at the time. The democratic mission of the university is directly reflected in the name “Free University of Berlin” which illustrates the idea of having an independent university free from political influence, a crucial matter during the Cold War.
Heidelberg University is the oldest university in Germany and one of the world’s oldest surviving universities, established during the times of the Holy Roman Empire. It is a public research university consisting of 12 faculties and offers undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral degree programs. It is a German University of Excellence and has 29 Nobel Prize winners affiliated with the university.