Updated: 2020-06-19 | Duration: 8:00 min.

Universities of Applied Science in Berlin: A guide for international students (2020/2021)

Every 3rd student in Berlin is enrolled at one of the more than 15 universities of applied sciences in Germany's capital. Here you get the overview!

If you are on the hunt for a university of applied science (UAS) in Germany, Berlin is a great city to start your search as it is home to more than 30 UAS with a variety of different topics and degree programs. Lucky for you, the MyGermanUniversity journey actually began in Berlin and our founders as well as study counselors have a lot of experience in living in Berlin, studying in Berlin, and working in Berlin. We’ve created this guide to universities of applied science in Berlin to help you find the right university for you to call home.

 

If you are new to German higher education, you may be asking yourself what a university of applied science is. They are degree-issuing universities, which are officially recognized as such but do not confer doctoral degrees. These universities are generally more focused on a specific topic or field and issue degrees relevant in that field. This is of course not always the case, and there are universities of applied science with a more diverse curriculum.

 

Universities of Applied Sciences are still a rather recent phenomenon of the German Higher Education system - but a success story. Since their founding in the late 1960s, they have attracted more and more students. Today they have more than one million students in total - approx. 4 of 10 students are enrolled at the UAS.

 

Take a look at our break down below to get the full picture:

The 3 Types of University in Germany

Type of University
(German Translation)
Degrees Offered Subject-range Focus Official Degrees Issued
University
(UniversitÀt)
Bachelor, Master, Staatsexamen, and Ph.D. In general all subjects
(incl. state-regulated professions such as medicine, law, pharmacy, teaching)
More academic setting, research-oriented Yes
School of Applied Science
(Fachhochschule / Hochschule fĂŒr angewandte Wissenschaften)
Bachelor and Master
(no Ph.D., few exceptions)
Applicable subjects
(engineering, business, social sciences, etc.)
Rather practical orientation than research Yes
Colleges of Art and Music
(Kunst- und Musikhochschulen)
Bachelor and Master
(no Ph.D., few exceptions)
Fine arts, music, dance, etc. Practical training Yes

 

If you want to know more about the differences and things in common read our article about “Universities in Germany”.

The 4 big Berlin Universities of Applied Sciences (HTW, Beuth, HWR, ASH)

If you were to search for “University of Applied Sciences of Berlin” you may be confused when you have 4 different official Berlin universities of applied science:

The fact that there is not just ONE university of applied sciences in Berlin has several reasons. Firstly, the division of Berlin, and secondly, the fact that the universities have different origins and focuses. But for you this is even positive: it just means that you have more UAS to choose from!

 

All of the main UAS of Berlin are public and - except for the smaller ASH - each has more than 10,000 students! This student body size is great as it isn’t too small but also not up to the biggest UAS which has more than 25,000 students (located in Cologne). Each Berlin UAS is in a different neighborhood in Berlin and has different specializations. Take a look and see if you find the one for you!

The largest and broadest one: HTW Berlin - University of Applied Sciences

HTW Berlin Building

The Hochschule fĂŒr Technik und Wirtschaft (HTW) Berlin offers over 70 study programs in the areas of technology, computing, business, culture, and design. It is the largest university of applied sciences in Berlin. Subjects range from classical disciplines such as mechanical engineering, automotive engineering, and business administration to new and innovative study programs such as facility management, economic policy, and game design.

 

The university was founded in 1994 and calls East Berlin home. Their main campus is located outside of the S-Bahn Ring in the neighborhood of Karlshorst in East Berlin. Their focus is in engineering and business but they have a variety of programs which are illustrated above and 25% of their attendees are international students.

The technical one: Beuth University of Applied Sciences Berlin

Beuth Hochschule Berlin Building

Beuth University of Applied Sciences Berlin the university is one of Germany‘s largest state universities of applied sciences with a tech focus. Beuth University was founded in 1971 as the Technische Fachhochschule Berlin (TFH) when several engineering academies were merged. In order to highlight the long tradition of the university and the institutions which preceded it, the TFH was renamed as the Beuth University of Applied Sciences Berlin in 2009.

 

Today, the university’s educational offerings follow a humanist principle shaped by the institution’s spiritual founding fathers, Beuth, Linnaeus, and Schinkel. In honor of this tradition, Beuth University today makes a clear contribution to shaping the city of the future with its focus on tech and engineering. Their main campus is in Northwest Berlin in the neighborhood of Wedding.

For Business and Law: HWR - Hochschule fĂŒr Wirtschaft und Recht Berlin

HWR Berlin courtyard

The Berlin School of Economics and Law (Hochschule fĂŒr Wirtschaft und Recht, HWR) was established in 2009 after a merger from two universities (Fachhochschule fĂŒr Wirtschaft (FHW) Berlin and the Fachhochschule fĂŒr Verwaltung und Rechtspflege Berlin) which have a history dating back to 1971. HWR offers a wide range of bachelor’s and master’s programs in different fields such as business, public administration, security, law, and more.

 

The HWR main campus is in West central Berlin in the neighborhood, Schöneberg, however, they also have a second campus in East Berlin in Lichtenberg. They are a member of the UAS7, an alliance of seven leading German universities of applied science, and also have a close working relationship with over 150 partner universities around the globe.

For Social work and Health: ASH - Alice Salomon University Berlin

Alice Salomon Hochschule Berlin Building

Alice Salomon University of Applied Sciences Berlin is a vocational university for social work, public health, and early childhood education. The School was recognized as a University of Applied Science for Social Work and Social Pedagogy in 1971. The Alice Salomon Campus is located on the outskirts of East Berlin in Hellerdorf. They are Germany’s oldest and largest training institution of higher education in social work with a rich and interesting history.

 

The namesake of the university, Alice Salomon, was a strong advocate for women’s rights and social justice. When she founded the school in 1899, it was originally called the “Social School for Women,” until 1932 when it was named after Alice Solomon to commemorate her 60th birthday. In 1937, Solomon was banned from the school by the Nazi regime and expelled from Germany. In 1954, the Alice Solomon name was reinstated in her honor. Today it is recognized as one of Germany’s most research-intensive universities of applied science in the social field.

The Newcomers: specialized and private UAS

Don’t let the title above fool you, just because they are newcomers (with a rather short history) doesn’t mean they aren’t experts in German higher education! The universities below (all founded after the year 2000) have a vast variety of study programs in an abundance of different fields from communications to coding to business.

 

While you are searching, be sure to explore the university and its programs regardless of the private tuition fees. Universities may offer scholarships or tuition reductions. Additionally, there are plenty of funding options for international students as illustrated in our scholarships article. Don’t let anything discourage you from your dream study program in Germany.

HMKW University of Applied Sciences for Media, Communication, and Management

HMWK Berlin - Hochschule fĂŒr Medien, Kommunikation und Wirtschaft Building

HMKW University of Applied Sciences for Media, Communication, and Management was founded by an experienced team of Higher Education professionals in 2008. HMKW is a private, state-approved university with institutional accreditation by the German Council of Science and Humanities. All of its degree programs are accredited by the FIBAA (international agency for quality assurance in higher education). HMKW is active at three locations across Germany: in Berlin, Cologne, and in Frankfurt (Main).

bbw University of Applied Sciences

bbw Hochschule Berlin building

The bbw University of Applied Sciences is a private state-approved university based in Berlin in the neighborhood of Charlottenburg. It was established in 2007 and operates under the motto, “The University of Business, for Business.” BBW operates under a trusteeship of Berlin-Brandenburg (the state around Berlin) Business Associations which allows for a close connection between academic coursework and its practical relevance in the workplace. They offer bachelor and master programs that fall under the three core topics of economics, industrial engineering, and engineering sciences.

Berlin International University of Applied Sciences

Berlin International University of Applied Sciences

The Berlin International University of Applied Sciences is a private, non-profit university. Founded in 2012 as a Campus of BahçeƟehir University Istanbul, it became an accredited German UAS in 2014. BI Berlin international is organized into five academic units; two faculties (Business Administration and Design), a prep school, a research institute, and a library. The main campus is located in the neighborhood of Charlottenburg in central West Berlin.

hwtk University for Business, Tech, and Culture

The HWTK University of Applied Sciences (Hochschule fĂŒr Wirtschaft, Technik, Kultur) is a private, state-accredited university based in Berlin with a second study location in Baden-Baden. It was established in 2011 and teaching commenced on 1 October 2012. They offer bachelor and master programs in different topics which fall under the general core topics of business, management, and communications. They are located in central West Berlin.

Quadriga University of Applied Sciences

Quadriga University of Applied Sciences (named after the chariot drawn by four horses upon the Brandenburg Gate) is a private university founded in 2009. They focus in areas of management, communications, politics, public affairs, human resources, marketing, organization development, and marketing. Though a relatively young university, Quadriga is relatively exclusive and has a great reputation in addition to its high-class mentoring program. The Quadriga campus is located in the very center of Berlin in the neighborhood Mitte, just next to the German Federal Foreign Office.

UAS from outside Berlin (with campuses in the capital)

It comes to no surprise that the combination of Germany’s vibrant capital and Germany’s great higher education system would start attracting attention from around the globe. Therefore, many universities from within Germany and abroad have expanded their study programs and open campus locations in Berlin.

 

Most of them are private universities, the biggest ones being IUBH Fresenius, and SRH which all have their main campuses in different German cities but have opened a separate campus in Berlin. Usually, students may spend part of their studies “abroad” on the different campuses around Germany. While not independent universities headquartered in Berlin, there are great programs included in this list with plenty of study programs for you!