Top Universities in Germany 2018 | Top Universities

Top Universities in Germany 2018

By Sabrina Collier

Updated February 20, 2021 Updated February 20, 2021

Click here to view the most recent version of this article, based on the 2020 results.

The QS World University Rankings® 2018 are here at last, and 45 German universities feature among the world’s best, including two new entries. Germany is an increasingly popular study destination, and 12 of the country’s universities are in the global top 200, showcasing the high quality of education available. Here’s a closer look at the top 10.

1. Technische Universität München

Technische Universität München

Down four places to rank 64th in the world, Technische Universität München (TUM) nonetheless retains its position as the best in Germany for the third time in a row. TUM calls itself The Entrepreneurial University and aims to foster a supportive environment for budding entrepreneurs. Around 24% of TUM’s 40,124 students are international.

2. Ludwig-Maximilians - Universität München

Ludwig-Maximilians - Universität München

Ranked 66th in the world (up two places from last year), Ludwig-Maximilians - Universität München retains its position of the second highest-ranked university in Germany. Also located in Munich, the university is one of the oldest in the country, having been founded in 1472.

3. Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg

Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg

Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, also known as Heidelberg University, is up four places to rank 68th in the world in 2018. Germany’s oldest university (established in 1386), the university has 30,787 students enrolled, including 5,793 international students.

4. KIT, Karlsruher Institut für Technologie


Ranked 107th in the world, Karlsruher Institut für Technologie, usually shortened to KIT, is located in the south-west city of Karlsruhe and considered particularly prestigious for its engineering and technology programs.

5. Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Consistently Berlin’s highest-ranked university, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin is ranked 120th in the world and is considered particularly prestigious for arts and humanities subjects, achieving 35th place in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017 for this subject area.

6. Freie Universität Berlin

Freie Universität Berlin

Also in the capital, Freie Universität Berlin is ranked joint 125th this year alongside Belgium’s University of Ghent. The university was founded in 1948 and now enrolls around 31,500 students, of which 20% are international.

7. Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen

Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen

Up five places to rank 141st in 2018, Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen is Germany’s largest technical university, with around 44,500 students enrolled. RWTH Aachen maintains close links to industry and is also the largest employer in the region.

8. Technische Universität Berlin

Technische Universität Berlin

Also improving this year is Technische Universität Berlin (TU Berlin), which climbs 20 places to rank 144th. Considered particularly strong for engineering subjects, TU Berlin is a member of the TU9, an alliance of the leading German Institutes of Technology.

9. Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

Ranked joint 164th in the world, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen is one of the oldest German universities, founded in 1477. Today it has around 28,300 students and is considered particularly prestigious for subjects such as theology, German studies and medicine.

10. Universität Freiburg

Universität Freiburg

Officially called Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Universität Freiburg is ranked 171st in the world in 2018. Established in 1457, the university has more than 24,000 students from over 100 countries, and has been associated with 19 Nobel laureates.

Universität Hamburg

The remaining top 20 German universities are…

  1. Georg-August-Universität Göttingen – ranked 181st in the world.
  2. Universität Hamburg – ranked 223rd in the world.
  3. Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn – ranked 239th in the world.
  4. Universität Frankfurt am Main – ranked joint 254th in the world.
  5. Universität Stuttgart – ranked joint 259th in the world.
  6. Technische Universität Darmstadt – ranked joint 272nd in the world.
  7. Technische Universität Dresden – ranked joint 281st in the world.
  8. Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg – ranked joint 287th in the world.
  9. Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster – ranked joint 308th in the world.
  10. Universität Köln – ranked joint 331st in the world, up 16 places from last year.

Universität Mannheim

And the rest…

After the top 400 universities, the QS World University Rankings groups universities in ranges, from 401-410, continuing to 801-1000. Click here for more information.

  1. Universität Jena – ranked joint 341st in the world, up 22 places from last year.
  2. Universität Ulm– ranked joint 357th in the world.
  3. Universität Konstanz– ranked 385th in the world.
  4. Universität Mannheim– ranked joint 388th in the world.
  5. Johannes Gutenberg Universität Mainz – ranked joint 398th in the world.

=26. Leibniz Universität Hannover – ranked 401-410 in the world.

=26. Ruhr-Universität Bochum – ranked 401-410 in the world.

  1. Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel – ranked 431-440 in the world.

=29. Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg – ranked 461-470 in the world.

=29. Universität Potsdam – new this year, ranked 461-470 in the world.

=31. Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg – ranked 481-490 in the world.

=31. Universität Bremen – ranked 481-490 in the world.

Universität Leipzig

The following five universities are ranked in the 501-550 range, and are therefore joint 33rd in Germany:

=33. Technische Universität Braunschweig – ranked 501-550 in the world.

=33. Universität des Saarlandes – ranked 501-550 in the world.

=33. Universität Hohenheim – new this year, ranked 501-550 in the world.

=33. Universität Leipzig – ranked 501-550 in the world.

=33. Universität Regensburg – ranked 501-550 in the world.

The next three universities are ranked 551-600 in the world, making them joint 38th in Germany:

=38. Justus-liebig-Universität Gießen – ranked 551-600 in the world, up from 651-700 last year.

=38. Philipps-Universität Marburg – ranked 551-600 in the world.

=38. Universität Bayreuth – ranked 551-600 in the world.

Universität Rostock

The final five top universities in Germany are:

=41. Technische Universität Dortmund – ranked 601-650 in the world.

=41. Universität Duisburg-Essen – ranked 601-650 in the world.

=43. Universität Bielefeld – ranked 651-700 in the world.

=43. Universität Düsseldorf – ranked 651-700 in the world.

  1. Universität Rostock– ranked 801-1000 in the world.

Find out more about studying in Germany with our complete guide, which includes advice on applications, tuition fees, studying in English, student visas and more.

This article was originally published in June 2017 . It was last updated in February 2021

Want more content like this Register for free site membership to get regular updates and your own personal content feed.

+ 57 others
saved this article

+ 58 others saved this article

Explore Events

Get assisted by higher education experts

Our expert teams can help start your academic journey by guiding you through the application process.

Related Articles Last year

Most Shared Last year

Most Read Last year