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Study in Germany in English

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Recent years have seen a surge in the number of international students wanting to study in Germany It’s already surpassed its goal of hosting 350,000 international students by 2020, with a whopping 358,895 international students enrolled in 2016. Factors behind this surge include the solid reputation of Germany’s universities, living standards and economy, combined with the fact that many students are able to study for free – although non-EU students are now required to pay tuition fees to study in Baden-Württemberg.

While most programs are taught in German, there are opportunities to study in Germany in English, with a growing selection of English-language programs designed for international students.

English-language programs are already fairly common at master’s level, particularly within the social sciences and business-related subjects. They’re now also becoming more widely available at undergraduate level – so with a bit of patience and research, you too might get the chance to study in Germany in English.

How to study in Germany in English…

International students who do not sprechen Deutsch may find it hard to gather the right information on how to study in Germany in English, particularly at undergraduate level. Although many students attracted to study in Germany are motivated by the free tuition, finding free English-language programs at public universities is not easy. This is because the majority of undergraduate courses at German universities are taught in German.

The International Program search tool from the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) currently finds 107 bachelor programs taught completely in English, many of which have international in their title. When the search is narrowed down to show only bachelor’s degrees with no tuition fees, only 54 programs remain.

So, you may need to pay tuition fees at a private university in order to study your chosen course in Germany in English. This is not necessarily a catastrophe – the fees may still be lower than those in other popular study destinations.

Another search tool, offered by Study-in.de, currently finds 216 English-taught bachelor’s degrees in Germany. Again, some of these are offered by private universities who set their own fees, many of which are below €10,000 (~US$11,940) per semester.

As an example, the private Jacobs University Bremen is the only German university to appear in the search tools offering an English-taught bachelor in mathematics program, with tuition fees of €20,000 (~US$23,880) per year. The university also offers the only English-taught undergraduate psychology degree to appear in the search, again at €20,000 per year – although you can study a business management and psychology degree for free at Furtwangen University, which was offered for the first time in the summer semester of 2017.

You’ll notice than some subjects are more often offered in English than others. For instance, there are a good number of English-taught options in subjects such as businessEnglish/American studies and engineering.

Other options to study in Germany in English

There are alternative options. For example, the pan-European business school ESCP Europe offers the chance to study in the capital cities of three countries (London, Paris/Madrid and Berlin) on its Bachelor in Management program for €13,600 (~US$16,250) per year for EU students, or €18,000 (~US$21,500) per year for non-EU students.

ESCP Europe also offers graduate programs taught in English across all five of its European campuses (in Berlin, London, Madrid, Paris, Turin and Warsaw), including the Master in Management program.

To study in Germany in English for free, you might want to look beyond the most famous universities in Germany, to consider institutions which are perhaps smaller, specialized or vocational in focus. For instance, you may consider Germany’s Universities of Applied Sciences (Fachhochschulen), which offer more specialized pathways of learning to create highly skilled graduates in the science and technology sectors. This option can be good for those who already have a career path mapped out and wish to get practical skills in their field alongside a recognized degree.

Before applying, make sure to do some research regarding the institution’s reputation in your chosen field. You should also ensure that the institution offers the right qualifications for your career, as some only offer diplomas, rather than full degrees.

German universities offering undergraduate English-language programs

There are currently only a limited number of undergraduate English-language programs at top universities in Germany. Due to the scarce nature of these programs, if you really want to study at a leading university, you may have to be a little bit flexible on your choice of program.

Below is a short list of the opportunities available for undergraduates to study in English in Germany at universities featured in the QS World University Rankings®. This is by no means a comprehensive list, and new courses are being developed continuously, so it is important to conduct additional research yourself – using online searches, the DAAD, rankings, student sites/forums and other organizations offering advice and guidance.

As well as offering a range of English-language master’s programs, Universität Freiburg is also one of few German universities to offer a bachelor-level degree program taught in English, allowing international students to study for a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or a Bachelor of Science (BSc), depending on their major. Universität Freiburg has a strong international reputation, ranked 171st in the QS World University Rankings® 2018.

Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, at 181st in the world rankings, offers a BSc in Molecular Ecosystem Sciences which is taught in English. The school also offers a number of international graduate programs.

You can study for a BA in American Studies and a BSc in International Physics Studies in English at Universitat Leipzig, which is currently ranked 501-550 in the world rankings.

Not solely an English-language program, but worth a mention, the Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg, ranked 481-490 in the world, offers a BA in Modern China that is open to students who are bilingual in Chinese and English and also speak some German. This program is run in cooperation with Peking University, one of China’s leading universities.

All programs are taught in English at this University of Applied Sciences. However, you will need to pay tuition fees of €7,200 (~US$8,600). The English-taught courses available are BA degrees in Business Administration, Graphic Design & Visual Communication, Product Design and Interior Design.

Universities in Germany offering international graduate programs

Please note that this is not a comprehensive list. For the full list of German universities featured in the QS World University Rankings 2018, visit this page. You can also find more information on international graduate programs offered at Germany’s leading institutions on the TU9 website, which has a list of courses available at the nine engineering and technology-focused universities which comprise the TU9 group.

For answers to all your queries about studying abroad in Germany, see our list of Frequently Asked Questions About Studying in Germany.

This article was originally published in February 2015. It was updated in January 2017 and again in January 2018.

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Laura Tucker's profile image
Written by Laura Tucker
Laura is a former staff writer for TopUniversities.com, providing advice and guidance for students on a range of topics helping them to choose where to study, get admitted and find funding and scholarships. A graduate of Queen Mary University of London, Laura also blogs about student life.

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198 Comments

sorry to say: "International students who do not sprechen sie Deutsche" is not even correct English/German. I think you meant "International students who do not sprechen Deutsch" -- this would have a correct conjugation. Well I know, the days of German as the dominant scientific language are gone.

Hi Constantin, thanks for pointing this out, I've now edited this sentence. :)

Hello!!
I am from Greece and I am 18 years old.
I want to study physiotherapy in a undergraduate university where the lessons are in English.
Is there any university for free that I can join?
Thanks for helping me out!!

Hi
Iam from india
Iam a 3 year graduate in commerce with 70%
I want to study my masters in Germany
Can u please guide me?

Hi Rishabh, please take a look at our article on how to apply for a master's in Germany. Hope it's useful :)

Hi Laura
I am from Nepal, I want to study in Germany. How can i study mechanical engineer in english for undergraduate.

Hi Laura!
I am from Pakistan, I want to study in Germany i completed my inter degree in 2014 now i want to take admission in information technology .
Please could you tell me about it what shoud i do ?

Hi, I am from Pakistan, recently came back from UK. I've got Bsc (Applied Accounting), MBA (Financial Management) and ACCA (Finalist) I was thinking to go for Phd in Accounting, is there any chance I could get admission in Phd as per my aforementioned qualifications. How much would that phd cost me. Cheers!

Hey
I want to study my masters in Germany can u please guide me?

what should i do for study abroad?

I'm from Indonesia. I have completed my degree in biology in 2011. My worked experience as a teacher. In 2015 I got scholarship from Indonesia government however until now still straggle with IELTS I just got 6.0 but in writing only got 5.0. Actually my scholarship covers all. The sed new is they don't provide for English language preparation. Are there any university can over free language study or accept IELTS 6 with 5 below.

hello, i'm from japan. I was prepared to study abroad but I only know English. I am very worried about the upcoming road.

Hi, i am from India. I have completed my Graduation in Mechanical Engineering in 2015 and have a work Experience of 2.5 yrs as a Design Engineer. Presently looking to pursue my Master's in MBA or Master's in Mechanical Engineering in Germany with some financial support and in terms of Scholarships or Educational Loans.

Kindly help me in this. Thank you for your consideration and time.

Hi , I have completed B.A in economics , sociology and English literature . Now, I'll be completing a second B.A (Hons) psychology this year . These courses are for 3 years duration and I was doing both courses simultaneously. I would like to know if I am eligible for Master's in MBA/ economics in Germany or do I need to study further before I apply ?

One thing I do not see is a section on how to gain funds to live on once in Germany. Can you provide resources on where and how to get a job while studying abroad? I am not rich and do not have any money saved up for living abroad, so once overseas, any money for living expenses (ie. food, health insurance, apartment, internet, phone, transportation) would need to be earned in Germany - which seems to be difficult considering the guide "Studying Abroad in Germany" states that full-time EU students (part-time students not listed, strangely) can only work 20 per week.Plus how does that apply to someone with dual-citizenship in an EU country (other than Germany) living outside of the EU? Getting a loan for funds is not an option. I also do not have any special qualifications, which is why I am interested in studying in Germany for free.

Hello, I am interested in studying computer science for a bachelors degree, since I only want to be in university for four years. I am from New York City; I have taken interest in studying this major in Germany but I am concerned about the other classes having to do with the German universities. Since of course, you’d have academic classes, would they be taught in English as well by default or does that require some more intensive searching? Would I have to know German beforehand since I’ve heard elsewhere and from others that if you are an international student, they also provide a class for you ((whether taken in school or out)) to learn German in case you want to stay there after college etc? If not, how does this all work? I am a senior in high school, still applying to universities so I do need guidance. Thank you for your time!

Hi I am from India and a B. Tech (Civil engineer) 2011 pass out having 6 years of experience in my field as a civil site engineer,looking for a master course in Germany plz help me reply would be appreciated

Hi,im from Iran, i finished with high school last year and want to study pharmacy in germany.Im looking for an english university, and how long is pharmacy course in germany?

Hi Arman, you can search for English-taught pharmacy degrees here. Course lengths vary depending on what level you're studying at - bachelor's degrees take three or four years to complete while master's degrees are two years' long. 

hey i want to study arts in germany ,can somebody help me about universities for masters in english

Hi Parinaz, you can find English-taught courses using this search tool from the Study-in.de website. :)

hi where can i study master of nursing in English

hi. i'm from pakistan and have done bachelor degree in computer science please tell me for which courses i can apply, and in which countries?

guys I am looking for free university in Germany with masters programs in psychology. can u advice me something?

hi. i am medical student in university of hungary and i want to change to a medical university in germany which provide medicine in english language. i would really be happy if you can help me out . thank you

Hi, I'm from Sudan and am 11th grade. I want to study in Germany I need a help from you. I hope to get this chance please. Thank you

Hey, my name is aditya and i am from india. I am doing my IBDP now and want to pursue mechanical/mechatronics engineering in germany or any other country for no more than 300,00 inr or 5000 usd (that is just the tution fee). Thank you in advance.

Hi my name is Zumrud and I am from Azerbaijan, I am currently studying in Khazar university as Petroleum Engineer in my 3rd year. I am looking possibility to continiou my education in Germany university in English please. My English is quite well as I am studying in English now in Khazar university. Can you please help me and direct me in right way.
Thanks in advance,
Zumrud

Hi, i am from pakistan and 6 of my olevel subjects and 2 of my Alevel subjects are cleared and i wanted to apply for an engineering university in germany....so it would nice of u if u tellme the details,thank u.....

Hi Ibrahim, please take a look at our complete guide on how to study abroad in Germany for detailed information on how to apply to study in Germany. Hope this helps!

Hey ,m from india and have done bachelor degree my subjects are political scienve,english literature and physical education plz tell me for which courses i can apply for germany studys i want to study in germany

hi, im from Thailand and I was wondering if there are universities that offer Finance in English programme? please help! thank you :)

helloo

Hi Jessica, the study-in.de search tool finds many finance degrees taught in English, the majority of which are master's degrees.

hi am Lebanese am looking for a bachelor program in electrical or mechanical engineering, that is free or affordable, mostly in Germany, waiting for you help :) ty

Hi Tarrq, you can study your bachelor's degree for free in all German states apart from Baden-Württemberg - you can search for programs here. Hope this helps!

Hi
I am a German Citizen, living in UK. Currently studying Law and interested in doing a Masters in Law. Any tip and help regarding this please
Thanks in advance

Hi! My name is kelechi from Nigeria. Please how do I apply for a masters in Mass Communication in Germany. Kindly assist me

Hi Kelechi, please take a look at our article on how to apply for a masters in Germany - for exact guidelines on the application process, please contact your chosen German institution/s. :)

Hello, i am from Lebanon and i need to apply for mechanica engineering bachelor in english program i can't find universities who offer this program.. can anyone help me ? Thank you.

Hi Andrew, the study-in.de search tool lists three mechanical engineering degrees taught in English - you can view this list here. :)

Hey! I'm a Sudanese citizen living in the UAE, and I want to study Mechanical Engineering in Germany but my A Level results will be published only in august. So, what do I do?

Good day all! Would like to seek your recommendation, for a Singaporean seeking a Bachelors Degree (Hons) in a business related course. And it has to be taught in English. Thanks in advance guys!

Hi there. I am an Australian who is looking to do a psychology degree (either undergraduate or a graduate diploma) in Germany. I also hold an Italian passport so visas are no issue for me.
What is the best university to study psychology in Germany that is free? I would prefer to be in a bigger city like Berlin. My ultimate goal is to come back to Australia and work as a psychologist, so the course would have to be something that allows graduates to practice psychology in Germany (this means it will be recognised in Australia). I already have a law degree in Australia so postgraduate study is an option too. Thanks for your help.

Hi Phillip, you could use our rankings by subject for psychology to view the top universities in Germany for your subject (we also have a compare tool to help you decide between universities based on your preferences). 

Hey I'm from India ... Can anyone help me out .
I really have no clue how to apply these German universities that teach in English and are free...
I want to pursue Mechanical or automobile engineering
Plz help me out ASAP

Hi Ojaswi, in general you can apply either through your chosen university's official website or through the centralized admissions service Uni Assist - you can read more advice in our article on how to apply to study in Germany

i am siddhant ..from india ..just i m learning mechanical engneering diploma third year . i wanted to study in germany
in course of aeronotical engneering or mech ..plse suggest the universities(affordable) .wich maintained thier standerdness and provides the scholerships..

Hi Siddhant, you might like to start by having a look at our latest rankings by subject for mechanical and aeronautical engineering - the results can be narrowed down to show only German universities. You can view our list of scholarships to study in Germany here

Hi there, hoping you can help me. I am from Australia and looking to study in Berlin at a private university. From what I understand I do not need to apply for a student visa (and cannot as I will be studying at a non-recognised school) and is it true that getting a residency permit for the purpose of study sufficient? Are there any circumstances? I wish to study part time over the course of 24 months. Am I allowed to work in this time? Just casual/part time employment to cover living costs. I have written to the German embassy in my city but was hoping for a quicker reply and any guidelines will be great!