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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. Factors behind this surge include the solid reputation of Germany’s universities, living standards and economy, combined with the fact that undergraduate studies are currently free for all – though fees will be reintroduced for non-EU students at some German universities in autumn 2017.

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 sie Deutsche 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 98 bachelor programs taught completely in English, many of which have the word ‘international’ in their title. When the search is narrowed down to show only bachelor’s degrees with no tuition fees, only 55 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 196 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$10,500) 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$21,000) 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, 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 business, English/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 €13,100 (~US$13,750) per year. ESCP Europe also offers graduate programs taught in English across all five of its European campuses (in Berlin, London, Madrid, Paris and Turin), including the Master in Management and the Master in European Business programs.

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 163rd in the QS World University Rankings® 2016-2017.

Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, at joint 177th 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 421-430  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$7,530). 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 2016-2017, 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. The DAAD’s international program search tool can help you find the right course and institution for you.

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.

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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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145 Comments

Hi. I'm kanika currently in Essen Germany . I have done my bachelors in elemantry education (4 years) from India. I'm seeking to persue Ma Education . can anyone help me with information of same

Hi Kanika, our complete guide on how to study abroad in Germany should help to get you started, and includes advice on applying for a masters. You might also like to take a look at our latest rankings by subject for education, with the results narrowed down to show only German universities. Hope this helps! 

Hi! i am from Pakistan. i want to join a university in Germany to do my bachelors and pursue a career in mechanical engineering .Can you suggest a good university and the minimum score required to join it.Also are there any tests that i have to give in order to be admitted in university. waiting for your reply in anticipation

Hi Laura Tucker , I have been studying here in one of Ethiopian governmental university (Diredawa university) but I need to complete my first degree by civil engineering in one of Germane university,please can you help me?.my name is Dereje Diriba

i have completed by bachelors degree in Mechanical engineering from the university where the medium of instructions and examination are in English. Now i want to apply for masters degree without IELTS. Can you suggest me or guide me through my kind request.

Hi Hibal, please take a look at our article on how to apply for amasters in Germany. :)

Yetimwork Teklie
hi my name is Yetimwork Teklie i want to upgrade my study of Diploma 2005 TO 2007 in Ethiopia please guide me which college and universities i have to join . your reply is awaited.

hi
my name is Kelly, from Zimbabwe. I have done my Bachelors and honors degree in biotechnology. I would like to find out which universities in Germany I can apply to for a masters in Biomedical engineering or pharmaceutical sciences in English and if there are tuition fees, how much would it cost?

Hie
My name is Nigel, from Zimbabwe and interested in study a bachelors degree in architecture in Germany taught in English and needed help on getting a selection of universities that over that and wanted to know the admission requirements for A level student and would also love to get information on any handball clubs where i could play. Thank you.

Hi,
My name is Henry am from Nigeria and am in search for a university that teaches Project Management(bachelor degree) in English and also want to know requirements for admission. I will also welcome any information on how to get a football club where I can play football. Thanks!

hi my name is shahbaz ahmad i want to upgrade my study of MCSE 2003 TO 2012 in Germany please guide me which college and universities i have to join . your reply is awaited.

Hi :)
I'm currently in my last year of high school in Korea. I want to study in Germany but unfortunately I wouldn't be able to reach the certain standard till less than a year so I decided to take programmes taught in English and take German language courses too or take prepatory courses before. I searched via DAAD and university websites and it led me to few questions.
1. I found out that there are programmes that are taught in English but are not international programmes on DAAD. Are international students available to apply for not international programmes or are they allowed to apply for only international programmes?
2. Why do I find some programmes through the university website directly but can't see it on the DAAD website?
3. Just to make sure, the preparatory german language courses are for students who are already admitted but doesn't have qualified german test scores am I right?
4. Am I allowed to apply for only one university or several with no limits? What happens, for example, if I am admitted to two universities? Can I just cancel one?

Thank you very much.

Hello Laura, I am interested in studying medicine or engineering in Germany. I am not able to communicate in German and am therefore looking for a reputable high ranking university that provides tuition in English. My father has EU citizenship and I have applied for the same and should have my passport in a few months. I have completed my matric (school leavers certificate) with the IEB (independent examination board, equaivalent to Cambridge AS1 and achieved an A for mathematics. What are my options for free tuition. First choice would be medicine or a degree leading to medicine and second choice would be engineering. The reason I choose Germany as first choice is that especially from an engineering perspective they are respected globally. I'm sure this is true for biomedical engineering as well. Regards CJ

Hi CJ, I'm afraid that medical degrees in English in Germany are only available at master's level, which may not be free. Medical degrees at bachelor's level are free but you'll need a strong knowledge of German. You can search for English-taught programs here.

Hi,
Is there any university that offers AERONAUTICAL ENGINEERING In the ENGLISH language in Germany? Thanks :')

Hi Sandhip. You can use the database here to search for courses taught in English, in your field of interest.

Hello,
I need help. I want to apply for a master degree here in Germany. For winter semester the deadlines are passed. I would like to apply for a summer semester.
Are there any Universities with summer semester ?
Are there any possiblities to learn German language before starting the master courses ?
I want to do Engineering at one of Berlin's Universities.
Thanks a lot .

What is the reputation of Reutlingen University of Applied Sciences or its business school ESB? Is it recognized like other top universities like Heidelberg? Please help me with this one.

Hello,
I just wanted a serious help. I am an Egyptian 10th grader in IGCSE School and i wanted to have a free scholarship in Europe specially, Germany or UK. but I study German as a second language. so I'd like to know a good University that can offer me a scholarship in Business and Management section. And i'd like to know if there is a good university that can let me study in English. if i can contact anybody, that would be great !

Hi Nour, we've listed a range of scholarships to study in Europe here, and you can study a bachelor's degree in Germany for free at any public university - you might like to use our course finder to look for the right program for you. Hope this helps!

Hi there,

I wonder if anyone knows whether professional vocational qualifications such as ACCA and CFA would be viewed as a bonus on top of Bachelors degree to gain admission onto an Msc programme (Finance/Economics/Management). Thank you in advancing for those who have an answer.

Alvin

hello Sabrina,
my name is Karin I'm from slovakia and id like to find out a bit more about studying in germany. Id love to study international relations in english. I have studied german for 6 years at school but I don't think so i can handle studying in german. are there any school where i could do this course in english? i wanna become an ambassador thats why i study in germany because i wanna improve my english as well as my german . Thank you for your answer.
regards
Karin

hey i wanna ask. im planning to go to germany for bachelor degree and study anything related to science with english language and free tuition. is there any information about tthat??

Hi Annisa, you can study a bachelor's degree for free at any public university in Germany, but may need to be a bit flexible about your choice of program as there are a limited amount of English-taught courses available at this level. A good place to search for English-taught courses is the DAAD's program finder. Best of luck! :)

Hello, Myself Jahedul Islam i am from Bangladesh and i have been living in dubai since 14 years and i have graduated my high school here.
I want to apply for universitiesm
I have selected commerce and i want to do Business Informatics In ENGLISH LANGUAGE.
Currently i live in Dubai.

Can u please tell me what are the requirements, and when should i apply for it..?
It would mean alot
Thanks.

Hi Jahedul Islam, I've replied to your comment here. :)

hello!
i am sehrish shah from pakistan, i need admission form for art and designing (fshion/textile designing) . My qualification here in Pakistan is intermediate, and i am doing bachlors in arts part 1 here in pakistan . i want to apply for university in switzerland so i want to know the admission and visa structure and details please guide me asap i am waiting for your reply.

thankyou
sehrish shah

Hi Sehrish Shah, our guide on studying in Switzerland should help to get you started, and includes advice on admissions and student visas. :)

HELLO
I am an international student and i want to do LLB in GERMANY and i want to know that does eduaction is offered in english
.

Hi Muhammad, you might be able to find an LLB course in English - you could use the DAAD's program finder to search for a course. 

Hello
I am an international student and wish to study LLM LAW or masters degree in international relations in Germany. I will please like you to guide me to a low cost university.

Hi Tabe, I can't recommend any particular universities, but our list of law school scholarships and scholarships to study in Germany can help you find a scholarship to lower the cost of your masters degree. Hope this helps! 

Hello dear,
i am an international student wanting to study medicine in germany in english language
i have a achieved a high mark in 12th grade and i want to start my bachelor program .. could you please help me find a university (doesn't matter if it has tuition fee or free)

Hi Rawsht, you can study medicine for free in Germany, but unfortunately no English taught courses are available, and you'll need a strong knowledge of the German language. You can find out more here. Hope this helps! 

Hello, I want to pursue bachelor degree in mechanical engineering in Germany. For that I am learning german language in my home country since the mid of 2015. I will be completing level C1 in the next month and give test DaF exam in November. So my question is; would it be a problem if I apply after two years from recieving my Higher Education qualification ? P.S I will apply in winter semester 2017

Hi,
i am searching for master degree in mechanical in Germany ( Berlin, Boston) taught in English with free tution fees and i also want to know the ranking of those universities . And i also want to know that with my master degree , i want to do part time job.

Hello, unfortunately master's degrees in Germany usually aren't free unless you previously studied your undergraduate degree in the country, but you could look for a scholarship to help fund your studies. To help you to choose a university, you might like to view our rankings by subject for mechanical engineering, with the results narrowed down to show only German universities, and you can search for programs here.

You can find part-time work whilst studying in Germany - if you are a full-time EU or EEA student (excluding students from Bulgaria and Romania) there are no restrictions on where or when you can work. If you are a full-time student from outside of the EU (or from Romania and Bulgaria), you will be limited to working up to 190 full days or 240 half days per year before you must apply for a work permit. Hope this helps!

Hello,
I have done bachelors in Psychology in Nigeria and have 2-3 years of work experience with an Management consulting firm. I want to pursue masters in Industrial and Organisational Psychology in Germany. I am finding it difficult to pick institutions that will offer my choice of study in English. Please help me a list of institutions that will be of interest.

Hi all, actually i'm searching for a master degree in architecture in a university in Germany taught in English and i also want to know the ranking of those universities that provide master degree in English ?

Hi Sherif, here's our latest subject rankings for architecture, with the results narrowed down to show only German universities. You could use the study-in.de website's search tool to find the right architecture program for you. 

Hi all plz , I need help, I'm searching for a university in Germany in English can any one help me about master in mechanical engineer and about the master university cost

Hi Mohamed, the study-in.de website has a search tool which can help you find the right masters program. :)

Hello, are there any universities that I can get my BA in teaching that speak English?

Hi Sabrina. May I know if there is any university offering free programs for doing Masters in Business Information systems or Management information systems? If yes, please share the list. If No unfortunately, can you please share the list of universities offering this program. I have completed my 4 years graduation long back and I have 6 years experience in IT.

Hi Naresh, master's degrees in Germany aren't usually free unless you previously studied your bachelor's degree in Germany. You could use the study-in.de's website to search for programs. Hope this helps!

H... I am Arun from India .. Im looking to aply for PHD in German. My IELTS score is 7 . Could somebody please guide me in he application process

Hi Arun, please take a look at our article 'How to study a PhD in Germany'. Hope it's helpful! :)

Hi

Hi
I'm currently a student in faculty of engineering in the second year , I'm looking forward to continuing my studies in Germany in a tuition-free university only requiring English language. Is there one that matches my criteria ?

HI there, could you help me to find universities in Germany accepting IELTS 6.0,if it is possible? Thank you in advance...