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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.

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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 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. 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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175 Comments

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 :)

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!

Hi Danielle, I'm from Spain and I'm studying in a private university in Berlin. I know in european countries its easier with Visa and this stuff. But I have lots of international cultures in my class (USA, Thailand, Russia...). What I am studying is called a Dual-Study and it means you work and study at the same time. You also get paid your University fees and some more pocket money for berlins lifestyle. It's great!! If you're interested, I pass you the link of the University. The good thing is you get lots of help from the study consultants and they tell you all what you have to do!! They helped me out with all the paper work I had to hand out :) . http://en.hwtk.de/ I hope I could help you out!!

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

Hi i am from Lebanon,and i am willing to study Aeronautical Engineering,which university can i apply to study this subject,i have BT3 in Aircraft engineering.

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!