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Top Universities in Germany by Subject

Top Universities in Germany by Subject main image

Discover the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020.

Germany is one of the world’s most represented locations in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2019, with 45 German universities included among the world’s best for particular subjects.

Read on for an overview of the highest-ranked universities in Germany for each of the 48 subjects covered in this year’s rankings.

Accounting & Finance

The 2019 accounting and finance ranking sees four German universities rank 51-100 - Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Technical University of Munich (up from 151-200), Universität Frankfurt am Main and Universität Mannheim.

Agriculture & Forestry

Of Germany’s 13 representatives in the agriculture ranking, the University of Hohenheim continues to be the leader, climbing an impressive 19 places to rank joint 15th.

Anatomy & Physiology

Universität Frankfurt am Main is the highest-ranked of the top German universities for anatomy & physiology at joint 38th, overtaking Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München. Five more German institutions are featured in the ranking.


 Humboldt-University of Berlin

The best place to study anthropology in Germany out of its five entries in the anthropology ranking is Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, climbing 13 places and overtaking Freie Universitaet Berlin to rank joint 31st this year, while the latter is down slightly at 33rd.


Germany is well represented in the archaeology ranking, with 16 top German universities featured, led by Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, which climbed four places to rank joint 11th. The global top 50 also includes Freie Universität Berlin at 19th.


Eight German institutions are featured among the world’s best for architecture, led by the Technical University of Munich in joint 25th place. Also in the top 50 is Technische Universität Berlin, up nine places to rank 32nd.

Art & Design

Of Germany’s three entrants in the art & design ranking, its highest ranked is Universität der Künste Berlin, up from 51-100 to joint 49th.

Biological Sciences

An impressive 36 top universities in Germany are ranked among the top 500 in the world in the biological sciences ranking, with Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München in the lead at 25th, up 11 places from last year.

Business & Management Studies

Universität Mannheim is the leader among the 19 top universities in Germany for business and management, up from 51-100 to 47th.

Chemical Engineering

RWTH Aachen University

Two German universities share 35th place in the chemical engineering ranking this year: Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen (RWTH Aachen University)up 11 places from last year, and Technische Universität Berlin, which climbed from 51-100. Eight more top German universities are featured in this ranking.


The Technical University of Munich is Germany’s best-performing representative in the chemistry ranking at 27th (up five places this year), and 42 more German institutions are featured.

Civil & Structural Engineering

Of the six top universities in Germany in the civil engineering ranking, four are the joint highest-ranked at 51-100: KIT, Karlsruher Institut für Technologie, RWTH Aachen University, and the Technical University of Munich.

Classics & Ancient History

German universities performed well in the second edition of the classics ranking, with seven entrants, including Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München in fourth place.

Communication & Media Studies

Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München has climbed nine places from last year’s communication & media studies ranking, now coming 26th and continuing to be the highest ranked of Germany’s eight entries.

Computer Science & Information Systems

Technische Universität München

Of the 31 top German computer science schools, Technical University of Munich is once again the highest-ranked, up eight places to rank joint 34th.


Germany’s sole entrant in the dentistry ranking, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, climbed five places to rank 41st.

Development Studies

Again, there is only one German entrant in this ranking: the University of Göttingen, up from 51-100 to 45th.

Earth & Marine Sciences

17 German universities are featured in the earth & marine sciences ranking, with six sharing the top position of 51-100 in the world for this subject: Christian-Albrechts-University zu Kiel, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Universität Bremen, Universität Frankfurt am Main, Universität Hamburg and Universität Potsdam.

Economics & Econometrics

Looking at the economics ranking, Universität Mannheim climbed from 51-100 to rank 44th this year, making it the highest ranked of Germany’s 24 entrants.

Education & Training

Freie Universität Berlin

Germany has 10 entrants in the education ranking, with Freie Universitaet Berlin and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin both ranked 51-100.

Electrical & Electronic Engineering

18 top universities in Germany are featured in the electrical engineering ranking, led by the Technical University of Munich, which climbed an impressive 17 spots to rank joint 20th.

English Language & Literature

Freie Universitaet Berlin is the highest-ranked university for English language & literature in 2018, up 10 places to rank 37th. There are 10 more top universities in Germany featured in the English ranking.

Environmental Sciences

Germany has 13 entrants in the environmental science ranking, with the Technical University of Munich leading the way at 51-100 in the world, up from 101-150.


There are 11 top universities in Germany in the geography ranking, led by Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, which climbed six places to rank 22nd.


Germany has 11 entrants in the history ranking, including three in the top 50, with Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin the highest-ranked at 30th.

Hospitality & Leisure Management

No German institutions were featured in the hospitality & leisure management ranking this year.


Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München

There are 14 German institutions in this year’s law school ranking. The highest-ranked was previously Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, but Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München now takes the top spot at joint 35th, up 14 places from last year.

Library & Information Management

Germany is represented by three institutions in the library & information management ranking, led by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München at 29th.


Of the 20 German universities in the linguistics ranking, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin is again the highest-ranked, climbing four places to rank 29th in the world this year.

Materials Science

25 top universities in Germany are featured in the materials science ranking, led by RWTH Aachen University, which is up six places to rank 22nd in the world this year.


The Technical University of Munich is the highest-ranked of Germany’s 26 entries in the mathematics ranking, up five places to rank joint 45th. Also in the top 50 is Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn at 50th.

Mechanical, Aeronautical & Manufacturing Engineering

Five of Germany’s 19 representatives in the mechanical engineering ranking are in the global top 50, with RWTH Aachen University its highest-ranked, up four places to rank 19th.


Those wishing to train as a doctor in Germany have 31 top medical schools to choose from, with Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin the best of the bunch, having climbed from 51-100 to 33rd place. You can read advice on how to study medicine in Germany here.

Mineral & Mining Engineering

Technische Universität Bergakademie Freiberg

There are only two top universities in Germany in the mining engineering ranking, with Technische Universität Bergakademie Freiberg down this year but nonetheless remaining the highest-ranked German entrant, at 16th.

Modern Languages

If you’re looking to study modern languages in Germany, there are 15 top universities in Germany for this subject, with Freie Universität Berlin climbing nine places to rank joint 26th.


No German institutions were ranked in this year’s nursing school ranking.

Performing Arts

Germany has five top performing arts schools, led by the specialized college of music Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg, up 14 places to rank 36th.

Pharmacy & Pharmacology

Of Germany’s 19 entrants in the pharmacy ranking, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München is the highest-ranked, up five places to rank 45th.


There are 16 German representatives in the philosophy ranking, three of which are in the global top 50. Its highest-ranked entrant is Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, ranked 12th.

Physics & Astronomy

Germany has an impressive 44 entrants in the physics ranking, including five in the top 50. Its highest-ranked entrant overall is the Technical University of Munich, up five places to rank 16th.

Politics & International Studies

There are nine German entrants in the politics ranking, with Freie Universitaet Berlin leading the way in 19th place.


Germany has 23 entrants in the psychology ranking, with its three highest-ranked all placed 51-100: Freie Universitaet BerlinHumboldt-Universität zu Berlin and Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München.

Social Policy & Administration

Three German universities are featured in the social policy ranking this year, led by Freie Universität Berlin at joint 31st.


17 top universities in Germany are featured in the sociology ranking, led by Freie Universität Berlin, ranked 20th this year. Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin is not far behind, at joint 23rd.

Sports-related Subjects

Universität Freiburg

Germany has two entrants ranked among the world’s best for sports-related subjects, both ranked 51-100: Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg and Universität Freiburg.

Statistics & Operational Research

Seven top German universities are featured in the statistics ranking, four of which are ranked 51-100: Georg-August-Universität Göttingen (up from 101-150), Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, RWTH Aachen University and Technische Universität Berlin.

Theology, Divinity & Religious Studies

This year’s theology ranking saw Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen overtake Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg as the highest-ranked of Germany’s nine entrants, climbing nine places to rank joint sixth.

Veterinary Science

Germany has just two entrants in the veterinary science ranking, led by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, which retains its position of 25th this year.

At a glance: top German universities


Amount of number one ranks for Germany in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2019

Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München


Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin


Technical University of Munich


RWTH Aachen University


Universität Mannheim


Freie Universität Berlin


Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen


Universität Frankfurt am Main


Technische Universität Berlin


Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn


University of Hohenheim, University of Göttingen, Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg, Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, Universität der Künste Berlin, Technische Universität Bergakademie Freiberg, Universität Freiburg, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn, KIT, Karlsruher Institut für Technologie, Christian-Albrechts-University zu Kiel, Universität Bremen, Universität Potsdam, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin


*indicates one or more number-one rankings have been shared with another university

This article was originally published in March 2018. It was updated in February 2019.

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Sabrina Collier's profile image
Written by Sabrina Collier
The former Assistant Editor of TopUniversities.com, Sabrina wrote and edited articles to guide students from around the world on a wide range of topics. She has a bachelor's degree in English Literature and Creative Writing from Aberystwyth University and grew up in Staffordshire, UK. 

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