How to Choose
a Study Programme

You can search all study programmes offered at German universities on study-in.de (or alternative higher-education-compass.de), using different criteria such as subject, place, degree etc.

Many German universities offer international study programmes. Most of these programmes are taught in English (or other foreign languages), at the same time offering German language courses. Usually you must prove you English language proficiency (TOEFL, IELTS). There is a special database for international study programmes which you will find here.

However: Choosing from more than 15.000 study programmes is not easy. In Germany you will find excellent study programmes at very different places, and it is not recommendable to consider only the big cities.

It is essential to identify the criteria which are important for you:

  • Which type of university suites you best?
  • How much will it cost to study in Germany’s different regions and cities?
  • Which criteria covered by rankings are important for me?

Types of Higher Education institutions

The German university system has much to offer, with a diverse array of institutions and a broad range of subjects and disciplines. The two most important types of higher education institutions are (technical) universities on the one hand and the so called “Fachhochschulen” (universities of applied sciences) on the other hand. Universities offer a broad, comprehensive and theoretically orientated education which enables graduates to build their career in rather divers areas. At universities of applied sciences, curricula are designed to meet the needs of more particular professional spheres. Education is thus more specific and more oriented towards practical needs.

Click here for further information from the pages of the DAAD.


In most federal states, there are no tuition fees at public universities. Every student has to pay only the so called “Semesterbeitrag” which covers specific services for students as for example a ticket for regional public transport („Semesterticket“). Tuition fees of up to 1000 Euro per year have to be paid at public universities in the federal states of Baden-Württemberg, Bayern, Hamburg, and Niedersachsen.

A more detailed overview on tuition fees in Germany you find here.


The most important rating of study programmes at German universities offers the so called “CHE/Zeit-Ranking”. Note: You will not find information which is “the best university” or “the best study programme,” but a very detailed evaluation of study programmes concerning very different criteria. You will have to decide for yourself which criteria are important for you and evaluate the rating accordingly.

You will find the rating here.

Additional information