In the following, we refer to the different types of studies, universities, etc. in Germany. We also provide information on internship opportunities and point out other organisations and cooperation opportunities.

What forms of study are there?

It is possible to study in Germany in German and English. There are about 20,000 degree programmes at about 400 higher education institutions. Approx. 10% of these, i.e. about 2000 degree programmes in Germany, are in English.

Bachelor’s degree

First higher education degree after obtaining the University Entrance Qualification (Abitur). The most common Bachelor degrees are Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) and Bachelor of Engineering (B.Eng.). Graduation usually after 6 – 7 semesters.

Master’s degree

Second university degree after the Bachelor’s degree. Graduation usually after 2 – 4 semesters.

State examination

For some subjects there are state examinations, the Staatsexamen. For these, there is usually no differentiation between the first and second degree. These include medical subjects, law and teacher training programmes.

Other examinations

In some subjects and at some universities there are other types of degrees. For these, please read the individual requirements and guidelines.

Dual study

Combines a degree programme with vocational training or practical phases in a company. You can find more information on dual studies here.

Integrated international degree programmes with double degree

Bachelor’s and/or Master’s degree programmes can be completed at a German and a foreign higher education institution. The completed programme would then lead to both national degrees (as a joint degree = award of a joint degree or as a double degree = award of the degrees of both partner higher education institutions is possible). The DAAD funds “Integrated International Programmes with Double Degrees”, a list of the programmes funded in 2020/21 can be found here. However, there are also degree programmes with double degrees which are not funded by the DAAD.

Doctorate

To obtain a doctorate after completing a Master’s degree, you must complete a dissertation or doctoral thesis on a complex scientific research project in a specific subject.

You can find more information on the respective forms of study here.

What kind of universities are there and what are their focal points?

  • State universities
    • Financing from taxes, no tuition fees
    • Focus: theoretical knowledge and research
  • State universities of applied sciences (HAW) / universities of applied sciences (FH)
    • Financed by taxes, no tuition fees
    • Focus: practice-oriented scientific approach to professional application
  • Universities and academies for artistic subjects
  • Private universities
    • Privately financed, mostly quite high tuition fees for students
    • Focus: often practice-oriented teaching, for example through practical phases or projects
  • Vocational academies
    • Financed by taxes, no tuition fees
    • Focus: studies with a strong practical orientation, theoretical training is linked to practical training in a company (dual system)

More information on the respective types of higher education institutions can be found here.

Tuition fees

There are no tuition fees at state universities and colleges (there are some exceptions for non-EU citizens). However, there is a small administrative fee of mostly 50 – 100 euros. This fee is called the semester fee. At many universities, the semester fee is also linked to a semester ticket, which allows students to use buses and trains in the region free of charge. This can increase the semester fee up to about 300 euros.

Private universities charge tuition fees. The amount of the fees depends on the university and the degree programme.

How can you gain practical experience in Germany?

Voluntary internships

The internship is not provided for in the study regulations and usually lasts up to three months, so that the internship does not have to be remunerated with the minimum wage. minimum wage for the internship. Longer voluntary internships must be remunerated with the minimum wage (9.50 euros/h). In most cases, voluntary internships are only possible during studies. However, exceptions are possible.

Compulsory internships

Internships are stipulated in the study regulations. They usually last up to six months and do not have to be paid the minimum wage (9.50 euros/h).

Working student job

A part-time student job related to the field of study with a weekly working time of 15 – 20 hours during the course of study. In the lecture-free period, the hours could be increased, depending on the agreement, and the payment corresponds at least to the legal minimum wage (9.50 euros/h).

Research assistant (colloquially “Hiwi”)

Student jobs at the university. Payment corresponds at least to the statutory minimum wage (9.50 euros/h).

Other part-time jobs

Students from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have free access to the German labour market and are practically equal to German students. However, certain insurance contributions must be paid if you work more than 20 hours per week. During your studies, you can also gain your first practical experience with a part-time job.

You can find more information on internships and part-time jobs here.

How can you find internships in Germany?

Online job exchanges and career portals

Information from your University

  • Internship exchange platform
  • International Office of your university

Other academic organisations and cooperation opportunities between Germany and the Baltic countries?

  • Baltic-German University Office (BDHK) in Riga
    promotes scientific cooperation and academic exchange between Germany and the Baltic States since 2005. Twice a year, German-Baltic university cooperation projects can be funded through the BDHK. You can find more information here (only in German).
  • The Contact Office Universities Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania
    promotes cooperation between universities and scientific research institutions in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and the Baltic states. Among other things, the Contact Office arranges partnerships for joint EU research projects and academic exchanges, and provides advice on study opportunities at Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania’s universities. You can find more information here (only in German).
  • German-Baltic Youth Office (dbjw)
    based on the German-Baltic Study Foundation, which promotes exchange and understanding between young adults from Germany, the Baltic States and Russia on the basis of democracy and human rights. Offers regular scholarships, seminars and congresses and arranges internships. More information can be found here (only in German).
  • Konrad Adenauer Foundation
    has its own offices in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung is an association which is close to the political party CDU. The foundation provides information on political topics, supports unification in Europe, promotes projects and awards scholarships. Further information can be found on the websites of the respective foreign offices in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
  • Friedrich Ebert Foundation
    has its own offices in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung is a political foundation oriented towards the basic values of social democracy. The foundation promotes political education, political consulting, international cooperation and awards scholarships to students and doctoral candidates from Germany and abroad. You can find more information here.

Find the Right Programme

You can find more information on finding the right degree programme in Germany in the section “Eight Steps to Germany” on our website.