Study in Germany

Aarushi Jain
Updated on Feb 07, 2023 4:11 PM IST

  • 126

    Courses Offered in Germany
  • 13%

    International Students


Undoubtedly, Germany is one of the most popular destinations for higher education in the world. Every year, German universities claim top positions in the QS World University Rankings. There are over 400 higher learning institutes in Germany. Many of these universities/ institutes offer around 1,000 English-taught study programmes to ensure that international students do not face any difficulty in pursuing various courses in the country.

If you are planning to study in Germany, you can expect world-class education delivered by reputed faculty members and industry leaders. Established among the worlds higher education elites, Germany prides itself on several aspects including low tuition fees (sometimes free as well), extensive financial support, more than 2,000 diverse programmes across 68 subjects, high quality of life and good employment scope after a graduation. Of them, the most sought-after fields of study include Engineering, Business & Management, Humanities, Mathematics & Computer Science and Physical & Life Sciences.

In the year 2020, the country welcomed a total of 302,157 international students with 20,562 students representing India. Apart from India, other major countries of origin include China, Austria, Russia, Turkey and Cameroon. With 162,392 applications, inbound students in the country mostly enrol themselves in postgraduate courses, compared with 113,730 applications for undergraduate courses.

60% of International Students Want to Remain in Germany After Graduation: Survey Germany 'Becomes 4th Nation with Largest Number of International Degree Students'

International students can also explore a good number of job opportunities after graduation/ post-graduation. With one of the lowest rates of unemployment in Europe, the scope of employment is high for international students who want to settle down in Germany after their studies.

Talking of life in the country in general, located at the heart of Europe with above 83 million people, Germany boasts of a wealth of culture. From nearly 5,000 museums, 8,000 libraries, 44 World Heritage Sites to diverse festivals, exhibitions, among others, the country is filled with excitement and a huge scope for exploration.

Admission Process to Study in Germany Student Living Cost in Germany Germany Visa Guide for International Students

Wish to Study in Germany?

COVID-19 Response

The Covid-19 pandemic has led to not just dramatic loss of human life across the world but also posed a risk to the world of education. Adhering to the various safety and health practices put forward by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the German government has also established certain guidelines with respect to current and prospective international students.

  • All students from Covid-19 risk countries, such as India, are required to register on before entering Germany, following which a 10-day home quarantine is compulsory.

  • In order to reduce the quarantine time, one must submit a negative Covid-19 test, taken not earlier than 5 days after arrival, to the local Health Authority. Violation of the same will result in a fine of up to 25,000.

  • All the people in Germany have been advised to follow the necessary public health guidelines including covering of mouth and nose in any public place, quick disposal of used tissues, using sanitiser, avoiding shaking hands and more.

  • If a visa for studies issued by the Embassy or one of India's German Consulates, has expired during the lockdown, one can submit an application to get it reissued through VFS Visa Application Centres in New Delhi by the end of this year. After 2020, a new visa application with all necessary documents should be submitted.

Scholarships for International Students to Study in Germany Job Opportunities in Germany for International Students

Education System in Germany

Offering over 18,000 degrees in different disciplines and fields, Universities in Germany have become a popular choice among international students across the world. Along with the option of choosing from a vast variety of courses and programmes, students will also have the opportunity to choose from different types of Universities. 

German higher education institutes offer programmes at different degree levels including Bachelor's, Master's and Doctorate. Some institutes also offer specialised programmes to students as well. In most cases, more and more international students choose German institutes due to the quality of education and the minimal tuition fees as well.

International students travelling to Germany choose from a number of programmes, offered at different levels. Among these levels, Bachelor's, Masters and Doctorate levels are commonly chosen by students from different parts of the globe.


The first level of education that international students can apply to, in Germany is Bachelor's. At this level, students will have numerous choices in disciplines and subjects. Under a bachelor's degree, students will receive basic training and education in different fields during a span of 6 to 8 semesters.

On completion of the programme, graduates will either be able to start their careers in their respective fields or even pursue higher education, i.e. masters. In Germany, you will be able to pursue programmes in a BA (Bachelor of Arts) in the Humanities and Arts field, Bachelors of Science (BS) for more technical and scientific areas of education and a B.Eng for engineering studies.


A popular choice among international students is the programmes at the Master’s level. Most students choose Master's level education as a means to increase and expand their knowledge over certain aspects of their respective fields.

To pursue a Master's programme in Germany, all aspirants are required to have completed their Bachelor studies in the relevant fields and meet the eligibility criteria for the programme they wish to pursue. In Germany, students aspiring to pursue a programme at the Master's level will be able to do so under a Master of Arts (MA) degree for humanities and social science programmes, a Master of Science (MS) degree for more scientific and technical courses or a Masters of Engineering (M.Eng) degree for more engineering-oriented courses.


The third popular level of education opted for by international students in Germany includes PhDs. under a Doctoral programme, applicants will be asked to write a research paper on any specific subject under their respective fields.

In Germany, you will be able to follow one of the two commonly opted Doctorate styles. A traditional style Doctoral programme where you will work on your dissertation alone and will be supervised by a faculty member from the university you choose. Here, you will be required to find a supervisor for your PhD studies beforehand. Another option allows you to pursue your doctorate studies under several supervisors during a fixed period of 3 years.

Types of Universities in Germany

There are a few different types of Universities or educational institutions in Germany that offer higher education to international students. Some of these include:


Universities in Germany are recognised for their part in imparting theoretical knowledge. The course curriculum is highly academic in nature and can include different subject groups as well. Universities are also known as Technical Universities or Technische Universitat. If you are looking to pursue a doctoral degree in Germany, you will probably be directed to these higher education institutions.

Universities of Applied Sciences

Aimed at offering practice-oriented programmes, the Universities of Applied Sciences focus on the practical application of theories rather than the theories themselves. Students are trained to adapt to professional environments. If you wish to study programmes in Technology, Economics, Medicine or Social Work, you will most likely be directed towards the Universities of Applied Sciences. The course curriculum at these universities usually offers a semester or two (depending on the course) completely focusing on job placements and longer projects under different German organisations.

Colleges of Art, Film and Music

For those interested in investing in their artistic side in Germany, the Colleges of Arts, Film and Music will be the right choice for you. These colleges will offer higher education programmes in areas such as architecture, journalism, music, visual arts, screenwriting and more. However, unlike other higher education institutions, you will be required to attempt a particular entrance test. It should also be noted that you will be required to have proficiency in German as most colleges tend to teach in German.

Dual Universities

For those looking to develop their professional skills while studying at a University in Germany, then looking for Dual Universities may be the right option. Here, while studying at the University of Applied Sciences, you can opt for a cooperative study programme that will link your higher education studies to more professional training to ease you into your professional career afterwards. You will be able to choose a cooperative study programme from Universities of Applied Sciences, Universities of Cooperative Education and Individual Universities as well.

State and Public Universities:

When choosing a university to start your higher education journey, you will have to decide between State, Public, Private and Church-run Universities. While all the universities offer an impeccable education experience with similar quality of education, the majority of the universities in the country are financed by the state. Most students opt for public universities as there is practically no tuition fee. Comparatively, private universities tend to charge a hefty fee for the programmes.

Intakes to Study in Germany

For aspirants to study in Germany, there are two types of intakes which they can choose from:

  • Summer Intake (April Intake): This intake will conclude in July/August. Summer Intake will have fewer courses available from universities. Academically, it makes no difference which input is picked. Most universities' application deadlines for Summer Intake will be around mid-January.

  • Winter Intake (September/October Intake): Winter intake is Germany's principal intake. It begins in September/October and concludes in February/March. All German universities offer a vast number of programmes for Winter Intake. For most universities, the application date for Winter will be around mid-July (September Intake).

Note: Students who are unable to enrol in the Winter Intake can apply for Summer Intake in April. It comes to an end in July/August. Summer Intake will have fewer courses available from universities. Academically, it makes no difference which input is picked. Most universities' application deadlines for Summer Intake will be around mid-January.

Top Ranking Universities to Study in Germany in 2023

With the majority of its public universities offering tuition-free education, Germany is quickly becoming a popular study destination for students from all over the world. To assist you in locating a suitable academic institution to study at in Germany, we have created a list of the best universities that have been placed first in the QS World University Rankings 2023:

Name of the University

QS World University Rankings 2023

Technical University of Munich


Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich


Heidelberg University


Free University Berlin 


Humboldt University of Berlin


Karlsruhe Institute of Technology


RWTH Aachen University


Technical University of Berlin


University of Tübingen


University of Freiburg


Technische Universität Dresden


Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn


University of Göttingen


Universität Hamburg


Technical University of Darmstadt


Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main


University of Cologne


Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg


Universität Jena


Universität Stuttgart


Learn About Admission Requirements Of Top German Universities!

Curriculum in Germany

Undergraduate Education in Germany:

Most Bachelor’s degrees in Germany take three to four years to complete. They are usually taught in the German language although a growing number of courses are currently offered with English as the medium of instruction.

Medical Education: Degrees would last for as long as 6 years and 3 months leading to a German state exam. Medical institutes in Germany usually do not offer scholarships, have very competitive admission and demanding training. It is recommended only for those who have an outstanding academic record.

Law:  Courses leading to the German state exam create lawyers, judges and prosecutors in Germany according to German law. Education is offered only in the German language and the courses are designed with rigorous work which has led to high failure rates. It is not recommended for international students.

Journalism/Mass Communication: Delivered in the English language, these courses are aimed at the understanding of media, its role in a given society and how it a part of political sciences. It will involve a lot of practical training and collaboration with leading journalists in the country. It is considered unrealistic for international students who do not have a good command of the German language.

Education/Social Work: Subjects associated with this area of study are closely related to German society, culture and law which demand practical work with clients.

All Subjects: Students may find undergraduate courses at universities along with at universities of applied sciences. While universities of applied sciences offer excellent training for leading positions in the corporate sector, traditional universities offer a stronger emphasis on theoretical knowledge.

Postgraduate Education in Germany:

The standard period of study for a Master’s degree is usually two to four semesters. It serves to enhance knowledge in a particular field from a prior undergraduate degree or to specialise in a particular area of study. Postgraduate courses in Germany prepare students for academic work at an institution of higher education wherein opting for a doctoral degree is also possible.

German Master’s degree may broadly be classified into consecutive and non-consecutive. The former follows directly from a related undergraduate degree (for instance MSc in Chemistry from BSc in Chemistry). A non-consecutive master’s degree refers to a more specialised subject area that may require practical or professional experience along with an undergraduate degree.

Pursuing a Master’s degree at a Research university would involve a lot of core seminars and lectures, paired with practical work in a lab or by self-study or reading. A more oriented program at a university of applied sciences might include hands-on training and/or workshops by industry experts.

A program at a German College of Art, Film and Music will focus on the development of practical skills and proficiencies in the area.

Doctoral Education in Germany:

Doctoral studies at German universities require students to write a complete scientific research paper on a specific subject, known as a thesis. The duration of one’s doctoral research would depend on the research topic, at the end of which a PhD is awarded.

It may either be based on the traditional model or the structured model. The traditional model refers to free, self-determined work on a thesis, supervised by a professor which will last for around two to five years.

A structured doctorate is often limited to three years with fixed working periods and several supervising researchers.

Grading Scale in Germany

All German universities (except for law schools) grade students on a scale of 1 to 5: Refer to the table below for a clear idea of the same:

Grade Range




Sehr Gut (Very Good/Excellent)

Exceptional achievement


Gut (Good)

Above-average achievement


Befriedigend (Satisfactory)

Acceptable achievement


Ausreichend (Sufficient)

The lowest level of achievement at which a qualification can still be awarded

Why Study in Germany?

Choosing Germany as your study abroad destination can be a result of many different factors. Some of these factors may include practically free higher education, globally recognised programmes, plenty of work opportunities for international students and other factors. Here, we shall discuss what makes Germany a brilliant study-abroad destination for you.

  • Minimal or No Tuition Fees: Most State-run or public universities in Germany offer education to students free of charge, practically. Apart from a few administrative charges, students do not have to pay any tuition fees. However, Private universities may charge their students a tuition fee according to the degree, even so, tuition fees charged are comparatively cheaper than in most other EU states.

  • Variety of Options: German Higher education institutions offer international students a variety of options in terms of the degrees and courses available. Most of the courses offered by the institutions are taught in English, therefore, international students need not be proficient in the German language.

  • Globally-Recognised Programmes: Studying a programme offered by a German Higher Education Institution is recognised by Universities and Organisations across the world. Therefore, graduating from a German institution will help your future prospects in your respective fields.

  • Comparatively Inexpensive Living: Among the many EU states, the cost of living in Germany is comparatively inexpensive. With amenities such as public transport, shared accommodation and much more, Germany becomes an affordable option for international students.

  • Globally Ranked Universities: Germany is one of the top countries with Universities that are highly ranked in some of the top-ranking institutions. 10 Universities in the country are ranked within the top 200 universities in the world by the QS Rankings. Institutions such as Technische Universitat Munchen, Humboldt University of Berlin, Freie Universitat Berlin and more.

On-Campus Student Life, Athletics & Extra-Curricular Activities at German Universities

Germany attracts international students from all across the world due to several reasons including excellence in research and teaching, job opportunities, safe and economically stable location, close links between theory and practice, beautiful landscape, a wide range of courses as well as a great campus life experience. German universities have a multicultural environment where an international student is likely to meet mates of several nationalities including Portuguese, French, Lithuanian, Turkish, and many more.  

While many may believe language could be a barrier at German universities, professors do speak fluent English and have advanced proficiency in the language. In general, as well, most German people will be able to interact with you in English although not fluently.

Universities in Germany focus on going beyond classroom learning and organising several events where students are encouraged to join clubs, engage in sports and attend student parties.

Playing sports in Germany means a number of classes based on any sport that one may be interested in. These may include sports such as fencing, soccer, argentine tango, yoga, swimming, basketball as well as ultimate frisbee, pole dance and bouldering that are not really popular in the country.

Extracurricular activities play a huge role in Germany’s university culture. Students can participate in a wide range of groups that are closely associated with not only academic subjects but also political parties, music, athletics, theatre, foreign languages and more.

Admission Requirements for Indian Students to Study in Germany

Though the particular eligibility requirements will vary depending on the course and university you choose, there are some general requirements you must meet when enrolling for a study programme in Germany. The following are the general prerequisites for students wishing to study in Germany:

Application Process to Study in Germany

The application process for studying in Germany is relatively simple. This procedure is explained below, beginning with selecting a programme and ending with admission to your preferred university:

1. Select a Program and a University

The first step in realising your dream of studying in Germany is to research the programmes available in your subject of interest, as well as the top universities that offer them. You must thoroughly research the possible courses accessible at German academic institutions at least three months before applying for entrance intakes. Because this is a critical decision and the first step toward realising your dream of studying abroad, you should seek advice from study abroad education advisors on which courses and colleges best suit your interests and preferences and make your decision accordingly.

2. Examine the Requirements and Eligibility Criteria

After you have decided on a programme and a university, the next step is to review the eligibility criteria and other prerequisites. Gather all relevant documents, such as academic transcripts, entrance exam scores (if applicable), an ID or passport, an SOP, and LORs (if required). You should also check the language requirements because many courses are taught in German and will require you to produce German language proficiency results like DSH or TestDaf, or if you choose an English programme, you will need to provide English proficiency scores like IELTS, TOEFL, and so on.

3. Ensure that You have the Necessary Funds

When applying for a German student visa, you will be needed to show documentation that you have the necessary funds to study in Germany. In general, candidates must demonstrate that they have access to approximately 8,700 EUR [slightly more than INR 7 lakhs] per year to meet their living expenses, though this will vary greatly depending on the individual's lifestyle and spending habits. It would also depend on where your preferred university is located. You can also apply for several scholarships to study in Germany, which are listed in the following section.

4. Submit Your Application to the Selected University

Before submitting your application to the university, you must double-check all of the required prerequisites and documentation. You can apply directly on the university's website, or there is a centralised admissions platform maintained by DAAD where you can apply for numerous courses, albeit not all universities participate. As a result, you must first determine whether your preferred university is listed on this platform before proceeding with the application process. German universities have admissions twice a year, in the winter and summer semesters. Though the exact application date varies for each university, the following are the general admission intakes to study in Germany:

  • Winter Intake Deadline: 15th July

  • Summer Intake Deadline: 15th January

5. Earn a German Student Visa

Once you have received your acceptance letter, you must obtain health insurance to apply for a student visa. Every international student in Germany is expected to have health insurance, however, if you are from an EU or EEA country, you can utilise your home country's public health insurance as part of the social security agreement that you must follow. If you are not a citizen of the EU/EEA, you must obtain health insurance, which costs between EUR 80 and EUR 160 (approximately INR 7,100 - INR 14,220), and considerably more if you are over 30.

Cost of Studying in Germany

In comparison to other European countries, Germany is not considered pricey and is fairly inexpensive for a student enrolled in one of the nation's institutes. It is placed #15 in terms of accommodation costs and is determined to be less expensive than the UK, Italy, Denmark, Norway, France, or the Netherlands. While the typical cost of studying in Germany varies depending on the city, type of programme, and university chosen, an average monthly fee of 850 EUR (INR 71,150) can range from EUR 1,500 to EUR 2,000. (INR 1.25 to INR 1.67 lakhs). Having said that, one can also easily study in Germany for FREE too! 

Level of Education

Average Estimated Tuition Fee

Undergraduate Programmes

INR 40,000 (public) to 16,00,000 (private sector)

Graduate Programmes

INR 16,00,000 (public) to 25,00,000 lakhs (private sector)

Doctoral Programmes

Free of Cost (EUR 250 administrative fee, per semester)

Want to Know More Details?

Cost Of Living for International Students in Germany

For international students, the average cost of living in Germany is from EUR 800 to EUR 1000 per month. Aside from tuition fees, the cost of living in Germany as a student includes housing, transportation, and other expenses. For international students, it is important to have a good awareness of the cost of living in Germany because it allows you to manage your costs accordingly. The table below provides an estimate of the monthly expenses that can be incurred. It should be emphasised that this is a tentative estimate that may or may not change. 

Types of Living Expenditure 

Average Monthly Estimated Cost 

Average Monthly Estimated Cost 

Food and Drinks

EUR 150 - EUR 250

INR 12,000 - EUR 21,000


EUR 300 - EUR 700

INR 25,000 - EUR 60,000

Health insurance

EUR 100 - EUR 115

INR 8000 - EUR 10,000


EUR 0 - EUR 150

Up to INR 12,000

Personal Expense

EUR 50 - EUR 200

INR 4300 - INR 17,000


EUR 150 - EUR 300

INR 12,000 - EUR 25,000

Total Expenditure or Cost of Living for a Month

750 - 1715

64,000 - 1,47,500

Scholarships to Study in Germany

The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) offers several scholarships to study in Germany to help aspirants earn adequate cash to make the study abroad experience even more inexpensive and affordable for foreign students. Along with the DAAD Scholarships, you can choose from a variety of different financial aid programmes available to international students to fulfil their ambition of studying in Germany, some of which are as follows:

Scholarship in Germany

Estimated Value of the Scholarship Awarded 


INR 60,000 per month 

INR 90,000 for travel allowance

DLD Executive MBA Scholarship

INR 19,40,000 awarded to the winner

INR 84, 400 awarded to 3 finalists


INR 42,200 per month 

INR 92,800 for travel allowance

Heinrich Boll 

INR 72,000 per month for Master’s 

INR 84,400 per month for PhD

INR 8443 for travel allowance

Kofi Annan MBA

INR 21,10,000 for Master’s

INR 36,70,000 for MBA

Goethe Goes Global Scholarships

INR 84,400 per month

ESMT Women’s Academic Scholarship

INR 12,20,00 for full course

EMS Undergraduate Scholarship

50% discount on tuition fees

WHU-Otto Beisheim School of Management

INR 8,40,000 (not fixed)

Types of German Study Visas for International Students

When applying for a study visa in Germany, it is critical to understand the many types of study visas available for various objectives. There are three categories of German study visas.

Type of German Student Visa 


German Student Visa

A standardised student visa for people applying for a full-time study programme in Germany.

German Student Application Visa

This type of German study visa is intended for students who will be visiting Germany to complete the admissions process in person. A German Student Application Visa is not required for people wishing to study in Germany, but rather for those visiting the country to finish their admission procedure in a shorter period of time. It is usually provided for three months but can be extended for another six months during which you can acquire an acceptance letter and then transition to a student visa.

German Language Course Visa

This German study visa is for anyone who wants to study the German language in Germany.

How to Get a German Student Visa?

To begin the process of obtaining a visa to study in Germany, contact the German embassy or consulate in your home country. Furthermore, if you have been accepted to a German academic institution, you can begin your student visa application with your letter of acceptance or entrance exam scores (specified by your chosen institution), or if you do not have either of these two documents, you can apply for a prospective student visa instead.

The student visa is valid for three months and can be extended for another six months if you are admitted into an academic institution or enrolled in a foundation course or any preparatory German language programme within six months. It is also recommended that you begin your visa application as soon as possible, and you can apply for a resident permit for studying after spending some time in the country with the prospective student visa.

Document Checklist for German Student Visa

To apply for a student visa in Germany, you will mostly need the following documents:

  • Valid Passport

  • Proof of English/German Language Proficiency scores

  • Proof that you have submitted the visa application fee

  • Proof of sufficient funds

  • Health insurance-related proof

  • Copy of a health certificate

  • Curriculum Vitae (CV)

  • Past academic transcripts or mark sheets of previous academic qualifications as well as scores of language proficiency tests

  • For prospective student visa: submission of transcript or mark sheet of a recognised higher studies entrance qualification

  • Letter of acceptance from your chosen higher education institution (if you are not applying for a prospective student visa)

Get Experts' Advice on German Student Visa!

FAQs on Study in Germany in 2024

What are the best places in Germany to study?

Some of the best places to study in Germany for an international student include Munich, Berlin, Stuttgart, Frankfurt, Dresden and many more. These places are not just great tourist attractions but are also home to some of the best universities in Germany and the world.

What degrees can I get from German universities?

German universities offer a range of degrees at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, as well as doctoral degrees. You can earn degrees such as BA, B.Sc/BS, B.Eng at the undergraduate level and MA, MSc/MS, M.Eng, MBA at the graduate level.

Are all universities in Germany free of cost for international students?

No. While all public universities across Germany officially removed all tuition costs, even for international students, private higher education institutions still charge tuition costs, however, they are still comparatively cheaper than other universities in the EU. It should be noted that students will still be required to pay administrative fees that usually does not go over 250 euros per semester.

What are the most popular courses in Germany?

With over 2,000 diverse programmes under 68 subjects, some of the highly popular courses in Germany that international students have chosen include Engineering, Business and Management, Humanities, Mathematics and Computer Science and Physical and Life Science, and many more.

How good is the student life in Germany?

With world-renowned universities and courses, student life in Germany boasts of great student life, as students can balance their studies and daily life equally without being stressed out. With numerous locations to explore, Germany can be a great study destination for those looking to earn a highly valuable qualification while also enjoying their stay in the process.

How long does medical education in Germany take?

Generally, most medical courses at the undergraduate level offered in Germany take around 6 years and 3 months to be completed, which then leads to a German state exam.

How many semesters is undergraduate study in Germany?

In general, depending on the programme you have chosen to study in Germany, your course will require you to clear 6-8 semesters, i.e. averaging 2 semesters per year.

Do I need to learn the German Language to study in Germany?

No, if you have a good grasp of the English language and can valid proof of the same, you can pass by without having any grasp of the German language. However, it is still advisable to at least have the basic knowledge and understanding of the German language, so that you can still go by daily interactions with the local community.

What type of higher education institutions in Germany can I apply to?

International students have the option of choosing from Universities - also known as Technical Universities, Universities of Applied Sciences, Colleges of Art, Film and Music, Dual Universities and State and Public Universities.

Why should I study in Germany?

Excluding the free public universities, even for international students, and being an elite among the different study abroad destinations, Germany has been home to some of the best universities in the world, that offer a sea of courses, 18,000 different disciplines and fields of study to choose from.

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