Difference between FH and TU Germany

Difference between FH and TU Germany

4 mins read7.1K Views 1 Comment
Rahul Singha
Study Abroad Expert
Updated on Dec 1, 2022 12:04 IST
FH and TU in Germany

Germany boasts of a very robust education system with many world-renowned universities located in the country. It is also home to a great number of international students who throng Germany in pursuit of higher education and research. Many students are faced with a dilemma regarding studying in an FH or a TU. Needless to say, it has bothered many students failing to decipher the difference between them effectively. Before proceeding to unravel the cause of this confusion, let us look at what it means.

Quick links

Studying in Germany: All you need to know

Study in Germany: Understanding the Bachelor Programs

MBA/MS from Germany: Structure, eligibility and application process for PG Courses

Study in Germany: Student account of application and admission process

What are FH and TU in Germany?

In Germany, a University is referred to as Universitat. In the field of science,  there are Universities of Applied Sciences, also known as Fachhochschule (FH) and Technical Universities or Universitat, also known as TU. They have many things in common to raise doubts in the minds of students, more so as the footing in which they are held is dissimilar. Let us look at the similarities first. Both offer bachelor's and master's programs. In both the set-ups, students sit in lectures, seminars, and exams, and get credit points and grades. Both provide academic credentials and train their students with a scientific temper and employable degree in the end. But there are glaring differences too, which make them very dissimilar. It requires a greater in-depth account.

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Technische Universitat (TU)

Universitat in German means ‘University’. The term ‘University’ is used for research universities that offer a broad range of subjects like arts and humanities, social sciences, economics and business administration, law, and medicine. These institutions confer doctorates. The strong research focus benefits students in their training and calls themselves technical universities or colleges of education.

Fachhochschulen (FH)

Fachhochschulen in Germany are known as the Universities of Applied Sciences. They offer excellent teaching with highly practical and business orientation. The first FH was established 50 years ago but these days many FH have been renamed ‘Hochschule fur Angewandte Winssenschaften’ (university of applied science) or HAW. In HAW/FH application relevance and an orientation towards vocational requirements are always prioritised. Students routinely engage in laboratory experiments or work in project groups. Internships and practical semesters are compulsory to complete the degree

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FH vs TU: What is the Difference?

Let us enumerate the differences in sequence one by one so that the clouds of confusion are removed:

Basis of Difference

Fachhochschule (FH)

Technical Universities or Universitat (TU)

Approach to the curriculum


As a thumb rule here, the emphasis is on practical and hands-on education with less stress on theory.


The study primarily is theoretical and research-based. Though it is a thumb rule, it is not strictly true as they overlap with some practice in TU and theoretical grounding in FH.

Source of Students


Most of the students here are experienced people who have worked before. They join for gaining further insight into their respective fields.

The students are fresh from high school in pursuit of bachelor's and degrees beyond.



They are doctorates in their respective fields but are required to have worked outside for at least three years. The faculty is primarily from the corporate world, who have later chosen to teach.

They are academics who have continued with their careers in science. It is common to find the faculty here actively involved in research with the regular submission of papers and treatises.

Scope of Education


Education in FH is heavily regulated in which a student has to complete a practical semester in a company. It is counted as study achievement. 

The study is focused on STEM:  Science – Technology – Engineering – Mathematics. Doctoral degrees are provided only here as students are well-positioned for such studies as compared to FH students.


An internship is integrated into the curriculum. It means that you have to work in a company for a specified period for which you get credit. It is compulsory, and you will be denied a degree without completion of the internship.

There are a few practical and industry-oriented courses, but it does not restrict the grant of a suitable degree.

Value of Degree


A Graduate from FH is eligible to pursue post-graduation in a TU. However, it is considered of lower value in the employment market.

There is no such stigma attached to the Masters in TU, which is, in any case, is valued more than a Master from FH. 



It is less flexible as you have to stick to the classes you have been offered and have to enroll in then without any options every semester.

You can choose the classes you are interested in and is thus more flexible.

We have familiarised both the similarities and differences between the FH and the TU in Germany. However, the trends are changing, and the differences are narrowing rapidly with an overlap of theory and practice between the two.

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About the Author
Written by
Rahul Singha
Study Abroad Expert

Rahul Singha is a seasoned editor with Shiksha Study Abroad, specializing in overseas education. With over 8 years of domain experience, he has made a significant impact in contributing to the study abroad industry ... Read Full Bio




Lovish Haider

a year ago

A Fachhochschule student can apply for jobs in usa or uk ?

Reply to Lovish Haider


Rahul SinghaStudy Abroad Expert

a year ago

Hello Lovish. Yes, a Fachhochschule student can apply for jobs in the US and the UK.

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