List of Public Universities in Germany

List of Public Universities in Germany

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Rahul Singha
Study Abroad Expert
Updated on Sep 25, 2023 03:06 IST

The education system in Germany is broadly divided into public and private universities. The public universities in Germany clearly dominate the education market in the country with over 240 functional public universities offering programmes for everyone. The private universities are much smaller in number and offer specialized programmes.

Public Universities in Germany

Public Universities in Germany: Considered one of the top destinations for Indian students looking to study abroad, Germany has positioned itself as a leader in engineering and mechanical studies. The efficacy of the German education industry is known worldwide and their courses are some of the best available in the world. The education system in Germany is broadly divided into public and private universities. The public universities clearly dominate the education market in Germany with over 240 functional public universities offering all sorts of courses. The private universities are much smaller in number and offer specialized programmes.

The Number of Indian students studying in Germany has increased three-fold over the years. Indians make up the second largest group of international students enrolled at German universities, with around 35000 students from India currently enrolled in Germany (2022). Public universities in Germany are funded by the government and form the major backbone of the education industry in the country. What is really a crowd-puller is that all public universities in Germany are free. Yes, you read that right. All Public Universities are free. Germany takes education very seriously and wants quality education to be readily available to everyone. Hence, each year, the government spends a major part of their budget towards including the best infrastructure, amenities and faculty across universities in Germany and keeping education free for both international and domestic students.   

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Public Universities vs Private Universities - Overview 

In this section, we are going to look at the differences between public universities and private universities across Germany.

Parameters Public Universities Private Universities
Cost of Studying Public Universities in Germany do not charge students with a tuition fee. These are government-funded study institutions and students are only required to pay a semester fee of €350 euros.  

Private Universities in Germany offer specialized courses to students and charge a tuition fee. Students studying at private universities would be required to shell out anywhere between €6000 - €7000 euros per year. 

Admissions Requirements Tuition-free public universities have put Germany on the global education map. Hence, every year thousands of international and domestic students apply to Public Universities. This is why the admission process is complex and has higher admission requirements. The admission process to private universities in contrast is less complex. Candidates looking to study across private universities in Germany are required to simply qualify for the minimum admission requirements to go ahead with their admission process. 
Language Requirements Candidates looking to take admission to public universities in Germany are required to know German. All public universities in Germany use German as their medium of communication and teaching hence knowing the German Language - (certificate level) is mandatory. One of the biggest advantages of studying in private universities in Germany is that students are provided with quality education which is at par with private universities and students are not required to learn the German language. The main mode of communication is English. However, knowing German will only help you manoeuvre through the foreign land. 
Intake Season

Winter Semester: (popular)

  • Admission starts on July 15th 
  • Academic Session: October to March

Summer Semester:

  • Admission starts on January 15th  
  • Academic Session: April to September
Rolling Admission Deadlines across most courses
Courses Offered

Public Universities in Germany offer a large variety of courses as compared to private universities. For example - the Free University of Berlin is a public university in Germany that offers more than 150 academic courses. 

Private universities offer a much smaller number of courses to students looking to study in Germany. However, the courses offered by private universities in Germany are specialized programmes which are targeted towards providing employment. 
University Rankings

Most German universities ranked among the top universities in the world are public universities.  

Private universities enjoy a much lesser mention across top universities ranking around the world. 

Best Public Universities in Germany 2023

In this section, we are going to list the best public universities in Germany as per leading ranking aggregators. 

Public Universities in Germany QS World University Rankings 2024: Top Global Universities World University Rankings 2023 - Times Higher Education (THE)

Technical University of Munich (TUM)

Shiksha Grade: A++

37 30

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich

Shiksha Grade: A++

54 33

Heidelberg University

Shiksha Grade: A++

87 43

Free University of Berlin

Shiksha Grade: A

98 91

RWTH Aachen University

Shiksha Grade: A+

106 99

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)

Shiksha Grade: B++

119 189

Humboldt University of Berlin

Shiksha Grade: A

120 86

Technical University of Berlin (TU Berlin)

Shiksha Grade: B++

154 156

Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg

Shiksha Grade: A+

192 113

University of Hamburg

Shiksha Grade: A

205 128

Let us know the universities in detail

Technical University of Munich

Technical University of Munich (TUM) is one of the top universities in the world and the highest-ranked university in Germany. Currently, the Technical University of Munich (TUM Germany) ranks #37 in the QS World University Rankings 2024. One of the most illustrious technical universities in Germany, TU Munich was founded in 1868 and is a member of the prestigious TU9 – a group of nine distinguished technical universities in Germany. TU Munich is home to 15 academic departments/schools that offer over 200 degree programs including an extensive selection of English-taught courses and programs for the large number of international students that enrol every year.

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich

At the forefront of European research, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU Munich) has been dedicated to academic excellence for over 550 years. Founded in 1472, LMU Munich is a hub of academic excellence in a vibrant network of research institutions, universities, and businesses. Its 18 faculties offer a diverse range of disciplines, from theology to the earth sciences.

University Heidelberg

Germany's oldest university and a leading European research institution, University Heidelberg is renowned for its excellence in academics, science, and research. Its success in the international rankings confirms its status as a world-class university. Heidelberg University's courses of study are informed by its strong research focus, and students are encouraged to develop independent research skills early on. With over 160 fields of study, Heidelberg offers a broad spectrum of subjects, from the humanities and social sciences to the natural and applied sciences.

Free University of Berlin

A leading German research university, the Free University of Berlin is part of the elite University Consortium of Excellence, the Berlin University Alliance. It is one of 13 German universities funded through the German government’s Excellence Strategy and has over 100 international partnerships. With 16 academic departments and central institutes offering over 150 degree programs, Freie Universität Berlin is a global destination for students and scholars.

List of Public Universities in Germany

In this section, we are going to be talking about the popular public universities in Germany. 

Heidelberg University
Humboldt University of Berlin
Technical University Berlin
Technical University of Munich
Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich
Freie Universität Berlin
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
University of Freiburg
Freiburg im Breisgau
RWTH Aachen University
University of Bonn
University of Stuttgart
Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen
University of Hamburg
Dresden University of Technology
University of Bayreuth
University of Erlangen-Nuremberg
University of Cologne
Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz
Technische Universität Darmstadt
University of Göttingen
University of Ulm
University of Mannheim
Goethe University Frankfurt
University of Kiel
Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg
Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf
Hamburg University of Technology
University of Konstanz
University of Bremen
Philipps-University Marburg
Technical University of Braunschweig
Leibniz University Hannover
Technical University Dortmund
Paderborn University
Leipzig University
University of Augsburg
University of Rostock
Chemnitz University of Technology
University of Münster
University of Duisburg-Essen
University of Potsdam
RPTU Kaiserslautern
Ruhr-Universität Bochum
University of Passau
Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin
University of Hohenheim
Berlin School of Economics and Law Schöneberg Campus
Pforzheim University
Otto-von-Guericke-University Magdeburg
Reutlingen University

Why Study at Public Universities in Germany?

There are close to 350 public universities in Germany. Apart from offering free education to international and domestic students alike. what makes public universities in Germany popular among international students can be attributed to the quality of education German universities provide. Germany is known for their state-of-the-art infrastructure, availability of the latest amenities, an education system that combines theoretical knowledge along with building practical skills, renowned faculty, a stable jobs market and finally a degree that is renowned the world over. These are some of the popular reasons that make public universities in Germany stand out when it comes to making study-abroad decisions. 

Popular Courses across Public Universities in Germany

While courses are part of the student's decision. However, popular courses across public universities include

  • Business Administration/Management
  • Computer Science,
  • Industrial Engineering/Business and Engineering,
  • Mechanical Engineering,
  • Mechatronics
  • Medicine/health science
  • Robotics/Artificial Intelligence,
  • Social work

Cost of Studying at Public Universities in Germany?

We all are aware by now that the public universities in Germany are free and do not charge tuition fees but only an administration fee of about 350 euros at the start of each semester. However, there are living expenses that candidates need to take care of. Candidates going to study in Germany are required to open a Blocked Account in Germany. A German Blocked Account is a mandatory requirement and simply put, is a closed bank account in a German Bank. As of January 1, 2023, keeping the rate of inflation in mind, the mandatory amount required in the German Blocked Account for studying in Germany is €11,208 for an entire year or €934 for a month. Along with this, candidates should also look at the miscellaneous expenditures involved in the study abroad process. 

How to apply to a Public University in Germany?

The admission requirement to study in Germany is very high. Universities in Germany ask for a 90% academic score for UG programs for admission. It also has a high acceptance rate that makes it difficult for foreign students to get admission to public universities in the country. International students need to appear for IELTS or TOEFL exam as an English Language Proficiency Exam. For PG courses international students are required at least a 70-75% academic score from a reputed university. They also need to appear in exams like GRE, GMAT, ACT, SAT, etc. as per the programme requirement. Candidates can reach out to our Shiksha Study Abroad Counsellors for assistance with university admissions.

Also Read

MBA in Germany - Universities, Colleges & Fees Bachelors of Business colleges in Germany
Engineering in Germany - Universities, Colleges & Fees 7 Steps to Study in Germany for Free

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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

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MBA, MS & UG in Europe

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2 years ago

Hello this is John David currently pursuing masters in biochemistry . I want to pursue PhD in Germany . So could you please enlighten me about the public German universities which teach in English and have minimal fee !



Rahul SinghaStudy Abroad Expert

2 years ago

Hello John. To know about public universities that teach in English visit: Do keep in mind that this is a select list and does not include all universities. Do note that public universities do not have a


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