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Top universities in Germany

Germany is one of the most popular study destinations for international students. One can imagine the popularity of German institutes by the fact that the target of hosting 3,50,000 international students by 2020 had already been surpassed in 2016. In 2018/19, during the winter semester, around 3,97,579 international students studied in Germany.

Top-ranking universities, reasonable or very low tuition fees and globally recognised study programs are some of the reasons why international students prefer to study in Germany. German degrees are highly valued by the employees sitting in top companies around the world.

Here is the list of top 20 German universities. The list is derived from the world THE and QS ranking agencies.

Top German Universities

German Universities THE Ranking 2020 QS Ranking 2020
Ludwig Maximilians University Munich 32 63
Technical University of Munich (TUM) 43 55
Heidelberg University 44 66
Humboldt University Berlin 74 120
University of Freiburg 86 169
University of Tübingen 91 169
RWTH Aachen University 99 138
University of Bonn 105 243
Freie Universität Berlin 117 130
University of Göttingen 125 197
Technische Universität Berlin 149 147
Universität Hamburg 149 227
Technische Universität Dresden 157 179
University of Cologne 157 308
University of Mannheim 157 314
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) 175 124
FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg 183 319
TU Darmstadt 251 260
University of Stuttgart 251 279
Goethe University Frankfurt 301 291

German universities can be classified into different types depending on their philosophy of education. Various sorts of German universities are as follows


Generally, the focus of German universities remains on providing research and theoretical knowledge for a wide range of study programs. However, there are universities which offer specialized study programs also called technical universities.

Universities of applied sciences

Universities of applied sciences are known as Hochschulen für Angewandte Wissenschaften/Fachhochschulen (HAW/FH) in Germany. There are over 200 HAW/FH, and they offer a range of study programs in fields such as technology, economics, media or social work with a focus on applied research.

Universities of cooperative education

German universities of cooperative education offer dual study programs which consist of study programs with vocational training or practical activities in an organization.

Selecting the right German university

The quality of most of the German higher education institutes is equally good, so ranking should not be the only criterion while choosing a university. Other factors that may influence your selection include entrance examination, financial requirements, prospects and language.

German universities application requirements

Here is the list of some of the basic necessities that you may need to meet for your admission application

  • Entrance Qualification
  • Academic transcripts
  • Proof of Language Proficiency
  • Your Passport
  • Letter of Motivation (if required)

German Study Visa requirements

Like with other countries, to study in Germany, you will have to complete German student visa requirements which include University Admission Letter, Proof of Financial Resources, Proof of Health Insurance Coverage, University Entrance Qualification, Proof of Language Proficiency and some specific needs depending on your case. For the precise information for your Germany student visa, it is recommended that you meet our Germany study visa consultants.

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