Public Universities in Germany

6 minute read
Public Universities in Germany

Germany is home to some of the top-ranked academic institutions across the globe and is also renowned for offering higher education at free or low tuition costs. Referred to as the Land of Ideas, the country has nearly 450 officially recognized universities with more than 17,000 programs available in almost every field of study ranging from Engineering, Medicine to Commerce and Arts. If you are planning to study in Germany, you must know that the country’s public universities offer courses at free tuition costs and only with minimal enrollment and administrative charges. This blog brings you a comprehensive guide on the major public universities in Germany, their world and country rankings as well as the top programmes they are known for!

Quick Read: Requirements to Study in Germany


How to Get Free Education in Germany?

The state-funded universities in Germany offer programmes at free tuition costs to European as well as non-European students. There are around 300 public universities in Germany that are funded by the state as the country’s government has always believed that education should not be commercialised. However, to avail free education in Germany, you will be required to pay certain enrollment charges, administrative costs, semester ticket costs, and union fees which are charged on German as well as international students. Moreover, since education is almost free of costs in public academic institutions, there is higher competition in getting admission into such universities and in this manner, private universities are easier to get into. 

Check Out: Masters Courses in Germany

List of Public Universities in Germany

Here is a quick list of popular public universities in Germany-

  • Ludwig Maximilians University Munich
  • Technical University of Munich
  • Free University of Berlin
  • Humboldt University of Berlin
  • RWTH Aachen University
  • Technical University of Berlin
  • Heidelberg University – Germany
  • University of Mannheim
  • University of Stuttgart
  • University of Hamburg
  • Berlin School of Business & Innovation
  • Reutlingen University
  • Leipzig University
  • University of Bayreuth
  • Braunschweig University of Technology
  • SRH Hochschule Berlin
  • Frankfurt School of Finance & Management
  • Johannes Gutenberg University
  • University of Cologne
  • Arden University Berlin

Public Universities in Germany and their 2021 Rankings

Now that you know how Germany has designed a unique apparatus to provide free education to its local as well as international students, let’s explore the major public academic institutions in the country in further detail. Take a look at the following table which elucidates the top-ranked public universities in Germany as per THE University Rankings 2020:

University THE Universities Rankings:World Rank 2021
LMU Munich 32
Technical University of Munich 41
Heidelberg University 42
Humboldt University of Berlin =80
University of Freiburg 83
University of Tübingen =78
RWTH Aachen University 107
University of Bonn =114
Free University of Berlin =118
University of Göttingen 130
University of Hamburg 135
Technical University of Berlin =140
University of Würzburg 140
University of Cologne =145
TU Dresden =152
University of Münster =195
University of Duisburg-Essen 201-250

Ludwig Maximilian University

Founded in 1472, the Ludwig Maximilian University (LMU) is located in the city of Munich and is amongst the major research universities in Europe. LMU is home to 42 Nobel laureates, including renowned scientists such as Otto Hahn, Max Planck, and Werner Heisenberg. As of the prominent public universities in Germany, the institution offers a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses taught in both German and English. LMU also provides several student exchange programs with its partnered academic institutions in Japan, South Korea, USA, and the UK. Some of the popular programs offered by LMU are:

  • MBA
  • Master of Computer Science
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration
  • Master of Science in Neuroscience
  • Master of Science in Media Informatics

Take a look at Top Universities in Munich!

Technical University of Munich

Renowned as the only state university solely dedicated to the field of Science and Technology, the Technical University of Munich came into existence in 1927 and believes in striving towards its unique philosophy of “entrepreneurial university”. Primarily it only offered courses in Engineering but then expanded over the years and now provides a multitude of programmes in the domain of Social Sciences, Agriculture, Medicine, Food Technology and Sciences. As one of the globally acclaimed public universities in Germany, it encompasses a total of 15 academic departments and the prominent courses offered by TUM are:

  • Bachelors in Civil Engineering
  • Master of Science in Power Engineering
  • MSc in Sustainable Resource Management
  • Executive MBA in Innovation and Business Creation

Humboldt University of Berlin

Notable for research and teaching excellence, the Humboldt University of Berlin comprises 9 faculties which are spread across the disciplines of Arts and Humanities, Language, Literature and Language, Economics and Business Administration, Humanities and Social Sciences, Law, Life Sciences, Mathematics and Natural Sciences as well as Theology. It is one of the foremost public universities in Germany offering programmes in Natural Sciences and is also globally recognized for its courses in Arts and Humanities. The institution’s alumni include 55 Nobel prize laureates in the fields of physics, chemistry, and medicine and some of the eminent names are Friedrich Engels, Karl Marx, Walter Benjamin, Max Planck, and Albert Einstein. The HUB is also known for its library commissioned in 1874 which is home to whooping 6.5 million books and thousands of magazines and journals. Some of the popular programmes offered by the Humboldt University of Berlin include:

  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
  • Master’s in IT and Private Security
  • BSc in Agricultural Science
  • Master’s in Mathematics
  • Bachelor’s in Psychology

Quick Read: Top Universities in Berlin

University of Hamburg

Ranked amongst the top 15 public universities in Germany by THE University Rankings 2020, the University of Hamburg is located in the north of Germany and was established in 1919. Offering a wide range of degree programs in almost every field of study, the university encompasses a total of 8 faculties and has its quintessential focus on research with its affiliation with well-known research institutions like the Max Planch institutions, the Confucius Institute. Take a look at a few of the major programmes provided by the University of Hamburg:

  • BSc Computing in Science
  • Master in IT Management and Consulting
  • MSc in Intelligent Adaptive Systems
  • Master of Science in Business Mathematics

Recommended Read: Universities in Hamburg

Freie Universität Berlin

Referred to as the Free University of Berlin, this state-funded university got established in 1948 and is constituted of 12 academic departments and four interdisciplinary primary institutions. Another important mention in our list of public universities in Germany, the Free University of Berlin is also a part of the German Universities Excellence Initiative. Spread across four campuses, the university offers around 190 programmes in different fields of study and some of the major courses are:

  • Bachelor in Physics
  • Masters in Economics
  • Bachelors in Information Management
  • Masters in Public Economics

Want to know more? Read our exclusive blog on Free Universities in Germany!

Public Universities in Germany for MBA

The following is the list of top public universities for MBA in Germany alongside the courses offered.

Universities MBA Courses 
Technical University of Munich Executive MBA in Innovation and Business Creation
University of Mannheim Essec & Mannheim EMBA (Part-time); Mannheim & Tongji EMBA (Part-time); Full-time MBA; and Part-time MBA
Berlin School of Economics and Law Full-time MBA; and Part-time MBA
University of Cologne  EMBA 
Hochschule Pforzheim MBA in International Management 
Ludwig Maximillian University Munich MBA
RWTH Aachen University MBA in Digitalization & Industrial Change

Public Universities in Germany for Data Science

Listed below are the top public universities for data science in Germany.

  • TU Munich
  • University of Mannheim
  • Ludwig Maximilians University, Munchen
  • University of Magdeburg
  • University of Hildesheim
  • Leuphana University of Lüneburg
  • TU Dortmund

Public Universities in Germany for Engineering

Here are the top public universities for engineering in Germany.

  • Technical University of Munich
  • RWTH Aachen University
  • Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
  • Technical University of Berlin
  • University of Duisburg-Essen
  • University of Stuttgart
  • Darmstadt University of Technology
  • Technical University of Dresden


Are public universities free in Germany?

Germany’s 16 states abolished tuition fees for undergraduate students at all public German universities. Both domestic and international undergraduates at public universities in Germany can study for free with a small fee to cover administration and other costs per semester.

Is living in Germany expensive?

As compared to other universities, Germany is quite affordable and the average cost of living ranges from INR 60,000 per month.

Is Germany good for international students?

Being the technology hub, Germany is among the top destinations for students who wish to study abroad.

Hence, we hope that this blog has helped you explore the top public universities in Germany. Aspiring to pursue higher education in Germany? Sign up for an e-meeting with our experts at Leverage Edu and we will help you in selecting a suitable program and university as well as guiding you throughout the admission process of your chosen institution to ensure that you sail smoothly towards actualizing your dream to study in Germany.

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