With just a small fee to cover administration and other costs per semester, domestic and international undergraduates at public universities in Germany can study for free. This is because Germany’s 16 states abolished tuition fees for undergraduate students at all German public universities.
So if you have chosen to study in Germany without breaking the bank, you’ve made a good decision. The country is home to over 400 public universities that offer tuition-free education to both domestic and international students.
In this blog post, we’ve reviewed and ranked some of the best public universities in Germany, why they’re a game-changer for students around the world, and what you need to know before applying.
Whether you’re a high school student weighing your options or an adult learner seeking to advance your career, this guide will equip you with everything you need to know about studying at a German public university.
Our top recommendation for public universities in Germany
So if you are looking for a public university in Germany to enroll in, we strongly recommend you consider any of the following schools today:
- Ludwig Maximilian University
- Technical University of Munich
- RWTH Aachen University
- Technische Universität Dresden
- Goethe University
- University of Stuttgart
- University of Freiburg
- Technische Universität Berlin
- Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Ludwig Maximilian University
- Ludwig Maximilian University Admission Requirement Page
- Ludwig Maximilian University Free tuition details
Ludwig Maximilian University is not only one of the best public institutions you will find in Germany, but it’s also one of the major research universities in Europe. With a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses taught in both German and English, LMU is an excellent choice for both domestic and international students looking for public universities to attend in Germany.
The institution has operated since 1472 and has boats of 42 Nobel laureates, including renowned scientists such as Otto Hahn, Max Planck, and Werner Heisenberg.
Many students at LMU are pursuing a Master of Computer Science, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Master of Science in Neuroscience, and Master of Science in Media Informatics.
It is our top recommendation, particularly for international students who want to study in Germany without breaking the bank on tuition fees.
Technical University of Munich
- Technical University of Munich Admission Requirement Page
- Technical University of Munich Free tuition details
The Technical University of Munich is the only institution focused on science and technology.
The state university is an excellent choice for students in the science field and looking for a tuition-free public university to attend, particularly in Munich.
The Technical University of Munich used to be focused only on Engineering courses but they now provide a multitude of programs. So, if you want to pursue a degree in Social Sciences, Agriculture, Medicine, Food Technology, and Sciences, this is still a good option.
Aside from being a top public university, the Technical University of Munich is made up of 15 academic departments where they administer programs leading to a Bachelor in Civil Engineering, Master of Science in Power Engineering, MSc in Sustainable Resource Management, and even an Executive MBA in Innovation and Business Creation.
RWTH Aachen University
The QS World Ranking last year for the RWTH Aachen University was 145. The university is the largest for technology-oriented academic programs in Germany. One thing you’ll love about this school is its student culture and infrastructure.
The public university is a total package for those looking to study free in Germany with a vibrant student community.
The university offers various Masters’s degrees in English for international students. While the tuition here cost 0 Euros, students pay a social contribution of about € 300
Popular courses offered at RWTH Aachen University include Micro and Nanoelectronics, Information Technology, Civil Engineering, Electrical Power Engineering, Applied Geophysics, and Electrical Engineering.
Technische Universität Dresden
- Technische Universität Dresden Admission Requirement Page
- Technische Universität Dresden Free tuition details
Technische Universität Dresden is located on the borderlines of Germany and the Czech Republic which gives you a fantastic opportunity to explore the neighboring cities and Germany’s natural beauty.
We recommend Technische Universität Dresden if you’re looking for a picturesque affordable town in Germany to study without tuition fees. (only a semester enrolment fee of €270)
The public university has 5 schools with more than 120 courses. The best part is that they allow students to take part in research activities, especially in Health Sciences, Biomedicine & Bioengineering, and Information Technology & Microelectronics.
Courses here are administered in English which makes it an ideal choice for international students. The popular courses at TU Dresden include Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Environmental, Earth and Marine Sciences, Communication and Media Studies, Geology, Civil Engineering, and General Engineering.
Goethe University is in liaison with various reputable research institutes such as Max Planck. Here, students have access to a top-of-the-line teaching structure and education comes with no tuition cost.
This public university has an impressive campus structure as its main campus is divided into four sub-campuses within the city.
Goethe University is divided into Westend, Riedberg, Niederrad, and Bockenheim campuses. It is among the best options when looking for public universities to attend in Germany today.
University of Stuttgart
We recommend the University of Stuttgart as another excellent choice for public universities in Germany, particularly for students pursuing programs in science and technology since they are known for their majors in programs like civil engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and industrial engineering.
Students mostly speak of the high quality and high standards of research at the University of Stuttgart which is a good indication that the university is among the best.
University of Freiburg
The University of Freiburg ranks 175 in the QS World Ranking last year. It is among the top-ranked universities in Germany and is known for entertaining the innovative ideas of its students. With a large student body of over 24000 students under undergraduate and graduate degree programs, this is an ideal option for international students.
While the University of Freiburg is among the best public universities in Germany, it has a tuition cost of €1500 per semester and a semester enrolment fee of €161
Some of the best courses you can study here include Solar Energy Engineering, Global Urban Health and Neuroscience, Microsystems Engineering, and Renewable Energy Engineering and Management.
Meanwhile, the mode of instruction at the University of Freiburg is English
Technische Universität Berlin
- Technische Universität Berlin Admission Requirement Page
- Technische Universität Berlin Free tuition details
With a student population of over 30,000 enrolled in around 100 courses, Technische Universität Berlin (Technical University of Berlin) is one of the most popular universities in Germany. It is a public and technical university that is the largest. About 26 English courses are offered here and no tuition fee is charged. However, students will have to pay a Semester Enrolment Fee of €307.54 and €19.94
The public university is known for its technical courses including Business Engineering Energy, Computational Neuroscience, Architecture Typology, and Building Sustainability.
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
- Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) Admission Requirement Page
- Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) Free tuition details
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) is another wonderful option for those looking to study at a public university in Germany. However, you must present a German DH2 level certificate to study at KIT today.
The excellent career prospects that follow from this institution are also a considerable perk even though they have limited English cAmongg among the eleven ‘Universities of Excellence,’ Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) is a solid option both domestic and international students.
The Tuition Fee is €1500 per semester and students pay a Semester Enrolment Fee of €150. This is one of the best public universities for Masters in Water Science and Engineering and Masters in Remote Sensing and Geoinformatics.
How we ranked the best public universities in Germany
While we’ve gone through the top public universities in Germany, it’s essential to understand the criteria we considered by consulting the school’s official website, reputable global academic benchmark boards, up-close interviews via email with graduates from these universities, as well as the opinions of industry leaders on Reddit.
We looked at a variety of factors to determine which universities stood out as the best of the best. Here are just a few of the key things we took into consideration:
Academic Reputation: We considered the academic reputation of each university based on factors like research output, publications, and faculty quality.
Student Satisfaction: We looked at student satisfaction rates, including factors like campus life, facilities, and overall student experience.
Employability: We considered the employability of graduates from each university, including job prospects, career placement rates, and starting salaries.
Diversity and Inclusion: We looked at each university’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, including the proportion of international students and faculty, and the availability of resources for underrepresented groups.
Affordability: While tuition is free at German public universities, we also considered the cost of living and the availability of scholarships and financial aid.
By taking all of these factors into consideration, we were able to compile the above list of the top public universities in Germany that offer exceptional academic experience and excellent opportunities for personal and professional growth.
I hope this has helped in streamlining your shortlisting to make your decision-making easier.