18 Free Universities in Germany for International Students

Germany is a prominent country in Europe. The country is known for its turbulent yet rich history and role during the World Wars, the authentic German culture and lifestyle, stunning landscapes as well as the wealth of knowledge that has grown from its lands.

Germany has further developed into a famous study destination due to the expansion of its higher education system and it is fast becoming a choice that many prospective students end up falling in love with. Statistically, the country draws in nearly 400,000 international students on an annual basis to its universities.

To help you choose which institution to study in, we will be looking at tuition free universities in Germany for international students.

So what are the qualities of German education that tends to attract so many students? For starters, it is the fact that a large proportion of the universities in the country provide outstanding academic education. Several universities are recognised among the top higher education institutions in the world.

Additionally, one of the most favourable qualities of Germany is the fact that nearly all universities and institutions of higher education tend to be of lower tuition fees or offering tuition-free education. Nearly 1/3 of foreign students highlight choosing Germany primarily due to this reason.

Furthermore, the cost of living can be relatively low compared to other countries in the European region as well. In this article, we list some of the many universities and colleges of higher education in Germany that offer tuition-free education and full scholarships for students (of both domestic and international origin) who pursue their further education. We hope that it gives you an idea of what to expect if you are giving strong consideration to the financial aspects of your higher studies.

 

Are there any tuition-free universities in Germany for domestic and international students?

Germany currently has over 430 public universities and institutions of higher education, of which a wide majority offer tuition-free education or extremely low tuition fees with added scholarships.

Additionally, in 2014, the Ministry of Education declared that foreign students will also be exempt from paying tuition fees for respective universities as well.

What is the cost of living for students in Germany?

The cost of living for students in Germany are relatively low compared to other countries. On average, students can expect to pay around Euro 850 per month depending on the other lifestyle factors and preferences of the students. Most students claim that rent is the main factor but this can easily be budgeted with the right knowledge.

 

What are the admission requirements for German universities?

Admission requirements are not as stringent when it comes to applying to a German university or college. Typically, after the high standards of academics, students are required to demonstrate a reasonable knowledge of German, although several institutions will provide language training courses for beginners to the language.

 

How can I Afford My Studies in Germany?

As you can see, you will still need to pay the living costs even though you might be successful in attending free university in Germany. You can completely pay off the living costs as well as additional fees using different ways. In How to Study in Germany for Free (Complete Guide), we cover all the different ways that you can afford your studies financially. Check it out!

 

List of Free Tuition Universities in Germany

1. Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich

The Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich is a public university located in the city of Munich in Germany. Founded in 1472, it is among the oldest institutions of higher education in the country. Currently, more than 50,000 students study at the university, making it the second-largest university in the country by student enrolment.

With more than 18 academic faculties, the university offers a wide and diverse range of courses of study for the students. An increasing number of courses are also offered in English for the benefit of prospective international students. Nevertheless, students are recommended to demonstrate a high standard of German language proficiency as well. Attendance and studies are free but students are required to pay a semester fee that covers basic but essential costs.

2. Heidelberg University

Heidelberg University is a public research university based in the city of Heidelberg in the south western region of Germany. It is one of the free tuition universities in Germany for both domestic and international students.

With its origin dating back to 1386, it is classified to be the oldest institution of higher education in the country as well as one of the oldest surviving and functioning universities in the world. The university has 12 major faculties of study and offers more than 100 disciplines of study for a student population that exceeds 29,000.

While the main language of instruction is German, the university also offers a considerable number of courses in English for foreign students as well. With its high standards of academic excellence, it is further connected to numerous Nobel prize laureates as well. The university draws in students from more than 173 countries. Additionally, tuition fees are free but the university does require payment of a semester fee.

3. University of Tubingen

The Eberhard Karls University of Tubingen is a prominent research university located in the city of Tubingen. Founded in 1477, the university has grown to become one of the best universities in the country and is also a member of the German Excellence Universities.

It has become a global hub for its studies and research in the fields of medicine, archaeology, law, philosophy, theology and a range of other fields. Studies are operated through 7 main faculties of study and nearly 100 degrees are offered. While these are offered on a free basis to students, semester and minor tuition fees are mandatory for all.

4. TU Dresden

Next in our list of free German universities is the Technical University of Dresden, a prominent public research university that was originally established in 1828. With a student enrolment of over 35,000, it is among the 10 largest universities in the country.

It is further a member of the TU9 collective of German institutes of technology and has been ranked among the top educational institutions of the country as well. Spread across 14 faculties of study, the university offers a wide variety of courses ranging across engineering, architecture, environmental sciences, law, medicine and business. With its high academic prowess, the university has been also ranked among the top 150-200 universities in the world.

In addition, it maintains several international connections and annually draws in around 1000 students from outside the country. Students who study particular courses are further exempt from paying tuition fees with the exception of minor semester fees.

5. University of Stuttgart

The University of Stuttgart is another public research university based in the city of Stuttgart in the south of Germany. It is one of the oldest institutions of technology that was originally founded in 1829 and offers concentrated education in the fields of engineering and technology.

Currently, the university has a student enrolment of nearly 30,000 students and provides education through 10 major academic faculties. It has grown into a globally recognised institution that has been consistently ranked among the top 300 universities in the world. The fields of automotive engineering, process engineering and aerospace engineering are among the main fields of study that have an established reputation in the university.

The university is known for its relatively low tuition fees for international students. However, domestic students and other students from the EU are exempt from tuition fees although they will have to pay semester fees and minor costs.

6. Technical University of Munich

With its main campus based in the city of Munich, the Technical University of Munich is a public research university that is another member of the TU9 collective of German institutes of technology.

Having a student population of more than 40,000 students, it is one of the largest of the institutes and further operates across several more campuses in areas such as Hielbronn, Garching and Freising-Weihenstephan as well as an international campus in Dover, Singapore.

The academic faculties are spread across each of these campuses. In addition to being one of the best universities in the country, it is recognised as a leading institution of technology in Europe as well.

This free university in Germany has been ranked among the top 100 universities in the world. More than 10,000 of the students are of foreign origin as well, making it a diverse and truly international university.

7. Darmstadt University of Technology

The Technische Universitat Darmstadt is a public research university located in the city of Darmstadt in Germany. Founded in 1877, it is recognised as one of the first universities in the world to offer degrees and positions in the field of electrical engineering.

With its further focus on revolutionary fields that were completely novel to the country such as artificial intelligence, business informatics and mechatronics, it has consistently had a pioneering role in Germany. The university has a very strong reputation for computer science and is connected to the establishment of the IT Cluster of Rhine-Maine-Neckar, commonly referred to as the ‘Silicon Valley of Germany’.

Currently, the university has a population of more than 25,000 students who have access to around 50 different courses of study. Tuition is predominantly free for this students with the exception of paying a single fee for each semester.

8. Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg

The University of Freiburg is a public university based in the city of Freiburg, and was founded in 1457, making it the 5th oldest university in the country. It has a strong reputation for education in natural and social sciences.

Today, the university academically constitutes of 11 faculties of study and has a student enrolment of nearly 25,000 students. Foreign students form nearly 20% of the students and come from more than 120 countries. The university provides a range of academic courses but free tuition is only offered to domestic students.

9. Karlsruher Institute of Technology

The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology is a public research university that is based in the city of Karlsruhe in the southwestern region of Germany. This free tuition university in Germany was originally established in 1825 as a polytechnic institute before it was converted to the KIT in 2009.

As of now, the university currently has a student population of over 25,000 students. It is a member of the very prestigious TU9 group and has grown to become one of the leading technical universities in the continent. It has been further ranked among the top 100-300 universities based on the QS and ARWU rankings. 11 faculties constitute the academic organisation of the university, ranging across the fields of engineering, physical science and technology.

Fields such as humanities and biological sciences are also offered by the university. With its reputation for information technology, a range of cutting-edge facilities which are among the most prestigious in the country are also offered by the university. Tuition is further offered on a cost-free basis with the exception of semester administration fees.

 

10. Goethe University

Founded in 1914 as the citizens’ university, the Goethe Universitat is a public institution of higher education based in the iconic city of Frankfurt. The university is spread across 4 main campuses through this global city and currently has a student enrolment of more than 46,000 students.

Its academic profile constitutes of mainly 16 academic faculties of study that span across a diverse range of fields. It is further connected to several elite research institutes affiliated to organisations such as the Max Planck Society. The different campuses across the city of Frankfurt further operate specific departments within the university’s academic scope.

The university has also grown into an international recognised institution of higher education and currently has been ranked among the top 400 universities in the world based on the ARWU and QS rankings.

11. Humboldt University of Berlin

Based in the capital city of Berlin, the Humboldt University is a prestigious public university that was originally founded in 1810. It is considered one of the oldest universities in the country and was originally called the Friedrich Wilhelm University.

The university currently has a student population of around 32,000 students and is academically comprised of around 9 academic faculties of study. Collectively, more than 169 disciplines and degrees of study are offered to the students. It runs several collaborations and partnerships with other universities and the university’s medical school is operated alongside the Free University of Berlin.

Additionally, the Humboldtian Model of Higher Education that was first pioneered in this institution has become a globally accepted theory of teaching which is currently being implemented across universities in Europe and other parts of the world. The university offers tuition-free education for all students regardless of nationality and background.

12. University of Bonn

Next on our list of free tuition universities in Germany is the University of Bonn, a public research university based in the city of Bonn in northern Germany. With its history dating back to the early 19th century, the university has become a prestigious institution that provides education for more than 35,000 students.

Of these, approximately 4500 students come from outside the country. The university offers around 90 fields of study in a wide majority of disciplines that are operated through 7 main faculties of study. It has gained an outstanding reputation and has been ranked among the top 100-250 universities based on the ARWU and QS rankings.

13. University of Wurzburg

Officially known as the Julius Maximilian University of Wurzburg, this university is known for being one of the oldest institutions of higher education in Germany and was founded in 1402. The university currently has a student population of around 30,000 students who have access to a range of disciplines and fields of study.

The main faculties of study operated through the university cover several main fields ranging from biology and humanities to catholic theology and business management.

The university is also a part of the U15 group of research universities in Germany and has additionally been ranked among the top 300 universities in the world. It offers tuition free education for all matriculated students irrespective of country of origin and only requires the payment of semester fees for administrative purposes.

14. FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg

The Friedrich Alexander University of Erlangen-Nürnberg is a public research university that is comprised of two campuses located in the cities of Erlangen and Nuremberg.

Founded in 1742, the university is known for being one of the largest in the Bavarian region of Germany, and currently has a student enrolment of nearly 40,000 students. It has further grown into a prestigious university that is ranked among the top 10 educational institutions in the country.

The university further offers tuition-free education for all students of domestic and international origin; courses are also offered predominantly in German with the availability of English courses for international students as well.

15. Free University of Berlin

Based in the capital city of Berlin, the Free University of Berlin is one of the most distinguished universities in the country. It is especially known to have a reputation in the social sciences, humanities and incredible research expertise.

With its high academic standing, the university is a member of the 11 German elite universities known as the German Universities Excellence Initiative and is further ranked among the top 150 universities in the world.

It has 12 major departments of study but runs several multidisciplinary centers in collaboration with other universities and institutions in the city. The university offers tuition-free education for the majority of courses.

16. University of Hamburg

The University of Hamburg is an iconic and prestigious public university that was first founded in 1919. It currently has a student population of more than 40,000 students and provides education across 8 main faculties of study.

There are more than 140 courses of study offered at this free German university, which span a wide range of fields and are offered on a tuition-free basis from 2007, with the exception of semester fees.

The university has been ranked among the top 200 universities in the world.

17. RWTH Aachen University

The RWTH Aachen University is a prestigious research university based in the city of Aachen in northern Germany. It was originally established in 1870 and has grown to be an elite institution that has more than 45,000 students who have access to around 140+ courses of study.

Students also have access to multiple cutting-edge interdisciplinary research facilities in the university as well. It is further classified as being the largest technical university in the country.

Students are required to be proficient in German and undergo language training whenever necessary, although certain postgraduate courses are taught in English.

18. Georg-Augusta University of Göttingen

We end our list of free tuition German universities with the University of Gottingen, a public research university based in the city of Göttingen and was initially established in 1734. With more than 30,000 students currently enrolled at the university, it is among the oldest institutions to be established in the region but maintains a very high standing in research and academia.

It comes as no surprise that the university is connected to more than 40 Nobel Prize laureates as well. Academic rankings such as QS and ARWU have placed the university among the top 200 institutions of study in the world.

Today, the university academically consists of 13 faculties of study as well as more than 30 research centers and institutes that collectively offer more than 100 different programs of study. Similar to most German universities, education is free with the exception of semester and administration fees.

 

I hope that this article on free universities in Germany was helpful! If you are interested, visit the Free Tuition Category!