iStock 636008560

Study in Germany: Choosing the Right University –

Selecting the ideal university in Germany as an international student can seem intimidating at first, but with proper guidance and information, you’ll be able to make a well-informed decision in no time. Germany is a highly sought-after study destination for international students, with over 300,000 students from all over the world studying in higher education institutions in Germany.

There are various factors to consider when it comes to choosing the right university for you, including your field of interest or desired career path. These and other important considerations are detailed in the sections below. It’s essential to thoroughly read through the information to ensure that you make the decision that best aligns with your aspirations.

Different University Types in Germany

International students in Germany have several options when it comes to choosing the right university for their studies. The two main types of universities in Germany are universities and universities of applied science.


Universities in Germany are primarily focused on theoretical knowledge and are dedicated to academic research. They offer a wide range of subjects to study, including specialized areas like technical universities or colleges of education that focus mainly on pedagogy. If you have a specific career in mind, you may also find universities that focus on one subject only, such as medical universities or universities of sports.

Universities of Applied Science

On the other hand, universities of applied science in Germany are geared towards providing a practical approach to learning. While they still have some theoretical components, these universities emphasize hands-on experience and offer a variety of fields of study such as technology, media, and economy, among others. Students in these universities may have the opportunity to participate in work placements or practice-oriented semesters.

Art and Music Colleges

For students interested in pursuing careers in the arts, there are also colleges of art and music available in Germany. These institutions are gathering places for artists where they can study subjects like music, architecture, design, and fine arts. Admission to these universities is often competitive and acceptance is based on an entrance examination that includes a demonstration of good results and proof of talent.

What Degree Programme to Choose?

International students who are considering studying in Germany have a range of degree programs to choose from, regardless of their previous education or personal preferences. These programs can be broadly categorized into the following categories:

  • Bachelor’s Degree: This is the initial higher education degree, which outlines your academic and career goals. It typically takes 6 semesters to complete and allows you to enter the job market and pursue your career aspirations. Students can choose to study one or two subjects, depending on their preferences.
  • Master’s Degree: A master’s degree is a continuation of your bachelor’s program and is usually pursued by students who want to further their education in their field of study or a related field. It typically lasts 2-4 semesters.
  • State Examination: Some degree programs in Germany end with a state examination, which is typically required for students pursuing fields like medicine, law, pharmacy, or teaching. After completing their degree, students are required to take the first state examination, followed by a period of practical experience, and finally, the second and final state examination, which is organized by a government board.
  • Doctorate Degree (Ph.D.): After completing their master’s studies, students can embark on another academic journey, the doctorate degree or PhD. This requires students to write a scientific paper or thesis, which should be thorough and complex. Upon completing this research, students will be awarded a doctorate degree.

Guide to Getting Started

Before choosing a university in Germany, there are some important factors to consider. While the country is well-known for its academic excellence, not all universities may be a good fit for your individual needs. To help you get started, here are a few tips to keep in mind.

Choosing a University in Germany:

Determine Your Career Goals

Take the time to reflect on your future aspirations and what you want to achieve. Think about which field of study aligns best with your career goals and use that as a guide in selecting a university.

Review University Rankings

Explore online university ranking lists to see where German universities stand. These rankings provide a general idea of the quality of each university and some may even rank universities based on specific fields of study. If you’re not sure where to begin, university rankings can be a useful starting point.

Evaluate Course Offerings

If you have multiple universities in mind, it can be helpful to compare their course offerings. Look into the courses that interest you at each university and find out about the curriculum, credit requirements, and if it aligns with your goals.

Verify Admissions Requirements

This is a crucial step when choosing a university in Germany. It’s important to make sure you meet all the admission requirements, such as language proficiency, before applying. Failing to meet the requirements may result in denial of admission. To avoid disappointment, be sure to review and verify the requirements early on in your decision-making process.

Explore Employment Possibilities

Many universities in Germany have strong connections to the industry, potentially increasing employment opportunities for graduates. You can research this aspect of the university by reaching out directly or visiting its website for more information.

Evaluate Accommodation Availability

Consider the available housing options at the university and determine if they meet your standards for comfort and safety. While choosing a university should primarily be based on academic factors, it’s important to also consider housing options as it can play a role in creating a safe and comfortable living environment.