The Top 5 Universities in Germany for Postgraduate Study
There are lots of good reasons to consider Germany for your postgraduate degree abroad. Not only do a large amount of its universities feature highly in the world rankings but the majority of their Masters and PhD courses charge no tuition fees! You’ll also be able to enjoy Germany’s outstanding cultural attractions and beautiful landscapes.
To show you what’s on offer, we’ve taken a look at Germany’s top ranked universities according to Times Higher Education. Breaking down scores in both teaching and research, you’ll be able to see what makes these institutions so great for postgraduates at all levels. All scores are out of 100 and, if you’re interested, you can read about THE’s methodology on their website.
#1 LMU Munich
First up on the list is Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, or LMU Munich for short. Times Higher Education ranked them the 32nd best university in the world and it’s easy to see why. With a score of 68.1 in teaching and 77.9 in research, it’s a great option for both taught and research courses alike.
Founded in 1472 as Bavaria’s first university, LMU has a long history of excellence. Sitting at the heart of Munich’s network of research institutions, universities and businesses, its placement makes it a focal point of scholarship and culture. In addition, it has 600 partner universities across all five continents, making it a highly cosmopolitan place to study.
#2 Technical University of Munich
Next up, we have another Munich university. TUM, or the Technical University of Munich, prides itself on outstanding research and innovation and its distinctive character as an entrepreneurial university. This means that it offers support and advice to graduates and researchers who run promising high-tech start-ups.
Taking 38th place in the world rankings, TUM boasts similar scores to LMU with a 64.5 in teaching and 74.8 in research. Plus, in 2019 it secured the title “University of Excellence” for the third time in a row. With a focus on technology, TUM is a great option for those looking to study Engineering, Natural Science, Life Science, Medicine, Management or Social Science at a postgraduate level.
#3 Heidelberg University
At number 42 in the world university rankings is Heidelberg University. Founded in 1386, Heidelberg is a well-established institution that has continued to innovate, focusing on future-oriented scientific concepts alongside its traditional academic values. Plus, if you’re looking for heritage, Heidelberg is Germany’s oldest university!
Compared to TUM, Heidelberg boasts a higher teaching score at 67.9 and a research score of 59.9. But don’t think a lower research score means that this university wouldn’t be great for MRes or PhD study – Heidelberg has been home to multiple Nobel Prize winners over the years. The earliest was achieved in 1901 and the most recent in 2014 for a variety of subjects including Physics, Medicine and Literature.
#4 Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin
At joint 73rd in the world, tied with another Germany university, is Charité. One of the largest university hospitals in Europe, its collaborations with the German Research Foundation make it one of Germany’s most research-intensive medical institutions.
Although they only scored a 48.6 in teaching and a 50.6 in research, don’t let that fool you. More than half of the Germany Nobel Prize winners in Physiology or Medicine have come from this university. Multiple sources have also labelled them as being one of the best hospitals in Germany and Europe. If you’re particularly interested in a Healthcare related field then this is one to consider.
#5 Humboldt University of Berlin
Tied with Charité is one of its affiliated institutions, Humboldt University. This was one of the first German universities to align their Bachelors and Masters degrees with the European Bologne Process in 2001. This meant that their degrees were assessed against and part of an internationally agreed standard of quality. Moreover, its newest library, the Jacob-und-Wilhelm-Grimm-Zentrum, gives students access to over four million books and periodicals both physically and online.
With slightly higher scores than its affiliate, Humboldt achieved a 59.9 in teaching and 66.7 in research. According to its website, it also fosters strong student environments outside of academia, housing almost 100 different sport clubs and an accessible language centre. This centre offers a variety of courses including German language for international students at a variety of levels.
All of these universities have something unique to offer all postgraduate students. While world-rankings can be a good way to begin your search for the perfect university, there are a lot more factors to consider such as your subject, cost of living and way of life. Germany has many excellent institutions on offer so make sure to shop around! We have our own guides to the top 30 universities in Germany for Masters study and PhD.
If you’re interested in learning more about studying in Germany check out our country guides for prospective Masters students or PhD students.
Our postgrad newsletter shares courses, funding news, stories and advice