The Best Universities for PhDs in Physics in Germany (2023) | FindAMasters.com

The Best Universities for PhDs in Physics in Germany (2023)

Written by Morgan James

Why Study Physics in Germany

There are many reasons why someone might want to study Physics at a university in Germany. Here are just a few:

  • German universities are renowned for their high academic standards, innovative research, and rigorous programmes. Pursuing a Physics PhD in Germany offers students the opportunity to learn from acclaimed professors, alongside ambitious and talented peers.
  • Germany is home to some of the world's best research facilities that contribute significantly to scientific advancements. Studying there will provide you with chances to work in these state-of-the-art labs and collaborate with leading minds in Physics.
  • Various funding schemes are available for students pursuing a Physics PhD which can help reduce financial stress during your studies. These include grants offered by DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service), university establishments, and external scholarships.
  • Whilst gaining niche educational insights you also get exposed to German culture. This is through interactions on a daily basis that contribute towards your personal development, and also gaining hands-on experience about Germany’s way of life.

The Best Universities for Physics in Germany

The following tables give the 10 top universities in Germany for Physics, according to global and local university rankings. It can show you which German universities are amongst the best in the world - and help you compare institutions on an international level.

This information is based on the latest rankings tables, researched and published by Times Higher Education, QS and Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU).

Each ranking system uses its own methodology, with different factors having more or less influence on a university's result.

Our guide has more information on how to use international rankings to decide on the best research universities for PhD study.


Top 10 Universities in Germany for Physics (Times Higher Education)
University Germany Rank Global Rank
Technical University of Berlin 1 101-125
Technical University of Munich 2 23
University of Freiburg 3 176-200
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology 4 100
University of Stuttgart 5 301-400
RWTH Aachen University 6 =91
University of Cologne 7 251-300
Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg 8 201-250
Friedrich Schiller University Jena 9 176-200
University of Hamburg 10 101-125
This information is based on the research score from the latest rankings tables, researched and published by Times Higher Education. Visit their website for more information.

What should I know about the Times Higher Education rankings?

The Times Higher Education rankings are strong in academic focus and diverse teaching metrics, but do not include employer-specific metrics. Additionally, the rankings may not include all specialist institutions.


Top 10 Universities in Germany for Physics (QS)
University Germany Rank Global Rank
Johannes Gutenberg Universität Mainz 1 =112
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München 2 =30
Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn 3 151-200
Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg 4 32
Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main 5 =150
Universität Regensburg 6 301-350
Free University of Berlin 7 =140
Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen 8 201-250
Technical University of Munich 9 =15
University of Münster 10 251-300
This information is based on the citations per paper score from the latest rankings tables, researched and published by QS World University Rankings. Visit their website for more information.

What should I know about the QS rankings?

The QS World University Rankings are designed to meet the needs of prospective students, with more weight given to student-centric metrics such as staff/student ratio, international recruitment and employer opinion. The rankings are balanced between qualitative and quantitative data, but give less weight to research than some other rankings.


Top 10 Universities in Germany for Physics (ARWU)
University Germany Rank Global Rank
Heidelberg University 1 44
University of Munich 2 32
University of Hamburg 3 51-75
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology 4 101-150
Technical University of Munich 5 76-100
University of Bonn 6 51-75
RWTH Aachen University 7 76-100
University of Mainz 8 51-75
Technical University Dresden 9 151-200
Humboldt University of Berlin 10 151-200
This information is based on the number of papers published by an institution in an academic subject in journals, this is from the latest Mechanical Engineering rankings tables, researched and published by Academic Ranking of World Universities. Visit their website for more information.

What should I know about the ARWU rankings?

The ARWU rankings reflect the presence of elite academics and the future academic success of graduates. However, they do not directly assess the quality of education at a university or take into account other aspects of university performance.


Last Updated: 22 August 2023