Studying in Munich – A Guide for Postgraduate Students
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Studying in Munich – A Guide for Postgraduate Students

Written by Taru Medha

Thinking of studying in Germany? Munich is one of the most popular cities amongst prospective students. With two universities in the top 100 in the world located in Munich, there is no shortage of opportunities, no matter what you want to study. The Bavarian capital also boasts multiple cultural attractions, lovely outdoor areas and a welcoming disposition, no wonder it’s the fifth best student city in the world (according to QS Best Student Cities 2024).

This guide covers everything you need to know about studying in Munich including universities, living costs, accommodation and more.

Why study your PhD in Munich?

Here’s all that Munich has to offer to its resident postgraduate students:

  • World-renowned universities: Munich is home to the Technical University of Munich which is ranked #1 in Germany. Apart from that, you could also be studying at one of Munich’s 12 other leading higher education institutions.
  • Germany’s economic centre: Heralded as the country’s business and economic hub, Munich is home to the headquarters of leading global companies like BMW and Siemens which offer excellent graduate job opportunities.
  • Cultural hub: Munich is home to the Oktoberfest beer festival, the biggest of its kind in the world. It’s also the home of Bayern München, one of the best football teams in the world. Whether its food or sports, there is something for everyone to experience in the city (when you’re not in the classroom of course).
  • Best of both worlds : Despite being the third largest city in Germany, Munich retains the charm of a small town. It also holds the crown of being Germany’s safest city.
  • An international city: Every year the city welcomes thousands of international students from all over the world. No matter where you’re from, you’ll feel right at home

Top Universities in Munich for PhD study

#1 Technical University of Munich

The flagship university for technology in Germany, the Technical University of Munich is ranked at the top. It is also the only state university that focuses on science and technology. 18 TUM alumni have been awarded Nobel Prizes in Chemistry, Physics and Medicine.

The university is known for its entrepreneurial focus that is facilitated by the 15 departments across the Munich campus.

Students focusing on research benefit from TUM’s Integrative Research Institutes that facilitate research in subjects like Computational Biology, Nutrition and Microbiology.

#2 LMU Munich

The LMU Munich campus forms an integral part of the cityscape. This leading higher education institution has produced 42 Nobel Prize winners in fields like Chemistry, Physics and Medicine including the famous scientists Max Planck and Otto Hahn.

Students also have the opportunity to work closely with other research institutions based in Munich like the renowned Max Planck Society and the Technical University of Munich.

#3 Munich University of Applied Sciences

As Germany’s second largest university of applied sciences, you have the chance to study Mathematics, Engineering, Business or Social Sciences. The 14 departments at the Munich University of Applied Sciences offer more than 140 courses taught in English.

The Munich University of Applied Sciences is well renowned for research in Natural Sciences, Social Health and Machine Learning at its four research institutions.

Living costs in Munich for international students

Despite being one of the more expensive places to study in Germany, Munich offers a more relatively affordable postgraduate education than many other European cities. Germany, in general, is popular among international students as an affordable option since you would (usually) not be paying any tuition fee.

Even though the German government estimates that a student needs roughly €867 per month to cover living expenses, how much you end up spending depends on the kind of accommodation you choose and your lifestyle. You may find that the cost of renting a private flat in Munich is considerable higher.

Here are how much some things typically cost in Munich based on crowdsourced data from Numbeo.

Student Cost of Living in Munich - 2023
Monthly rent (1 bedroom apartment, city centre) €1,398
Monthly rent (1 bedroom apartment, outside city centre) €1,131
Restaurant Meal €15
Cinema ticket €13
Monthly travel pass €49
Monthly utilities €301
Based on crowdsourced data published by Numbeo.

You can always lower the amount you spend by opting to live in student accommodation or a flat share which typically cost around €550 per month in Munich. You might want to start your search for these early since spaces are limited and usually in very high demand. You can read more about the accommodation options in Germany in our guide.

Even though tuition costs in Germany are (usually) close to nothing, you can still apply for funding to help cover your living costs, especially when living in a city like Munich where prices are higher than the national average.

Read our complete guide on funding for postgraduate students in Germany for more information.

Working during your degree in Munich

Many students opt to work part-time while they study which is a great way to make some extra money to help cover your living costs. Students from EU/EEA countries can work in Germany without any restrictions. Although, you might have to pay the required insurance contributions if your work more than a certain number of hours.

Other international students are allowed to work no more than 120 full days or 240 half-days per year

Common part-time work includes waiting tables at restaurants, bartending or as a cashier if you’re looking for work outside the campus. Students can also find work on campus as an academic assistant working in the university library or as a tutorial assistant.

You can find available job vacancies in Munich on individual job portals of your university and read more about working in Germany as a student in our guide.

Things to see in Munich as an international student

All work and no play would be an injustice to this city that gives you the beautiful outdoors, elite museums and unmissable experiences all while you study at one of its leading universities.

You can’t miss the annual beer celebration, Oktoberfest – the world’s largest beer festival, held in autumn every year. It is your chance to get immersed in local German culture through song, costume and, of course, beer.

Walk around the Marienplatz, the largest public square in Munich or visit the royal Nymphenburg Palace, if you’re looking for something historical.

If you’re an automobile nerd, you’ll enjoy paying a visit to the BMW tower and its adjoining museum which chronicles the history of car manufacturing and the company.

You cannot miss out on catching a game at the Alliance Arena, home of the Bayern München football team. You can also visit the Olympiapark, which offers roof climbing tours and bungee jumping in the 1972 Olympic stadium along with some stunning views of the city.

Careers in Munich

As the economic and business hub of the country, Munich has plenty to offer any recent graduate with jobs in the technology, electronics and automobile industries. Global companies like BMW, Allianz and Siemens have their headquarters in Munich offering opportunities to graduates from all fields of study.

If you’re an EU/EEA student, there are no restrictions on your ability to look for and undertake work. For all other international students, Germany offers very generous post-study work visa opportunities. Graduates can apply for the 18-month job seekers visa after completing your degree which allows you to stay and look for a job in your field.

Read more about working in Germany after your studies.

Find a PhD in Munich

Think Munich can be your home during your PhD studies? Start by looking at available PhD programmes in Munich on our website

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Last Updated: 28 March 2023