Top 20 German Universities for PhD Study in 2020 |
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Top 20 German Universities for PhD Study in 2020

With a historic higher education system and many specialist research centres, it makes sense that Germany has some of the top ranked universities in the world. Not only that, Germany is the birthplace of the modern PhD, so it’s no wonder that the country is such a popular place to study.

We’ve examined the latest international university rankings to identify some of the best universities for PhD study in Germany.

Top Ranked German Universities

The following table lists the 20 best universities Germany has to offer, based on the latest global rankings.

Top 20 German Universities in 2020
University THE 2020 QS 2021 ARWU 2019
LMU Munich =32 63 52
Technical University of Munich 43 50 57
Heidelberg University 44 64 47
Humboldt University of Berlin 74 117 -
Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin =80 - -
University of Freiburg 86 =175 101-150
University of Tübingen =91 =175 151-200
RWTH Aachen University =99 145 201-300
University of Bonn =105 =240 70
Free University of Berlin =117 130 -
University of Göttingen 125 195 101-150
Ulm University =141 =344 201-300
University of Hamburg =149 =228 201-300
Technical University of Berlin =149 148 301-400
University of Cologne =157 =282 151-200
University of Mannheim =157 307 -
TU Dresden =157 =173 201-300
University of Würzburg 163 =437 201-300
Bielefeld University =166 801-1,000 501-600
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology =175 131 201-300
Information in this table is based on the latest Times Higher Education World University Rankings, QS World University Rankings and Academic Ranking of World Universities. Visit their websites for more information.

So, how good are German universities for PhD study?

With eight universities in the 2020 Times Higher Education top 100 (behind only the UK and USA), Germany is one of the best-ranked countries for higher education.

The fact that it charges no fees for PhD study and has many English-language doctorates makes Germany an excellent destination for postgraduate study.

Rankings for PhD study is not as straightforward as it seems. For a more detailed overview of how the system works and how to get the best out of it, check our guide to PhD rankings.

Search for a PhD in Germany

Ready to start looking for your ideal study abroad opportunity? Browse PhDs in Germany on or read our guide to studying a PhD in Germany.

Last updated 22/07/2020

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