Germany is known for its rich cultural heritage, world-recognized universities, world-class education, and facilities. It is most welcoming to international students offering a wide range of subject choices to pick from, that are delivered at public universities with cutting-edge research projects, campus facilities, and a diverse student body.

Public schools around the world are often regulated by their respective governments, and therefore, wouldn’t go unrecognized in the global school. Public schools offer free education to students who demonstrate academic excellence. As an international student, you could cut down on a lot of expenses and time put into decision-making when you opt for a public school. Here are some of the top public schools in Germany that might interest you.

Top Public Universities in Germany

Germany’s standard of education has been known to be of high quality. Here are some of the top public universities in the country for international students.

1. Free University of Berlin

One of Germany’s most prestigious universities, the Free University of Berlin is a public research university established in 1948. It’s notorious for the programs it offers in humanities and political science. Apart from some programs, the university is free for all students.

There are master’s programs offered in Science and Arts at the Free University of Berlin which are taught entirely in English. All undergraduate programs are taught entirely in the German language except the North American Studies program which is in English. Therefore, if you are planning to follow an undergraduate program in the country, you might need to provide a certification confirming your German language proficiency.

2. Technical University of Munich

The Technical University of Munich is one of Germany’s leading institutions for teaching and research, especially in the engineering and natural sciences disciplines. It is also known for its programs in medicine, applied sciences, and technology. The old-standing university was established in 1868 and is now well integrated with the global market having been affiliated with academic bodies like ATHENS, EUA, and EuroTech.

Across departments, the university boasts a considerably large body of international students with some programs being dominated by international students. Programs are offered both in German and English languages so you should go through the relevant program outline on the official website to make an informed decision.

3. Humboldt University of Berlin

Humboldt University of Berlin is one of the most prestigious public universities in the country. It is reputed worldwide for its programs in humanities and arts. Having been founded back in 1810, the university which was formerly known as the University of Berlin, is one of the largest in the country.

There are courses in history, sociology, philosophy, art, and business administration that are taught entirely in English. You are sure to find a preferred course here at this university from its wide range of courses to pick from.

4. University of Bonn

One of the largest academic institutions in the country, the University of Bonn is known for its sizable foreign student body. The university is one of the most internationally oriented with most programs taught in English. However, some programs would require you to prove your German language proficiency.

Apart from the degree programs for continuing education, most courses offered are entirely free of charge. International students with a GPA of over 2.8 could apply to a program at this prestigious university.

5. Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich is Germany’s 6th oldest university, having been established in 1472 as the University of Ingolstadt. Being a public university, students can follow a program in the university with no cost for tuition. LMU is recognized in Europe and worldwide for its premier academic and research facilities. It has 18 faculties offering a wide range of programs.

6. RWTH Aachen University

Boasting a massive student body of over 47,000 students in 144 programs of study, RWTH Aachen University is the largest technical university in Germany. Being one of the best educational institutions in Europe, the university is one of the hardest universities in Germany to get into.

Most undergraduate programs offered at this institution are in German so you will have to be aware of the applicable German language certifications specific to your program of choice. Like other universities on this list, master’s and doctoral programs here are offered mostly in English only.

7. Technical University of Berlin

With over 100 study programs, the Technical University of Berlin is a long-standing public research university in the city of Berlin. Undergraduate programs here are offered in fields of study such as humanities, engineering, mathematics, economics, and more.

The Technical University of Berlin is the only university in the capital city that offers programs in engineering. It is popular among international students because of its high acceptance rate and sizable body of international students.

8. University of Heidelberg

The University of Heidelberg was founded in 1386, making it the oldest university in Germany. This public university has become a prestigious institution focusing on fundamental research work and proper educational application, which produces outstanding individuals who can address issues surrounding medicine, social science, natural science, and law.

The University of Heidelberg has produced some of the best minds all over the globe. Some of such people include classical composer Robert Schumann, novelist Jagoda Marinić, and Literature Nobel laureate Carl Spitteler.

9. University of Freiburg

In 1457, the University of Freiburg was established to produce remarkable and outstanding individuals who understood how to discover or create solutions to societal challenges. This German public school for international students is a leading institute in the study of science, environment, economy, government, and society.

The University of Freiburg, which is also the fifth oldest university in Germany, offers degree programs in science and arts. The school has also trained and produced notable people such as German virologist Harald zur Hausen.

10. University of Göttingen

The University of Göttingen was established by the Elector of Hanover and George II, King of Great Britain, in 1734. However, it didn’t commence classes until 1737. The university was designed to offer comprehensive instruction in medicine, philosophy, theology, business, and law.

The university also has one of the best facilities, laboratories, a library, accommodation, and a conducive environment. These all make it an attractive institution of learning for international students in Germany. Learners also have the opportunity to pursue different programs, such as (but not limited to) a bachelor’s degree in Human Resource Education or a master’s degree in Business Administration.

11. University of Mannheim

In 1967, the University of Mannheim was founded. Since then, it has grown into one of the best business schools for international students. It is also one of the public schools that have become increasingly popular with foreign learners because of its practical approach to learning, positive university culture, access to innovative instruction, affordable fees, and conducive learning environment.

The school also encourages its students to work and think independently and to have a positive attitude toward learning. The University of Mannheim offers undergraduate and graduate programs in social sciences, humanities, computer science, business administration, and economics.

FAQs about Studying in Public Universities in Germany

Can International Students Enroll in Public Universities in Germany?

Germany is a country that willingly accepts international students from around the globe. Both public and private educational institutions accept international students. Public universities in the country charge zero tuition fees to students including international students. This means you can have access to a wide range of programs, research opportunities, a diverse student community, and other facilities at no cost during your stay in the country.

Undergraduate programs in Germany are generally offered entirely free of charge by public universities in Germany. Even private institutions in the country charge a very considerate amount compared to other universities worldwide. Master’s programs may include some tuition fees depending on several factors including program choice, university, and the student’s home country.

While most programs offered in Germany require you to prove your proficiency in the German language, it can be a good trade-off because education at public universities is entirely free. This article listed some of the best public universities in the country that might offer the program of your choice.


To find out more about your studying in Germany, take a look at the Available Courses and check out more articles and tips in the Study in Germany section!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

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  1. ADEBAYO MOBOLAJI OJOMO May 15, 2024 2:09 am - Reply

    Thanks for the list of free university in Germany.
    I will work on this. Thanks

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