Despite being a European country, Germany has a bunch of universities offering bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs entirely or partially in English. And if you are to enroll in any of these programs, you will need to have to sit for the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam.

This IELTS exam is a requirement for aspiring international students who want to take English-taught programs in Germany. Now, as a future student here, you need to make sure that you meet the scores needed. It can be quite tough because you need to study for the language proficiency test.

However, unlike universities in the English-speaking world, German universities usually don’t require you to show an IELTS score of 7.0 or above to be considered for admission. Most universities in the country actually ask for an IELTS score between 4.5 and 6.5. Since English is not their main language, they have lower score requirements. In this article, we listed ten prestigious German universities and their IELTS band requirements. We hope that it can help you in choosing a German university!

Do German Universities Accept an IELTS Score of 5.5?

It depends on the university’s requirements. There are German universities that accept an IELTS score of 5.5, such as the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and the University of Bonn.

German universities usually require an IELTS score ranging from 4.5 to 6.5. If you’re looking for the university’s required IELTS score, you can check the university’s language requirements to know. Now, to make it easier, we listed some German universities with their required IELTS scores. Make sure to read more!

German Universities and their IELTS Band Requirements

1. Technical University of Munich

The Technical University of Munich (TUM) is a German public research university with over 41,000 students currently enrolled. A whopping 30 percent of these students come from outside the country.

Founded in 1868, the university consists of three campuses, each cited within the greater Munich area. It is the highest-ranked German university in the QS World University Rankings 2020, claiming the 55th spot in the entire world.

TUM offers 168 academic programs through its 15 departments and schools. The number of programs taught in English here is 58, which require non-native English speakers to demonstrate a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 to be considered eligible for admission.

2. Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU Munich) is a public research university that has been around since 1472. It has a student population of nearly 51,000, which includes around 8,500 international students.

In the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020, this Munich-based university is positioned above any other German university, ranking 32nd globally.

It offers several master’s and doctoral programs entirely in English. While a bunch of courses at the undergraduate level are taught in English, there’s not a single bachelor’s program at LMU Munich that is delivered completely in English.

So, in addition to having a minimum IELTS band of 5.5 at this German university, you will also be required to prove sufficient knowledge of the German language. 

3. Heidelberg University

Heidelberg University began its journey in 1386, making it the oldest university in the country. It is located in the southwest German town of Heidelberg. It is the country’s best university, according to the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) 2019.

Its total enrollment stands at over 29,000, which includes nearly 5,500 international students. The public research university admits international students in as many as 180 programs. For the programs taught in English here, the minimum IELTS score that an applicant needs to demonstrate is 6.5.

4. Humboldt University of Berlin

Situated in the central Berlin borough of Mitte, Humboldt University of Berlin (HU Berlin) is a public university that came into being in 1810. It currently has a student population north of 32,500. Over 5,200 of the students come from outside Germany.

It ranks 4th nationally in the latest university rankings by both QS and Times Higher Education.

Through its nine faculties, HU Berlin offers 189 academic programs. This university in Germany requires applicants to show a minimum IELTS band of 6.5 for the programs delivered in English.

5. Ulm University

Ulm University is a public university that ranks 141st globally in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020. Its campus is positioned on a hill named Oberer Eselsberg in the southwest German city of Ulm. It is one of the youngest public universities in the country, beginning its journey in 1967.

Its total enrollment stands at over 10,500, which includes nearly 1,400 international students. The university is made up of four faculties that offer 75 academic programs, including 34 bachelor’s and 41 master’s programs.

This university, too, asks for a minimum IELTS score of 6.5. 

6. University of Cologne

University of Cologne (UoC) is another German university to be founded in the late 14th century. It has nearly 49,000 students enrolled in 335 academic programs that are offered through its six faculties.

According to the ARWU 2019, the Cologne-based university is one of the top 200 universities in the world.

International students from non-English speaking countries with an IELTS band of 6.0 or above are eligible to apply for the English-language programs at this German university.

7. RWTH Aachen University

RWTH Aachen University is a public research university that was established in 1870. Its campus encompasses 620 acres of land in Aachen, a spa town on the western border of the country. At RWTH, over 45,000 students are currently enrolled, with nearly 10,500 of them being international students from 125 countries.

It is among the top 100 universities in the world, according to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020. Through its nine faculties, the university offers 157 academic programs. The minimum IELTS score required here is 6.5.

8. University of Bonn

Beginning its journey in 1818, the University of Bonn is currently home to more than 38,000 students. In the ARWU 2019, ranks 70th globally and 4th nationally. It has five main hubs scattered across the city of Bonn, consisting of 349 buildings.

Organized into seven faculties, the public research university offers as many as 200 academic programs. The minimum IELTS score required for admission here is 5.5.

9. Free University of Berlin

The Free University of Berlin (FU Berlin) is a Berlin-based public research university that came into being in 1948. It has over 33,000 students enrolled at undergraduate and graduate levels, in addition to 4,000 doctoral students. It claims the 130th spot in the world in the QS World University Rankings 2020.

At FU Berlin, 178 bachelor’s and master’s programs are offered through 11 academic departments and one medical school (run jointly with the Humboldt University of Berlin). Of them, 21 programs are taught entirely in English and don’t require applicants to show proof of proficiency in German. This university in Germany requires an IELTS band of 4.5 or above for international students.

10. University of Göttingen

Established in 1734, the University of Göttingen ranks among the top 150 universities in the world in the ARWU 2019. It is a public research university that has multiple locations across the city of Göttingen, offering higher education to over 31,500 students.

The university offers 212 academic programs through its 13 faculties. Like most other top German universities, this one too asks for an IELTS score of 6.5 or above for admission in its English-language programs.


I hope that this article on IELTS Band requirements for universities in Germany was helpful. If you are interested in studying in Europe, make sure to check out Available Programs in Europe for International Students.

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  1. Megersa Bayisa - Reply

    It is around 3 year since i am looking for study abroad, I want to pursue my PhD program abroad. I am searching for fully funded scholarship. I have master degree in seed science and technology looking for study related Agriculture courses.

    • Hyun Lee - Reply

      Hello, Ph.D. in Germany are project-based, meaning that you have to go through the project listings on the German universities and see what projects are available and connect with the professor sponsoring those projects. If you do get into that project, you will most likely receive funding from that project. So, I highly recommend that you go through universities in Germany (this list of German universities is a good place to start) and then see what projects are available in Agriculture.

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