Public Universities in Germany: Study for free in 2024

Public Universities in Germany
Study Abroad Expert May 20, 2024

In 2024, the opportunity to study at tuition-free public universities in Germany represents a extraordinary chance for students worldwide. At Shuraa Education, we are dedicated to allowing individuals to grasp this supreme chance for personal and academic progress. Germany’s well-known education system, coupled with its promise to available learning, makes following higher education in this active European nation incredibly tempting.  

Our team at Shuraa Education provides comprehensive support and guidance, guaranteeing ambitious scholars can confidently direct the workings of studying abroad. Continue to read further about the Public Universities in Germany.  

Do International Students Get Free Education in Germany? 

Germany stands out as one of the rare countries offering free education to domestic and international students. While some public universities may have exclusions, more than 180 institutions offer free English-taught courses, making Germany an attractive choice for budget-conscious students.  

The only expenses to consider are living costs, classically ranging from €700 to €1200 per month. Associated to other countries, this is relatively affordable, particularly as the absence of tuition fees. If you seek quality education at an affordable price, Germany is worth discovering. 

Before Applying to Public Universities in Germany: Key Points 

Before you decide to study at an excellent public university in Germany, you should know some important things. Here’s a quick guide to get you started: 

1. Language Requirement 

To study at a German university, you’ll need to know German. Many universities need a good level of proficiency, especially in subjects like art, film, and music. 

2. Language of Instruction

Check if the courses you’re interested in are taught in English or German. If you’re comfortable with English, you can choose English-taught programs available at many public universities. 

3. Education Requirements

Guarantee you meet the education requirements for the program you want to apply for. This includes things like how many credits you need and what level of education you should have. 

4. Degree Recognition

It’s important to choose a university whose degrees are recognised worldwide. Public universities in Germany have a good reputation globally and are often highly ranked in international rankings like the QS World University Rankings. 

Top 10 Public Universities in Germany with English-Taught Courses

Germany hosts some of the world’s top-ranked universities, providing a varied range of courses in both English and German. With 59 universities among the global select, you have plenty of options to explore. To shorten your search, here’s a list of 10 outstanding public universities in Germany. 

1. Technical University of Munich (TUM)

The Technical University of Munich (TUM) is a famous institution reliably ranked among Europe’s finest. International students highly favour it for its excellent academic standards and lively cultural environment. TUM is a inspiration of excellence, providing outstanding education and a fulfilling student experience. In summary, it’s a prime destination for studying in Germany! 


TUM World University Rankings 2024  37 
Mode of Instruction  English (but basic German proficiency is required for international students) 
Average Tuition Fee  Nil 
Semester Enrollment Fee  €100-€200 per semester 
Popular Courses  Proposals over 170 courses, including popular ones like Aerospace Engineering, MBA, Automotive Engineering, Brewing and Beverage Technology, and Cartography. 


2. Ludwig Maximilian University Munich

Founded in 1472, Ludwig Maximilian University Munich (LMU) is one of Germany’s oldest and most respected institutions. Well-known for its international approach to education, LMU has been providing English-language instruction and research for centuries, drawing students worldwide. Imagine learning from leading experts, including those from important institutions like Harvard. LMU also offers double-degree programs, allowing you to get two degrees concurrently. Begin your journey at LMU and set the stage for an amazing career. 


LMU World University Rankings 2024  54 
Mode of Instruction  English (but basic German proficiency is required for international students) 
Average Tuition Fee  Nil 
Semester Enrollment Fee  €100-€300 per semester 
Popular Courses  Offers over 100 courses, including popular ones like Data Science, Software Engineering, Geophysics, and Meteorology. 


3. Heidelberg University 

Heidelberg University, also known as Ruprecht Karl University of Heidelberg, is an important institution as long as Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Parallel degrees. International students are essential to have a DH2-level German language certificate to enrol. Well-known for its research and interdisciplinary education importance, the university offers over 160 courses catering to varied academic interests. 


Heidelberg World University Rankings 2024  87 
Mode of Instruction  English (but basic German proficiency is required for international students) 
Average Tuition Fee  Depends on the program 
Semester Enrollment Fee  € 0-€ 1500 per semester 
Popular Courses  Offers over 150 courses, including popular ones like Natural Sciences, Mathematics, Law, Biomedical Engineering, and Corporate Restructuring. 


4. Humboldt University Berlin

Humboldt University transformed education by integrating teaching and research, following Wilhelm von Humboldt’s timeless vision. The university harmoniously combines these academic elements, offering some courses in English. However, verifying the course format and language requirements is essential before applying. Additionally, you might need to undergo language assessments such as the German language test or TestDaf. 

Humboldt World University Rankings 2024  120 
Mode of Instruction  English (but basic German proficiency is required for international students) 
Average Tuition Fee  NIL 
Semester Enrollment Fee  € 200-€ 325 per semester 
Popular Courses  Popular courses include Business Science, Economics, and European History. 


5. Freie Universität Berlin

Dive into a realm of research and education at Freie University Berlin, one of the esteemed free public universities in Berlin. With twelve academic departments, the university boasts worldwide renown for its outstanding arts and humanities, social sciences, and sciences programs. Moreover, Freie University welcomes international students without mandating a German language test certificate. Furthermore, they provide diverse English-taught courses tailored to your academic pursuits. 

Freie World University Rankings 2024  98 
Mode of Instruction  English  
Average Tuition Fee  NIL 
Semester Enrollment Fee  €312.89 per semester 
Popular Courses  General courses include Mathematics, Bioinformatics, and Business Studies. 

6. Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) 

KIT, known as Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, ranks among Germany’s premier universities, present state-of-the-art facilities, advanced amenities, and promising career prospects. While a German DH2 level certificate is required for admission, be fortified. If your anticipated field of study is available at KIT, it’s worth as your academic destination—you won’t be disappointed! Although English courses are somewhat limited, the university’s excellence makes it a compelling choice. 

KIT World University Rankings 2024  119 
Mode of Instruction  English (but basic German proficiency is required for international students) 
Average Tuition Fee  € 1500 
Semester Enrollment Fee  € 150 per semester 
Popular Courses  Current courses include Water Science and Engineering, Remote Sensing, and Geoinformatics. 

7. RWTH Aachen University

RWTH Aachen is the largest tech university in Germany, and it’s got everything you could want in a university: a vibrant student life, top-notch facilities, and a bright future for its graduates. Plus, they offer a bunch of Master’s programs in English for international students, so you can study for free in Germany without worrying about the language barrier. Aachen is an excellent city for students, with a friendly and welcoming community. Thanks to the supportive student network, choosing your specialisation and settling into Aachen will be a breeze. 

RWTH Aachen World University Rankings 2024  106 
Mode of Instruction  English (but basic German proficiency is required for international students) 
Average Tuition Fee  NIL 
Semester Enrollment Fee  €300.19 per semester 
Popular Courses  Common courses include Applied Geophysics, Electrical Engineering, Information Technology, Micro and Nanoelectronics, Electrical Power Engineering, and Civil Engineering. 

8. Technische Universität Berlin

TU Berlin is a premier university in Germany, drawing students globally. It ranks among the country’s largest technical universities, with over 30,000 enrolled students and around 100 courses. The highlight? It offers 26 English courses tuition-free! Renowned for its outstanding technical programs, TU Berlin prioritises holistic student development, providing ample opportunities for research, international networking, and personal growth opportunities. If you seek a stimulating and fulfilling academic journey, consider TU Berlin. 


TU Berlin University Rankings 2024  154 
Mode of Instruction  English (but basic German proficiency is required for international students) 
Average Tuition Fee  NIL 
Semester Enrollment Fee  € 307.54 + €19.94 per semester 
Popular Courses  Popular courses include Architecture, Typology, Building Sustainability, Business Engineering Energy, and Computational Neuroscience. 

  9. Technische Universität Dresden

Located on the border of Germany and the Czech Republic, Dresden is an captivating and budget-friendly city, ideal for students discovering both countries. With five schools present courses across over 120 disciplines, TU Dresden presents students with diverse academic options. Something suits everyone’s interests, whether in health sciences, biomedicine, bioengineering, information technology, or microelectronics. The greatest perk? You won’t incur any tuition fees! 


TU Dresden University Rankings 2024  246 
Mode of Instruction  English (but basic German proficiency is required for international students) 
Average Tuition Fee  NIL 
Semester Enrollment Fee  €270 per semester 
Popular Courses  Popular courses include Geology, Environmental, Earth, and Marine Sciences, civil engineering, General Engineering, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, and Communication and Media Studies. 

 10. University of Freiburg 

The University of Freiburg, also known as the Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg, is a prestigious institution with a rich history of producing Nobel laureates and development origination. With a varied student body of over 24,000 registered in various undergraduate and graduate programs, the university provides a dynamic and inspiring learning atmosphere. Selecting to study here will undoubtedly enhance your international academic expedition. 


Freiburg University Rankings 2024  192 
Mode of Instruction  English (but basic German proficiency is required for international students) 
Average Tuition Fee  € 1500 
Semester Enrollment Fee  €161 per semester 
Popular Courses  General courses include Microsystems Engineering, Renewable Energy Engineering and Management, Solar Energy Engineering, Global Urban Health, and Neuroscience. 

How to Apply to Public Universities in Germany 

Enthusiastic about the view of studying at a German university? Applying to public universities is straightforward and akin to applying to any other institution. Here’s a simple guide to follow: 

  • Choose your desired university. 
  • Take the required language proficiency and standardised tests. 
  • Gather recommendation letters (LORs) and write a statement of purpose (SOP). 
  • Submit your application by the university’s deadline, including test scores, transcripts, LORs, and SOP. 
  • Await the university’s decision; some may conduct follow-up interviews. 
  • If admitted, complete additional formalities like opening a German-blocked account, applying for a student visa, and securing a loan if needed. Apply early to allow ample time for these procedures. 

By following these steps, you’ll be on your way to studying for free at a public university in Germany. 

Choosing Between Public and Private Universities in Germany 

Both public and private universities in Germany offer excellent education. Public institutions have a strong reputation and government funding, while private universities offer more straightforward admissions, modern facilities, and practical experiences. Your choice should reflect your preferences, career goals, and budget. 


Aspect  Public Universities  Private Universities 
Tuition Fees  Low to no tuition fees, especially for EU/EEA students  Higher tuition fees, varying by institution and program 
Program Diversity  Wide range of programs and disciplines  Specialised programs focused on fields like business or arts 
Class Size  Larger classes with less individual attention  Smaller classes with personalised interactions 
Language of Instruction  Mainly German, and some programs in English  Many programs taught in English, accessible to international students 
Research Opportunities  Strong emphasis on research, extensive funding  More focus on practical education, with research opportunities in select areas 
Admission Requirements  Highly competitive with strict criteria  Less competitive with varying requirements 
Scholarships and Funding  Limited scholarships for international students  More scholarship opportunities for international students 
Reputation and Rankings  Strong international rankings and recognition  Good rankings, particularly in specialised fields 
Campus Facilities  Well-established campuses with various amenities  Modern campuses tailored to program needs 
Placement Rate  Strong reputation and extensive networks  Better employability in specific sectors due to industry connections and practical experience 


Eventually, deciding between public and private universities in Germany hinges on personal preferences, career aspirations, and financial factors. 

With Shuraa Education 

Discover the boundless innovation of Germany’s public universities, renowned as the “Land of Ideas.” Experience a dynamic environment filled with passionate students and distinguished scholars, all pushing the boundaries of knowledge in your chosen field. This extraordinary journey is incredibly affordable, with Germany’s public universities offering accessible tuition fees. With diverse programs, you’ll find the perfect match for your academic aspirations. 

If you Study in Germany is more than just learning; it’s about fostering critical thinking and intellectual curiosity and joining a vibrant community of learners. Challenge yourself, grow as an individual, and prepare for a future filled with endless opportunities. For a world-class education that’s both affordable and transformative, consider making your academic dreams a reality in Germany with Shuraa Education. Connect with our expert student counsellor for free counselling sessions and guidance on studying at public universities in Germany. 


Q1. Is the German Language Required for Studying in Germany? 

No, German proficiency is not always required, especially for postgraduate (master’s and PhD) or international programs. 

Q2. Do I Need IELTS to study in Germany? 

No, the IELTS test is not required as Germany is a non-English-speaking country. 

Q3. What are the Top Free Public Universities in Germany? 

The top three tuition-free universities in Germany are:  

  • Technical University of Munich (TUM) 
  • Ludwig Maximilians University Munich 
  • Heidelberg University 

Q4. Is Studying at a German Public University Worth it? 

Absolutely! German public universities offer affordable fees, excellent education, and unforgettable student experiences. It’s an investment in your future that lasts a lifetime. 

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