Study in Germany in English: 2024 Guide

Article reading time: 12 min. | 11. Jul 2024, written by Margherita Seppi
Tags StudyAbroadBenefits StudyInGermany DegreesInEnglish InternationalStudents HigherEducationAbroad StudyInEurope

Study in Germany in English at a Glance:

  • Germany offers diverse English-taught programmes for international students.
  • Public universities often charge low or no tuition fees for English programmes, but the number of degrees available is limited.
  • Private universities like IU International University of Applied Sciences (IU) offer numerous career-focused English degrees.
  • English proficiency is essential, but German language skills are beneficial.
  • Popular English-taught degrees include Business, Engineering, and Computer Science.
  • The application process involves researching programmes, meeting requirements, and submitting documents.
  • Deadlines for applications typically fall in mid-July and mid-January.
  • Plan ahead for accommodation, travel, and visa requirements.
  • Berlin, a vibrant city, hosts numerous English-taught programmes.

Are you considering studying in Germany at one of the many German universities but are worried about the language barrier? Great news! Many German universities offer programmes in English, making it an ideal destination for international students.

This guide will walk you through everything you need to know about studying in Germany in English, from the best universities to application tips and costs. Ready to start your academic journey in one of Europe's most vibrant and innovative countries? Let's dive in!

Admission Requirements to Study in English in German Universities

When applying to study in English at German universities, it’s crucial to understand the admission requirements. These can vary slightly between institutions, but there are common elements you’ll need to prepare. Here’s a detailed look at what you typically need:

General Admission Requirements

A group of professionals laughing.

1. Educational Qualifications:

  • Bachelor's Programmes: You typically need a high school diploma equivalent to the German Abitur. This means your secondary school qualification must be recognised by the German system. Certain subject prerequisites might apply for some programmes, especially in technical fields.
  • Master’s Programmes: A relevant bachelor’s degree is required. Your undergraduate degree should be in a related field to the master's degree you are applying for.

2. Language Proficiency:

  • English Proficiency: Since the programmes are in English, you need to prove your proficiency through tests like TOEFL (usually a score of 80-100) or IELTS (typically a score of 6.0-7.0). Some universities might also accept Cambridge English certificates.
  • German Proficiency: Not always required for English-taught programmes, but having basic knowledge of German can be beneficial for daily life.

3. Other Documents:

  • Transcripts: Official transcripts of your previous education.
  • CV/Resume: Detailed and up-to-date.
  • Motivation Letter: Explaining why you want to study the programme and how it fits into your career plans. Not always required.
  • Letters of Recommendation: From professors or employers. Also not always required.

4. Entrance Exams:

  • Some universities might require entrance exams or interviews, especially for competitive programmes.

Admission Requirements at IU

A university graduate holding their degree in celebration.

Bachelor's Programmes: to apply for a Bachelor's programme at IU, you will need to have a Higher Secondary School Leaving Certificate (a high school diploma), a subject-related higher education entrance qualification, and a proof of English language proficiency (for example, a TOEFL test score of at least 80).

Master's Programmes: to apply for a Master's programme at IU, you will need to have a successfully completed undergraduate (Bachelor's) degree with a grade average of "satisfactory" (C) minimum, and a proof of English language proficiency (for example, a TOEFL test score of at least 80). Some programmes also require work experience, an undergraduate degree in a specific field, and, depending on the programme you choose, a different amount of ECTS credit points earned in your undergraduate studies.

For detailed requirements, check IU's programme page or application information guide.

Best English Taught Universities in Germany

Germany is home to numerous universities that offer high-quality programmes in English, catering to the needs of international students who want to study abroad. Here’s a list of some of the best institutions where you can pursue your studies in English:

1. IU International University of Applied Sciences

IU's campus in Bad Honnef.

IU stands out for its extensive range of English language programmes. With a focus on career-oriented education, IU offers degrees in fields such as IT, Data Science, Business, and more. Our programmes are designed to align with the demands of the global job market, ensuring that graduates are well-prepared for their careers. For more information on studying with us, visit our on-campus study page.

2. Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU)

LMU Munich is one of Germany’s leading research universities, offering several English-taught Master’s programmes across various disciplines, including Management, Economics, and Neurosciences. Known for its strong research output and diverse international community, LMU provides an excellent environment for academic growth.

3. Technical University of Munich (TUM)

TUM is renowned for its engineering and technology programmes. It offers a number of Master’s degrees in English, particularly in fields like Engineering, Computer Science, and Natural Sciences. TUM’s strong industry connections provide students with ample opportunities for internships and research projects.

4. Heidelberg University

As Germany’s oldest university, Heidelberg offers a variety of English-taught programmes, especially at the Master’s level. Fields of study include Biomedical Engineering, International Health, and American Studies. The university is well-regarded for its research facilities and academic excellence.

5. Freie Universität Berlin

Freie Universität Berlin offers several English-taught programmes, particularly in the humanities and social sciences. Programmes such as North American Studies, Global History, and International Relations attract students from around the world. The university's vibrant cultural scene enhances the overall student experience.

6. Humboldt University of Berlin

Berlin is a great destination if you're looking for a Germany university.

Humboldt University, another prestigious institution in Berlin, offers English-taught Master’s programmes in fields like Global Change Geography, British Studies, and Economics. The university is known for its interdisciplinary approach and strong emphasis on research.

7. University of Freiburg

The University of Freiburg provides several graduate studies in English, including Renewable Energy Engineering and Environmental Governance. Freiburg’s strong focus on sustainability and innovation makes it a top choice for students interested in environmental sciences.

8. University of Mannheim

Known for its business and economics programmes, the University of Mannheim offers English language programmes at both the Bachelor’s and Master’s levels. Programmes like Business Administration, Economics, and Data Science are particularly popular among international students.

Study in Germany in English in Public Universities vs. Private Universities

Choosing between public and private universities in Germany can be a crucial decision for international students. Both types of institutions offer unique advantages, but there are significant differences to consider, especially when it comes to English language programmes.

English taught study programs are offered in public and private universities.

Public Universities


1. Low or No Tuition Fees:

  • Public universities in Germany often charge minimal tuition fees for international students, making them an attractive option for budget-conscious students.

2. Reputation and Research:

  • Many public universities in Germany are globally recognised for their research output and academic excellence.


1. Limited English Programmes:

  • While public universities do offer programmes in English, these are primarily at the Master's level. Bachelor's programmes in English are less common.

2. Larger Class Sizes:

  • Public universities often have larger class sizes, which can lead to less personalised attention from professors and a more impersonal learning environment.
A student in a classroom smiling at the camera.

Private Universities


1. Extensive English-Taught Programmes:

  • Private universities like IU offer a wide range of English language programmes at both undergraduate and graduate levels.

2. Career-Oriented Education:

  • Private universities often focus on practical, career-oriented education. At IU, programmes are designed to meet the demands of the global job market, particularly in fields such as IT, Data Science, and Business.

3. Smaller Class Sizes and Personalised Attention:

  • With smaller class sizes, private universities can provide more personalised attention, mentoring, and support services, enhancing the overall student experience.


1. Higher Tuition Fees:

  • Private universities typically charge higher tuition fees compared to public institutions. However, many offer scholarships, financial aid, and flexible payment plans to help mitigate costs.

2 .Selective Admission:

  • Admission to private universities can be more selective, focusing not only on academic performance but also on other criteria such as motivation and extracurricular activities.

To find out more about the different benefits of studying in Germany, read our top 10 benefits of studying in Germany blog post.

Why Choose IU International University of Applied Sciences?

Graduate programs and master's programs are very popular in Germany.

IU offers a unique value proposition for international students:

  • Broad portfolio of English degrees: IU has an extensive selection of English language programmes at both Bachelor’s and Master’s levels, with over 50 different degrees - far above what other German universities can offer.
  • Career-relevant programmes: IU’s programmes are designed with a strong emphasis on delivering employability results. The studies are tailored to current and future market demands, ensuring that students are job-ready upon graduation.
  • Flexible learning options: IU provides options for flexible on-campus and online learning, allowing students to choose the mode of study that best suits their lifestyle and commitments, and combine work and studies with ease, no matter how they choose to study.
  • Supportive learning environment: With smaller class sizes and dedicated support services, IU ensures that each student receives personalised attention and guidance throughout their studies. That way, students have the best possible chances to succeed.
  • Innovation driven: Thanks to its sophisticated digital learning model, IU offers students not just innovative degree programmes, but also an innovative approach to learning: with AI-powered tutoring tools, a unique learning app for mobile and a constantly evolving set of features.

For more information on what it's like to study at IU and the advantages it offers, learn about the life as an on-campus student.

How much does it cost to study in Germany in English?

Studying in Germany in English can be a cost-effective choice for international students, but costs can vary significantly between public and private universities. Here’s a detailed breakdown of the expenses you can expect.

A technical university master degree program student.

Tuition Fees

Public Universities

1. Tuition Fees:

  • Many public universities in Germany charge low or no tuition fees for international students. However, this can vary by state and university. For example, Baden-Württemberg charges non-EU students €1,500 per semester.

2. Semester Contribution:

  • Despite low tuition fees, students must pay a semester contribution ranging from €150 to €350. This fee typically covers administrative costs and a semester ticket for public transportation.
  • Source: DAAD: Tuition Fees.

Private Universities

1. Tuition Fees:

  • Private universities generally charge higher tuition fees compared to public institutions. Fees can range from €10,000 to €20,000 per year, depending on the programme and university. At IU though, the costs of studying are much lower. The tuition fees for a Bachelor’s degree programme start at around €6,000 per year, with various scholarships and flexible payment options (like monthly installments) available to ease the financial burden.

2. Value for Money:

  • The higher fees at private universities often come with additional benefits, such as smaller class sizes, state-of-the-art facilities, and extensive support services.
A bird's eye view of a young woman working in front of a laptop.

Living Costs

1. Accommodation:

  • Monthly rent can vary widely depending on the city. In major cities like Munich or Frankfurt, expect to pay between €300 and €700 for student accommodation. In smaller towns, costs may be lower, ranging from €250 to €500.

2. Food and Groceries:

  • On average, students spend about €200 to €250 per month on food. This includes groceries and occasional dining out.

3. Transportation:

  • Public transportation costs are often covered by the semester contribution at public universities. For private universities, or if additional travel is needed, monthly transportation costs can be covered by the Deutschlandticket, which allows you to use public transport in every city in Germany for €49 each month.

4. Health Insurance:

  • Health insurance is mandatory for all students in Germany. Public health insurance costs about €120.34 for students under the age of 23 and €125.21 for students age 23 and above.
  • Source: Expatrio.

How to apply for English Taught Study Programmes

  • Research your options: Explore universities and programmes that offer English-taught courses. Websites like DAAD provide comprehensive listings of available programmes and make it easier researching universities.
  • Check admission requirements: Ensure you meet the academic and language proficiency requirements for your chosen programme.
  • Prepare required documents: Gather necessary documents such as transcripts, CV/resume, motivation letter, and letters of recommendation.
  • Submit your application: Apply through Uni-Assist for centralised processing of applications, or easily and directly through the university, if you're applying for IU.
English taught programs and English language programs require a language test.
  • Keep track of deadlines: Be mindful of application deadlines, which typically fall around mid-July for the winter semester and mid-January for the summer semester.
  • Apply for a student visa: Once accepted, apply for a student visa at the German embassy or consulate in your home country. IU offers a visa application support service for all its students.
  • Prepare for arrival: Plan your accommodation, travel arrangements, and finances for your arrival in Germany.

For more tips, read our how to apply for German universities in 2024 guide.

Study in Germany in English - Wrapping it up

A woman holding a paper cloud.

In conclusion, studying in Germany offers an exciting adventure for international students seeking high-quality education and cultural enrichment. With an abundance of English-taught programmes and a welcoming international community, Germany provides a dynamic learning environment like no other.

And for those considering Berlin as their academic home, IU stands out with its diverse English-taught programmes, career-focused approach, and vibrant campus life.

So, why wait? Embrace the opportunity to study in one of Europe's most dynamic cities and unlock your potential with IU in Berlin!


Can I study in Germany with only English?

Yes, you can study in Germany with only English! Many universities offer both undergraduate and graduate programmes in English. 

Can I study in Germany in English for free?

While many public universities in Germany offer low or no tuition fees for both domestic and international students, this may not always apply to English-taught programmes. 

Is it possible to study in Germany without speaking German?

Yes, it is possible to study in Germany without speaking German, especially if you enrol in an English language programme. Many higher education institutions offer programmes in English, allowing international students to pursue their studies without needing to learn German. However, having some knowledge of German can be beneficial for daily life and integration into the German culture. Some universities may also offer German language courses for international students.

What degrees are taught in English in Germany?

Germany offers a diverse range of English-taught programmes across various fields of study. Some of the most popular disciplines include:

  • Business Administration
  • Engineering (Mechanical, Electrical, Civil, etc.)
  • Computer Science and Information Technology
  • Natural Sciences (Physics, Chemistry, Biology, etc.)
  • Economics and Finance
  • Medicine and Health Sciences
  • Social Sciences (International Relations, Political Science, Sociology, etc.)
  • Arts and Humanities

These programmes are offered at both public and private universities, providing international students with a wide array of options to pursue their academic interests in Germany.

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