Germany is a popular destination for postgraduate study abroad, but which of its universities are the best?
We've compared the performance of German universities in all three global rankings global rankings. But that's not all we've done.
As a Masters student, it's also helpful to 'zoom in' on more specific factors. That's why we've listed the highest ranked German universities in specific subject-areas.
Finally, we've also taken a look at domestic rankings of German universities - giving you a chance to see how individual institutions compare within Germany itself.
The following table gives the 30 best universities in Germany, overall, based on global rankings.
For more information on using international rankings as a postgraduate, see our guide.
|Top German Universities 2018|
|University||THE 2018||QS 2018||ARWU 2017|
|Technical University of Munich||41||64||50|
|University of Heidelberg||45||30||201-300|
|Humboldt University of Berlin||62||120||-|
|RWTH Aachen University||79||141||201-300|
|University of Freiburg||82||171||101-150|
|Free University of Berlin||88||=125||-|
|Technical University of Berlin||92||144||401-500|
|University of Tübingen||94||=164||-|
|University of Bonn||=100||239||101-150|
|University of Göttingen||=113||181||95|
|University of Mannheim||125||=388||-|
|Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin||=126||-||-|
|Karlsruhe Institute of Technology||133||107||201-300|
|University of Cologne||145||=331||-|
|University of Erlangen-Nuremberg||=162||=287||151-200|
|University of Würzburg||=165||481-490||151-200|
|University of Münster||=173||=308||151-200|
|University of Duisburg-Essen||201-250||601-650||-|
|University of Hamburg||201-250||223||151-200|
|University of Kiel||201-250||431-440||151-200|
|University of Konstanz||201-250||385||401-500|
|University of Passau||201-250||-||-|
|University of Potsdam||201-250||461-470||401-500|
|Ruhr University Bochum||201-250||401-410||-|
|University of Stuttgart||201-250||=259||301-400|
|Technical University of Darmstadt||201-250||=272||401-400|
|University of Bayreuth||201-250||551-600||401-400|
|Information in this table is based on the 2017-18 Times Higher Education World University Rankings, QS World University Rankings and Academic Ranking of World Universities. Visit their websites for more information.|
International rankings use all sorts of metrics to assess universities and they aren't all equally relevant to postgraduate study. That's why we've put together a guide to university rankings for Masters students.
With ten universities in the 2018 Times Higher Education top 100 Germany is actually the best-ranked country outside the UK and USA.
This makes the country an excellent destination for postgraduate study. The fact that most Masters degrees in Germany charge no fees (and many are taught in English) makes things even better.
Of course, the best German university for your Masters degree won't necessarily be the one with the highest ranking. As a postgraduate the details of your specific degree programme will matter much more. You'll want to know that its course content covers your areas of interest and that you'll have access to subject-specific expertise.
One way to find this information is to look in our detailed course listings.
Masters degrees are often highly specialised and benefit much more from dedicatedc facilities and expertise. How a university performs in your subject area can therefore be just as important as its overall ranking (if not more so).
The following table lists the top German universities in six broad subject areas. It's based on the Times Higher Education World University Rankings by Subject. This lists the best 100 universities in different academic fields, around the world.
|German University Subject Rankings 2018|
|Arts & Humanities||Humboldt University of Berlin||18|
|Free University of Berlin||24|
|University of Heidelberg||27|
|University of Tübingen||38|
|University of Freiburg||47|
|University of Cologne||=91|
|University of Göttingen||=91|
|Business & Economics||University of Mannheim||=23|
|University of Bonn||47|
|Free University of Berlin||57|
|Clinical, Pre-Clinical & Health|
|University of Heidelberg||28|
|Technical University of Munich||56|
|University of Tübingen||76|
|Computer Science||Technical University of Munich||9|
|Karlsruhe Institute of Technology||26|
|RWTH Aachen University||29|
|Technical University of Munich||36|
|University of Freiburg||50|
|University of Stuttgart||62|
|Technical University of Darmstadt||64|
|Humboldt University of Berlin||74|
|University of Bonn||79|
|Engineering & Technology||Technical University of Munich||28|
|RWTH Aachen University||29|
|Technical University of Berlin||=40|
|Karlsruhe Institute of Technology||60|
|University of Stuttgart||=87|
|University of Erlangen-Nuremberg||90|
|Life Sciences||University of Heidelberg||30|
|Technical University of Berlin||44|
|University of Göttingen||51|
|Humboldt University of Berlin||52|
|University of Bonn||71|
|University of Tübingen||77|
|University of Freiburg||84|
|Physical Sciences||LMU Munich||22|
|University of Heidelberg||30|
|Technical University of Munich||32|
|Humboldt University of Berlin||46|
|University of Bonn||=47|
|RWTH Aachen University||49|
|Technical University of Berlin||=54|
|University of Göttingen||=65|
|Karlsruhe Institute of Technology||68|
|Social Sciences||Humboldt University of Berlin||33|
|Free University of Berlin||41|
|University of Mannheim||55|
|University of Heidelberg||=74|
|University of Konstanz||84|
|University of Freiburg||99|
|Information in this table is based on the Times Higher Education World University Rankings by Subject. Visit their website for more information.|
These subject-specific rankings reveal the strength and breadth of German university research.
Looking at each individual ranking can also be helpful. Identifying the best German universities in your subject area is obviously useful. But knowing that Germany is generally strong in a particular field is worthwhile even if you aren't studying at one of the highest-ranked universities.
It may be that the best German Masters degree for you is offered by an institution outside this top 100. But the performance of 'top' institutions can still reflect the country's overall expertise.
Our database includes plenty of German Masters degrees and our listings provide lots of helpful information about specific programs. Why not take a look?
International rankings are great if you want a broad evaluation of universities - or if you want to compare universities across countries. But many countries also have domestic rankings systems, focussing on their own universities. These feature lots more institutions than global rankings and often include more detailed information about them.
The main league table of German universities is the CHE Ranking.
Rather than producing an overall list of the 'best' German universities, the CHE Ranking looks at performance in 30 different subject areas.
This actually makes it much more useful as a tool for postgraduates. Looking at how a university performs in your specific subject is often more valuable than knowing how it sits in a broad league table.
After all, you aren't going to be studying a Masters in every subject a German university offers - so it's probably best to base your decision on one or two!
Last updated - 22/09/2017