Germany isn't just a popular study abroad destination. It's also one of the best in the world, with a number of top-ranked universities and particular expertise in subjects such as Computer Science, Engineering, Life Sciences and Physical Sciences.
We've examined the latest international university rankings to identify some of the best universities for Masters study in Germany.
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.
|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 latest 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 various 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.
Masters degrees are often highly specialised and benefit much more from dedicated 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 tables list the top German universities in 11 broad subject areas. It's based on the Times Higher Education World University Rankings by Subject. This lists the best universities in different academic fields, around the world.
|Humboldt University of Berlin||18|
|Free University of Berlin||24|
|University of Heidelberg||27|
|University of Tübingen||38|
|University of Freiburg||38|
|University of Cologne||=91|
|University of Göttingen||=91|
|Information based on the 2018 Times Higher Education World Subject Ranking for Arts & Humanities|
|Free University of Berlin||31|
|Humboldt University of Berlin||41|
|University of Heidelberg||75|
|University of Tübingen||86|
|University of Würzburg||88|
|University of Mannheim||=50|
|Information based on the 2018 Times Higher Education World Subject Ranking for Psychology|
|University of Mannheim||20|
|University of Bonn||47|
|Free University of Berlin||=68|
|WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management||=81|
|Technical University of Berlin||84|
|Information based on the 2018 Times Higher Education World Subject Ranking for Business & Economics|
|University of Heidelberg||30|
|Technical University of Munich||=46|
|University of Heidelberg||75|
|Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin||55|
|University of Tübingen||=78|
|University of Freiburg||93|
|University of Kiel||100|
|Information based on the 2018 Times Higher Education World Subject Ranking for Clinical, Pre-Clinical & Health|
|Technical University of Munich||16|
|Karlsruhe Institute of Technology||36|
|RWTH Aachen University||37|
|Technical University of Berlin||=42|
|University of Freiburg||=58|
|University of Heidelberg||65|
|Technical University of Darmstadt||=72|
|University of Bonn||=81|
|University of Stuttgart||=81|
|Information based on the 2018 Times Higher Education World Subject Ranking for Computer Science|
|Technical University of Munich||=20|
|RWTH Aachen University||24|
|Technical University of Berlin||43|
|Karlsruhe Institute of Technology||55|
|University of Stuttgart||77|
|University of Freiburg||88|
|University of Erlangen-Nuremberg||95|
|Information based on the 2018 Times Higher Education World Subject Ranking for Engineering & Technology|
|University of Heidelberg||=34|
|Technical University of Munich||43|
|Humboldt University of Berlin||50|
|University of Göttingen||60|
|University of Tübingen||64|
|University of Freiburg||70|
|University of Bonn||81|
|Free University of Berlin||88|
|Information based on the 2018 Times Higher Education World Subject Ranking for Life Sciences|
|Technical University of Munich||30|
|University of Heidelberg||32|
|Humboldt University of Berlin||=52|
|University of Bonn||56|
|RWTH Aachen University||59|
|Karlsruhe Institute of Technology||61|
|Technical University of Berlin||65|
|University of Göttingen||=70|
|University of Freiburg||99|
|Information based on the 2018 Times Higher Education World Subject Ranking for Physical Sciences|
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 these lists. 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 programmes. 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.
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 - 03/01/2018