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2018 German University Rankings - Top Choices for Postgraduate Study

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.

Top Ranked German Universities

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 in 2018
University THE 2018 QS 2018 ARWU 2017
LMU Munich =34 66 57
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 -
TU Dresden =155 =195 151-200
Ulm University =155 =357 201-300
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.

Do rankings matter for Masters degrees?

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.

So, how good are German universities for Masters study?

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.

German University Rankings by Subject

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.


Top German Universities - Arts & Humanities
University 2018 Rank
Humboldt University of Berlin 18
LMU Munich 21
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


Top German Universities - Education
University 2018 Rank
Humboldt University of Berlin 26
University of Tübingen 53
LMU Munich =60
University of Hamburg 63
Free University of Berlin =70
Information based on the 2018 Times Higher Education World Subject Ranking for Education


Top German Universities - Law
University 2018 Rank
University of Hamburg =98
Information based on the 2018 Times Higher Education World Subject Ranking for Law


Top German Universities - Psychology
University 2018 Rank
Free University of Berlin 31
LMU Munich 34
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


Top German Universities - Business & Economics
University 2018 Rank
University of Mannheim 20
LMU Munich 28
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


Top German Universities - Clinical & Health
University 2018 Rank
University of Heidelberg 30
LMU Munich 35
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


Top German Universities - Computer Science
University 2018 Rank
Technical University of Munich 16
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology 36
RWTH Aachen University 37
Technical University of Berlin =42
LMU Munich 47
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


Top German Universities - Engineering & Technology
University 2018 Rank
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
TU Dresden =93
University of Erlangen-Nuremberg 95
Information based on the 2018 Times Higher Education World Subject Ranking for Engineering & Technology


Top German Universities - Life Sciences
University 2018 Rank
University of Heidelberg =34
LMU Munich 39
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


Top German Universities - Physical Sciences
University 2018 Rank
LMU Munich =26
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


Top German Universities - Social Sciences
University 2018 Rank
University of Mannheim 31
Free University of Berlin 35
Humboldt University of Berlin 41
LMU Munich 70
University of Konstanz 84
Information based on the 2018 Times Higher Education World Subject Ranking for Social 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.

Search for a Masters in Germany

Our database includes plenty of German Masters degrees and our listings provide lots of helpful information about specific programmes. Why not take a look?

The CHE Ranking of German universities

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.

How useful is the CHE Ranking for Masters students in Germany?

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!

Learn more about postgraduate study in Germany

There's more to choosing a study abroad destination than league tables. Why not take a look at our full guide to Masters study in Germany? Or check out our overview of German Masters fees and funding?

Last updated - 03/01/2018

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