Is it possible to study at a German university for free? Do free universities exist? If you are looking to study for free at esteemed global universities. I will advise you to direct all your efforts to Germany. Free universities in Germany are no new information. Apart from them being free, they also provide one of the best educations in the world. Whether you are from Africa, Asia, North America, South America, and Australia, you are welcome to study at the free universities in Germany.
Best Free Universities in Germany
1. Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich
The Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, known as LMU for short, is the best-ranked institution in Germany. It offers one of the best courses globally, with its Arts & Humanities and Physical Science courses ranking 18th and 21st globally.
It was founded in the year 1472, it is known as one of the largest institutions in Germany. LMU has a student population of over 34,000, with 17% being international.
LMU became a tuition-free university in Germany in 2013. And it has continued to be so till now. It only charges a nominal fee for professional or graduates degrees and certificates.
The university has 20 faculties that span across the disciplines of Catholic Theology, History & Arts, Psychology, Philosophy, Culture, Language & Literature, Social Science, Protestant Theology, Law, Economics, Business Administration, Veterinary Medicine, Medicine, Mathematics & Computer Science, Physics, Chemistry & Pharmacy, Biology, and Geoscience & Environmental Science.
2. Goethe University
Goethe University is among the top free universities in Germany, which came into existence in 1914.
Goethe University has a large student population of over 46,000 enrollees – 16% international students.
These students are organized into 16 Faculties. These include Law, Business, Social Science, Philosophy & History, Linguistics, Modern Languages, Geosciences, Education, Psychology, Theology, Computer Science, Physics, Biochemistry, Biology, and Medicine.
Similar to most cheap universities in Germany, both local and international students can study for free here. The only fee required from you is the one that covers your administrative costs, which amount to 370 Euros.
3. Technical University of Munich
Founded in 1868, The Technical University of Munich ranked the No. 2 institution in all of Germany. Its main campus is in Munich, with branches in Heilbronn, Garching, Freising, and Singapore.
Like most public universities, TUM draws funding from the public treasury to deliver its services to the school, which comprises over 32,000 students, of which a third are international students.
Although TUM does not collect tuition fees, as a student, you will be required to pay a semester fee ranging from 62 Euros (in Straubing campus) to 144.40 Euros on campuses (in Munich, Weihenstephan, and Garching)
Due to its nature as a technical university, TUM specializes in the studies of programs like Architecture, Sports & Health Science, Education, Governance, Management, and Life Science, Aerospace, Engineering, Chemistry, Informatics, Mathematics, Medicine, Physics.
4. Humboldt University of Berlin
The Humboldt University of Berlin, known as (HU Berlin), is a free public research university founded in 1810 in Berlin, Germany.
Similar to other free universities in Germany, HU Berlin only charges a semester fee of 300 Euros. This small fee covers a seasonal transport pass and specific costs for on-campus student organizations.
HU Berlin is ranked the sixth-best university in Germany, with many of its programs being internationally recognized. Its Arts & Humanities programs were ranked No. 20 and its Law program No. 25 globally. It has a huge student population of over 33, 000 with 18% being international students.
The university is broken down into nine faculties. These are Law, Philosophy (I & II), Humanities & Social Science, Mathematics & Natural Science, Life Science, Theology, and Economics & Business.
5. University of Hamburg
Widely respected and renowned for its Arts & Humanities programs, including its Physical Science, Life Science, Social Science, and Business degrees is the 12th best university in Germany, “the University of Hamburg.”
It started operation in the year 1919 and has been till date. Presently. Its student enrollment rate amounts to over 30,000, and a slot of 12% is reserved for international students.
Also, UHH demands its students pay a contributory fee of 332 Euros per semester. This is used to finance your transport fee, the hardship fund, and administration fees.
6. University of Cologne
The University of Cologne was founded as the fourth university of the Holy Roman Empire. This makes it the sixth-oldest in Central Europe. It began operation in 1798 and has one of the largest student populations amounting to over 34,500, of which 18% are international learners.
Also, the University of Cologne is tuition-free. However, you will have to contribute that covers your public transport pass and administrative fees of 500 euros.
The University of Cologne is dividing into six faculties. They are Faculties of Arts & Humanities and Management & Social Sciences, Mathematics & Natural Science, Law, Medicine, and Human Science.
7. University of Bonn
The University of Bonn is officially called the Rhenish Friedrich Wilhelm University of Bonn. Founded in 1818, it is regarded as the ninth-best university in the whole of Germany.
The university has a student population of over 37,000 students, of which 13% are international students. The school is organized into seven faculties covering Catholic Theology, Protestant Theology, Law & Economics, Medicine, Arts, Mathematics & Natural Science, and Agriculture.
The accessible nature of the university public funds it receives from the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia. However, you will be required to pay the small contributory fee as a student. This levy that amounts to 300 Euros monthly also covers transportation in Bonn, Cologne, and the rest of the region.
8. Free University of Berlin
Established in 1948, the Free University of Berlin or FU Berlin is Germany’s tenth-best university. As such, the Free University of Berlin demands no tuition fee except for specific graduate course programs. It does, however, require a levy worth about $313. This fee covers the enrollment/registration fee, student support service, student union, and transportation tickets.
FU Berlin is organized into various departments, which Include: Biology & Chemistry, Earth Sciences, History & Cultural Studies, Law, Business & Economics, Mathematics & Computer Science, Education & Psychology, Philosophy & Humanities, Physics, Political & Social Science, Medicine, and Veterinary Medicine.
Currently, FU Berlin has an enrollment rate of around 36,000 students with 22% of foreign descent.
9. RWTH Aachen University
RWTH Aachen University is one of the free public research institutions located in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It was established in the year 1870. It is regarded as one of the most prominent universities in the country, with a student population of over 45,000 students, of which 23% are international.
As a free-tuition German university, you only require to pay a semestral contribution of 500 Euros. Apart from that, you need to set apart 1,000 euros to live comfortably in the big city of Aachen.
It is ranked among the top 8 universities in Germany and recognized for its programs in Mathematics, Materials Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Information Technology, Arts & Humanities, Natural Science, Computer Science, Architecture, Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Business & Economics, and Medicine.
10. Georg August University of Göttingen
The Georg August University of Gottingen was established in 1734 by King George II of Great Britain was wanted to create an avenue of enlightenment.
Currently, the university contains more than 30,000 students, with 13% from outside Germany.
Like most free public universities, you are only required to pay 376 Euros as a semestrial fee.
This university is widely known and respected for its programs on Life Science and Natural Science programs, also offers degrees in the fields of Agriculture, Geoscience & Geography, Mathematics & Computer Science, Physics, Law, Biology & Psychology, Chemistry, Forest Science & Ecology, Social Science, Economics, Humanities, Medicine, and Theology.
Is it Difficult to Get Admission to any of the Free Universities in Germany?
Due to the high demand for free education from international students, a condition has to be placed to limit applicants.
So what is this condition?
The condition is that as an international student, you will have to secure a residence permit before you can be admitted to any of the free universities in Germany. However, the process of securing a residence permit isn’t an easy one. Although it can be very strenuous, the reward is usually huge. Trust me, and you won’t remember the pain when you begin your free education.
There is a more straightforward option to the first one if you desire to study at any free university in Germany.
What is this second option?
The second option is bagging a scholarship in Germany. As an international student in Asia, Africa, South and Central America, India, and the Middle East, you can be reasonable to bag excellent 80% tuition-free scholarships.
Are the Free Universities in Germany Very Competitive?
Compared to the universities in Canada, UK, and the USA, German universities are not very competitive. Although, it is relatively competitive. To improve your chances of getting admitted into these universities, you must research their acceptance rates.
Their acceptance rate will help you to make a good choice. And it is always advisable for you to apply to schools with a high acceptance rate for international students.
How Can I Finance My Living Cost while Studying at the Free Universities in Germany?
As stated above, some German universities offer free education for international students, but they do not provide for your living cost. So your living cost is all up to you to sort out.
To help with your living expenses, I highly recommend the DAAD Scholarships, German Government Scholarships for International Students. This scholarship provides not only tuition-free for you but a generous living stipend. So I advise you to go read about it and send your application.
What Are the Requirements For Studying at the Free Universities in Germany?
To be able to study in the free universities in Germany, you need to possess the following requirements:
- A good GPA
- Good test scores in IELTS or TOEFL
- A good score on the German proficiency test (this is dependent on the program you want to study)
- Academic transcripts
How to Apply for the Free Universities in Germany
The process isn’t very complicated. The steps include:
- Fill and complete the online application form
- Submit all the required documents (the ones discussed above)
You should apply to more than one university to increase your chances. But, please don’t apply to many universities. 10-15 application is enough for undergraduates, and 5-10 application is okay for Masters and Ph.D.
I hope you love and found the article interesting. Before going to any university, it is pertinent you do enough research on it.