How Much Does it Cost to Study in Germany

Learn about the cost of studying in Germany for international students, including tuition fees, cost of living, and scholarship opportunities. Find out how much you will need to pursue a Master's program at a German university.

How Much Does it Cost to Study in Germany
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Apr 17, 2023 07:15 AM
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Germany is positioned as the sixth most developed country in the world with a Human Development Index (HDI) of 0.947. HDI is a statistical compilation index developed by the United Nations (UN) to calculate a country’s economic development based on four main parameters – human life expectancy (long and healthy life), education (average number of schooling years completed), per capita income and general standard of living. Germany’s quality of education is one of the main factors contributing to the country’s overall economic development. Education in Germany is financed and administered by federal states, which provide free and quality education to children from ages six and upwards. The cost of studying in Germany is free until lower secondary school.
Post-secondary level, the students will incur certain costs depending on the program and the type of university they enroll into. In this article, we will be reviewing the overall cost of studying in Germany from an international student’s perspective, particularly the cost of pursuing a Master’s program at a German university.

Tuition Fees

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German universities are primarily public or private universities. The German Higher Education System is categorised into three types of universities: Academic Institutes (Universitäten), Universities of Applied Sciences (Fachhochschulen) and Academies of Art, Music and Film. The tuition fee depends on the university (private or public), university type (Academics, Applied Sciences or Specialized Academies) and also on the program (Bachelor’s, Master’s, vocational, specialisation, etc.). While private universities charge tuition fees, public universities are free of tuition fees and only charge a nominal semester fee.

Tuition Fees Comparison

Type of University
Average Tuition Fees (Per Semester)
Public University
€300 (administrative fee)
Public University (Baden Wuttenburg)
Private University
€10,000 - €20,000

Public Universities

Image Source: Google
Image Source: Google
Germany has more than 300 public universities, offering over 1000 programs. Over 90% of students attend public universities. In 2014, Germany eliminated tuition fees for public universities. The responsibility of financing these institutes has since been taken over by the federal states of Germany. Students don't have to pay a tuition fee, but they have to pay a semester fee that covers Student Services, the Student Government, and other administrative costs. In some cases, there is also a fee for a semester ticket that allows students to use public transportation.
Although 15 of the 16 federal states in Germany don't charge for tuition fees, Baden-Württemberg has reintroduced tuition fees for non-EU students. Effective 2017, all public universities in the state of Baden-Württemberg charge a semester fee of 1500 euros for international students from non-European regions. Top public universities such as the University of Freiburg‎, University of Mannheim‎, Heidelberg University‎, University of Stuttgart‎, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), etc., located in the state of Baden-Württemberg charge a yearly fee of 3000 euros for international students.
The average tuition fee of public universities from other states ranges from 250 to 1500 euros per semester, which is a reasonable rate for the excellent quality of education that the public universities provide. Studying in Germany is inexpensive if international students obtain admission at a public university.
University Name
Approximate Tuition Fees (EUR)
Technical University of Munich (TUM)
No tuition fees (administrative fee around €129 per semester)
Humboldt University of Berlin
No tuition fees (administrative fee around €300 per semester)
Ludwig Maximilian University (LMU)
No tuition fees (administrative fee around €150-€350 per semester)
RWTH Aachen University (RWTH)
No tuition fees (administrative fee around €260 per semester)
Technical University of Berlin (TU Berlin)
No tuition fees (administrative fee around €308 per semester)
University of Stuttgart
No tuition fees (administrative fee around €170-€350 per semester)
TU Braunschweig
No tuition fees (administrative fee around €380 per semester)
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
No tuition fees (administrative fee around €153-€260 per semester)
TU Dresden
No tuition fees (administrative fee around €280 per semester)
University of Bonn
No tuition fees (administrative fee around €300-€350 per semester)
Please note that these figures are approximate and may have changed since my last update. Also, tuition fees for non-EU international students might differ from those for EU/EEA students. Always verify the latest information on the official websites of the respective universities or contact their admissions offices for the most accurate and up-to-date details on tuition fees and additional costs.
For further deliberation, please read:

Private Universities

Image Source: Smapse
Image Source: Smapse
Less than 10% of the total student population in Germany is enrolled in private universities. With over 100 private universities in Germany charging tuition fees for both EU and non-EU students, these fees remain notably lower compared to countries like the USA, UK, or Australia. Public universities are favored in Germany due to their affordable tuition fees, prompting private universities to distinguish themselves through specialized programs and strategic offerings in order to compete. Opting for a private university education provides distinct advantages such as focused learning, individualized support in small student groups, advanced facilities, and targeted internship prospects.
Tuition fees at private universities typically range between 5000 euros and 10,000 euros per semester, amounting to a cumulative cost of 15000 euros or more to complete a Master's program. Opting for a private university education can result in a relatively higher overall cost of studying in Germany.

Top Private Universities in Germany

University Name
Approximate Tuition Fees (EUR)
SRH Heidelberg
8,000 - 12,000 per semester
SRH Berlin
8,000 - 10,000 per semester
SRH Dresden
7,000 - 9,000 per semester
EBS University
20,000 - 30,000 per year
NEC Munich
Varies; contact university directly
University of Applied Sciences Europe
7,000 - 9,000 per semester
Berlin School of Business and Innovation
10,000 - 12,000 per year
Schiller International University - Heidelberg
8,000 - 10,000 per semester
Jacobs University Bremen
20,000 - 25,000 per year
SRH Hochschule Hamm
Varies; contact university directly
IUBH University of Applied Sciences
7,000 - 9,000 per semester
GISMA Business School
Varies; contact university directly
Dresden International University
Varies; contact university directly
Cologne Business School
15,000 - 20,000 per year
EU Munich Business School
18,000 - 25,000 per year
International School of Management (ISM)
12,000 - 15,000 per semester
Munich Business School
7,000 - 10,000 per semester
Technische Hochschule Nuremberg
Varies; contact university directly
FH Mittelstand (FHM)
Varies; contact university directly
Please note that these figures are indicative and may vary based on specific programs, scholarships, and other factors. Always verify the latest information directly from the respective universities' official websites or admissions offices.

Cost of Living in Germany for International Students

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To calculate the cost of studying in Germany, we need to factor in living expenses. These include rent, food, transportation, healthcare, insurance, and other costs. Although some cities like Munich, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, and Heidelberg can be pricey, generally, living costs in Germany are lower than other study-abroad destinations such as the US, UK, or Australia.
Summary of Living Expenses in Germany for an International Student
The cost of living in Germany ranges from 700 to 1200 euros per month, depending on the location. Generally, a student can live comfortably on 850 euros per month, which is also the amount recommended by the German government to be deposited into a blocked account. If students take up part-time jobs, they can cover major living expenses with their earnings. Additionally, students can save money while studying by using their student ID to get discounts at supermarkets, malls, retail outlets, public transportation, cultural institutes, food joints, and entertainment outlets like cinemas, theatres, and sports events..

Cost of Living Breakdown

Expense Category
Average Monthly Cost (€)
Health Insurance
For more details, please read the below article:

Cumulative Cost of Studying in Germany

  • Studying in Public Universities in Non-Tuition Fee States (15 Federal States):
    • Overall cost: Approximately 800 to 1000 euros per month.
    • Varied by city; higher cost in major cities like Munich, Berlin, Stuttgart.
  • Studying in Public Universities in Baden-Württemberg (Tuition Fee State):
    • Tuition fees: 1500 euros per semester.
    • Living costs: Around 1000 to 1500 euros per month.
  • Studying in Private Universities:
    • Living expenses: Average of 800 to 850 euros per month.
    • Tuition fees: 15,000 to 30,000 euros for a Master's degree.
  • Estimated Total Cost for a 2-Year Postgraduate Program:
    • Generally around 20,000 euros.
  • Blocked Account Requirement for Non-EU Students:
    • Mandatory visa requirement.
    • Need to block 931 euros per month.
    • Total of 11,208 euros for one year.

Scholarships Opportunities in Germany

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There are plenty of scholarship options for international students to study in Germany. The scholarships could be funded by the government, a private benefactor or university-sponsored. They can provide either partial or complete funding and support you through the length of your stay in Germany. The scholarships can cover your university tuition fee, living costs, health insurance, travel, and other miscellaneous expenses. Students with excellent academic performance and German language proficiency can apply for these scholarships.

Top Scholarships for International Students in Germany

Scholarship Name
Provided By
DAAD Scholarship Programs
International students, various criteria
DeutschlandStipendium National Scholarship Program
German Government
High-achieving students, various criteria
Erasmus+ Scholarship Programs in Germany
EU and partner countries, various criteria
Heinrich Boll Foundation Scholarships
Heinrich Boll Foundation
International students, various criteria
Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) Scholarship Program
International students, various criteria
Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) Scholarship Program
International students, various criteria
Hamburg University Merit Scholarship Program
Hamburg University
Meritorious students, various criteria
Porsche IT Campus RWTH Aachen Scholarship
IT students at RWTH Aachen, various criteria
Further Reference:

Part-time Job Earnings

Job Type
Average Hourly Wage (€)
Average Monthly Earnings (20 hours/week) (€)
On-campus job
Off-campus job


Germany continues to be a popular choice among international students for higher studies. Germans are known for their hard work and diligence, and excel in various sectors that contribute to their economic progress, including education, employment, industry, infrastructure, innovation and technology, health, safety, and security. Education is one of the biggest drivers for the country's overall development. The federal states of Germany are responsible for providing free and quality education to students of all origins. Therefore, the cost of studying in Germany is affordable, as public universities do not charge any tuition fees. International students only have to bear the semester fee to cover enrollment and administrative costs, along with their living expenses. Students with outstanding academic performance can also apply for scholarships, which can support semester fees as well as living expenses. With so many options and opportunities available, Germany stands out as one of the best and most affordable global destinations for higher studies.


1. How much does it cost to study in Germany as an international student? The cost varies based on the type of university. Public universities are generally tuition-free, but there might be nominal semester fees. Private universities charge tuition ranging from €5,000 to €20,000 per semester.
2. What are the living expenses for international students in Germany? Living expenses typically range from €700 to €1,200 per month, covering accommodation, food, transportation, insurance, and miscellaneous costs.
3. Are scholarships available for international students in Germany? Yes, there are numerous scholarship options, offered by the government, private entities, or universities, which can cover tuition fees, living expenses, health insurance, travel, and other costs.
4. How much do I need to block in my account for a student visa in Germany? Non-EU students need to block €931 per month in a blocked account, totaling €11,208 for the entire year. This is a mandatory visa requirement to prove financial capability.
5. Can I work while studying in Germany? Yes, international students can work part-time. On-campus jobs pay approximately €9-12 per hour, while off-campus jobs offer around €8-15 per hour.
6. Do public universities in Germany charge tuition fees for international students? Most public universities do not charge tuition fees, especially for EU/EEA students. However, some states or programs may have nominal semester fees.
7. Are courses taught in English at German universities? Yes, many universities offer programs in English, particularly at the postgraduate level. Proficiency in English is often required.
8. Is health insurance mandatory for international students in Germany? Yes, all students must have health insurance. You can opt for either German public health insurance or private insurance.
9. What is the duration of a Master's program in Germany? Master's programs typically last for two years, consisting of four semesters, including coursework and a thesis.
10. Can I stay and work in Germany after completing my studies? Yes, you can extend your residence permit for up to 18 months after graduation to seek employment related to your field of study.

Written by

MS in Germany
MS in Germany

Your trusted consultancy for pursuing higher education in top German Public Universities.

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