Germany Universities for Americans

There are four German schools in the Top 100 Global Rankings.

36Ludwig Maximilian University of MunichMunichGerman
49Heidelberg UniversityHeidelbergGerman
60Technical University of MunichMunichGerman
88Humboldt University of BerlinBerlinGerman
125RWTH Aachen UniversityAachenGerman
133University of BonnBonnGerman
137University of FreiburgBreisgauGerman*
150Technische Universitat Dresden (TU Dresden)DresdenGerman
162Free University of BerlinBerlinEnglish**
*Bachelor in Liberal Arts and Sciences is in English
**Must also do intensive German language study. But classes are taught in English

Guess what? Germans speak German. The Free University of Berlin is the only university that teaches undergraduate programs in English. Every other university will require you to pass a German language test for acceptance.


If you want to attend a German university as a foreigner, you must start with DAAD.

If you have a GPA of 3.0 or greater, you qualify for general admission to the Feststellungsprüfung (university qualification exam). However, if you have received at least a three on a Major AP exam, you qualify for admittance to the program of that exam. i.e., If you got a three on the Calculus BC exam, you can study Mathematics in a German university without taking the Feststellungsprüfung.

ACT/SAT scores are not used in acceptance criteria.


Tuition is free. Seriously.

For most universities. Some may have a few hundred dollars, but negligible.

The two exceptions are: The University of Freiburg is $3,600. Heidelberg University is $32,900.

You do have to be able to prove you have at least $12,000 a year for living abroad, but you do not have to pay tuition.

Other Tips

  • Germany requires health insurance if you are a student in their country.
  • A German Study Visa is required.
  • German law states that international students can work part-time for up to 20 hours a week or 120 full days a year.
  • Like Canada, German universities are only three years long.
  • Free tuition comes at the expense of fewer niceties. For example, you will not find excellent gyms and cafeterias—or approachable professors in Germany.
  • There is less handholding in German universities. You are seen as an adult and treated as such. No RAs or dorm room assignments. Challenging classes force many students to end their studies.
  • To quote Reddit user 0xKaishakunin when comparing American universities to German universities: “The biggest difference is probably that no one at a German university gives a flying fuck if you pass or fail.”

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