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How Much Does it Cost to Study in Germany?

How Much Does it Cost to Study in Germany? main image

In 2014, Germany’s 16 states abolished tuition fees for undergraduate students at all public German universities. This means that currently both domestic and international undergraduates at public universities in Germany can study for free, with just a small fee to cover administration and other costs per semester.

This good fortune may not last however. In autumn 2017 the south-west state of Baden-Württemberg reintroduced tuition fees for non-EU students, and it’s possible other states will follow suit in the coming years. Non-EU students in Baden-Württemberg must now pay tuition fees of €3,000 (~US$3,660) per year, while those gaining a second degree pay a reduced fee of €1,300 (~US$1,600) per year.

For now, the low fees certainly help to make studying in Germany an attractive option for prospective students, and the country has previously been ranked as the fourth most popular destination for international students in the world (after the US, UK and Australia).

Cost of living in Germany

While many students can study in Germany for free, living expenses are unavoidable. The cost of living in Germany is more expensive in some areas than others – Munich, for example, is considered the most expensive German city to live in, with living costs averaging about €10,800 (~US$13,250) per year. By comparison, the average annual living costs in Germany are around €9,600 (~US$10,800).

Rent will be your largest monthly expense, though this is cheaper if you live in a shared flat (average rent of €280/~US$340 per month) or a student hall of residence (€234/~US$290 per month).

Based on data from , other average monthly costs are as follows:

  • €168 (~US$205) for food
  • €42 (~US$52) for clothes
  • €94 (~US$115) for transport
  • €31 (~US$38) for telephone, internet and TV license
  • €20 (~US$25) for work/study materials
  • €61 (~US$75) for leisure activities

To find living expenses for specific cities in Germany (and compare them to the average costs in your home city)  is a useful tool.

You won’t need a visa to study in Germany if you’re an EU national or citizen of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland. Otherwise, expect to pay  (~US$74) for your student visa, but there are also fee reductions or waivers for Schengen visas. In order to fulfill the visa requirements, you will need to show proof you have, or have access to, around  per year or €725 (~US$890) per month to cover your living costs.

For more information on getting a German student visa, see this article.

You will also need  as a pre-condition of registering at a German university. If you’re a resident of a country within the EU or EEA, there should be a social security agreement between your country and Germany. This means that if you have public health insurance, you should be covered in Germany as well (full list ). If your health insurance isn’t valid in Germany, expect to pay around €80 (~US$97) per month to cover this.

Undergraduate costs to study in Germany

Although you can study for free at public German universities as an undergraduate, there is a charge per semester for enrolment, confirmation and administration. This is typically no more than €250 (~US$305) per semester, but varies depending on the university.

There may be an additional charge to purchase a “Semesterticket”, which covers public transport expenses for six months – the price varies depending upon which  you choose. If you exceed the standard period of study by more than four semesters, you may also face a long-term fee charge, which could be as much as €500 (~US$540) per semester.

Most universities in Germany are public. Private institutions are usually dependent on tuition fees for their funding (though some also receive support from foundations), and set their own fees, which can be anything up to and beyond €20,000 a year (~US$24,400).

The  (BAföG: Bundesausbildungsförderungsgesetz) can be used by both German nationals and EU students, as well as some foreigners under . Generally, this aid is for those under 30 years old (under 35 if you’re studying for a master’s degree), but exceptions can be made depending on circumstance. The BAföG is usually split in two, with 50% taking the form of a state grant and the other half being an interest-free loan that must be paid back in instalments when the maximum period of assistance expires.

Master’s and postgraduate costs to study in Germany

Master’s degrees at German universities are usually free if they are classed as “consecutive” – i.e. following directly on from a related bachelor’s degree gained in Germany. Again, there is a small charge per semester for enrolment, confirmation and administration, a Semesterticket. Tuition fees for “non-consecutive” master’s degrees, for those who have gained their bachelor’s degree elsewhere in the world, vary between universities and may be around €20,000 (~US$24,400) per year at public institutions and up to €30,000 (~US$36,600) at private German universities.

For example, Germany’s top-ranked institution, the Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, lists fees for non-consecutive master’s degrees ranging from €2,500 (US$3,050) per semester for a  up to €5,000 (US$6,100) per semester for a .

At PhD level,  at all universities in Germany – for the first six semesters at least. As at all levels of study, PhD students are also required to make a semester contribution of no more than €250 or so for administration and other costs. You can find out more about studying a PhD in Germany here

Scholarships to study in Germany

The German Academic Exchange Service, otherwise known as the DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst), provides support for German and international students to gain funding to live and study in Germany for free or at a more affordable cost.

DAAD scholarships to study in Germany are offered to German and international students of all levels, as well as academics and researchers. To find relevant scholarships to study in Germany, you can  based on keywords, study level, country of origin and subject.

Another useful resource is the  or BMBF (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung), which hosts a site dedicated to providing information on scholarships to study in Germany.

You can also check out our own listing of Scholarships to Study in Germany, which is updated regularly.

Figures contained in this article are averages. The amount you pay will fluctuate depending on the length of your program, your level of study, the German state (Länder) you live in and whether your university is private or public.

This article was originally published in December 2013. It was most recently updated in April 2018.

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Written by Jane Playdon
Jane Playdon is a Kyohaku.com author and blogger.

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284 Comments

hi jane. im from india.i just completed my graduation in mechanical engineering.im in a greater confusion about doing my masters in automobile or aeronautical engineering.i wanted to settledown in european nations with a good job and good pay .so how much it costs me for study and the cost of living. how are the laws for international students i both professional and public life.think of me as amatuer who needs lot of guidance and information to complete my masters in germany and continue my living over there in european nations .

I'm from Nigeria.. I want to do my Masters Degree in Germany.. I want to know if it's free..

Hi Jane! I am from Malaysia. I finished my bachelor's degree major in English in one of the Philippines universities in 2011. I'd like to pursue my Master's degree in any related fields e.g. English courses here in Munich. However, I don't really know exactly how. And by the way, I'm currently in Munich and had just finished two months German language courses in Deutsch Akademie here in Munich. May I know what the processes and requirements are to acquire a student Visa for Malaysian? Anyway, at this time, I came here as a tourist so I didn't need visa. My other question is, how difficult would it be to acquire a student visa for Master's degree in any München university and for how long? I may or may not have issues with tuition fees and other daily expenses, though I still have to work part time job while studying. I am a copywriter by profession, would a student assistant for university be fit for me? If not, what sort of part time job would you recommend?

Thanks for taking time to read and I would appreciate if you could answer my questions.

how much master degree cost in germany?? please answer me

Hi, I'm from Bangladesh. I wanna know that can I apply for undergraduate (MD) in german?I have recently completed my 12 standard class. please inform me as soon as possible. Thanks You. :)

Hi Sistah! I'm from Bangladesh too
.candidate of Hsc 2019.
I've research on it all about Admission After Hsc from Bd.So, I've Honest Answer which one you are looking for.

In Germany There Are 2 Medium To studies are English medium & German medium.If you Wanna Study on English you have to Take a ielts for 6-6.5.

In Germany To get an a Admission after Hsc You have to Need a Foundation Course which is mandatory all over in Europe. Cz German have a Requirement That You have to show that you completed 14 class.. But you Are 12 really so you have to do it.so fulfilled the 2 class you need to do foundation course. This is 1 yr duration but sorrow of matter that This course you have to Done with Germany language so You Have To Learn German B2 Grade. Though it's to challenging but if you are strong confidence u can do it. But Please Complete ur Bachelor at least 1yr than Try to for German It's will be easy for you. That's time you can Admit in a university directly.

Just completed my BBA in Insurance and Risk management. I want to study further in Germany. can u help me about degree of MBA in Germany. please guide me for student Visa. thank you

Hi Zain, you can read about MBAs in Germany over on our sister site, , and we have an article advising how to get a German student visa here. Hope this helps!

What is the mode of instruction in german engineering univeristies ?

Hello team, i am from nepal . I am seeking for furthur study in foreign . As a look, germany provides free education for int.students except living costs. I need a detailed information about the IT program in bachelor in germany . Is it free or have to pay some administrative cost or enrollment? Also please do provide me about the work available for student it not there in germany? And if yes? Then does the work could help in living cost in germany for study? Please hope a guidence.

hello all

sir i want study top unversity in germany and
what are the top universities
can you list out please

Hi Phani, you can view the top universities in Germany in 2018 here

I am yilikal wondimu from Ethiopia, i complete my bsc in 2016 with water resource and irrigation engineering in arbaminch university,now i went to study either irrigation engineering ,engineering hydrology or hydraulic engineering,i hope you give this fortune,thank you

I'm a general research for the old stones my is Sathya

hello
i am from indian.. and i want study in germany. wht i do now.

Hi Ankit, our complete guide on how to study abroad in Germany should help to get you started. 

Im bhavesh panchal from India ,completed interior design UG , Planning for the further studies in Germany, would help in what should I through For?

Hello, thank you so much for such informative articles. I am from UK. I have completed my college and am now considering to resume my education and pursue a degree. I am considering studying in Germany but there are a few doubts I would be comfortable to address through email or pm if possible? Please let me know. Looking forward to a reply.

Hello, I'm afraid we're unable to respond to inquiries via email, and we don't have private messages on the site. I'd be happy to answer any questions you have here in the comments, however. :)

Hi im Arif from India and im doing my UG here and i still have one more year to complete it and im interested in doing my PG that is MBA and i heard that studying in Germany is absolutely free and the government spares all the expenses including the living cost.... If its true what are all the process i should do to study freely there in Germany... This information was passed to me by my brother in law who is an chief doctor in UK.... And I'm very much interested to study in Germany.....

Hi Shazeem, I'm afraid MBA's in Germany are not free and I'm not aware of the German government covering all expenses including living costs. However, there are scholarships available to study in Germany, including some offered by the government. You can read about the application requirements and process in our complete guide on how to study abroad in Germany. Hope this helps.

Hello . I am in tenth class and studying in India and I want to study further in Germany . I am looking for a public or government school there. But can't sort and don't know the process and all . Kindly tell me visa , fee and requirements

Hi Denzy, please have a look at our complete guide on how to study abroad in Germany, which includes advice on the application process, admission requirements, how to get a visa and more. Hope it's helpful!

Thank for helping me , I would surely look in that too . I am think that would be helpful and if not then I will you again . Thanks once again !!

Hello i am in 12th and i want to study further in germany in public universities for business study.kindly tell me the process,fee and other requirements

Hello Ali, do you have a specific university in mind? process, fee and other requirements differ from university to university but in general the fee for public universities is a couple of hundred euros per semester. in terms of the process, most universities usually require a certain GPA from high school in order to be eligible to enroll. further depending on whether you wanna study in english or german, universities usally require some proof of german or english skills. once you have applied and submitted you are eligibile for a student visa

Hello i am from india and i want to study after diploma in germany for automobile engineering for drew heard that germany is offering free education to international students and government also pays 800 EURO to students for their expenses but if we study in german language is it true......... I hope u will answer my question and guide me

Hello Vishv, yes, you are right. most universities charge no tuition fees to international students, or next to zero. The government does not pay 800 Euro per month however.

Hello i am studying in 12th with non medical subject,and presently i want to further study in germany,for BE(BACHELOR ENGINEERING),What can i do for this

Hello, i have completed my ug course from conputer science dept. And im looking forward to do ms from germany. I need to know whether the job is confirm after doing ms...??

I am a young adult student in America. I have recently obtained my Associate's and am looking to complete a degree in Chemistry. The tuition expenses and loan system created in the US are still as unfair as ever (ten-year minimum loans, high interest rates unless subsidized, etc) so I'm looking for alternatives that might be in a better interest for me. If I was to pursue advancing my education overseas, what would I really need to do? What kinds of guidelines are there?

Hey Kevin, it depends where and what do you wanna study. Some universities have entrance exams, some not at all. The main thing in your case will be to find a university that teaches all classes in English, apply there and then get a VISA

If I am a immigrant and living in a refugee camp how can I study In Germany with out any monthly income ?

Hi Farooq, you may be able to apply for government funding with the 'BAföG', and all public universities in Germany (with the exception of universities in the state of Baden-Württemberg) do not charge tuition fees. You can read more about how to fund your studies as a refugee . 

Hey, guys
Im from Brazil, how the admission process works ?
After i have applied to an university in Germany, are they gonna look at my high school grades?
Im in college now , I intend to study one year here in brazil and im going to apply for a Germany university next July, are they gonna be looking at my high school grade or college grade?

Hello Davi, do you wanna do a masters or a bachelor degree in Germany? For almost every bachelor program they will look at your high school grades, for almost all Master programs they wont. In Germany they have a system called Numerus Clausus for most universities and classes, meaning that you have to have a certain grade average to get into university

where did the comment go xd

Hello i got a question i found some international programs on the site that fits into my criteria of choice and its low tuition fees , its a master degree so since i didnt graduate in germany would these tuition fees rise or something ? thank you

*almost always*

they are almost the same no matter where you are from

hy ,i want to get .phil degree in any highly ranked public university of Germany .please guide me

hello jane . i wanna know that does free fees universities still or not for international students

Hi Amir, you can study most degrees for free at public universities in Germany, but you will need to pay tuition fees to study in Baden-Württemberg, as this state has reintroduced fees for non-EU students. 

Hi my brother is in Germany, as a immigrant how can he study in Germany with out any id or papers.

Can u sugesst any medical or criminological studies

Yes they studies or available just search u

hey ! i just completed my graduation ....i wanted to do someting related to arts in germany .....i have done with B1 level .......is B1 level enough for the course ?

I'm missing some course but all the best

Hii
Can you please suggest me some film schools to study film directions in Germany????
And the eligibility criteria. I'm hoping to graduate this year.

www.diploma-home.com