Top universities in Germany 2021 (2023)

Top universities in Germany 2021 (1)

Top universities in Germany 2021 (2)

Top Universities in Germany

If you’re looking to study in Germany, you’ll be pleased to know that the country is home to 46 of the 1029 universities featured in the recently released QS World University Rankings® 2021. Of these, 12 German universities can be found in the worldwide top 200 this year.

The universities are assessed on six indicators: academic and employer reputation, faculty/student ratio, citations per faculty (a measure of research output), international faculty ratio and international student ratio. You can find out more about how universities are assessed in the world university rankings in the methodology.

Read on to discover the top universities in Germany in 2021, starting with a look at the top eleven universities in the country.

QS World University Rankings 2021 - Top Universities in Germany

Germany rank





Technische Universität München



Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München



Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg



Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin



Freie Universität Berlin



KIT, Karlsruher Institut für Technologie



Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen



Technische Universität Berlin



Technische Universität Dresden



Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen



Universität Freiburg

=10. Universität Freiburg

Top universities in Germany 2021 (3)

In joint 10th in Germany is Universität Freiburg, which ranks joint 175th worldwide. The university places 147th in the world for the academic reputation indicator and 21 Nobel laureates are affiliated with the university as alumni, faculty or researchers.

Founded in 1457, Universität Freiburg is the fifth oldest university in Germany. Today the university has more than 24,000 students from over 100 nations.

=10.Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

Top universities in Germany 2021 (4)

Taking joint 175th place along with Universität Freiburg is Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, which earns its highest score in the international faculty ratio index.

The university is considered particularly prestigious for its theology, divinity and religious studies course, for which it ranks worldwide in the QS World University Rankings by Subject.

9. Technische Universität Dresden

Top universities in Germany 2021 (5)

Photo: TUD

Taking 173rd position in the world rankings, after rising six places this year, is Technische Universität Dresden (TU). One of Germany’s leading technology schools, the university ranks 120th in both the faculty-student ratio indicator and the employer reputation indicator.

TU’s main campus is located in Dresden city center. The university has just under 32,000 students, with international students making up around an eighth of these.

8.Technische Universität Berlin

Top universities in Germany 2021 (6)

Heading to the German capital next in our look at the 10 best universities in Germany,Technische Universität Berlincomes in at eighth in Germany, falling one place to 148th worldwide.

The university scores particularly highly for employer reputation, where it ranks 139th worldwide. It is also a member of the prestigious TU9 group, which includes several of the most notable German institutes of technology.

7.Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen

Top universities in Germany 2021 (7)

Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen (RWTH Aachen)climbs eight places in this year’s world university rankings to now place 148th, ranking 30th in the world for employer reputation.

With more than 45,600 students and 162 study courses, RWTH Aachen is the largest technical university in Germany.

6.KIT, Karlsruher Institut für Technologie

Top universities in Germany 2021 (8)

Down seven places this year to rank 131st is KIT, Karlsruher Institut für Technologie. The school takes sixth place in Germany in 2021, after falling from the top five. KIT earns a standout score for employer reputation, where it ranks 63rd worldwide.

The university’s aim is to make significant contributions to global challenges in energy, mobility and information, and uses research-based study to prepare its 24,400 students for life after graduation.

5.Freie Universität Berlin

Top universities in Germany 2021 (9)

Remaining in 130thplace,Freie Universität Berlin overtakes KIT, Karlsruher Institut für Technologie to bag fifth place in Germany in this year’s university rankings.

The university places 65th in the world for academic reputation and has a strong reputation for its social science courses, particularly for its politics course, for which it currently ranks joint 19th in the world.

4.Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Top universities in Germany 2021 (10)

In fourth place in Germany for the second year running is Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. The university rises three places in the world university ranking this year, stealing 117th and earning a top 50 position in the academic reputation indicator.

Located in Berlin, the university was founded in 1810 and was given the title “Mother of all Universities”. It was linked to major breakthroughs in physics and other sciences by its professors, which included Albert Einstein. The university has also had an association with no fewer than 55 Nobel laureates.

3.Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg

Top universities in Germany 2021 (11)

Up two spots in the world rankings this year is Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg in 64th place globally and third in Germany.

Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg also takes the title of the oldest university in the country, founded in 1386. It achieves a top 100 score for the academic reputation and faculty student ratio indicators.

2.Ludwig-Maximilians – Universität München

Top universities in Germany 2021 (12)

For another year running, Ludwig-Maximilians – Universität München was ranked 63rdin the world in 2021. It was founded in 1472 and currently has more than 50,900 students, with international students making up 15 percent of the student population.

Ludwig-Maximilians – Universität Münchenranks 36th worldwide for academic reputation and has been associated with 42 Nobel laureates.

1.Technische Universität München

Top universities in Germany 2021 (13)

Last but definitely not least, Technische Universität München places first once again amongst the top German universities. The university climbs five places this year to rank 50th in the world overall and 17th for employer reputation.

Technische Universität München was founded in 1968 and aims to combine top class facilities for cutting edge research with its unique learning opportunities for students, striving to create lasting value for society.

The remaining top German universities in the top 20 are:

11.Georg-August-Universität Göttingen- ranked 195thin the world.

12.Universität Hamburg- ranked joint 228th in the world.

13.Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn– ranked joint 240thin the world.

14.Technische Universität Darmstadt– ranked joint 267thin the world.

15.Universität Köln– ranked joint 282ndin the world.

16.Universität Mannheim– ranked 307thin the world, up 24 places.

17.Universität Frankfurt am Main– ranked joint 311thin the world.

18.Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg– ranked joint 317thin the world.

19.Universität Jena– ranked joint 323rdin the world, up 17 places.

And the rest…

20.Universität Stuttgart– ranked joint 333rdin the world.

21.Universität Ulm ranked joint 344thin the world.

22.Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster– ranked 356thin the world.

23.Johannes Gutenberg Universität Mainz– ranked joint 403rdin the world.

24.Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg– ranked joint 437th

25.Ruhr-Universität Bochum– ranked joint 439th in the world.

26.Universität Konstanz– ranked joint 443rdin the world.

27.Universität des Saarlandes– ranked joint 451stin the world.

28.Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg– ranked joint 470th in the world.

29.Universität Leipzig– ranked joint 483rd in the world.

After the global top 500, the remaining universities are ranked in ranges, starting at 501-510 and continuing to 801-1000.

Find out more about university ranking ranges and other frequently asked questions >

30.Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel– ranked 501-510in the world.

31.Universität Bayreuth– ranked 521-530 in the world.

32.Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen– ranked 531-540 in the world.

33.Universität Bremen– ranked 541-550 in the world.

34.Technische Universität Braunschweig– ranked 551-560 in the world.

35.Universität Regensburg– ranked 601-650 in the world.

=36. Leibniz Universität Hannover– ranked 651-700 in the world.

=36.Philipps-Universität Marburg– ranked 651-700 in the world.

=36. Universität Hohenheim– ranked 651-700 in the world.

39.Universität Rostock-ranked 701-750 in the world

=40. Universität Duisburg-Essen– ranked 751-800 in the world.

=40. Universität Düsseldorf -ranked 751-800 in the world.

=42. Technische Universität Dortmund – ranked 801-1000 in the world.

=42. Universität Bielefeld -ranked 801-1000 in the world.

=42. Universität Potsdam– ranked 801-1000 the world.

To learn more about studying in Germany, download ourcomplete guide, which includes advice on applications, tuition fees, studying in English, student visas and more.

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Top universities in Germany 2021? ›

University of Freiburg

The University of Freiburg, situated in Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany, is a prestigious research university founded in 1457. Along with being one of the oldest universities, it is considered one of the hardest Universities to get into in Germany.

What is the hardest German university to get into? ›

University of Freiburg

The University of Freiburg, situated in Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany, is a prestigious research university founded in 1457. Along with being one of the oldest universities, it is considered one of the hardest Universities to get into in Germany.

What are Tier 1 universities in Germany? ›

  • University of Munich. Germany|Munich. ...
  • Ruprecht Karls University Heidelberg. Germany|Heidelberg. ...
  • Humboldt University of Berlin. Germany|Berlin. ...
  • Technical University of Munich. Germany|Munich. ...
  • Free University of Berlin. Germany|Berlin. ...
  • University of Bonn. Germany|Bonn. ...
  • University of Hamburg. Germany|Hamburg. ...
  • University of Gottingen.

Which German university is most competitive? ›

Free University of Berlin

The Free University of Berlin is one of the most competitive in the country. With over 30,000 applicants each year, only a little over 4,000 students are accepted. This university is focused on research in different areas that go from social sciences to health and natural sciences.

Which university in Germany has 100 acceptance rate? ›

Schiller International University is one of the most prestigious universities with a high acceptance rate in Germany. The employment rate of graduates after completing their course from the university is 68% and the acceptance rate of the university is 100%.

Is it hard to get into German universities as an American? ›

But as some of you may know, Germany regularly alters their admission requirements, which can make the admissions process a challenging one for American students who want to apply to their English-taught bachelor's programs. But… wait, pursuing an English-taught degree in Germany as an American isn't impossible.

What GPA do you need to study in Germany? ›

GPA Requirements to Study in Germany

German universities may have different grade requirements based on the course, the university, etc. For a middle-profile course, the minimum grade requirement is 2.5, for a high-profile study program, 1.5. And for a low-profile course, no specific requirements apply.

What is the best GPA in Germany? ›

Understanding the German Grading Scheme
2.0Overall very good
2 more rows

Does ranking of university matter in Germany? ›

Does the ranking of a university matter in Germany? University rankings in Germany do matter - but only a little bit. German universities do want to be able to compete internationally and landing on the international rankings is one way to boost international recognition.

Is German university free for international students? ›

Everyone can study in Germany tuition-free!

That's right: Germans, Europeans, and all non-Europeans can study in Germany free of charge - without tuition fees. It does not matter if you are from the EU or EEA. This applies to almost all study programmes at public universities.

What's the easiest German university to get admission to? ›

Top 15 Easiest Universities to Get Into in Germany
  1. University of Potsdam. Acceptance rate: 100% ...
  2. University of Hildesheim. ...
  3. University of Siegen. ...
  4. University of Kassel. ...
  5. University of Vechta. ...
  6. Fulda University of Applied Sciences. ...
  7. University of Applied Sciences Esslingen. ...
  8. University of Applied Sciences Bielefeld.
May 20, 2023

What is the most popular degree in Germany? ›

There is a variety of Bachelor in Germany programs that students can choose from. Some of the more popular fields of study for a Bachelor in Germany are international relations, business, engineering, economics, and hospitality, to name a few.

What is Germany known for academically? ›

Focus on innovation

Majority of institutions in Germany have a strong focus on academic research and technological inventions.

What is the hardest university in the world to get in? ›

Elite and exclusive: Universities with the toughest admissions criteria. Harvard University, University of Oxford, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the University of Cambridge. We have all heard of it these world-class universities.

What is Germany's No 1 university? ›

QS World University Rankings 2021 - Top Universities in Germany
Germany rankGlobal rankUniversity
150Technische Universität München
263Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
364Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg
8 more rows

Are German universities respected? ›

In total, 50 universities in Germany are counted among the very best in the world. More than 500 degrees (bachelor's and master's programmes) are taught in English at top German universities. Whatever subject you are interested in, you can study that degree in English in Germany.

What is the hardest major in Germany? ›

Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry are among the most difficult subjects. The failure rate and dropout rate in these programs are very high. Especially the subjects of Mathematics and Physics programs are very challenging and you need analytical and abstract thinking skills to keep up with it.

What is the German highest GPA? ›

Germany has a 5 or 6 point grading system (GPA) to evaluate student's performance. Grades vary from 1 (Excellent, sehr gut) to 5,6 ( Not sufficient, nicht gut). How to convert the percentage to the German grading system? You can use various online websites which will convert your percentage to German grades.

What is the most difficult German exam? ›

The relevant levels of language ability according to the Common European Framework of Reference are C2, C1, and B2, with C2 being the hardest, and B2 the easiest. So "Goethe-Zertifikat C 2 (Goethe)" is the hardest. "DSH-3" is the upper end of C1, and is next in line. "TELC Deutsch C1 Hochschule" is equivalent to this.

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