How to Study in Germany for Free – Universities & Scholarships

How to Study in Germany for Free – Universities & Scholarships

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How to Study in Germany for Free – Universities & Scholarships
Sahil Dahal

Germany has earned a reputation as a hub for international students seeking a high-quality education without the burden of exorbitant tuition fees. In this detailed guide, we will delve into the intricacies of studying in Germany for free, including a comprehensive list of tuition-free universities, various scholarship opportunities, and practical tips for a seamless academic journey.

Read More: Study in Germany

Tuition-Free Universities in Germany

Germany boasts numerous public universities that do not charge tuition fees, making education accessible to a diverse range of students. Here's a list of 10 tuition-free universities:

Humboldt University of Berlin

Discover a world of possibilities at Humboldt University of Berlin, ranked #120 in QS World University Rankings. Established in 1810, this prestigious institution offers 185 degree courses, including 21 international Master's programs conducted in English. With an acceptance rate of 18%, it has attracted notable alums like Angela Davis and Sahra Wagenknecht. Join the diverse community and explore top-notch Business, Economics, Arts and humanities, Law, Mathematics, Language, and Life Sciences education.

University of Hamburg

Ranked #205 in QS World University Rankings, the University of Hamburg is one of Germany's tuition-free gems. With an acceptance rate of 18%, it has a century-old legacy and offers 65 undergraduate and 98 postgraduate programs. Notable alums include Robert Habeck and Annalena Baerbock. Dive into Law, Economics, Business Administration, Computer Science, and Industrial Engineering at this vibrant institution.

Ludwig Maximilians University Munich

Founded in 1472, Ludwig Maximilians University Munich is a leading research university, ranked #54 in QS World University Rankings. Boasting an 18% acceptance rate, this institution offers over 300 degree programs, from Data Science to Veterinary Medicine. Notable alums like Max Planck and Thomas Mann have walked its halls, making it a beacon for quality education in Germany.

Technical University of Munich

Established in 1868, the Technical University of Munich (TUM) holds the #37 spot in QS World University Rankings. With an impressively low 8% acceptance rate, TUM is a pioneer in research and innovation. Notable alums include Tsvetana Marinova and Jürgen Schopp. Explore free Data Engineering and Analytics, Management, Computer Science, and Business and economics courses.

Free University of Berlin

Founded in 1948, the Free University of Berlin is a hub for tuition-free education, ranking #98 in QS World University Rankings. With a 15% acceptance rate, it offers over 150 academic programs, including Digital Media and Technology, Physics, Psychology, Film Studies, and Management & Marketing. Notable alums like Kevin Kühnert and Jonathan Franzen highlight the school's commitment to holistic development.

University of Freiburg

Established in 1457, the University of Freiburg is renowned for its outstanding research and teaching. With a diverse spectrum of disciplines and a 33% acceptance rate, it provides opportunities for basic research in humanities, engineering, medicine, and business administration. Notable alums include Mario Molina and Edith Stein.

RWTH Aachen University

Ranked #106 in QS World University Rankings, RWTH Aachen University is a renowned hub for technology. With a low 10% acceptance rate, it hosts 260 institutes in nine faculties, offering over 173 courses. Notable alums include Eike Batista and Ranga Yogeshwar. Immerse yourself in Computer Engineering, Business Administration, Technology Communication, and Technology Education.

University of Bonn

With a history spanning over 200 years, the University of Bonn is a distinguished institution, ranking #239 in QS World University Rankings. Boasting a 33% acceptance rate, it provides education in disciplines ranging from Law and Agricultural Science to Art History and Biochemistry. Notable alums include Karl Marx and Franz Boas.

Heidelberg University

Established in 1386, Heidelberg University is a leading research institution, ranked #87 in QS World University Rankings. With a 33% acceptance rate, it offers over 180 study programs across diverse fields like Economics, Natural Sciences, Liberal Arts and theology, and Mathematics. Notable alums include Judy Smith and Allyson Lyle.

University of Münster

Enrolling over 45,700 students annually, the University of Münster ranks #384 in QS World University Rankings. With a 15% acceptance rate, it is one of the largest tuition-free universities globally. Offering programs in Applied Linguistics, Business Administration, Educational Science, and Biology, the university welcomes students to a diverse and vibrant academic community. Notable alums include Ursula von der Leyen and Judith Rakers.

Also Check: 5 best universities in GERMANY for International students

Scholarship Opportunities for International Students

In addition to tuition-free universities, Germany offers various scholarships funded by multiple sources. Here are some critical scholarship programs:

DAAD Scholarships

As a hub for academic excellence, Germany offers diverse scholarship opportunities, with the DAAD Scholarships standing out. Tailored for students ranging from undergraduates to doctoral candidates, these scholarships cover tuition fees, living expenses, and in some instances, travel costs. The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) facilitates an inclusive approach to international education by supporting students at various stages of their academic journey. This financial backing ensures that scholars can fully immerse themselves in their studies without financial constraints.

Erasmus+ Scholarships

For European Union students seeking international exposure, Erasmus+ Scholarships provide a unique avenue for short-term exchanges and complete degree programs. This initiative fosters collaboration among European nations, promoting cross-cultural experiences and enhancing the educational landscape. By offering opportunities for students to study in different European countries, Erasmus+ contributes to developing a well-rounded and globally aware student community within the European Union.

Heinrich Böll Foundation Scholarships

Dedicated to individuals committed to environmental sustainability, the Heinrich Böll Foundation Scholarships support students passionate about ecological conservation. The scholarship covers tuition fees and provides a monthly stipend, allowing recipients to dedicate their time and energy to their studies and research in environmental sustainability. This financial support nurtures academic growth and contributes to the larger goal of addressing pressing environmental challenges.


Merit-based students find support through the Deutschlandstipendium, a scholarship covering half the required funds. This unique program fosters collaboration between academic institutions and private sponsors, symbolizing a partnership that values and nurtures high-achieving individuals. By encouraging personal sector involvement, the Deutschlandstipendium recognizes academic excellence and promotes industry support integration into the educational ecosystem.

Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Scholarships

Addressing social, political, and economic issues is at the heart of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Scholarships. Designed for individuals committed to positive change, this scholarship covers tuition fees and provides a monthly stipend. By offering financial support to those dedicated to societal advancement, the scholarship empowers students to pursue academic endeavors that contribute meaningfully to resolving social justice, politics, and economics challenges. The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Scholarship exemplifies Germany's commitment to nurturing future leaders and change-makers.

Check More: Scholarships for International Student in Germany

Tips for Applying to Scholarships and Universities in Germany

Here's an elaboration on the tips for applying to scholarships and universities in Germany, along with additional categories like Personal Statement, Start Early, Language Proficiency, Academic Excellence, and Research Your Field of Study:

Start Early

Initiating the application process well in advance is crucial when applying to scholarships and universities in Germany. The application period for many programs may start months before the actual intake, so planning is essential. This allows ample time to gather all necessary documents, including transcripts, letters of recommendation, and language proficiency certificates.

Academic Excellence

Maintaining a high GPA is a universal requirement for most scholarships and universities. Admissions committees often look for candidates who have excelled in their academic pursuits. In addition to grades, securing strong letters of recommendation from professors or employers can reinforce your application. Choose recommenders who can attest to your academic abilities and potential for success in your chosen field.

Research Your Field of Study

Before applying, thoroughly research your chosen field of study. Identify scholarships, grants, and funding opportunities that are specific to your academic discipline. Germany offers a variety of scholarships, both from the government and private institutions, and tailoring your application to fit the requirements of these scholarships can significantly enhance your chances of receiving financial support.

Personal Statement

Craft a compelling personal statement that goes beyond your academic achievements. Use this opportunity to showcase your passion for your chosen field, your career goals, and how studying in Germany aligns with your aspirations. Highlight any relevant experiences, research projects, or internships that have contributed to your academic and personal development. This is your chance to stand out and make a memorable impression on the admissions committee.

Financial Planning

Consider the cost of living in Germany and factor in expenses such as accommodation, food, transportation, and health insurance. In addition to scholarships, explore other financial aid options, such as part-time work opportunities for students. Planning your budget in advance will help you make informed decisions and ensure a smoother transition to life in Germany.

Networking and Extracurricular Activities

Engage in networking opportunities related to your field of study. Attend conferences, workshops, and events to build connections with professionals and academics in Germany. Involvement in extracurricular activities, both within and outside your academic sphere, can enhance your application by demonstrating a well-rounded and proactive personality.

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Admissions Requirements

Specific Program Requirements: Identify and understand the specific admissions criteria for the program you are applying to. Different academic disciplines may have unique prerequisites and expectations.

Document Translations: Ensure that all required documents, such as transcripts and certificates, are translated into either English or German, as per the university's guidelines. This is crucial for a smooth application process.

Language Proficiency: Check the language proficiency requirements for the program. While English proficiency is essential for many courses, some programs may have additional requirements, such as a minimum level of proficiency in German.

Submission Deadlines: Be aware of the application deadlines for the chosen program. Submitting your application on time is critical, as late submissions are often not considered.

Application Forms: Complete all application forms accurately and thoroughly. Pay attention to details and provide the necessary information requested by the university.

Supporting Documents: Prepare and submit all required supporting documents, such as letters of recommendation, a resume, or a portfolio, depending on the program's requirements.

Entrance Exams: Check if the program requires any specific entrance exams and ensure you register for and take these exams within the designated timeframe.

Interviews or Portfolios: Be prepared for any interviews, portfolio submissions, or additional assessments that may be part of the admission process. Familiarize yourself with the format and expectations.


Studying in Germany for free is not only a possibility but a reality for countless international students. With tuition-free universities and many scholarship opportunities, Germany is an affordable and top-tier education destination. By exploring scholarship options, meticulous preparation, and aligning your goals with the offerings of German universities, you can embark on a transformative educational journey without the financial strain of high tuition fees. Germany's commitment to academic excellence and rich cultural experiences makes it an ideal destination for students seeking quality education in a welcoming and vibrant environment.

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