Top 10 Universities in Berlin for International Students in 2024

Universities in Berlin are home to over 27,000 international students who choose Germany as their global education destination. A city steeped in history and culture, the capital and the country as a whole, is steadily seeing an increase in the number of overseas students.

The growing appeal can be dedicated to a large number of courses, especially at the postgraduate level, offered in English, world class public universities that do not charge tuition fee, and the country’s attitude to technology, research and innovation. If you are looking at Germany as a study destination, why not look at the capital?

What are the benefits of studying at Berlin Colleges?

Germany is becoming an increasingly popular choice among international students for higher education. The capital city of Berlin has been a scientific, cultural and political centre through history and is currently seeing an influx of international students. A core member of the EU’s Erasmus programme, there are many advantages to studying in Berlin. Let us take a look.

1. World renowned universities:

Three of the top ten universities in Germany (Freie Universität, Humboldt Universität and Technische Universität) are located in Berlin. These universities are also ranked in the top 100 in the world, according to both QS and Times Higher Education rankings. They are inclusive, internationally recognised and have produced around 43 Nobel laureates. German universities are research intensive, emphasise innovation and are deep rooted in industry requirements.

2. Affordable education:

Public universities in Germany do not charge tuition fees for both domestic and foreign students. The administrative fee that these universities charge range from €150 – €500 per semester. Even if you are looking at private universities, their tuition fees are far more affordable than the U.S. or the U.K.

In addition to the governmental stance to not commercialise education, there are a number of scholarship options that you can also access to further ease the cost of international education. One such example is the Deutschlandstipendium. These awards are given out as monthly stipends to help with the cost of living, books, travel and other expenses.
Furthermore, as a student with a valid student visa, you are permitted to work up to 120 full days or 240 half days a year. Even if you account for the minimum wage rate of €12 per hour, you can earn a decent sum to contribute to your living expenses.

3. Europe’s Silicon Valley:

In the last decade, Germany has generated one of the highest amounts of venture capital for startups in Europe. Due to the emphasis the nation places on technological advancements and innovation, the city of Berlin has earned the nickname ‘the Silicon Valley’ of Europe. It is a hub of tech startups and international corporations, especially in the fields of software, digital media, e-commerce, fintech, and creative industries, making room for more skilled workers.

4. Global networking opportunities:

With more international students choosing this city as their study destination and the place to build their careers, you will have the chance to build networks with students and professionals from different parts of the globe.

5. Exploring Europe in all its richness:

Ripe with history (the Holocaust Museum, the Berlin Wall), art and an underground music scene, your life, outside of academics, in the city will prove to be enthralling. Moreover, with a valid student permit, you can also travel and explore the Schengen area.

How much does it cost to study in Berlin?

For an international student, the cost of higher education here is considerably lower than the cities in the U.S. or the U.K. So let us take a look at some of the indicative figures that will help you budget your education.

Tuition fee: As mentioned earlier, if you are enrolled in a public university, then your tuition fee is zero. In a private university, the tuition can range anywhere from €8,000 – €45,000 depending on the subjects and the level of your course.

Other institutional fees: State-funded universities charge an administrative fee and a student union fee ranging from €150 – €500 per semester. In the privately owned institutions, there is also a one-time enrolment fee that varies with each college.

Cost of living: On an average, you can get by with about €1,300 per month in the city. Here is a rough break-up of that estimate. Note that these figures are more indicative than actual. Your lifestyle choices will determine a majority of this section.

  • Rent €400
  • Food €300 – €400
  • Transport €45 – €75
  • Phone/ Internet €60 – €80
  • Health insurance €45 – €80
  • Other expenses €200

What are the career opportunities after graduating from universities in Berlin, Germany?

The economy of this capital city is primarily composed of the service sector and the tech industry. The booming startup scene has also increased the demand for skilled professionals. Here are some of the fields which are in need of people, in Berlin and in Germany as a whole.

  • IT and computer science (€60,936),
  • Different branches of engineering (€64,000),
  • Business analysts (€55,000),
  • Healthcare workers (€61,932)
  • Teachers (€48,000)
  • UI/ UX Designer ((€52,526).
  • Data Scientist (€70,479).

Note: The numbers in brackets are average annual salaries, as indicated by

While these are some of the in-demand jobs, as a skilled worker, you can find employment in the world’s fourth largest economy. However, it is essential that you are fluent in German to establish a career in Germany.

Coming to the legal side of it, let us take a look at the immigration policy.

You can work up to 120 full days or 240 half days a year, during your course, having informed the administration office of your university. Mandatory internships, TA/ RA roles are not counted in this limit. You can earn up to €450 per month tax free. Any amount beyond that is liable for being taxed.

After graduation, you can extend your residence permit for up to 18 months to look for a job. The 18 month period begins on the day you receive your final semester results, so it is advantageous if you start looking for jobs in the final semester. The duration of your residence permit is typically proportional to the length of your programme. Once you have found a role that you like, you can apply for either the German residence permit or the EU blue card. We would suggest the EU blue card as it would allow you to live and work in any other European nation that is part of the EU.

What are the best universities in Berlin for international students?

The best universities in Berlin for international students are

1. Freie Universität Berlin
2. Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
3. Technische Universität Berlin
4. Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin
5. ESMT Berlin
6. SRH Hochschule Berlin
7. Universität der Künste Berlin (University of the Arts)
8. HTW Berlin University of Applied Sciences
9. Steinbeis University
10. Berlin International University of Applied Sciences

1. Freie Universität Berlin

Source: Wikipedia

The Free University of Berlin (although the university does not translate its name, it is simply referred to as FU Berlin) is a public research university with special focus on the social sciences, political science and the humanities. With twelve departments and three central institutes, FU Berlin offers more than 150 different academic courses to its students.

Why is it good to study here?

  • Ranked 98 in the world and 4 in Germany, according to QS World university rankings
  • Repeatedly selected as a University of Excellence
  • One of the pioneering research institutes in social sciences and humanities
  • Also renowned for cutting edge research in natural and Earth sciences as well as computer sciences and mathematics
  • Encourages interdisciplinary research


As a public university, FU Berlin does not charge any tuition fee. There is a basic enrollment/ semester fee of about €300.


Here are some of the common admissions criteria at the bachelor’s level. Please check the university website for course specific requirements.

  • School leaving certificate evaluated by the Academic evaluation Centre
  • Proof of German proficiency DSH 2/ Telc C1 / C2 Zertifikat des Goethe-Instituts / TestDaF

Note: Except B.A. in North American Studies, all the other undergraduate programmes are taught in German and therefore need a professional knowledge of the language.

For master’s application:

  • A bachelor’s degree from a recognised university in a relevant field
  • Proof of work experience, if required for your course
  • If the course is taught entirely in English, then a minimum IELTS score of 5.0 or a TOEFL iBT score of 80 is required.

Courses offered & admission process

The following are the postgraduate courses offered in English:
Master of Arts

  • Archaeology of the Ancient World
  • English Studies: Literature, Language, Culture
  • Global History
  • Global East Asia
  • Interdisciplinary Studies of the Middle East
  • Iranian Studies
  • North American Studies
  • Sociology – European Societies

Master of Science

  • Biochemistry
  • Bioinformatics
  • Chemistry
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Computational Sciences
  • Data Science
  • Mathematics
  • Pharmaceutical Research
  • Physics
  • Planetary Sciences and Space Explorations
  • Polymer Science

You are required to submit your application to Freie Universität Berlin via uni-assist. On an average, the application processing time is six weeks. So, overseas students are advised to apply well in advance to have enough time for visa application.

2. Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Opening in 1810, Humboldt University or HU Berlin is a public research university. Offering courses from the undergraduate to the post-doctoral level, HU Berlin is divided into nine faculties and has a student enrolment of around 32,000.

Why is it good to study here?

  • Ranked 120 in the world and 7 in Germany, according to QS World University Rankings
  • As of 2020, 57 Nobel prize winners can be associated with HU, including Einstein and Shrodinger.
  • HU students can study abroad for a semester or a year at partner institutions such as the University of Warwick, Princeton University, and the University of Vienna.
  • Explore research-based teaching right from the undergraduate level
  • You can make use of the various internship boards and the career centre to find job opportunities


Every semester, an administrative fee of €315.16 must be paid.


For undergraduate courses:

  • School leaving certificate
  • All undergraduate programmes are taught in German. So a minimum qualifying level of B2 for the preparatory courses or C1 for the undergraduate course is required.

For master’s programs:
Compared to the UG level, the graduate school offers a number of English-taught courses. The basic eligibility criteria is as follows:

  • A recognised undergraduate degree
  • Minimum IELTS score of 6.5 or TOEFL iBT of 100

Courses offered & admission process

From European law to Molecular medicine, you can access the list of programmes taught in English here. For those applying from outside of the EU, your application must be submitted through uni-assist. After a preliminary evaluation by this centralised portal, it goes to the university.

3. Technische Universität Berlin

Source: Wikidata

Also known as the Technical University of Berlin or TU Berlin is a member of TU9 and T.I.M.E (Top International Managers in Engineering). The university is known for offering the first degree programf in Industrial Engineering and Management in 1926-27.

Why is it good to study here?

  • Ranked 154 in the world and 8 in Germany
  • Has one of the highest percentages of foreign students at around 27%.
  • Is a University of Excellence
  • Global recognition for its science and engineering programmes


University fees of €231 are charged every semester. The only exception is the continuing education master’s programmes.


  • University entrance qualification / undergraduate degree for a bachelor’s and a master’s programme respectively
  • Telc Deutsch C1/ SDH II /  TestDaF at level 4 minimum or equivalent
  • IELTS/ TOEFL iBT scores for the Master’s degrees in English

Courses offered & admission process

There are 19 Master’s programmes that are taught in English from Architecture typology to Urban management. You can access the entire list here. The applications are made online with uni-assist to ensure validity of the qualifications submitted.

4. Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin

Source: Charité

Established in 1710, Charité – University of Medicine is one of the largest university hospitals in Europe. It is Germany’s most intensive medical research institution. In 2011, the medical schools of both Humboldt University and Freie Universität Berlin were united under Charité, which now serves as a single medical faculty for both universities.

Why is it good to study here?

  • Ranked 68th in the world for medicine by QS ranking and 94th by Times Higher Education
  • Is affiliated with 11 Nobel laureates. More than half the Nobel prize winners in physiology/ medicine from Germany can be associated with this university.
  • It is one of the largest university hospitals in Europe emphasising on medical research.
  • Renowned for providing outstanding medical and healthcare related teaching and training.
  • It is also partnered with the University of Oxford, University of Melbourne and the National University of Singapore.


Depending on the course, the tuition fee can range from €0 – €42,500 per year.


  • Complete certificates of previous education (in the case of admission to higher education with periods of study – overview of subjects and grades)
  • Proof of German language skills (the relevant German language skills must be proven by the application deadline)
  • Translations of all certificates into German or English
  • Passport
  • If your qualifications are deemed insufficient, then you will be invited to take an assessment test or sign up for the studienkolleg (preparatory college course)

Courses offered & admission process

  • Medicine (state examination)
  • Dentistry (state examination)
  • Health Care Sciences (BSc, MSc)
  • Public Health (MSc)
  • Epidemiology (MSc)
  • International Health (MSc) – English
  • Medical Neurosciences (MSc) – English
  • Molecular Medicine (MSc) – English

Note: Except for the last three, all the other courses are taught entirely in German. All international admissions take place through Uni-Assist which takes a few weeks to process and evaluate your application.The medicine programme has restricted admission where only about 5% of seats are reserved for international students.

5. ESMT Berlin

Source: ESMT

One of the most prestigious business schools in all of Europe, the European School of Management and Technology (ESMT) is a graduate school that offers specialisations in business administration, entrepreneurship and artificial intelligence.

Why is it good to study here?

  • Ranked 75th in the world for its management programmes by QS Rankings
  • The school was founded by 25 global companies including McKinsey & Co, KPMG, The Boston Consulting Group and Siemens. It indicates how deeply the programme is rooted in industry and has unlimited access to the global economy.
  • It is one of the four b-schools in Germany with triple accreditation: Association of MBAs (AMBA), Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), and European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS).


As a private university, ESMT charges tuition fees ranging from €28,000 – €49,000.


  • At least three years of consecutive postgraduate, professional experience
  • An undergraduate, or first university, degree of minimum 3 years (bachelor)
  • Strong GMAT, GRE, or BAT scores (the average GMAT score is 640)
  • English proficiency test scores: TOEFL scores (95 minimum), PTE scores (64 minimum), IELTS scores (7 minimum), or other English proficiency tests are accepted).
  • Knowledge of German is not mandatory but is advantageous.

Courses offered & admission process

The courses offered are

  • Masters in Global Management
  • Masters in Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  • Masters in Analytics and Artificial Intelligence
  • Global MBA (Online)
  • Part-time MBA
  • Full-time MBA
  • Executive MBA
  • Doctoral programme

All these courses are offered in English. The admission process begins with an online application and screening, followed by an interview, a decision and acceptance or rejection of the offer.

6. SRH Hochschule Berlin

Source: Wikidata

SRH University of Applied Sciences, also called SRH Hochschule is a private state-accredited university. As a Hochschule, it offers post-secondary education with more emphasis on practical learning and training when compared to a traditional university.

Why is it good to study here?

  • With 5 schools in 3 different cities in Germany, SRH provides a diverse, multicultural global ed experience.
  • You have the choice of over 70 accredited German and English language programmes
  • On average, around 50% of your course is dedicated to practical learning.


The average fee for a bachelor’s programme for a non-EU student is about €9,000 per year and €12,900 per year for a master’s programme.


For bachelor’s programmes

  • Higher education entrance qualification or an equivalent foreign degree
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Copy of your passport/ID
  • Further requirements for some programmes (e.g. text or work samples, letter of motivation etc.) can be found on the respective study programme pages
  • For courses taught in English: TOEFL (Minimum 87), IELTS (Minimum 6.5) or PTE (Minimum 59)
  • For courses taught in German: DSH-Prüfung (level 2) / TestDaF 4 / Goethe-Zertifikat C1 or C2 or Telc C1 or C2 or equivalent

For master’s programmes

  • Bachelor’s degree including transcript
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Copy of your passport / ID
  • Letter of motivation
  • Further requirements for some programmes (portfolios, work experience, specific required degrees, as required by the specific course)
  • Language requirements are the same as bachelor’s.

Courses offered & admission process

Ranging from computer science, and design to engineering and supply chain management, the different courses at SRH are offered under the 4 schools.

  • School of Design and Communication
  • School of Management
  • School of Popular Arts
  • School of Technology

You can access the entire list of courses here.

The application deadline for the winter semester beginning October 1 is August 15 and the summer semester beginning 1 April is 1 February. While these are the deadlines, it is recommended that foreign students, especially from non-EU/ non-EEA nations apply well in advance to give enough time for student visa processing. In addition to the tuition, a one-time enrollment fee of €3,000 must be paid to secure your admission.

7. Universität der Künste Berlin (University of the Arts)

Source: Wikipedia

A public art and design school, Berlin University of the Arts is the largest art school in Europe. One of the few art colleges in Germany to attain a full university status, the history of this institution can be traced back to 1696.

Why is it good to study here?

  • Ranked 33 in the world and 1 in Germany for Art and Design by QS world rankings
  • Access to over 40 different courses offered through four colleges specialising in fine arts, architecture, media and design, and music and performing arts.
  • Renowned for its cutting-edge research in industrial and fashion design.
  • Has been associated with industry greats such as Günter Grass, Vivienne Westwood, Norbert Bisky, Ali Kaaf and SEO to name a few.


Except for a few select postgraduate programmes (Cultural Journalism, Music Therapy Digital Communication and Sonic Arts), UdK does not charge any tuition fee. However, all students pay an enrolment charge of about €320 per semester.


For undergraduate admissions:

  • University entrance qualification (“Abitur” equivalent). The university entrance qualification is not essential if applicants demonstrate outstanding artistic talent.
  • Creative talent
  • Sufficient knowledge of German. (C1 level at the time of enrolment)
  • 6 weeks of preparatory practical experience (internship)
  • IELTS score of 6.5 or TOEFL iBT score of 95 for the English-taught programmes
  • Art portfolio and resume

For master’s admissions:

  • 4-year B.A. degree or a comparable degree
  • Artistic talent
  • Sufficient knowledge of German (Language certificate German B1 for application and Language certificate German C1 for enrolment)
  • IELTS score of 6.5 or TOEFL iBT score of 95 for the English-taught programmes
  • Art portfolio and resume

Courses offered & admission process

While the university has a wide variety of courses to choose from, the following programmes are taught in English

  • Master of Arts in Dance
  • Master of Arts in Sound Studies and Sonic Arts
  • Master of Arts in Jazz Arrangement and Composition
  • Master of Music in European Jazz

You can access the entire list of programmes here.
The application process is online, where you can register with the UdK website. The necessary documents, transcripts, bank statements and a processing fee of €30 must be uploaded/ paid via the university portal. The application period for the winter semester is between February and March.

8. HTW Berlin University of Applied Sciences

Source: HTW

Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft (HTW) is the largest university for applied sciences in Berlin. Offering over 70 different programmes in the fields of technology, computing, business, culture and design, this school has one of the highest percentages of international students in Germany.

Why is it good to study here?

  • Offers an extensive range of programmes from mechanical engineering to modern study programs such as facility management, game design or economic policy
  • About 26.4% of the student population at HTW are international students
  • Has a network of cooperation partnerships with about 150 universities of which around 120 of them are located in the EU.
  • The university focuses on practice-oriented research


The MBA and Engineering in Life Science Management is a paid international programme which has a tuition of €16,000, in addition to semester fees of €305. For all the other programmes, only a semester fee of about €225 is charged.


  • a university entrance qualification or a recognised undergraduate degree
  • Proof of German proficiency: DSH 2/ TestDaF 4/ Goethe Zertifikat C2  or equivalent
  • Proof of English proficiency: TOEFL iBT of 95/ IELTS of 7.0 or equivalent
  • Some programmes also have a numerus clausus (minimum GPA to even apply)/ an aptitude test/ pre-study work experience / a portfolio.

Courses offered & admission process

While the university does offer over 70 study programs, the following ones are taught in English

  • B.A. and M.A. International Business
  • MBA
  • M.Sc. Construction and Real Estate Management
  • M.Sc. Professional IT Business and Digitalization
  • M.Sc. Project Management and Data Science

The application process is online and goes via uni-assist. The application period for the winter semester is 1 April to 30 June and the summer semester is 1 October to 31 December.

9. Steinbeis University

Source: Steinbeis University

A private university of applied sciences founded in 1998, Steinbeis University is renowned for its courses in engineering and economics.

Why is it good to study here?

  • Most known for its ‘project competence study’. This ensures that the students produce not only academic or theoretical research insights but also show relevant outcomes that drive innovations in reality
  • The university works in close connection with industry partners to simultaneously build entrepreneurial skills among its students.


The fee ranges from €700 to €13,000, depending on the course.


  • General university entrance qualification (Abitur) or equivalent / a recognised bachelor’s degree
  • Proof of English / German competency

Courses offered & admission process

The following programmes are taught in English

  • B.Sc in IT Management
  • B.Sc and M.Sc in Business Informatics
  • M.Sc in Industrial Engineering
  • M.Sc in Business Management
  • M.Sc in International Management
  • M.Sc in IT Systems Engineering
  • Master of Business Engineering MBE
  • MBA
  • M.A. in Economics and Organisational Psychology

10. Berlin International University of Applied Sciences

Source: Berlin International University of Applied Sciences

A private not-for-profit institution, this school offers bachelor’s and master’s programs in architecture, design and business administration. It is one of the very few schools in Germany where all courses are taught in English.

Why is it good to study here?

  • All programs are taught in English
  • One of the leading institutions in terms of intercultural and interdisciplinary teaching and applied research.


The tuition fee ranges from €4,190 – €4,640 per semester plus a one-time registration fee of €600.


For bachelor’s admission

  • German Abitur/ IB Diploma or equivalent
  • TOEFL IBT of 74 / IELTS of 6.0 or equivalent
  • Portfolio for the design programmes

For master’s admission

  • A recognised undergraduate degree from a relevant field along with a certificate of the academic evaluation centre (APS)
  • A minimum of one year of work experience, especially for a course like an MBA.
  • TOEFL IBT of 74 / IELTS of 6.0 or equivalent
  • Portfolio for the design programmes

Courses offered & admission process

  • BA Graphic Design and Visual Communication
  • BA Interior Design
  • BA Architecture
  • BA Business Administration
  • BA Data Science and Business
  • MA Interior Architecture
  • MBA

The application process is online where the necessary documents in the original language and the translations are uploaded. The university usually takes about 4 weeks to process the application.

How to apply to colleges in Berlin?

Now that you have all the information about the top universities in Berlin, how do you go about the application process? Each university has its own set of requirements and deadlines to keep up with. The prep work can get overwhelming.

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Our platform enables students to study anywhere in the world in just a few steps. From search and discovery and finding the right course fit for you, to applications, visas, and departure – we see you through it all. We can help get you zero in on the best PhD courses.

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