The Ten Best Universities in Germany

For many international students, Germany is the ideal country to study abroad: World-leading universities, many English-language study options especially at the postgraduate level, and no tuition fees at public universities. For these reasons and more, every year around 100,000 students from around the world choose to come to Germany for their university education.

There are more than 400 universities, and many of them score high in international rankings, among the top universities in the world. The two hot spots of academic excellence are Munich (with Ludwig Maximilians University, LMU, and the Technical University of Munich, TUM) and Berlin (with the HU, the FU and the TU). But that’s just the tip of the iceberg, and there are many more world-class institutions in other corners of the country.

Top ranked universities in Germany

University QS Rank
THE Rank
Technical University of
Munich (TUM)
61 44 48
Ludwig Maximilians
University Munich
62 32 53
Heidelberg University 64 47 47
Karlsruhe Institute of
Technology (KIT)
116 135 201
Humboldt University
121 67
Freie Universität
130 104
RWTH Aachen
144 87 201
Universität Berlin
147 131 301
University of
168 89 151
University of
186 76 101

How do the university rankings work?

The QS World University Rankings are among the most important, most-referenced rankings. The QS ranking relies heavily on its academic survey, asking thousands of academics worldwide about the reputation of universities.

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings (or the THE Rankings for short) compile a wide range of statistics. Equal weight is put on teaching quality, research excellence, and research impact through citations (meaning how often a university’s research is referenced elsewhere).

The Academic Ranking of World Universities by Shanghai Jiao Tong University (often just Shanghai Ranking, or ARWU) focuses on research output and quality, for example measured by the number of published and cited scientific papers and the number of staff or alumni winning the Nobel Prize or Fields Medal.

The Ten Best Universities in Germany

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