• Germany

Education System in Germany

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  • By:CANAM Group
  • Updated On:Feb 29,2024 10:58 AM IST

Germany is famous for its scenic landscapes and standardised German education system for international students. Studying in this country will allow students to choose from a wide array of programs and have an extended career scope in their particular field of interest. From this blog, students can learn more about the higher education system in Germany.

Education system in Germany.webp
The German education system for international students has much to offer, making it a popular destination for international students to pursue higher education. Studying at German institutes is immensely beneficial for students. A degree from a German institute is not only globally accepted but also opens the door to several exciting opportunities.

However, before students enrol in any German institute, it’s essential to know about the country’s education system. Students can find numerous programs in different fields, giving them a wide range of course options to choose from. The education system is very different from that in India. So, before starting their studies, students should know what to expect.
Read the blog to learn everything about the higher education system in Germany.

German Education System for International Students

A significant reason why students choose to study in Germany is due to its education system. There are a set of rules and regulations on which the higher education system in Germany functions. The Federal Ministries of Education, Cultural Affairs and Science is the responsible authority for making such education, science, and arts policy guidelines. They are also accountable for embracing related laws and administrative regulations. 

The education system in Germany emphasises majorly on research and academic freedom. Technical degrees hold a lot of significance, so that’s why they’re a crucial aspect of the education system. This contributes to German universities ranking high at a global level. 

More About the Education System in Germany

The starting point of the higher education system in Germany is the Kindergarten. Then comes the Primary Education, Secondary Education, and Tertiary Education. The table below provides information on the duration of each:

Education SystemDuration
Kindergarten3 Years Long
Primary Education4-6 Years Long
Secondary Education3-4 Years Long
Tertiary Education3+ Years

Higher education in Germany is provided through universities. There are more than 300 universities in Germany, 150 applied science universities, and more than 50 colleges for music, art, and film. There are diverse educational programs from which students can choose. For international students, there are over 500 English-taught programs in Germany. 

Types of Universities in Germany

There are three types of universities in the German education system for international students. These are academic universities, universities of applied sciences, and universities of art/music. The table below presents more details on the different types of universities in Germany:

Types of Universities in Germany.webp

Types of UniversitiesDetails
Universities of Applied SciencesSuch universities focus on the professional practice and the practical side of learning. The universities offer programs related to medicine, social work, technology, business, etc. Moreover, they also provide a ‘Praxissmester’ in which students are placed into a German or abroad company for a period of one or several semesters. 
Universities of Art & MusicThese universities provide artistic courses in fine arts, design, mass communications, performing arts and music, and design. 
Academic UniversitiesIn these universities, programs are regarding methodological expertise and theoretical knowledge.

Additionally, students who wish to study in the German universities must know about the semesters. There are two semesters in German universities: 

• One is from April to September, and the application deadline for this semester generally comes in January.
• The other semester is from October to March, and its application deadline is in July. 

Popular Programs to Study in German Universities

A common reason why international students choose this place is due to the wide-ranging program options they have. They can find a program in every course they can think of. Students can find top study options in Germany in the following fields:

• Business Administration
• Fine and Applied Arts
• Math and Computer Sciences
• Engineering
• Humanities

However, before starting the application procedure, conducting full research and reviewing the program options is recommended.

Grading System of German Universities

The German universities use the GPA system to grade students. They grade students on a 1 to 6 or 5-point basis system that analyses the student's academic performance. In this, six means the performance is unsatisfactory, and 1 indicates an excellent performance.

For bachelor’s degrees, the Bologna system is used to grade the students. In this, students achieve a first-class, upper-second, lower-second, or third-class degree.

German Universities Intakes for International Students

To apply to German universities, students need to be aware of the German intakes. The German intake happens twice a year; there’s a summer intake and there’s a winter intake. During these seasons, universities accept applications. Students can find more information regarding the intakes below:

DetailsSummer IntakeWinter Intake
Beginning MonthAprilSeptember - October
Intake ValueSecondary intakePrimary intake
ApplicationsFewer applications and less competitionMore applications and competition is high
Programs offerred FewerAlmost all
Scholarship AvailabilityFewer ScholarshipsMost Scholarships
Session CommencementApril-MaySeptember-October

Documents Required to Apply to German Universities

To apply to German universities, there are a few necessary documents that every international student requires. These are mentioned below:

• Transcripts for previous qualifications
• A passport
• Letter of Recommendation (LOR)
• Entrance Exam Score (if required)

These are some of the necessary documents to apply to German universities. Also, keep in mind the student might require some additional documents depending on their course and program. 


This blog provides sufficient insights into the education system in Germany for international students. Students can learn a lot from this blog about the higher education system in Germany and can find out about the types of universities, the grading system, and several other things. German education focuses on students' various skills at once. To know more about the German education system, connect with the expert study abroad counsellors of Canam Consultants.


Yes, public universities in Germany offer no tuition fees as the German government funds them. They just need to pay a small sum of semester fees to enrol. This also applies to international students who wish to study in Germany for free. Their significant expense includes the living cost.
Yes, due to the popularity of studying in Germany among international students, the country has introduced more English-taught programs. So they don’t need to learn German to study in Germany. There is a broad range of English-taught programs for international students.
The admission requirements to enrol in German universities vary for several universities. The admission requirements for a bachelor’s degree, complete high school transcripts and a master’s, a bachelor’s degree, maybe an entrance exam (depending on the university). Valid language certifications are necessary for both admissions.
The education system in Germany is among the best in the world, ranking as the third country to have the best education system. Students can gain considerable exposure while studying in Germany. So, for international students, Germany is perfect.
Yes, there are numerous scholarships and financial aid options available for international students. Students can apply for student loans, part-time jobs, and scholarships. To get a scholarship, they need to check the eligibility criteria and apply accordingly. 

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