Tuition-free universities in Germany 2023

Germany is one of the few places in the world with a study-friendly environment and is quite welcoming to international students. Tuition-free universities in Germany will be listed in this post for foreign students who have a keen interest in studying in Germany.

In comparison to institutions in the USA, Canada, Australia, etc., a large number of universities in Germany are known to provide internationally recognized programs for a relatively lower cost. In accordance with government policy, it is now widely recognized that universities in Germany do not impose tuition fees. However, there are still tuition costs for some private universities in Germany.

Additionally, it is crucial to point out that although universities in Germany do not charge tuition, the following quotation from a reputable source indicates that students still have to pay some fees:

…there is a mandatory deposit of €8700 into a blocked account before an applicant can apply for a student visa, and after the applicant arrives in Germany the money cannot be withdrawn once, in contrast to other countries like Italy where tuition fees start from €800-€3000 after partial payment, a prospectus is good to apply for a visa, in Spain tuition fees start from €2000-€75000 with no blocked account no upfront deposit...”’

Tuition-free programs are generally applicable to undergraduate programs in Germany because most postgraduate programs charge tuition, with the exception of circumstances when scholarships are given. Students who are unable to afford tuition fees and other costs associated with studying in Germany can also benefit from the many scholarship options available in Germany as well as other funding programs.

Tuition-free universities in Germany

  1. Free University of Berlin
  2. Technical University of Munich
  3. Humboldt University of Berlin
  4. Ludwig Maximilians University
  5. Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
  6. University of Hamburg
  7. Heidelberg University
  8. Technical University of Berlin
  9. Darmstadt University of Technology
  10. University of Stuttgart
  11. RWTH Aachen University
  12. University of Cologne

NOTE: The list above is not a form of ranking these universities

Free University of Berlin

The establishment of the Free University of Berlin during the Cold War showed the contrast between the lack of freedom in East Berlin and the freedom of West Berlin. The university is well-known worldwide and provides free tuition programs for foreign students.

Technical University of Munich

This university was founded in 1868 and has since produced around 17 Nobel Laureates as a testament to its excellence in research and the quality of education it offers. STEM fields are one of its specialties; international students who are interested in these fields can apply to study there for free.

Humboldt University of Berlin

As one of the top universities in the world, Humboldt University is renowned for its extensive undergraduate and graduate course offerings in the natural sciences, the arts, and humanities. It is one of the tuition-free institutions in Germany. With up to 32,000 students, the Humboldt University of Berlin was founded in 1810 and is situated in the Mitte neighborhood of Berlin. With more than 50 Nobel laureates among its alumni, the university has left a significant legacy. It is also linked to significant scientific discoveries, including those made by Albert Einstein himself.

Ludwig Maximilians University

It has over 40 Nobel laureates and is considered to be one of the top 100 universities in the world. The institution is one of the oldest in Germany and has one of the highest student populations in the country right now with more than 50,000 pupils. It provides classes in everything from business to law and the physical sciences. It provides tuition-free education to both domestic and foreign students as a public research university.

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

In 2009, the Karlsruher Institute of Technology (KIT), a new public research university, was founded. It is situated in Karlsruhe, a city in southern Germany. Despite its antiquity, the university has developed into one of Germany’s largest centers for higher learning and has become one of Europe’s top institutions for engineering and natural science.

University of Hamburg

The University of Hamburg was established in 1919 and has so far educated thousands of scholars, producing prominent people around the world and has enriched lives through her graduands. The university is considered one of the best schools in Germany for international students to study and has an endowment of over 600 million euros.

Heidelberg University

Heidelberg University, officially known as Ruprecht Karls Universitat Heidelberg, is a renowned public research university based in the Heidelberg province of Germany. It was established in the year 1386 which puts it among the oldest existing universities in the world. It is also one of the top-ranking universities in the world as well in Germany.

Technical University of Berlin

The University of Berlin, officially known as the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, is one of the oldest universities in Berlin, Germany, and was founded on August 16, 1809, by the Prussian educational reformer and linguist Wilhelm von Humboldt. The university was established during a period of significant educational and cultural reform in Prussia.

After reunification, the university underwent significant changes and modernization efforts. It continued to build on its legacy of research and academic excellence, becoming one of the leading universities in Germany and Europe. Today, the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin is known for its diverse and vibrant academic community, offering a wide range of programs and attracting students and scholars from around the world. The university has grown to a current population of 34,000 students studying around 200 different courses and programmes. The university focuses on technology-based programmes and it’s a member of the TU9 – technology focus institutes in Germany.

Darmstadt University of Technology

The Darmstadt University of Technology, formally known as the Technical University of Darmstadt (TU Darmstadt), is a prestigious research institution situated in the heart of Germany, in the city of Darmstadt. Established in 1877, the university is renowned for its expertise in engineering and was even recommended to Albert Einstein. It is a proud member of the esteemed TU9 network in Germany and is a hub for education in computer science and information technology studies. Over the years, TU Darmstadt has grown to become one of the foremost universities in Germany and Europe as a whole.

University of Stuttgart

The University of Stuttgart, located in Stuttgart, Germany, has a rich history dating back to its founding in 1829. Originally established as a trade school, it gradually evolved into a technical university known for its emphasis on engineering, technology, and natural sciences.

Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, the university expanded its academic offerings and research activities, gaining recognition for its contributions to various fields, particularly engineering and architecture. During World War II, the university faced significant challenges due to the conflict and subsequent reconstruction efforts.

Today, the University of Stuttgart is renowned for its brilliance in research, instruction, and technology transfer, making important contributions to both the local community and the international academic community.


Founded in 1870, RWTH Aachen University has grown to be one of the biggest institutions of higher learning in Germany. It is a public research institution in the North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Currently, it has approximately 45,000 students, 23% of which are international students. The university offers courses ranging from the Natural Sciences, Engineering, Management, Arts & Humanities and Medicine


The University of Cologne is also one of the largest with a total of about 34,500 students or more – 18% of which are of foreign origin. The university was founded far back in the year 1798 being the fourth university established by the then Holy Roman Empire – that makes it the sixth-oldest university in Central Europe. It is currently is operating about 6 faculties grouped as the faculties of Arts & Humanities and Management & Social Sciences, Mathematics & Natural Science, Law, Medicine, and Human Science.

If you’re considering studying in Germany, exploring the tuition-free universities mentioned above could be a great starting point. While the list isn’t comprehensive, it can significantly assist you in your scholarship quest. We suggest looking into fully funded scholarships available for your desired course in Germany and also considering applying for the German Government Scholarships designed for postgraduate students.

By Bello

Ismail Bello is a content creator and enthusiast who is passionate about youth development.