If you’re looking to study at a top-rated university in Germany, the country has 46 representatives to choose from in the QS World University Rankings® 2020 (including eight in the top 150), all ranked based on a methodology that considers each institution on a number of factors, such as academic and employer reputations, as well as research impact.
Read on to discover the top universities in Germany in 2020, starting with a look at the top 10.
QS World University Rankings 2020 – Top Universities in Germany
|Germany rank||Global rank||University|
|1||55||Technische Universität München|
|2||63||Ludwig-Maximilians – Universität München|
|4||=120||Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin|
|5||124||KIT, Karlsruher Institut für Technologie|
|6||=130||Freie Universität Berlin|
|7||138||Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen (RWTH Aachen)|
|8||147||Technische Universität Berlin|
|=9||=169||Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen|
=9. Universität Freiburg
Universität Freiburg climbs 17 places in this year’s QS World University Rankings® to now place joint 169th, meaning it’s now joint ninth among the top universities in Germany (having been 10th in previous years). It’s also one of the oldest German universities, having been established in 1457.
=9. Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen
Ranked joint 169th alongside Freiburg this year, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen receives the third-strongest score in Germany for the faculty/student ratio indicator (in the global top 100) and is considered particularly prestigious in the fields of medicine, law, and theology and religion.
8. Technische Universität Berlin
Heading to the German capital for the next in our look at the 10 best universities in Germany, Technische Universität Berlin retains its position of 147th in the world in 2020 and achieves its strongest score for its reputation among graduate employers, at 81st in the world.
7. Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen
Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen (RWTH Aachen) climbs six places in this year’s world university rankings to now place 138th, receiving a very high score for the employer reputation indicator. With more than 45,200 students and 157 study courses, it’s the largest technical university in Germany.
6. Freie Universität Berlin
Ranked joint 130th in the world in 2020, Freie Universität Berlin appears in the top 100 of the academic reputation indicator and is particularly highly regarded for the fields of natural and life sciences.
5. KIT, Karlsruher Institut für Technologie
KIT, Karlsruher Institut für Technologie is down eight places this year to now rank 124th in the world, and is known as one of the best universities in Germany for engineering and the natural sciences. It features in the top 100 for both its reputation with employers and its research impact (citations per faculty member), achieving the highest score in the top 10 for the latter.
4. Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Overtaking KIT to rank fourth among the top universities in Germany this year (as well as continuing to place first in Berlin), Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin is ranked joint 120th in the world and is particularly renowned in the arts and humanities fields, placing 21st for this as of the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2019.
3. Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg
Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg is down two spots to rank 66th in the world in 2020 but remains the third highest-ranked institution in Germany. The oldest university in the country, it achieves the highest score in the top 10 for the faculty/student ratio indicator.
2. Ludwig-Maximilians – Universität München
Ranked 63rd in the world in 2020, Ludwig-Maximilians – Universität München was founded in 1472 and currently has more than 50,900 students. It earns the best score in the top 10 for the academic reputation indicator (39th) and has been associated with 42 Nobel Laureates.
1. Technische Universität München
And finally, Technische Universität München (TUM, or Technical University of Munich in English) again places first among the top German universities, climbing six places this year to rank 55th in the world. Founded in 1868 to provide the German state of Bavaria with a learning center for natural sciences, TUM now educates around 41,375 students in 15 academic departments and maintains a strong cooperation with industry partners, as well as earning 17th place in the employer reputation indicator.
The remaining top German universities in the top 20 are:
- Technische Universität Dresden– ranked joint 179th in the world.
- Georg-August-Universität Göttingen– ranked 197th in the world.
- Universität Hamburg– ranked joint 227th in the world.
- Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn– ranked 243rd in the world.
- Technische Universität Darmstadt– ranked 260th in the world.
- Universität Stuttgart– ranked 279th in the world.
- Universität Frankfurt am Main– ranked joint 291st in the world.
- Universität Köln– ranked 308th in the world.
- Universität Mannheim – ranked joint 314th in the world, up 24 places.
- Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg– ranked 319th in the world.
And the rest…
=21. Universität Jena – ranked joint 340th in the world.
=21. Universität Ulm – ranked joint 340th in the world.
- Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster– ranked 347th in the world.
- Johannes Gutenberg Universität Mainz – ranked joint 410th in the world.
- Universität Konstanz – ranked joint 424th in the world.
- Ruhr-Universität Bochum– ranked joint 432ndin the world.
- Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg – ranked joint 462nd in the world, up from 521-530.
- Universität des Saarlandes – ranked joint 468th in the world.
- Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel– ranked joint 478th in the world.
After the global top 500, the remaining universities are ranked in ranges, starting at 501-510 and continuing to 801-1000.
Find out more about university ranking ranges and other frequently asked questions >
- Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg – ranked 511-520 in the world, up from 561-570.
=31. Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen – ranked 521-530 in the world.
=31. Technische Universität Braunschweig – ranked 521-530 in the world.
=31. Universität Bremen – ranked 521-530 in the world.
- Universität Leipzig – ranked 531-540 in the world.
- Universität Bayreuth – ranked 541-550 in the world.
=36. Universität Duisburg-Essen – ranked 601-650 in the world.
=36. Universität Regensburg – ranked 601-650 in the world.
=38. Leibniz Universität Hannover – ranked 651-700 in the world.
=38. Philipps-Universität Marburg – ranked 651-700 in the world.
=38. Universität Hohenheim – ranked 651-700 in the world.
- Universität Potsdam – ranked 701-750 in the world.
The next four top German universities are ranked 751-800 in the world, making them joint 42nd in Germany:
=42. Technische Universität Dortmund
=42. Universität Bielefeld
=42. Universität Düsseldorf
=42. Universität Rostock
- Universität Siegen – a new entrant this year, ranked 801-1000 in the world.
To learn more about studying in Germany, download our complete guide, which includes advice on applications, tuition fees, studying in English, student visas and more.