Last Updated on December 14, 2022
medicine in Germany
The majority of universities that offer medical studies in Germany are public. Some of the great upsides of that are that they have comprehensive infrastructures and research networks in Germany, that they are free of charge (no tuition fees), and offer the opportunity to engage in doctoral studies as well. All medical studies at public universities underlie certain federal regulations, influencing the course structure as well as application processes. To get admitted at one of Germany’s public universities, students typically need outstanding GPAs.
The regular courses of study all have a similar structure. The uniform structure of the regular study programs doesn’t mean that the training at different public universities looks exactly the same. It is recommendable to check out the module descriptions and specializations of each program in Germany to learn about their differences and identify a program that fits best to your interests and plans.
Furthermore, there are certain model study programs (German: Modellstudiengang) that are offered by 13 universities (in the following table marked with an [*] asterisk) including two German private universities presented below. These model programs are attempts to innovate the German study course structure and can include features such as earlier contact to patients.
List of public universities to study medicine in Germany
*reformed model programs: Structure of studies differs from that offered in the more common regular programs.
Source: Hochschulstart (Winter semester 2019/20) or website of the university.
Private medical universities to study medicine in Germany
Main building of the Brandenburg Municipal Hospital.
© Gregory Rome. Type of license: CC BY-SA 4.0.
There are four private German universities that offer medical studies. Unlike the public universities, they are not subject to the nation-wide NC and, therefore, the application process differs and is not only dependent on the applicants’ GPAs. You can still expect, however, to undergo some rigorous testing system in order to get admitted to these universities. On the downside, students need to pay fees to the private universities, which currently amount to 5,700€ – 15,000 € per semester, depending on which university you choose.
Regarding the quality of training that can be obtained at the private universities, the proximity to hospitals and focus on practical experiences in early stages of the career are praised. Partially, it is criticized that these universities are not as strongly focused on research as the public ones since they lack access to the German university hospitals.
When it comes to the students’ ability to practice as physicians in Germany after their studies they, as of now, should not be experiencing problems if they study at one of the private universities in Germany. These four private schools are German institutions and offer medical training that leads to the state examination, just like the German public universities do. Therefore, students have the approbation to work as doctors in Germany after their studies:
- Universität Witten/Herdecke.
- Medizinische Hochschule Brandenburg Theodor Fontane (MHB).
- Health and Medical University Potsdam (HMU).
- Medical School Hamburg – University of Applied Sciences and Medical University (MSH).
Foreign medical schools with campus in Germany – an alternative
There are other private options that are subsidiaries of other European universities. Students of these universities study in Germany under the regulations of the cooperating university’s local regulations. This means that, despite studying in Germany, they are trained as doctors according to the university’s country’s definition.
Often, the training at these foreign medical schools includes stays abroad at the respective superordinate universities. Because of an EU regulation, graduates from these universities, which are located in (former) EU countries, are able to work as doctors in Germany after their graduation:
- Kassel School of Medicine, subsidiary of British Southampton University.
- Asklepios Campus Hamburg , subsidiary of Hungarian Semmelweiß-University in Budapest.
- Paracelsus Universität Nürnberg, subsidiary of Austrian private university in Salzburg.
- Universitätsmedizin Neumarkt am Mieresch Campus Hamburg, subsidiary of Romanian public university in Neumarkt am Mieresch.
What is the best medical school in Germany?
To find the best university in Germany to study medicine as an international student, you might be interested in finding out how different universities and medical faculties fare in rankings. Overall, rankings can be a useful tool to compare certain aspects of different universities and you can obtain an overview of various rankings in our article.
If you are looking for the best German universities to study medicine in international rankings, we advise you to check out the subject rankings that are published by the different ranking agencies. For example, the QS World Universities Ranking, the Shanghai Ranking, and the THE World University Ranking allow you to compare the top universities around the world for medical studies and medical subjects. In these three rankings, Heidelberg University fares best.
Additionally, you can take into consideration national rankings that only compare German universities. The CHE subject ranking allows you to compare German universities that offer medical studies. After registering for free on the website, you can select criteria that are most important for you. This can be a broad array of things, such as how many students use their bike in that town, the number of seats available in the library, the amount of students graduating in time, or the research output. We recommend you have a look at this ranking, because it is partially based on student surveys and can give you a good idea on what it’s like to be a student in a certain city.
In summary, rankings can be a good way to get an overview over your options, or may sway your decision to choose one university over another. Still, we recommend to not overrate rankings. Especially when it comes to studying medicine in Germany, there is a fairly homogeneous level of quality. In fact, because of a system of cooperation and specialization, each faculty is known and leading in different disciplines, so informing yourself on areas of specializations of different faculties might be an even more promising strategy to identify the best medical university in Germany for your interest. Furthermore, no matter where you study, the employment rate for medical practitioners in Germany is very high.
Top 10 Biggest Medical Faculties in Germany
Ranked according to number of enrolled students in all medical programs of that faculty (as of August 2020):
- Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin – 8,077.
- LMU – Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München – 6,911.
- Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf – 4,366.
- University of Tübingen – 4,140.
- Heidelberg University – 4,033.
- University of Cologne – 3,600.
- Hannover Medical School – 3,521.
- Universität Hamburg – 3,450.
- University of Freiburg – 3,300.
- Ulm University – 3,234.