Higher Education

Germany has more than 300 universities and about 220 Fachhochschulen (Universities of Applied Science) listed in the official guidebooks and web-sites. Sadly for English speakers, most of the information materials are available in German only, and admission in most cases is depending on German language proficiency as well.

While a few universities and Fachhochschulen today offer programs taught in English – in particular executive programs in selected business and science fields – the vast majority of programs are taught in German, no matter whether they lead to a traditional German university diploma or to one of the newer bachelor's and master's degrees which have been introduced since 1999.

At the universities, for many decades a master's level degree (called Diplom or Magister)was the first degree available and only the recent higher education reforms, which have introduced two-level programs at both the bachelor's and master's level have opened a chance to leave university earlier. The bachelor's degree was introduced to avoid the drastic rates of non-completers, which in some university subjects were as high as 75%.

The Fachhochschulen  – universities of applied science offer shorter and more practice-oriented programs. They generally lead to credentials at the bachelor's level (although not quite as prestigious as from University), but more and more Fachhochschulen also offer master's programs for those students eligible for further study. A number of colleges of art and music offer programs in these areas.