One of the best study-abroad countries in the globe is Germany, which is renowned for offering high-quality education. The topic of whether a bachelor’s degree is free in Germany, however, is one that many students have. Because it relies on several variables, including your nationality, the state where you study, and the sort of school you attend, the answer to this question is a little tricky.

We shall explore the various features of bachelors in Germany and whether it is free or not in this blog.

The Education System in Germany

Let’s briefly discuss the German educational system before delving into the debate over whether bachelor’s degrees are free in Germany or not. Since the German educational system is decentralized, each state is in charge of running its educational system. There are, however, some general guidelines that are observed across the nation.

Germany’s educational system is divided into three levels:

  1. Basic Education: In Germany, four years of primary education are required. Primary education typically begins when a child is six years old.
  2. Secondary Education: Lower secondary and upper secondary are the two levels of secondary education. Upper secondary education often lasts two or three years after lower secondary education, which typically lasts five or six years.
  3. Tertiary Education: Universities and other higher education facilities offer tertiary education. It consists of doctoral, master’s, and bachelor’s degrees.

In Germany, is a bachelor’s degree free?

The quick response is both yes and no. Let’s begin with the “no” part.

You will probably have to pay tuition fees to study for a bachelor’s degree in Germany if you are not a citizen of the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA), or Switzerland. Tuition costs vary according to your state of residence and the school you attend. The tuition is typically lower than in other nations, though, and some universities even provide scholarships or grants to foreign students.

Let’s get to the yes portion now. You are not required to pay tuition fees to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Germany if you are a citizen of the EU, EEA, or Switzerland. This is due to Germany’s policy of offering free education to all of its citizens as well as those from the EU, EEA, and Switzerland. The semester fee, which includes a contribution to the student union and the semester ticket for public transportation and is used to cover administrative costs, will still need to be paid.

It is significant to note that some German states have instituted tuition fees for all students, including citizens of the EU, EEA, and Switzerland. Although often smaller than in other nations, these fees are nonetheless charged. The following states have implemented tuition fees:

  1. Baden-Württemberg
  2. Bavaria
  3. Hamburg
  4. Lower Saxony
  5. North Rhine-Westphalia

These states charge between €150 and €1,500 in tuition per semester.

Institutional types in Germany


The kind of institution you attend also has an impact on the cost of earning a bachelor’s degree in Germany. In Germany, there are primarily two types of higher education institutions:

  1. Universities: There are numerous academic fields available in Germany’s research-focused universities. Although they have a higher bar for admission than universities of applied sciences, they are often more prestigious.
  2. Universities of Applied Sciences: Fachhochschulen is a practice-oriented educational institution that concentrates on instructing students in applied sciences, engineering, and business management. Compared to universities, they provide more hands-on training and less theoretical instruction.

Universities and institutions of applied sciences charge different amounts for tuition and semester fees. But generally speaking, universities charge higher tuition than colleges of applied sciences.


In conclusion, the availability of free bachelor’s degrees in Germany relies on several variables, including your nationality, the state in which you enroll, and the sort of school you choose. You are not required to pay tuition fees to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Germany if you are a citizen of the EU, EEA, or Switzerland. Although they are typically cheaper than in other countries, you will almost certainly have to pay tuition fees if you are not a citizen of these nations.