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cost of studying medicine in germany

Last Updated on September 7, 2021 by

Studying medicine in Germany is one of the most popular courses – among German and international students. Especially for international students the questions:

How can I study medicine in Germany? and How can I become a medical doctor in Germany?

appear more complicated than starting another course of study in Germany. The reason for this is that studying medicine differs in many ways from other study programs in Germany:

It has:

  • unique application procedure (for EU students via Hochschulstart) that is due to nation-wide admission restriction, 
  • stricter application requirements (simply put, A-levels with excellent grades, high German language skills), 
  • a uniform course structure
  • and is not integrated into the bachelor/master system but leads to a state examination (German: Staatsexamen).

Sounds confusing? The following article unpacks the peculiarities of studying medicine in Germany and presents the most important facts that you need to know – from A as in ‘approbation’ to z as in ‘Zweite Ärztliche Prüfung’ (Second Examination for med students) – we got you covered!

Therefore, the focus of this article will be on studying medicine with the intent of becoming an MD (by doing the state examination track). If you are instead interested in professional masters programs, please skip to the last section of this article.

Medical Degree: Staatsexamen (State examination)

asian guy on the day of his graduation wearing a gown and graduation cap

Medical studies and training in Germany are strictly regulated under federal regulations on medical registration. Therefore, no matter which university you choose to study medicine in Germany, you can expect a similar course structure and similar steps of training until you can work as a medical professional.

Medical school (the medical training students obtain at a university) lasts 6 years and 3 months in Germany and it is not integrated into the Bachelor’s and Master’s degree system. Therefore, it differs from most other courses offered by German universities. Instead, medical school finishes with a state examination (German: Staatsexamen) that leads to the approbation as a physician. Note, that the medical training in Germany can be taken up directly after graduating from high school. For many international students, this would be after finishing the prep-year (Studienkolleg) in Germany.

However, university education is not the only training people need in order to become a medical practitioner in Germany. After their state examination, prospective doctors join practical training units that may last up to 6 more years and may then opt to take part in additional trainings and education measures throughout the course of their careers.

Is medicine taught in English in Germany?

sign with the word "welcome" written in German

Studying medicine in Germany is only possible with excellent German skills because courses to study medicine in Germany are taught in German only and require interaction with patients in German. To get admitted to a study program, excellent language skills on a C1 level are often needed, but some programs also admit applicants who speak German on a B2 level. The medical studies that lead to an approbation to practice as a physician in Germany end with a state examination, which is exclusively offered in German.

While the degree form of state examination is only offered in German, there are other degree formats that are integrated into the bachelor’s and master’s system and that include studies in English in the field of health sciences. Therefore, one option to get academic training in the field of medical studies and health science are English language master’s programs or bachelor’s programs that are not part of the curriculum to become a practicing medical physician but can still grant beneficial insights into the field and may be a great addition to your training as a medical doctor abroad. Use our StudyFinder to find many options.

Medical Universities

woman doctor taking care of a patient

The majority of universities that offer medical studies in Germany are public, i.e. 39. 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 to one of Germany’s public universities, students typically need outstanding GPAs.

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€ – 15,500 € per semester, depending on which university you choose.

To learn more about various medical universities in Germany, including an overview of all medical universities there are in Germany, check out our article.

How much does it cost to study medicine in Germany for international students?

lots of different coins

As for most programs offered at German public universities, studying medicine in Germany is typically tuition free for international students and German students alike. The only cost they have to cover is the semester contribution twice a year, which, depending on the university amounts to 200 – 300 € each semester and comes with many perks for students.

International students can typically study medicine for free in Germany.

There are two scenarios in which international students do have to pay to study medicine in Germany:

  • International students from outside the EU who want to study at a university in the federal state of Baden-Württemberg have to pay tuition fees of 1,500 € for each semester.
  • Students who enroll at one of the four private universities that offer medical studies in Germany have to pay tuition fees amounting to 5,700 € – 15,500 € per semester.

Why Study Medicine in Germany?

Today, there is an unlimited number of medical schools and available study programs in medicine all around the world. So why would you choose Germany to study medicine?

It all comes down to your personal goals. Are you an ambitious student who wants to push intellectual limits further and believes a unique education system is a perfect tool to achieve this? Do you want to get a globally recognized medical degree which will provide a crucial competitive edge to help you stand out a fierce competition? Do you dream to get a job which will supply your financial needs and will provide a profound emotional fulfillment while helping others?

If your answer to each question was YES, then Germany is a perfect location for you to study medicine.

Given below are some reasons why studying medicine in Germany is worth enough

Top-ranked medical schools  – A long and a rich academic tradition, accompanied with a serious commitment to the development of quality in teaching and research has helped medical schools in Germany to rank among the world’s best.

Variety of Study Programs – Since thousands of international students go to study medicine in Germany each year, universities are aware of the fact that not all of them share the same academic interests. Medical schools in Germany offer a broad range of medical degrees in order to enable their current and potential students to find a suitable study program for themselves.

Modern facilities – Practice is an important part of teaching medicine and German medical schools have modern laboratories which are equipped to the last detail. Practice sessions in such environments will help you gain a wide set of applicable skills.

International Student Community – Apart from a unique academic experience, studying abroad is a perfect opportunity to socialize with different nationals. Germany is home to over than 350,000 international students and with many of them, you may have a chance to engage during your studies.

Future Prospects – Medical practitioners will always be in demand. In addition, German medical schools are among global leaders and employers value german medical degrees. This is an assurance to you that a medical degree in Germany will boost your employability and turn financially rewarding.

Find a Medicine Course in Germany

There are no independent medical schools in Germany, but medicine faculties which provide medicine course. In the present, there are 38 German universities which offer a huge variety of medical degrees.

Thus, you will easily find one study program which will match your academic interests. To find your medicine course in Germany you will have to make an independent online research. Don’t hurry and take as much time as you need to decide what medical degree to enroll.

How To Apply For a Medicine Degree in Germany?

After you have found your favourite study program and medical school in Germany, you must get information about what do you need to apply. In other words, you must know what are the entry requirements.

Universities are free to set entry criteria on their own. Therefore, entry requirements for a medical degree in Germany change depending on the university and the course of your choice.

Below is given a list of documents required for international candidates to apply for a medical degree in Germany:

Recognized Academic Qualifications – If you’re an international student your previous academic qualifications must be recognized to make sure they correspond to academic standards applied by medical schools in Germany. You can contact your university, German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) or Standing Conference of Ministers to see if your qualification meets the requirements.

If it’s not recognized, the university will require you to sit a one-year preparatory course.

Certified Grade Certificates – German medical schools are very competitive and your grades are used as an important mean of selection. High grades in subjects related to medicine like biology and chemistry will increase your chances of getting admitted.

German Language Proficiency – The vast majority of medical degrees in Germany are taught in the German language. Therefore, if you want to enroll a university of medicine you will need to prove German language proficiency. Although it changes depending on the university of your choice, most of them require a C1 certificate. Note that if you will have to attend a preparatory course (Studiencolleg) beforehand, a B1 German certificate will be accepted.

Scores from examination tests –To gain admission in some medical schools in Germany you have to sit a specific examination test to evaluate your aptitude for that particular study program you applied to.

Application Deadlines for Medicine Courses in Germany

Application deadlines for medicine courses change from university to university. In general, most medical schools in Germany apply two application falls

  • 15 July for the upcoming Winter Semester
  • 15 January for the upcoming Summer Semester

Important note: Since universities apply different application deadlines you must always rely on information being provided by the University of your choice. It is essential that you get this information early enough to allow yourself to be well on time for application.

How Much Does It Cost to Study Medicine in Germany?

Most university degrees in Germany are offered for free after international fees got alleviated in 2014 following a governmental decision. However, medicine degrees still come at a certain cost.

As a whole, the cost of getting a medical degree is determined by your nationality and whether you’re enrolled in a public or private university. If you’re an EU student, you will only have to cover administration fees which can at the maximum account for €300. On the other hand, non-EU students will have to pay a certain amount for their medical education in Germany.

Still, international fees for medicine courses in Germany are very low compared to other popular study destinations. Overall, these tuition fees range from €1,500 to €3,500 per academic year.

As per the second criteria, you must be aware that private universities apply a lot more higher international tuition fees than their public counterparts. In addition, medical schools in the state of Baden-Württemberg have re-introduced tuition fees for international students so if you’re going to study there get ready to pay more than in other parts of Germany.

How Many Years Does it Take to Study Medicine in Germany?

It takes six years and three months of full-time study to complete a medical degree in Germany. For great learning efficiency, your study program is organized into specific stages. Note each stage leads to a particular examination, which in the end will account for your final state examination.

Pre-Clinical Stage (also known as Vorklink) – During your first two academic years at the university, you’ll be introduced to core concepts and subjects in medicine. At the end of this stage, your academic development will be measured by means of a specific examination which will be written and oral and covers subjects like anatomy, biochemistry and physiology.

Clinical Science Stage – The next three years of your studies you will gain important practical skills in addition to theoretical knowledge by participating in extensive lectures, lab sessions, seminars and internships. At the end of this stage, you’ll sit an examination which is typically a written exam.

Final Clinical Year – In your final year as a medical student in Germany you will undertake the final State Examination which will estimate your academic and professional estimation in medicine. Note that you cannot get the medical license if you don’t pass the final State Examination. This final examination is an oral and practical exam.

Cost of living in Germany for students

Not only can you study for free in Germany, but it is also a pretty affordable country. The average costs of living for students range between 700 – 1,000 EUR/month, including accommodation.

  • Larger cities: Berlin, Frankfurt or Dusseldorf – total living costs of 900 – 1,500 EUR/month
  • Smaller cities: Freiburg, Leipzig or Hannover – you will need 750 – 1,100 EUR/month

Find out more about expenses (including health insurance) for students in Germany.

Student accommodation costs in Germany

When it comes to living in Germany, housing is the highest monthly expense you will have.. Cheaper options for international students are residence halls or sharing a privately rented apartment. You can also rent a one-room apartment (also called a studio). Below you will find the average accommodation costs for a student in Germany:

  • Living alone in a studio: 390 EUR/month
  • Sharing a privately rented flat: 365 EUR/month
  • Living in a student residence: 250 EUR/month

Rooms in student residence halls are one of the most popular housing options. According to the DAAD, over 40% of international students live in a student residence. The second most popular option is sharing a flat, with 30% of students choosing this type of accommodation.

Monthly utilities like electricity, gas, heating, and internet can add between 100 – 200 EUR to your overall living costs.

Find Bachelor’s degrees in Germany

Food costs for international students in Germany

As a student in Germany, you will pay about 170 EUR/month on food. If you’re looking for lower prices, try cheaper supermarkets like Aldi, Lidl, and Netto.

If you wish to have dinner in a restaurant once in a while you will pay 10 EUR for food in a cheap one. A three-course meal for two in an average restaurant costs 45 EUR and an additional light drink will be 3 EUR.


Transportation costs

According to a DAAD study, around 10% of the total monthly student budget is spent on transport.

  • A public transport pass for students is between 25 and 200 EUR/month. However, at many universities, the cost of the monthly transport pass is included in the administration fee that you need to pay every semester.
  • You can easily get around with a bicycle throughout any city in Germany. Rates for renting a bicycle are around 15-20 EUR/day.
  • Use Germany’s Deutsche Bahn train system and visit any German city you want; fares are between 20 and 70 EUR.

You can also use the Numbeo website to check out other prices and costs in Germany.

Funding & student support

The German state strongly supports higher education and finances universities by covering tuition fees. In addition, the German government also offers financial support programmes for students.

You can also check out the Studyportals Scholarship to get some help on financing your studies abroad.

Find more scholarship opportunities in Germany.

German student visa

Now that you have an overview of tuition fees and living costs in Germany, you can start applying to universities. While you do that, don’t forget to also check the German student visa requirements if you are from outside the EU/EEA.

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