Higher Education Institutions
Thinking about studying abroad? Why not come to Baden-Württemberg? Baden-Württemberg has the greatest concentration of universities and the most diverse educational landscape anywhere in Germany.
Baden-Württemberg offers unequalled opportunities for academic and professional development both for the more theoretically minded and for those who would rather embark on a more practical course. Baden-Württemberg is an ideal springboard for your future, whether you are seeking a career in academia, research or the private sector.
Universities in Baden-Württemberg offer degree courses in a wide range of disciplines - e.g. engineering, natural and social sciences, business, architecture and humanities. Courses are open to students of all nationalities. You can study for a full degree or add credits to your current program by studying abroad for one or two semesters. Currently, there are more than 40,000 international students doing exactly that. You can find an overview about our offered degree courses in our information material.
At the heart of Baden-Württemberg's educational landscape are its nine research universities. Research and teaching closely complement each other in these universities. Research findings are reflected in teaching. This assures a high quality of education and training. Students acquire the principles of scientific work, namely analytical thinking and problem-solving skills, which prepare them for a wide field of future professions.
Our universities offer the following fields of study: medicine, natural sciences, engineering, economics, humanities and cultural studies, law, social sciences, agriculture and forestry. This broad range of subjects allows for interdisciplinary study or specialization and also provides opportunities for students to pursue individual and independent research. The research universities offer undergraduate and graduate degrees as well as doctoral programs in most subjects which comply with international standards. In certain subjects, such as law or teaching, purely German degree qualifications, such as Staatsexamen and Diplom are still offered.
The ancient universities of Heidelberg, Tübingen and Freiburg, which were founded in the 14th and 15th centuries, still offer a broad spectrum of subjects. You can feel their history in the air around you! A second wave of universities was established in Baden-Württemberg in the 19th century. The Universities of Karlsruhe, Stuttgart, Hohenheim and Mannheim adopted more specialized approaches which they have largely retained to this day. A third wave of universities was founded in Baden-Württemberg in the 1960s. These universities in Ulm and Konstanz adopt a more cross-disciplinary approach. In recent years, the University of Karlsruhe has merged with the Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe, one of Germany's largest research centers, to form the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. This merger is unique in Germany.
The excellent quality of Baden-Württemberg's research universities is demonstrated by the results of the German federal and state governments' Excellence Initiative, in which a total of eleven German universities were successful. Three of these universities are located in Baden-Württemberg: Heidelberg University, the University of Tübingen and the University of Konstanz.
Baden-Württemberg's medical schools are located in Freiburg, Heidelberg, Tübingen and Ulm. As well as top quality medical care and education, these medical schools also offer a wide range of further education programs for practicing physicians.
Universities of Applied Sciences
Universities of applied sciences are a relatively recent, but highly successful, development in higher education. These universities provides a more practical method of education with individualized teaching in small groups. The more than twenty public universities of applied sciences form the second major pillar of academic education in Baden-Württemberg, with around a third of total enrolled students. These universities, too, offer undergraduate and graduate degrees. Many of them are taught in English or in cooperation with international partners.
Universities of applied sciences have close ties to regional industry and public administration and meet the needs of these employers for highly qualified and well-trained young professionals. Universities of applied science offer degree courses in related subjects, such as engineering, business administration, technology, science, design or social services, to name just a few. This close relationship is also apparent in the curricula of study programs which include mandatory practical internship semesters or thesis projects in businesses and companies. These degree courses enable students to gain real work experience while they study. This is backed up by an impressive stat: less than two per cent of graduates from these universities are unemployed.
Research at university of applied sciences is also very focused on practical applications and thus provides a link between basic research and technology transfer. Many research projects are carried out in cooperation with local industry and with international partners.
Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University
The Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University is based in Stuttgart. It is the first higher education institution in Germany to combine practical workplace training with academic studies. This enables it to bring about a close integration of theory and practice, the two components of the dual education the university offers. More and more students are studying at one of this university's nine locations. In fact, almost one in ten students are now enrolled at the Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University.
The key feature of the so-called dual study concept is that students regularly switch from their academic studies at the university to practical training provided by their workplace training provider, the so-called corporate partner. This allows students to apply the theoretical knowledge they have acquired in practice immediately. Students receive a training allowance from their corporate partner throughout their studies. This means, of course, that the Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University does not have traditional semester vacations. Instead, trainees receive an annual leave entitlement.
Together with 9,000 plus partner companies, the Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University offers a broad range of undergraduate study programs in the fields of business, engineering, and social work. Enrollment is only possible, however, after prospective students have signed a traineeship contract with a corporate partner. Since 2011, the university has also offered a variety of postgraduate master courses which extend and deepen undergraduate studies. Both graduate and undergraduate degrees are internationally accredited and recognized.
Universities of Education
The six universities of education (PH) make Baden-Württemberg the only state in Germany to have specialised universities for educational sciences. Their courses aim to professionalise the full spectrum of careers in education, i.e. to provide well-qualified professionals for careers in education in all areas of society and for all ages. They provide academic qualifications for the teachers of tomorrow and have become strong centres for teaching and research into educational methodology. They also offer a wide range of Bachelor’s and Master’s courses in educational topics, such as early years learning, cultural and health education, multiculturalism and multilingualism, media and environment. Each University has its own specialist areas and has established ist own particular niche.
Their courses include teacher training for primary and secondary schools, vocational colleges and special Needs education. Teachers studying to teach in schools that lead to diplomas that qualify students to study at universities benefit from the close ties that the universities of education have developed with other universities. Course content is centred on the high demands of teaching careers in which educational sciences are closely linked to methodology, subject knowledge and classroom teaching skills. This combination of educational theory, practice and in-depth subject matter is one of the key strengths of these universities.
Universities of Arts and Music
Baden-Württemberg has the largest number of universities of arts and music in Germany. Its eight universities cover a wide range of education in the arts, from music, dancing, acting and film through to the fine arts and design.
The universities of music and performing arts in Baden-Württemberg enjoy a worldwide reputation. They offer young artists the opportunity of acquiring specific musical skills, such as aural training, conducting and composition, as well as the more scientific skills of music theory and the principles of music education and teacher training. The universities of the arts offer different programs, from fine and applied arts through media theory to electronic media. The art universities combine theory and practice in a mutually enhancing way.
As well as public universities, there are also more than 20 private universities in Baden-Württemberg. Most of these specialize and offer undergraduate and graduate programs in specific fields. The subjects on offer include economics and business studies, social sciences, religious studies as well as art and art therapy. These universities do not receive significant public funding and consequently charge tuition fees to their students.
Overall, some 360,000 students are enrolled in Baden-Württemberg. Roughly half of them are studying at one of our nine research universities, which are characterized by the methodological and theoretical approach embodied in Humboldt's principle of "inseparability of research and teaching". Almost thirty per cent of students study at one of the 20-plus universities of applied sciences where programs and teaching offer combined academic and practical training.
This approach has been taken one step further at the Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University. This University combines an academic curriculum with periods of practical vocational training in a company. Roughly ten per cent of students are enrolled at universities of this type. Six universities of education offer mainly theoretical and practical teacher training alongside other education-related programs. The Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University and the universities of education are unique in Germany and exemplify Baden-Württemberg's inventor spirit.
These four types of universities (research universities, universities of applied science, the Cooperative State University and universities of education) are further complemented by prestigious arts and music universities, eleven overall, as well as more than twenty private universities mostly offering specialized curricula.
Which all goes to show that there are many reasons for studying in Baden-Württemberg.