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.
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 main function of Baden-Württemberg's six universities of education is to prepare students to teach in primary, secondary or special education schools. This type of university is unique in Germany: in other German states teacher training is conducted at research universities. Thanks to this specialization and the high-quality, science-based and practice-focused teacher training they offer, universities of education in Baden-Württemberg enjoy an excellent reputation.
Would-be teachers in Baden-Württemberg must first complete a special kind of degree, called the Staatsexamen (State Examination). This is split into the First State Examination after six or eight semesters and the Second State Examination after another year and a half of practical work at schools as a trainee teacher. Students must pass both examinations to become eligible for employment as teachers.
Besides teacher training, universities of education also offer various undergraduate and graduate programs with different subjects in educational science, such as pre-school or adult education, intercultural education, or school development and social work.
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 340,000 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.