Studying Medicine in Germany

20. February 2018
Germany is a very popular location for studying medicine in Germany, offering very high-quality education at an affordable price. There are 35 governmental universities and four private universities that offer medical programs in all major cities and regions. Important to mention is that the medical programs in Germany are not divided into Bachelor and Master Programs. The medical training program takes a minimum of six years to complete and is taught almost entirely in German language. Consequently a very strong knowledge of the language is obligatory. Notwithstanding, alternative programs in the medical field exist as bachelors and masters, including also some English conducted programs. The programs start either in summer or winter semester, some universities offer both options.

How are the medical degrees in Germany structured?

Human medicine training degrees take at least six years and three months to complete and conclude with the state examination (Ärztliche Prüfung). Once the examination is passed, you receive an official License to Practice Medicine (Approbation). The medical studies are structured in the following stages:

Stage 1: Pre-clinical phase

The Pre-clinical phase of four semesters (two years) will introduce you to the key basics of natural sciences and medicine. It finishes with the first medical licensing examination.

Stage 2: Clinical phase

The clinical phase is the main phase of study (six semesters – three years) covering the core subjects, taught in lectures, practical courses, internships and seminars.

Stage 3: Practical year

The second phase of study is followed by a practical year. This is one-year of clinical training, in which you’ll be introduced to the practical aspects of surgery, internal medicine and an elective subject. This phase provides on-the-job experience to prepare you for your future profession.

State Examination

The last step in completing your medical degree in Germany is to pass the State Examination, a nationally standardized examination. After taking and passing the examination, you can apply for your medical license (Approbation) and begin working as a certified doctor.

Optional: Specialization

Later on, you might decide to continue your education to become a medical specialist, which, depending on what subject you specialize in, can take another five to six years. The advanced training programs are conducted at university medical centers or other facilities which are authorized to provide specialist training and conclude with a specialist examination. To be eligible, you must have excellent German skills and already have a medical license, the “Approbation”.

What are the requirements to study medicine in Germany?

Primarily you need a very good knowledge of German, which you’ll need to prove with a high score in a test such as the TestDaF or the DSH. If your language skills are not that good, you can enroll in a pre-study German course to help get your language skills to the level required for medical study in Germany – University entrance qualification your secondary school leaving certificate. For students from the EU, the leaving certificate should be generally accepted as equivalent to the German certificate. Non-EU students will need to check whether their qualification is eligible. If it’s not, you may need to attend a Studienkolleg MCourse (one-year preparatory course) and pass an exam, called Feststellungsprüfung. – Strong knowledge of English, in order to understand specialist literature. It’s also helpful but not essential to have knowledge of Latin. – Extensive high school knowledge of biology, chemistry and physics. – Ability to cope well with stress as medical programs are often time-consuming and intensive, with up to 25-30 hours of compulsory classes a week. – Non-EU students may require a student visa and residence permit. – Some universities may also require non-EU students to provide results for the TestAS exam. Source: medicine-germany (Artikel ist sehr gut und informativ, muss nicht abgeändert werden)

How to apply for medicine studies in Germany?

To get a university place in Germany to study medicine is quite hard, simultaneously for foreigners and German citizens. There are more applicants than there are spots available to studying medicine in Germany, so the admissions process is organized into a restricted, highly selective admissions policy known as the numerus clausus (NC). There are two types of NC, and, in this case, it is known as a centrally restricted NC. Only students with the best grades in the university-entrance diploma which is in Germany called Abitur or foreigners with an equal degree from other countries have a chance to get one of the highly-demanded university places.

The admissions process

Varies from university to university. If you received your university entrance qualification from Germany or a German school abroad or you come from an EU country,

you should apply via the Trust for admission to higher education –

the Stiftung für Hochschulzulassung (Foundation for University Admissions). The same applies for other indemand subjects: pharmacy, veterinary medicine and dentistry.

If you come from outside the European Union your degree is not automatically accredited and you have to check whether your higher education entrance qualification is equivalent to the German university entrance qualification.

You can check if your foreign degree is accredited in Germany using the anabin database.

If your secondary diploma is valid in Germany you can apply directly to the universities using Uni-Assist which is the University Application Service for International Students.


Can I study medicine in Germany in English?

There are no English-taught medical programs in Germany  studying medicine that lead to a qualification as a doctor. Nonetheless, according to the search tool there are 14 master’s degree programs in the medical field, which are taught in English. The following Master studies are without tuition fees: Focus Life Sciences at the University of Würzburg, Global Health Risk Management & Hygiene Policies at the University of Bonn, Medical Diagnostic Technologies at the Furtwagen University, Medical immunosciences and infection at the University of Bonn, Medical Neurosciences at the Humboldt University Berlin, Molecular Medicine at the University of Ulm and Translational Neuroscience at the University of Würzburg and the University of Düsseldorf. It should be noted that a bachelors’s degree in any program with essentially the same content is an entry requirement. Even if the programs are taught in English, it is suggested to learn at least some basic German for daily life.

Best Universities for studying Medicine in Germany

The “Times Higher Education Magazine” raked 2017 the best Universities for Medicine. Little surprising the best university at which to study medicine is once again the University of Oxford. With the University of Cambridge and University College London scoring 2nd and 3rd, UK institutions dominate the very top of the clinical ranking studying medicine. However, who is not as fortunate to be able to pay £ 23.885 annually and is not considering robbing a bank to finance his or her studies there are five excellent German Universities with no tuition fee that made it under the Top 100 List.

# 14: LMU Munich

You can never go wrong in studying medicine at the Ludwig-Maximilians-

Universität, as it made it into the TOP 20 of the world’s best medicine universities and, with 14th place, is even four places better than the TU Munich. The frequency of citation is very high (91.3 points),

the maximum score of 100 points was awarded for the acquisition of third-party funds, which come from the private sector as well as from public research funding such as the German Research foundation, the Ministry of Education and Research or the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy. In addition, the support ratio at the LMU is very good.

# 18: Technical University of Munich (TUM)

Studying in Germany : The Technical University of Munich (TUM), is ranked 18th in the ranking and thus improves significantly. Especially the raised third-party funds are outstanding; the TUM receives the full score in that field. # 30: Humboldt Universität Berlin HU Berlin ranks 30th, making it the third-best German medical university according to the Times Higher Education ranking. The University received a very good rating in citation frequency (76.1 points).

#41: RWTH Aachen University

Being ranked 41, RWTH Aachen is the fourth best German medical university. Particularly high is the the number of foreign students (18 percent).

#50: Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen

Studying medicine: The University of Tübingen is one of the oldest universities in Europe. The University received 2012 the prestigious elite status. As the THE ranking shows, the international reputation of the University of Tübingen is with 61.2 out of 100 possible points very good. It is the fifth-best German university in the field of medicine and scores rank 50 globally.