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Best Universities in Germany for Economics

Expatrio 2024-02-15
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With a strong economy and a thriving business world, Germany is a top choice for international students who are interested in studying economics or business. Highly-ranked universities, no tuition fees, and an affordable cost of living attract students to Germany from all around the world.

There are various German university ranking tables that can help you to find the best German universities. In this guide, we will take a look at the field of economics and some of the top business universities producing economics graduates in Germany.

Study economics in Germany

German universities often have a strong focus on the sciences and research

Most institutions offer economics, business, and mathematics courses, all with a contemporary and international scope. With both Bachelor's and Master's degrees available to international students, Germany is a popular destination for business-oriented minds, who are looking for degree programs and economics majors to gain international experience and great chances on the job market.

Economic study programs start with basic skills in the independent scientific analysis of economic questions and contemporary economic concepts to then move into a more in-depth look at business administration, finance, various economic sectors, and economic issues.

German universities offer a high level of Economics education which translates into real-world experience. Requirements for economics courses vary depending on the university and type of program or courses offered but generally include a higher education qualification, English or German language abilities.

Below we provide details on some of the topmost research institutions and top universities offering programs for BBA, Bachelor of Business Administration, postgraduate levels, and Doctorate Degree programs or other economics-related courses and adjacent disciplines.

Visit our Degrees page to learn more about studying for a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree at top institutions in Germany.

Expatrio can assist you with additional requirements needed for studying in Germany, including blocked bank accounts and health insurance.

Is Germany good for economics?

Economic issues accompany us in our daily lives: economic growth, wage inequality, and unemployment are as present in the media as financial crises, trading of emission rights, or the effects of globalization. At the same time, we all have to make a multitude of economic decisions in our personal and professional lives. In the study of economics at universities in Germany, students enrolled to deal with the analysis and answers of these questions.

The integrated approach to economics education in Germany produces high-quality graduates who learn skills and quantitative methods through intensive instruction using a method-based approach to withstand the professional climate of the real corporate world.

German universities conduct ground-breaking research and dominate the world rankings of universities offering higher education in Economics. The best German universities for Economics offer a rich history, and each faculty boasts a wide range of courses and programs, including Behavioral Sciences, Computer Science, Quantitative Economics, and Psychological Economics.


Where can I study economics in Germany?

Using our Study Finder, you can easily and quickly find an Economics program or university that is located in the very city you want to live in Germany. A few suggestions are Albert Ludwigs University in Freiburg, Heidelberg University, Humboldt University of Berlin, Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, and the Munich Graduate School of Economics. These universities are among the top ten universities and business schools in Germany. Each university features intensive teaching and top training in all areas of Economics.

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Which university in Germany is the best for international students?

Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich

LMU was founded in 1472. In 2021, a total of 53,000 students were enrolled. The university is a global leader not only in economics, but also in higher education in general, and is one of the best universities in the world.

LMU offers over 200 courses on a wide range of subjects, including Economics, Economic Pedagogy, and Economic Mathematics. Bachelor's degrees usually cover six semesters and Master's degrees take between two and four semesters to complete.

There are different admission requirements for individual courses. Generally, German language proficiency is required, except for doctoral programs, English-language Masters, or double degrees. Aptitudes tests may be required by the school's faculty when applying.

Applications for the summer semester are required by January 15th and by July 15th for the winter semester. International students must apply for a student visa several months in advance and arrange to open the necessary blocked bank account.

Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-University Bonn

Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-University Bonn, or more simply the University of Bonn, is ranked 13th in Germany. Offering over 200 courses, students can undertake Bachelor's and Master's degrees at the university. As well as Economics, Law and Economics courses, there are related teaching degrees available to students enrolled.

Founded in 1818, the university is attended by around 35,000 students, 5,000 of whom are from outside of Germany. Requirements for international students vary depending on the qualifications you hold, your language abilities and the course you are enrolling on.

Many courses at business universities in Germany are taught in English, making them very popular with students from all over the world. At the University of Bonn, the application process usually starts in June for the winter semester and the deadline is July 15th. For a summer semester start the deadline in January 15th. 

As of 2019, the University of Bonn will have six Clusters of Excellence, more than any other German university.

University of Mannheim

The University of Mannheim dates back to 1907 as a college for merchants. Today, the university has over 60 courses to choose from, many of which are centered around business and economics, such as Economic and Business Education, and Mathematics in Business and Economics.

All Bachelor's degree courses start in the fall and are open for applications between May 15th and July 15th. The Master's degree program application periods vary by subject and the semester, but usually open on March 15th or October 1st.

This smaller university has around 12,000 students, including international students from over 100 different countries. The university has an Internationalization Strategy which includes attracting students to the International Campus, offering multilingual courses and providing support for international students.

As one of the top universities in Germany for Master's degrees, the University of Mannheim is especially strong in regards to Economics and Social Sciences.

It has been ranked in the top 20 European research institutions several times and number one in Germany for business and economics.

Free University of Berlin

The Free University of Berlin offers over 150 academic programs and has a strong focus on research. Founded in 1948, the university has always given and received international support, working with various institutions around the world. Ranked at number 6 in Germany and at 130 globally in 2018, the university has an excellent reputation including for courses in Economics and Business Administration.

As of the winter semester 2021, there were 32,000 degree students attending the university. 13% of Bachelor's degree students and 28% of Master's degree students were from other countries. 

The qualifications needed, additional requirements and application periods vary from program to program. Students generally need to apply for the winter semester in June or July.

The university has many collaborative research centers, 9 as a host university, 10 as a participating institute.

University of Cologne

The University of Cologne or UoC is a prestigious institution that was founded in 1388. It has a long history as a center of science and research. In 2021, there were more than 50,000 students, over 5,000 of whom were international students.

More than 300 courses are on offer, including Business Administration and various Economics programs.

All courses are taught in German at UoC, therefore students must demonstrate their language ability at a C1-C2 level or undertake a preparatory German course.

Application periods close on January 15th for the summer semester and July 15th for the winter semester.

As you can see, the best economics universities in Germany all have a slight focus on research and continued commitment to providing intensive training in all aspects of economics.

Deadlines for Summer- and Winter Semester

  1. Two semesters

    Structure of an academic year in Germany.

  2. Summer semester

    April - September
    Application Deadline: January 15th

  3. Visa paperwork

    October - March
    Application Deadline: July 15th

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