Residents Study

Why Study in Hamburg

Hamburg is a great city for higher education. Here is a guide to Hamburg's universities and colleges, including enrollment and fees.

A metropolis of knowledge, Hamburg is home to over a dozen institutions of higher education for around 96,300 students, more than 10,700 of whom come from abroad. There is also a comprehensive range of internationally renowned research facilities attracting staff and faculty from across the globe. Whether social sciences, engineering, economics and law, or art, music and design, with more than 500 study programmes in Hamburg, there's something for everyone.

Hamburg Universities

In Germany, there are two types of higher education institutes. Regular universities are focused on scientific research, while Fachhochschulen ('Universities of Applied Sciences') offer more practical training. Institutions can be public or private and differ in academic and professional focuses, as well as degree type. In Hamburg, the largest university is Universität Hamburg (UHH) with the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) as its medical teaching facility. UHH offers over 170 programmes of study. 

Other universities in Hamburg include, for example, the University of Applied Sciences (HAW) and the Technical University of Hamburg-Harburg (TUHH), which has a private partner school in the Northern Institute of Technology (NIT). There are also a large number of other universities with private sponsorship. Find out more about public universities and private institutions here. 

Most courses of study in Hamburg are directed in German, although the amount of English-language programmes is slowly increasing. At the Science Portal you will find a list of courses in English.

Research in Hamburg

Hamburg is a well-known centre for research ― it has been and continues to be the home of many brilliant minds from all over the world. You'll find internationally renowned institutes such as the German Electron Synchrotron DESY and the Max Planck Institute, as well as the unique research facility European XFEL: a 3.4 km long X-ray laser, larger and more powerful than all comparable systems worldwide, which opens up completely new research opportunities thanks to its unique properties and capabilities. 

Take a look at the various research facilities in Hamburg here. 

Enrollment and college fees

To enroll in a German university, you need to hold a high school certificate. In some cases, foreign certificates don't suffice for enrollment into university programmes. Then, an option might be to join a year-long preparatory course at the Studienkolleg, corresponding to your desired field of study. If you are from a non-EU country and want to study in Germany, you'll furthermore need a visa for entry and a residence permit for your stay. Find out more about the requirements here.

A special advantage of studying in Hamburg is that you do not have to pay college fees at state universities. You only pay a semester fee (300–350 EUR per semester). The semester fee includes a public transport ticket. Of course, there will be other costs, such as housing and insurance, to keep in mind. There is a selection of funding programmes that will make your stay financially easier on  the website of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.


The non-profit organisation Studierendenwerk Hamburg is responsible for supporting students. They provide information about matters of financing, housing and insurance and manage 24 student residences around Hamburg. Further information is available at the website of Studierendenwerk.