How Does the Education System Work in Germany?

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How does the education system work in Germany, the education system in Germany, university system in Germany, is the German education system good?

2024-02-16

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How Does the Education System Work in Germany?

Germany has a federal structure, so certain differences can be observed in different regions of the country. However, Germany's education system consists of 5 stages.

  1. Kindergarten (Kindergarten): In Germany, kindergarten lasts 4-6 years and generally appeals to students between the ages of 2 and 7. Basic education covers language skills, mathematics and general knowledge.
  2. Primary school (Grundschule): Students who complete kindergarten attend primary school, usually between the ages of 7 and 12. This stage provides students with a general education and covers a wide range of topics through a variety of courses.
  3. Secondary school (Sekundarstufe I): After completing primary school, students generally move on to secondary school from the 5th grade. Secondary school offers students a broad, well-rounded education. At this stage, students choose between 3 different types of schools.

Hauptschule: Provides a more practical and manual skills-oriented education.

Realschule: Provides a general education at the secondary level and provides students with the opportunity to prepare for careers in technical and business fields.

Gymnasium: Provides a broader academic education for students aiming to go to university.

  1. High School (Sekundarstufe II): Students who complete secondary school move on to high school. High school usually starts in the 11th grade and ends in the 12th grade. At this stage, students can choose a professional field in which they can specialize in a specific subject in addition to their general education.
  2. Higher education (Hochschule or Universität): Students who complete high school can apply to university or college. In many states in Germany, university education is free. Students can earn a bachelor's, master's or doctoral degree in a specific field.

 

What is the University System like in Germany?

University education in Germany is generally free or low-cost. Students usually pay only a nominal semester fee. Many German universities offer their undergraduate programs in German. Foreign students usually have to pass German language proficiency tests (e.g. TestDaF or DSH). However, undergraduate and graduate programs in English are also available. Applications to universities in Germany are usually made online directly through the university's official application portal. Application dates and requirements may vary between universities and programs. The university system in Germany consists of 3 stages:

  1. Bachelor's (Bachelor's): Undergraduate programs usually last 4 years. Students typically receive a general education and may choose electives to specialize in a particular area.
  2. Master's: Students who complete the undergraduate program can usually continue in a master's program. Master's programs usually last 1.5 to 2 years and offer students the opportunity to specialize more deeply in a particular field.
  3. Doctorate (Ph.D.): Students who have completed the master's program and have an advanced interest in research can apply to doctoral programs. Doctoral programs usually last 3 to 5 years and require writing a thesis.

 

The Difference of the University System in Germany 

At this point, it is useful to mention that there are different types of universities in Germany. Basically, universities in Germany can be divided into three main categories:

  1. Universities (Universität):
    • These universities offer many undergraduate and graduate programs.
    • It is research-oriented and doctoral programs are often available.
    • They cover many disciplines across a broad academic spectrum.
    • They offer students a general education and emphasize theoretical knowledge.
  2. Universities or Colleges of Applied Sciences (Fachhochschule):
    • These universities are usually more practical and industry-oriented.
    • They focus more on applied sciences such as engineering, business, design and social work.
    • Internships, industry collaboration, and practical applications form an important part of the training.
    • Research activities are generally less frequent, but they may work on applied projects.
  3. Universities of Arts and Music (Kunst- und Musikhochschule):
    • These universities provide education in art, design and music.
    • They specialize in fields such as fine arts, graphic design, theater and music.
    • They often emphasize student projects for artistic performances and exhibitions.
    • They offer a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs in art and music.

Feel free to contact us or visit our consultancy to get free information about the application process of German universities.

 



Frequently Asked Questions About How Does the Education System Work in Germany?



University education in Germany is generally free or low-cost. Students usually pay only a nominal semester fee. Many German universities offer their undergraduate programs in German. Foreign students usually have to pass German language proficiency tests (e.g. TestDaF or DSH). However, undergraduate and graduate programs in English are also available. Applications to universities in Germany are usually made online directly through the university's official application portal. Application dates and requirements may vary between universities and programs.

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