Study Humanities in Germany

To excel in the field of the humanities, you should have a great passion for reading, writing, and discussion. It is the field of study that requires students to do a great deal of the three of them. Being a humanities major means you will get numerous skills, the likes of critical thinking and communication, and if you have an interest in art, literature, or languages, you will likely be able to succeed in any study programme related to the humanities.

German higher education excels in many fields of study, and this also includes the humanities, the field that teaches you empathy, skills in writing and critical thinking, and shows you how to make intellectual and spiritual sense of our reality. Enrolling in a humanities degree programme in Germany will be an experience on its own. You get to study intricate subjects and live in a cultural country that has offered the world so much of its art today.

Humanities Information

German universities offer numerous degree programmes in the field of humanities, specifically around 6,000 programmes to choose from. To pursue a bachelor’s degree in the humanities, you have the option of studying a single subject or a combination of numerous subjects (or just two). Both choices are beneficial and rewarding because in both of them you get to study subjects in-depth. In the dual-subject bachelor, you also get to choose an additional minor or a second major from another area of the humanities.

Each university in Germany offers different degree programmes and they are not necessarily the same in all universities. The subject combinations also vary from one university to the other. German universities are known globally for their academic expertise and highly-talented graduates that finish their studies every year from one of the many universities in Germany. According to the latest statistics, more than 11,000 international students in Germany were seeking a degree in the humanities, in 2019 only.

A majority of the humanities degree programmes in Germany offer integrated modules which give students the opportunity to obtain the necessary practical skills, besides the theoretical ones. German universities make sure to provide students with both, theoretical and practical skills, in order to ensure that once these students graduate, they will be fully equipped to enter the job market with confidence. Humanities programmes will comprise of professionally related events, study semesters abroad, as well as research projects or internships so students understand exactly what they will encounter in the future, in their professions.


The requirements for studying humanities in Germany are:

  • Writing, speaking, and communicative skills.
  • Notable interest in language and literature.
  • Knowledge/interest in culture.
  • German language skills (if the programme is in German).
  • English language skills (IELTS or TOEFL scores vary).
  • Latin and Ancient Greek skills (for Classical Studies)
  • University entrance qualification exam (when applicable).
  • Visa, residence permit, proof of financial resources (when applicable).

The requirements of humanities degree programmes vary depending on the university. However, in order to ensure that you will be successful in the field, even after you graduate, you have to have a passion for the essential elements of a humanities major, such as reading and/or writing. As a humanities student or even graduate, you will be expected to be skilled at communication, and have a wide vocabulary, which can be perfected through reading literature.

Tuition Fees

Studying the humanities in Germany, in comparison to other countries, is slightly more affordable. Tuition varies from one institution to another, and the degree level also plays a role in the price you will have to pay to enrol in a humanities degree programme in Germany.

Public universities in Germany generally do not charge tuition fees and this system is available for both domestic and international students. The Federal State of Baden-Württemberg, however, has reintroduced tuition fees of 3,000 EUR/year for students from outside of the EU. Since most universities in Germany are public, students usually only have to pay an administrative fee equaling the cost of 100-350 EUR/semester.

If you decide to study the humanities in a private university in Germany, you will have to pay full tuition fees (unless you have been awarded a scholarship). Tuition fees in private German universities range from 20,000 EUR/year to 40,000 EUR/year depending on the level of study and educational institution.

Top Humanities Schools in Germany

Germany is known for the quality of education it provides as well as its globally recognized qualifications. German universities are highly regarded worldwide, besides being among the highest-ranked in the world.

The top humanities schools in Germany are:

  1. Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
  2. Freie Universität Berlin
  3. Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
  4. Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg
  5. Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen
  6. Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
  7. Goethe-Universität Frankfurt
  8. Universität Hamburg
  9. University of Göttingen
  10. University of Cologne

Students value these universities for, not only the quality of education but also for the comfortable environment they provide. German universities offer numerous opportunities for students to duly prepare them for their careers. If you decide to study humanities in any of the German universities, you will surely be provided with an outstanding academic experience while being part of a community with a long and rich tradition of higher education history. (More on why study in Germany).

Professions and Job Prospects

The humanities involve the study of ancient and modern languages, literature, art, politics, philosophy, archaeology, law, and history among others. By studying the likes of these subjects, you get to choose from numerous professions which are highly beneficial nowadays.

Some of the professions of humanities majors include:

  • Artists
  • Teachers
  • Technical Writers
  • Editors
  • Public Relations Managers
  • Lawyers
  • Translators
  • Interpreters
  • Journalists
  • Advertising Managers
  • Human Resources Specialists
  • Linguists
  • Even Organizers

Job prospects for humanities majors are numerous. These are all professions that are highly valued, especially in the job market of today, when the world has become digitalized. Students of humanities are knowledgeable and skilled in their subject, and they are also excellent communicators and writers. The public sector, and especially the private sector, is in need of people with humanities qualifications.

Living Costs in Germany

If you are thinking of pursuing a humanities degree in Germany but are unsure whether you will be able to meet the financial requirements, be assured to know that the living costs in Germany are deemed affordable by the majority. Many students take out scholarships, which are offered by numerous universities or organizations in Germany, however, international students also work part-time alongside their studies to help finance themselves and earn a bit of extra income.

As of 2021, an international student in Germany will need an amount of 861 EUR/month, to cover their living expenses in Germany. This translates to around 10,332 EUR/year which, if you pursue a part-time job, is quite affordable. The cost of food, bills, clothes, and entertainment is generally in accordance with the EU average, however, the largest expense you will have to deal with in Germany is the monthly rent. (More on renting in Germany here).

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