Studying Medicine in Germany: The Complete Guide to 2023


Thousands of foreign students want to study and obtain a medical degree in Germany. You may be one of them in the foreseeable future. Indeed, deciding to study medicine in this country is a life-changing moment with many advantages.

However, there is a lot of information that you may not have at this time regarding enrollment, costs, and prospects.

That’s why, in this comprehensive guide, we’ve put together everything you need to know about studying medicine in Germany.

Duration of medical studies in Germany
To earn a general medical degree in Germany, it takes 6 years of full-time study. For high learning efficiency, the study program is organized into different stages.

Each stage leads to a specific exam, which will then be counted in the final score of each student.

The first one: Pre-clinical (also known as “Vorklink”)

During the first two years of your university studies, you will learn the basic concepts and topics in medicine. After completing this stage, your level of academic development will be measured by a two-step examination: written and oral. This covers topics such as anatomy, biochemistry, and physiology.

The second session: the clinical science stage

Throughout the next three years of the program, you will acquire important hands-on skills as well as theoretical knowledge by participating in intensive lectures, laboratory sessions, seminars, and internships.

At the end of this stage, you will take a test which is usually a written test.

The third session: final clinical year

In your final year of study, you will take the final state exam that will assess your academic and professional skills in medicine. This is essentially an oral and practical exam. If you do not pass the final exam, you will not be allowed to practice as a physician in Germany.

The National Examination

One of the final phases of your medical training in Germany is to take the country’s national examination, a standardized national examination. After passing this exam, you can apply for a license to practice medicine throughout Germany.

After that, you can decide to continue your training to become a specialist doctor, and this can take another 5 to 6 years.

Please note: The training program for those who want to become a specialist doctor ends with a specialization examination.

Admission requirements for studying medicine in Germany
Would you like to know the admission requirements for medical school in Germany? Here they are…

  1. First of all, in order to study medicine in Germany, you must have a good knowledge of the German language. You will need to prove this by achieving high scores on tests such as the Test DaF or the DSH.
  2.  In addition, non-EU students need a student visa and a residence permit.
    If you need a student visa in Germany, you must apply for one at least three months before your arrival in the country, through the German embassy or consulate in your country.

The typical documents you need to obtain a German visa are as follows:

  •  Valid passport.
  •  Two passport photos.
  •  A statement indicating your admission to a German university
    German university.
  • A copy of your academic record.
  • Certificate of German language proficiency.
  • Evidence that you have adequate funds to support yourself during your stay in Germany (€8,700 per year, or approximately 10 250 $).

You can prove that you have enough money to study in Germany by depositing an amount in a blocked account – which means that you can only withdraw money after you have arrived in Germany.

  • Proof of health insurance.
  • You may also be required to submit your criminal record.
    Preparatory year for medical studies for foreign students

Foreign students who wish to study medicine in Germany must complete a preparatory year before starting their university studies. This preparatory year takes place in the “Studienkolleg”.

These are educational institutions where students with a high school diploma from a foreign country, whose German equivalent is not recognized, are prepared.

The most important requirements for applying for this preparatory year are

  • Proof of financial support for studies and living expenses during the entire stay in Germany.
  • To have a good command of the German language and to obtain the level
    B1 level, as all subjects in the preparatory year are
    are taught in German.
    In order to enroll in the Studienkolleg, a foreign student must pass an entrance exam (“Aufnahmeprüfung” ) in German. In addition, at the end of the year, he or she must take a second compulsory test called “Feststellungsprüfung”.

In fact, each Studienkolleg institution offers different courses depending on the discipline chosen.

For medicine, these are the “M-Kurs”. Learn more about the M-Kurs…

The M-course is designed for students who want to study medicine, biology, or pharmacy in Germany.

The course is basically offered in two semesters and is intended to prepare candidates for the postgraduate qualifying examination for the above-mentioned disciplines.

The M-course is composed of 28 hours per week, each course lasting about 45 minutes.

Top 5 Universities to Study Medicine in Germany In Germany.

There are many universities that offer outstanding medical education. Here is a list of the best German universities for medicine.

University of Witten / Herdke

The University of Witten / Herdecke is one of the most renowned universities in Germany. It was founded in 1983 and is one of the oldest private universities. It has about 1,200 health professionals studying medicine, dentistry, and nursing.

Link to apply to the University of Witten / Herdke.

University of Leipzig

The University of Saxony in Leipzig is the second oldest university in Germany. The university’s medical school has more than 3,000 students studying medicine and dentistry.

Together with its university hospital, it is one of the most important medical institutions in Saxony and consists of 48 departments and institutes.

These departments are divided into five separate departments.

Link to apply to the University of Leipzig.

University of Freiburg

The University Medical Center of the University of Freiburg is convinced that basic science and clinical research are prerequisites for state-of-the-art medical expertise and treatment. Therefore, it encourages physicians to pursue their research.

Link to apply to the University of Freiburg.

University of Münster

The University of Münster is known for its outstanding staff – 5,000 graduate experts and 37,000 students. In addition, the university operates through knowledge assessment and scientific research.

Link to apply to the University of Münster.

University of Tübingen

The University of Tübingen is one of the most renowned and prestigious universities in Germany, and its name is associated with a large number of Nobel Prize winners, especially in the fields of chemistry and medicine. In addition, its medical department, which includes the university hospital, the scientific institutes, and the medical teaching institute, is the largest in the region of Baden-Württemberg.

Link to apply to the University of Tübingen.

How to apply to a medical university

Every year, a large number of students are asked to apply to study medicine in Germany. However, due to the number of available places, only a small number of them can be admitted.

The admission process is therefore regulated by a very restrictive and selective admission policy called numerus clausus.

In addition, all foreign students (from outside the EU) will have to check whether the university they have chosen is a member of Uni-assist.

If it is, you can apply via their website which centralizes applications.

If not, you must apply through the university of your choice, submitting copies of any required documents (e.g. a high school diploma).

The application deadline is generally July 15 for applications for study beginning in the winter, and January 15 for applications for study in the summer semester.

Is it possible to study medicine in English?

Absolutely, you will have the opportunity to study medicine in English, the answer is: yes!
You can do so at any of the following universities:

Jacobs Private University Bremen

Founded in 2001 in Bremen, Jacobs University is ranked 82nd in Germany.
It is accredited by the German Ministry of Higher Education and has a student body of about 2000 and a faculty of 400.

Link to apply to Jacobs University Bremen.

Public University of Ulm

It exists since 1960 in the city of Ulm
and is one of the universities accredited by the German Ministry of Higher Education. Finally, the university has about 5,000 students.

Link to the application form for the University of Ulm.

The cost of studying medicine in Germany

Would you like to know how much it costs to study medicine in Germany? Here is the answer…

If you study medicine at a public university in any state except Baden-Württemberg, you will only pay semester fees to cover administration and registration costs – usually no more than €250 per semester (about US 290).

In Baden-Württemberg, however, non-EU students must now pay a tuition fee. These fees amount to €3,000 (about US$3,500) per year at the state’s public universities.

Of course, private universities charge much higher fees.

You will also need about €10,000 (about US$11,000) per year to cover living expenses, although expenses vary depending on where you study.

Scholarships at the University of Hamburg

This university has a scholarship program to support the eligibility and merit of outstanding international students and doctoral candidates in all subjects and degrees.

The merit scholarship allows outstanding students to focus fully on their studies and gives them the opportunity to develop their skills.

This scholarship is open to students 29 years of age or younger who are pursuing a master’s degree. It is also open to students up to the age of 33 who are pursuing a doctoral degree.

The benefits associated with this scholarship are as follows:

  • The monthly amount of the scholarship is a maximum of €650. However, depending on the availability of funds, individual doctoral researchers may receive a scholarship of €1,000 per month.
  • The grants are awarded for two semesters (12 months in total). After completing 6 months of funding, you must report on the progress of your studies.

Research Fellowship at the University of Heidelberg

Applicants will have access to the latest research technologies in modern cell and molecular biology (gene expression profiling, bioinformatics, flow cytometry, cell imaging, optical tissue scanning, and animal models).

Details of this fellowship are available here.

Working as a physician after graduation
If you pass the national exam, you will be granted a license and can begin working as a physician.

The physician’s license is permanent and valid throughout Germany.

However, if you come from a country outside the European Union, you will need to apply for an extension of your residence permit for up to 18 months in order to find a job related to your studies.

Currently, there is a high demand for doctors in the German labor market, especially in rural areas.

Indeed, the average starting salary is very high, about 49,000 € (about 56,800 USD) per year. This is, in fact, more than the starting salary for graduates of any other discipline.

Finally, if you want to study medicine, we can only encourage you to go to Germany. Because German medical schools have a good reputation all over the world. Therefore, no matter where you live afterward, hospitals will be happy to hire you.

More importantly, doctors are among the highest-paid in the world.

Therefore, earning a medical degree in Germany guarantees both job opportunities and high salaries.

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