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Top Universities in Germany by Subject

Top Universities in Germany by Subject main image

Germany is one of the world’s most represented countries in the QS World University Content by Subject 2018, with 45 German universities included among the world’s best for particular subjects.

Read on for an overview of the highest-ranked universities in Germany for each of the 48 subjects covered in this year’s rankings.

Accounting & Finance

Universität Mannheim continues to be the highest-ranked of Germany’s five entrants in the accounting ranking at 51-100, with its highest score for citations per paper (one of the four indicators used to compile the ranking).

Agriculture & Forestry

Of Germany’s 13 representatives in the agriculture ranking, the University of Hohenheim continues to be the leader, although it’s down slightly on last year at joint 34th.

Anatomy & Physiology

Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München is the highest-ranked of the top universities in Germany for anatomy & physiology at 38th place, with strong scores for its research impact.  Five more German institutions are featured in the ranking.


Freie Universität Berlin

The best place to study anthropology in Germany out of its six entries in the anthropology ranking is Freie Universitaet Berlin, ranked 37th in the world for this subject, with Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin not far behind at 44th.


Germany is well represented in the archaeology ranking, with 15 top German universities featured, led again by Freie Universitaet Berlin in 13th place. Three more institutions are in the global top 50, including Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen (15th).


Eight German institutions are featured among the world’s best for architecture, led by the Technical University of Munich in 29th place. Also in the top 50 is Technische Universität Berlin at joint 41st.

Art & Design

Germany’s three entrants in the art & design ranking have all climbed from 101-150 in 2017 to 51-100 in 2018: Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, Technische Universität Berlin and Universität der Künste Berlin.

Biological Sciences

An impressive 39 top universities in Germany are ranked among the top 500 in the world in the biological sciences ranking, with Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München in the lead at 36th.

Business & Management Studies

The Technical University of Munich and Universität Mannheim are the leaders among the 10 top universities in Germany for business and management, both ranked 51-100.

Chemical Engineering

Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen

Germany’s highest-ranked institution for chemical engineering, Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen (RWTH Aachen University), is up from 51-100 last year to now rank joint 46th in the world, achieving its highest indicator score for citations per paper. Nine more top German universities are featured in the chemical engineering ranking this year.


The Technical University of Munich is Germany’s best-performing representative in the chemistry ranking at 32nd, and 38 more German institutions are featured.

Civil & Structural Engineering

Of the six top universities in Germany in the civil engineering ranking, four are the joint highest-ranked at 51-100:

Classics & Ancient History

German universities performed very well in the inaugural ranking of the world’s 50 top classics schools with eight entrants, including three in the top 10: Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (fourth), Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (eighth) and Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg (ninth).

Communication & Media Studies

Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München has climbed at least 16 places from last year’s position of 51-100 to now rank joint 35th for communication & media studies and first among Germany’s eight entrants in the ranking.

Computer Science & Information Systems

Technische Universität München

Of the 29 top German computer science schools, Technical University of Munich is once again the highest-ranked, in 42nd place.


Germany was previously unrepresented in the dentistry ranking, but this year new entrant Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München takes joint 46th place.

Development Studies

Again, there is only one German entrant in this ranking: the University of Göttingen at 51-100.

Earth & Marine Sciences

15 German universities are featured in the earth & marine sciences ranking, with three sharing the top position of 51-100 in the world for this subject: Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Universität Bremen and Universität Potsdam.

Economics & Econometrics

Looking at the economics ranking, three German universities have the honor of being the country’s top for this subject, all of which are ranked 51-100: Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn and Universität Mannheim.

Education & Training

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Germany has 10 entrants in the education ranking, led by Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin at 51-100.

Electrical & Electronic Engineering

13 top universities in Germany are featured in the electrical engineering ranking, led by the Technical University of Munich at 37th. RWTH Aachen University is also in the top 50 at joint 45th, up from 51-100 last year.

English Language & Literature

Freie Universitaet Berlin is the highest-ranked university for English language & literature in 2018, up from 51-100 to 47th. There are 13 more top universities in Germany featured in the English ranking.

Environmental Sciences

Germany has 10 entrants in the environmental science ranking, with RWTH Aachen University again leading the way at 51-100 in the world.


There are 15 top universities in Germany in the geography ranking, led by Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin at 28th.


Germany has 13 entrants in the history ranking, including three in the top 50, with Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin the highest-ranked in 32nd place.

Hospitality & Leisure Management

No German institutions were featured in the hospitality & leisure management ranking this year.


 Humboldt-University of Berlin

There are 13 German institutions in this year’s law school ranking. The highest-ranked was previously Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, but Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin now takes the top spot at 46th (up from 51-100 last year).

Library & Information Management

Germany is represented by only one institution in the new library & information management ranking: Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (joint 35th).


Of the 18 German universities in the linguistics ranking, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin is again the highest-ranked, retaining its position of 33rd in the world this year.

Materials Science

17 top universities in Germany are featured in the materials science ranking, led by RWTH Aachen University, which is up five places to rank 28th in the world this year.


Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn is the highest-ranked of Germany’s 29 entries in the mathematics ranking this year at 42nd in the world, with two other top German universities joining it in the top 50.

Mechanical, Aeronautical & Manufacturing Engineering

Again, three of Germany’s 16 representatives in this ranking are in the global top 50, with RWTH Aachen University its highest-ranked in 23rd place.


Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg

Those wishing to train as a doctor in Germany have 32 top medical schools in the country to choose from, with Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg the best of the bunch, having been ranked 45th in the world. You can read advice on how to study medicine in Germany here.

Mineral & Mining Engineering

There are only three top universities in Germany in the mining engineering ranking, and its highest-ranked is also in the global top five for this subject: Technische Universität Bergakademie Freiberg (up from ninth to fourth this year).

Modern Languages

If you’re looking to study modern languages in Germany, there are 15 top universities in Germany for this subject, led by Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin at 31st


No German institutions were ranked in this year’s nursing school ranking.

Performing Arts

Germany has five top performing arts schools, led by the specialized college of music Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg in joint 50th place.

Pharmacy & Pharmacology

Of Germany’s 22 entrants in the pharmacy ranking, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München is the highest-ranked in 40th place.


There are 13 German representatives in the philosophy ranking, six of which are in the global top 50. Its highest-ranked entrant is placed 10th this year, a climb of two places since last year: Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München.

Physics & Astronomy

Germany has an impressive 40 entrants in the physics ranking, including five in the top 50. Its highest-ranked entrant overall is Technische Universität München, which is 21st in the world.

Politics & International Studies

There are nine German entrants in the politics ranking, with Freie Universitaet Berlin leading the way in 20th place.


Germany has 23 entrants in the psychology ranking, with its three highest-ranked all placed 51-100: Freie Universitaet Berlin (up from 101-150), Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München.

Social Policy & Administration

Just one German university is featured in the social policy ranking this year: Freie Universität Berlin, up from 34th to 31st.


17 top universities in Germany are featured in the sociology ranking, led by Freie Universität Berlin, up three places to rank 22nd. Just one place behind is Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin at joint 23rd, up five places.

Sports-related Subjects

Universität Freiburg

Previously unrepresented in the sports-related subjects ranking, Germany now has one entrant: Universität Freiburg is ranked 51-100.

Statistics & Operational Research

Five top German universities are featured in the statistics ranking, four of which are ranked 51-100: Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, RWTH Aachen University and Technische Universität Berlin.

Theology, Divinity & Religious Studies

Germany has seven entrants in this ranking, including five in the top 50. Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg is down one place this year at 14th but is nonetheless Germany’s highest-ranked university for theology, divinity and religious studies.

Veterinary Science

Germany has just two entrants in the veterinary science ranking, but both perform very well: Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München is its highest ranked at 25th, while Freie Universität Berlin is just one place behind at 26th, having climbed from joint 34th.

At a glance: top German universities


Amount of number one ranks for Germany in the QS World University Content by Subject 2018

Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München


Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin


Technical University of Munich


RWTH Aachen University


Universität Mannheim


Freie Universität Berlin


Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg


RWTH Aachen University


Technische Universität Berlin


Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn


University of Hohenheim, University of Göttingen, Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg, Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, Universität der Künste Berlin, Technische Universität Bergakademie Freiberg, Universität Freiburg, KIT, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology


*indicates one or more number-one rankings have been shared with another university

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Sabrina Collier's profile image
Written by Sabrina Collier
The Assistant Editor of, Sabrina edits and publishes articles which guide students from around the world on a wide range of topics. She has a bachelor's degree in English Literature and Creative Writing from Aberystwyth University and grew up in Staffordshire, UK. 

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